To watch Deacon Andy’s Homily from the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
To watch Deacon Andy’s homily from the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
To watch Deacon Andy’s Homily for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
Scripture Readings: Jeremiah 6:1-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11
A passenger in a taxi leaned forward and tapped the driver on the shoulder. At this touch, the driver screamed and swerved off the road; the cab bounced over the curb, careened off a lamppost and came to a stop on the sidewalk. The startled passenger apologized, “I did not mean to scare you. I just wanted to ask you a question.”
The taxi driver said, “Sorry… This is my first day as a cab driver. For the past 25 years I drove a hearse.”
I guess, changing jobs can sometimes cause problems.
What is our “job” as people of faith? As we know, our Baptism calls us to grow in love of God, love of others and in being faithful disciples.
Like Isaiah the Prophet, like St. Paul, and like Peter from our Scripture Readings… We – you and I – are called by God to serve his people, called by God to be sharers of the Good News, called by God to get to know his Son, Jesus.
Don’t you love it when people want to make sure you are aware of your faults and shortcomings and limitation? Well, Isaiah struggled with his call to be a prophet. Paul was painfully aware of his short comings and unworthiness. And each of us is in a similar situation… But, the call of God is enough, the grace of God is enough!
When it comes to sharing the Good News that is of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and so much more… God chooses whomever he wills for what needs to be done to bring forth the Kingdom of God here on earth as it is in Heaven.
Each of us is called. How are we responding to God’s call? How is the God of all that is good, “encompassing everything we do in life?”
I would suggest, that it might be a good idea to see ourselves like the first disciples of Jesus. They took time to get to know Jesus, to really know Jesus. For sure we know Jesus but, maybe this Lent 2016 is asking us to “Rediscover Jesus.” (Today, as you leave church, we would invite you to pick up your free copy of the book Rediscover Jesus at the Kiosk, near the Chapel Doors… also, do consider signing up to receive a 2-minute video each day of Lent that takes you through this book.)
And in rediscovering Jesus, we like the fishermen of the Gospel who “knew the fish were not biting that night” put out into the deep at the request of our Lord, our Savior, our friend and brother: Jesus. And the result was that their trust and daring was rewarded to the extreme.
Once upon a time, 600 guests from all over the world, movie stars, poets, playwrights, Politicians, business owners, super models, sports stars and a handful of people who were friends of the host were gathered together. A wonderful dinner was served, wine flowed, and then after dinner the host introduced a famous Shakespearean actor who spent the next 35 minutes superbly presenting experts from the writing of William Shakespeare. With each presentation came thunderous applause. When he finished people requested the actor to present their favorite passages from Shakespeare, which the actor did superbly. Then came a request from an old man, a priest. He said to the actor, “I know this is not Shakespeare, but I was wondering if you would present for us the 23rd Psalm.”
The actor replied, “I would be happy to, Father, on just one condition. And that is, that when I am finished reciting the Psalm, you, too, will recite the Psalm for us, here this evening.”
The old man hesitated and was uncomfortable presenting himself. But finally agreed.
And so the actor began in a loud, powerful, eloquent voice, “The Lord is my Shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.”
When the actor finished, people stood and clapped and cheered, like they would never stop clapping and cheering. And then it was the turn of the old man.
He began the 23rd Psalm in a voice that was soft and gentle:
“The Lord is My Shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is at my side. I shall live in the house of the Lord forever.”
When the Priest finished, nobody clapped, nobody spoke, and nobody moved. And as the old man slowly took his seat, every eye was on him.
Then the actor stood back up and said, “Do you realize what you have witnessed here tonight?” The people looked at him with a dazed look. He said, “What is the difference between my presentation of the Psalm and the old man’s presentation of the Psalm? What makes his presentation so powerful, to fill this room with such profound silence? I will tell you,” he said, “The difference? I know the Psalm; but Father, he knows the Shepherd.”
