To listen to Deacon Andy’s homily for The Epiphany of the Lord: CLICK HERE!
Scripture Readings: Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15; Ephesians 4: 17-14; John 6: 24-35
Many years ago, there was a song sung at Mass that said, “look beyond the bread you eat, see your Savior and your Lord, look beyond the wine you drink and see your Savior and your Lord.”
Last weekend and this weekend we read and hear about the feeding of God’s people on journey to the promised land and as they yearned for the food of life that only comes from God.
Like the song above suggests, we who receive this gift of God – this bread and wine, this Holy Communion – need to look beyond…
For we who eat the bread of life are called to put on the new selves of righteousness, holiness and truth. We need to not only take care of ourselves, but we need to look beyond ourselves and care for one another and others.
True story: After lecturing at a University in Canada, a minister found himself stranded in a bus station during a surprise October snowstorm. Cold and wet, he finally found a seat at the bus café counter. A cranky, tired man in a greasy apron took his order – all they had was soup, one kind. So the minister ordered soup. The gray goop was the worst thing he had ever eaten. He wrapped his hands around the bowl – at least it kept his hands warm.
Then the door opened again, letting in the icy wind. “Close the door!” somebody yelled. In came a woman in a threadbare coat. She took a seat not far from the minister. The cranky man in the greasy apron took her order. “Glass of water,” she mumbled.
He brought the water. “Now, what do you want?”
“Just a glass of water and a chance to get warm.”
“Look, I have customers that pay – what do you think this is a Church or something? If you are not going to order, you have got to leave!”
The man got real loud about it. So she got up to leave – and, as if rehearsed, everybody in the little café got up and started toward the door. The minister got up and said to the man in the greasy apron, “I am voting for something here; I do not know what it is.”
“All right, all right, all right,” the cranky man in the greasy apron said. Everybody sat down again and he brought the woman a bowl of soup.
The minister asked the person sitting next to him, “who is she?”
“I never saw her in here before,” was the reply.
The place grew quiet; all the minister heard was the sipping of that awful soup. The minister decided to try it again and put his spoon into the bowl.
“You know”, said the minister later, “it really was not bad. Everyone was eating the soup, and it was pretty good soup. I have no idea what kind of soup it was. I do not know what was in it, but I do recall when I was eating it, it tasted a little bit like bread and wine. Just a little like bread and wine.”
May we as person, families and parish continue to allow the word, the eucharistic sacrament we hear and share in each week to guide us in being authentic disciples of the Lord… worthy of the name and eager to share “our bread” with others.
Scripture Readings: Acts of the Apostles 9:26-31 1 John 3:18-24 John 15:1-8
This weekend our St. Mary’s Parish, Crescent celebrates First Communion with our Parish Children.
I am sure we all remember our First Communion Day.
How we got “dressed up.” How we anticipated receiving First Communion for the first time. How you celebrated your First Communion Day. How you looked forward to your second and third and fourth Communion.
Of course others have made First Communion before us and many will make First Communion after us. I would hope that family or parish celebrations of First Communion not only remind us of a day in the past, but give us the opportunity to share our memories of First Communion and living our faith over the years with others, especially our children.
In a day and age, when weekly Mass attendance is becoming less and less, maybe First Communions are God’s way of reminding us adults that through frequent Communion – God wants us to be connected to us, God cares for us, God loves us.
We need the Eucharist in our lives often, to remind us that we need God to be an integral part of our lives lest we begin to think that we are God.
And Breaking News: We are not God!
By inviting Jesus in our lives every week through our reception of Communion, the Lord Jesus helps us grow as persons, families & Parishes of:
Love… Joy… Peace… Goodness… Faithfulness… and more…
What God gives us… God’s life and love and so much more thru Holy Communion, we are meant to give away to others daily.
Our God is a generous God who loves us so much that he wants us to have it all. God has a bigger and better plan for each of us and all of us, as we continue to grow as the Body of Christ in today’s world. A world that needs every one of us to bring Jesus to every person and place that we walk every day.
Jesus comes to you and me in the Eucharist so that we will more faithfully keep his Commandments, do what pleases God, and love God and others in our actions daily.
“Children: Let us always love God and others in deed and truth!”
Easter Vigil Scripture Readings:
Genesis 1:1-2:2 Exodus 14:15-15:1 Isaiah 55:1-11
Ezekiel 36:16-28 Romans 6:3-11 Mark 16:1-7
As I read the reading from Ezekiel, I thought to myself how these words written some 2600 years ago refer to us the baptized that first sacrament we all received that might very well be under appreciated or misunderstood by all of us.
“These are the People of the Lord.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you of your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statues, careful to observe my decrees.
You shall live in the land I gave your fathers;
You shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
The early Christian community knew that the life, death and resurrection changed everything and everyone forever and for the better.
The early Christian community knew that now was the time to go home, to go to the neighbors, to go to the people in the streets and proclaim the Good News that He lives, He has been raised!
Every Easter we share, we hear the greeting, “Happy Easter.”
But, it might be better to say, “We are an Easter people.”
Jesus did not live, die and rise so we could have another Holiday.
Jesus rose so that all people past, present and to come would know of his life, his love, his care, his concern, his forgiveness, his presence now and eternally.
The early Church understood that greetings are fine but they also understood that they, like us today, are called to be, Easter people.
• Easter people who care for others.
• Easter people who make sure no one is in need.
• Easter people who know God’s Spirit is working among them.
• Easter people who come to understand that God does not favor or love some people more than others. Rather all people are equal in the sight of God.
• Easter people who seize the opportunity to be active witnesses to their faith, wherever they are, in word and example.
• Easter people who know of their faults and failings and sins, but more importantly embrace their God, who is a God of mercy and love and life eternally for all. A God who is always waiting for us to come home.
May our Easter celebration this year be more than a holiday.
May this Easter be the year that we take the step or take the next step in being Easter people every day of our lives.