To watch Fr. Richard Vosko’s homily from the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
When I began preparing for today’s homily, the first thought that came to me from today’s Scripture readings was: what does God ask, expect from us, from me?
And our readings certainly point us in several direction, including FAITH in God and the ways of God.
One writer, in speaking of faith, shared, “when he drives his car, he usually puts more faith in Ford then he generally does in God.”
Think about that for a second…
And one person in response shared, how tentatively would I drive, if my faith in the brakes of my car was on par with my faith in God. How daring would we be with the accelerator?
Today’s Gospel begins with Jesus telling his Disciples to demonstrate their faith by giving everything away! Pretty challenging for sure!
But maybe there is something much harder than giving away all our stuff, namely “opening our minds and hearts and lives to the ways of God.”
A growing and developing faith, may just call us to move beyond our current boundaries, be they mental, physical, theological or spiritual.
Truth is we can be attached, really attached to attitudes and beliefs just as we are to things.
As we live our lives day to day, where might our God be calling us to enter a situation with an open attitude or to let go of our hardened opinions…
I saw a Volkswagen commercial the other day that ended with, “drive something bigger than yourself.” I thought it would be appropriate to end today’s Homily similarly:
Live your faith and believe in someone bigger than yourself — GOD.”
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
In our First Reading today from the Book of Kings, God sends an angel to deliver food and water and to not so gently order Elijah to eat and drink because he has a divine appointment to keep.
Obviously, Elijah was not having a good day… And we can all identify with that. We all have had bad hair days, bad days, weeks, months, maybe even years… And it is easy to lose heart.
And like Elijah, God has sent angels into our lives. That person, that friend, that stranger… Someone who stood by us and with us. Someone who helped us live on, laugh, helped us in some concrete way. These people were and are messengers from God, angels who came into and will come into our lives.
Today’s Scriptures are not only meant to make us aware of how God comes into our lives in so many ways… Today’s Scriptures are also meant to remind us that there are times (and maybe more than we realize) when we are called to be angels to one another and to others.
Who are the people of our lives, our families, our community, our world that are sent to and are meant to be angels for others. For it is for this reason that we gather around this table to eat and drink. Like Elijah, we too have a divine appointment that we need to keep.
People in need of not only our prayers, but our words and actions of support and encouragement.
Being angels to others also calls us to become more and more aware, maybe even more sensitive to the plight and struggles of others beyond our circle of family and friends.
Fortunately, God nourishes us in and through the Eucharist we share in today and every week. Nourishes us to continue his Mission of loving and serving all our brothers and sisters.
Last weekend I shared the mantra: make a friend, be a friends, bring a friend to Jesus.
This week’s mantra might be: be an angel to others, often.
Be a messenger of Good News, of life, love, hope and joy that comes from God, our way, truth and life.
As I was thinking about today’s readings, especially the Gospel about Peter and his walking on water and his sinking into the water… my thoughts went back to 2012 and the funeral Mass of Bishop Joe Estabrook – where Bishop Hubbard shared a personal story about a conversation he had with Bishop Hubbard about his appointment as Bishop in 2004.
In that conversation, Bishop Estabrook shared with Bishop Hubbard his Episcopal Motto – “Set out into the Deep” (but in Latin). To which Bishop Hubbard shared that his Latin was not what it used to be, and asked Bishop Estabrook for the translation. Bishop Estabrook responded, “I’m in over my head.”
Well, aren’t we all in over our heads at least some of the time, if not most of the time? Of course we are! But when we remember that God is with us, we seem to meet the challenge. As long as Peter kept his eye on Jesus, he walked on water, but when his eye was not on Jesus, he began to sink in the water and was “in over his head.”
Bishop Estabrook died at age 67 having been diagnosed months earlier with pancreatic cancer. Bishop Estabrook’s response to the diagnosis was one of calmness, which made the young doctor he was seeing a bit concerned. Bishop Estabrook’s response to the concerned doctor was, “faith and fear cannot live in the same space. It’s eventually got to be one or the other. The Lord has put me here, and it is up to me to go where he wants, in the way he wants.”