This Lent, my prayer is that each of us as person, family and Parish will get to know the Shepherd, a bit more. That we will truly: “Rediscover Jesus.”
Scriptures: Job 7:1-4, 6-7; 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-13; Mark 1:29-39
I would guess there are days when we, like Job, might say:
“Is not life a drudgery… I have been assigned months of misery; and troubled nights have been allotted to me.”
Today we reflect upon suffering: First bemoaned by Job, and then faced by Jesus.
But in the end Job, after his complaining, Job is able to say: “I know that my redeemer lives. My footsteps have followed close in God’s. I have walked in God’s way without swerving.”
God walks with us, side by side; holding our hand; lifting us up. God is blessing us more than we know, in sickness and in health. God blesses us, in so many ways, but especially:
- With his sacraments
- With the people of our lives
- We to are called to bless one another, especially our sick, for example: with a visit, a phone call, a card…
- As one priest who was 99 said to me when I visited: “Thanks for remembering an old man.”
Maybe today’s liturgy would have us remember two things: God is with us, God cares about you, God wishes to heal us all.
People are waiting for us, to be and bring Christ to them.
As Jesus said in today’s Gospel, may we also be able to say: “For this reason have I come.”
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 58:7-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16
Last weekend’s gospel for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord shared that there was a prophetess named Anna who never left the temple. But after Anna came in contact with the child Jesus, she not only gave thanks to God, but spoke about the child Jesus to all.
Anna was touched by the “Light,” by Jesus the “Light of the World.” Anna could not keep the light to herself. Anna had to share the light with all she met.
Today’s gospel has Jesus reminding his disciples that they too “are the Light of the World.” He reminds them that “their light must shine before others, that their good deeds should be seen by others, and bring people to glorify God.”
Isaiah in our First Reading today gives us a few examples of good deeds to be considered, where not only our light shines, but the light of Christ shines
Share your Bread, Feed the Hungry
- Contribute food that assists food pantries
- Maybe even help out at a food pantry or food kitchen
- Let children have their school lunch, whether paid up or not
Shelter the Oppressed and Homeless
- Support local efforts that shelter those in need maybe with a donation, maybe with some active help.
Cloth the naked
- We all have too much clothing. Is there something in your closet that you have not worn for a while that another person would cherish? Is there something with a price tag still on it that you could give to a local agency that assists people in need?
Do not turn your back on your own
- Who of our family, friends, fellow parishioners, neighbors could use a helping hand, a listening ear, a random act of kindness?
There used to be a TV show: Touched by an Angel. And the angel touched the lives of others in ways that changed their direction in life, in ways that changed their lives.
Every time we touch the lives of another with kindness, with love, with compassion, in word and deed, our light shines.
Every time we touch the lives of another with kindness, with love, with compassion, in word and deed, the light of Christ shines in the appreciation, in the smile of that person, in the good deed done.
I may have shared this story before, but it is worth repeating. High school football players in Olivet, Michigan had a plan: that if they reached the one yard line, who ever had the ball would intentionally fall down and not score until Keith Orr, a learning disabled player could be positioned to make his first touchdown.
And one game, unbeknownst to their coach, it happened. The team got close to the end zone and then gave Keith the ball, completely protecting him so he could truly be the player who scored. The touchdown made Keith a hero, with the perks of begin congratulated in the hallways and invited to sit with other football players at lunch.
Justin Miller, a wide receiver on the team shared in an interview with CBS News, “We did it to make someone’s day, to make someone’s week, to just make them happy.”
Justin Miller, also shared in the interview, he was changed by the experience, “I kind of went from being somebody who mostly cared about myself and my friends, to caring about everyone and trying to make everyone’s day and everyone’s life.”
Just maybe these high school kids can get us thinking about how we (as a person, family and parish) can:
“Make someone’s day, make someone’s week, just make them happy.”
And Isaiah said, “Do not turn your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn.” And Jesus said, “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds, and glorify your heavenly Father.”