Bishop Estabrook felt we are not alone in our struggles and that through them, when entered into with Christ, we make Christ present to others. No one can tell us how to cope with the waves, the storms, the challenges, the struggles of life. We can face them with either faith or fear.
Whether health or ill, our world is in desperate need of witnesses to the possibility of living Gospel values. Our God is not asking us to walk on water, but to live like we believe that God’s love for us and in us is more powerful than anything and everything.
May we take on the storms of our days with faith, hope and love.
Today’s readings challenge us as to the “STUFF” of our lives. As we all know, it is easy to accumulate things. It is estimated that most home have 300,000 items in them.
There’s a story about a family facing foreclosure a few years back. With the bank about to foreclose, the family was about to lose their home. So they began to pack their possessions in anticipation of leaving their home. Eventually, their packing process took them to the basement, where they sifted through long forgotten boxes of stuff. In the process someone discovered 8 or 9 comic books buried in one of the boxes. One was dated: June 1938 and depicted Superman – the Man of Steel – lifting a car about his head. This comic book is extremely rare. The comic initially sold for 10 cents and was a copy of “Action Comics Number 1;” the first comic book in which Superman ever appeared is the most treasured of all comic books. The comic book was estimated to be worth a quarter of a million dollars at auction. Superman certainly saved the day for this family. The home was saved. All the stuff in the boxes was unpacked and put back in their former locations, easily identified by the dust marks on the shelves. (Of note this same comic book sold this week for: $ 958,000)
Don’t know if you ever thought about it… but all our “Stuff” takes up space (and there just never seems be enough space). But FAITH takes up no space. FAITH frees us up to respond more freely to where the LORD calling us.
Abraham, our Father in Faith… was always ready to “pack up” and go where the Lord led him. All that was needed was FAITH.
Often all the stuff of our life, tangible and intangible, take up our time, energy and space. All the clutter, all that stuff can easily bury the TREASURE… the GIFT of our FAITH.
It has been said that when FAITH is prominent in our lives – things change.
People of Faith live it, proclaim it, and let others know that it is Jesus Christ, the Son of God who saves our day, who saves our lives yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The Scriptures remind us: “Do not be afraid.” Do not be afraid to let go of some of our stuff… the stuff that keeps us from putting our trust in God and His ways; the stuff that keeps us from reaching out to our brothers and sisters, especially those in need.
Action Comic # 1 might be a “great treasure” to have (by the way it is estimated there are 100 of these comic in existence) but may we grow in knowing and living the Great Treasure of FAITH; Faith in a God who saves the day, every day of our lives.
Scripture Readings: 1 Kings 19:4-8; Ephesians 4:30 0 5:2; John 6:41-51
One of the observations that I am sure we have all made from time to time, is the impatience, the anger, the aggressiveness all around us; people presuming ill-will on the part of others; people demanding more, without any efforts on their part; people speaking their mind without facts; and so much more that is part and parcel of society today.
Years ago someone may have said to these people, “Take a chill pill.” While not a real pill, it was a comment used by one party to let another party know that everyone else in the room but them knows they are acting like a complete…. (well, you can fill in the blank)
Truth is, there have been and maybe there are even now times when we should be taking a chill pill. Times that call us to be more like Jesus – kind to one another; compassionate; and forgiving one another.
As we hear in Paul’s letter to the people of Ephesus today, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Remove from your lives all bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling,” (criticizing in an abusive or angrily insulting manner).
This weekend maybe St. Paul is asking us, maybe challenging us to take a chill pill and to calm down and put on the Mind and Heart and Way of Jesus, the Way of Love.
Where today, where this week, and hopefully beyond today and this week will we take the step or steps again and again and again, to live what we believe: Love God, Love Others, Be Faithful Disciples. Faithful Disciples together who are on a journey of life and faith that hopefully brings us closer and closer to one another and to our God – here on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Many of the prophets of the past grew weary of the hard heartedness of the people, who resisted the message of their God. May we the person, families and parish of today – grow in being imitators of God in word and in actions more and more and more.
May the Light of Christ within each of us shine more brightly before all people always and everywhere! AMEN.