Tag Archives: Homily Helper

Name the Beast; Notice the Angels

25 Feb

Mark seems to be “fasting” from words. There are two sentences in two verses: 

“The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,

and he remained in the desert for forty days,

tempted by Satan.

He was among wild beasts,

and the angels ministered to him.”

The beasts indicate struggle. The angels imply victory.

For 40 days there is Lent. There will be beasts. There will be angels.

Name your struggles. Notice your angels.

No Storm Can Shake My …

27 Aug

Irene arrived at the beach in North Carolina today and, apparently, has been up to no good ever since. Ironically, the name of the Hurricane comes from a Greek word, Ειρήνη, meaning “peace.” Irene has not said, “Peace be with you,” to the people of North Carolina, and she does not bring peace to the hearts of those up the coast who are wondering whether she will visit them.

Is it easier for the people in the storm or for us who are away from the storm to believe that Jesus rides out every storm with us?

Our faith can be a rock or a stumbling block, depending on how we factor in suffering.

At the end of last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus gave St. Peter a star on his report card for “active participation” and “excellent comprehension.” Jesus had asked him a question, “Who do you say that I am?” Right after Peter answered, “You are the Christ who saves us,” Jesus said to him, “And you are the rock on which I will build my Church.”

In this Sunday’s Gospel, as Jesus starts to tell him about suffering, Peter blurts out, “God forbid that you would suffer.” This could be understood to extend to him and the other disciples, “God forbid that those of us who believe in you would ever suffer.” This is where Jesus gives St. Peter a checkmark on his report card for “needs improvement,” and calls him a stumbling block.

In verse 18 St. Peter and his faith are a rock. By verse 23 he is stumbling block.

Our faith can be a rock to which we cling (and to which other can cling) or a stumbling block over which we trip (and which can trip others up). It depends on what we believe about our suffering, and what we say to others about their suffering.

Two Hours before Mass

20 Aug

In every Mass we pray for three living human beings by name.

After calling forth a profession of faith from Simon Peter, Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church.” He did not say, “On this rock you will build your church.” He said, “On this rock I will build my church.” It is the Lord’s church. He will build it. And He will protect it and preserve it.

In order to build, protect and preserve His church, Jesus entrusted to Peter, the chief apostle, and to his successors, the Popes, we believe, the keys to the kingdom, the power to loose and bind, and the authority to speak in matters of faith and morals.

It is the Lord’s church. He will take care of it.

Spiritual writers often mention a humble and humorous prayer that Pope John XXIII said when he was going to bed, no doubt feeling tired from the work of the day and overwhelmed by what remained to be done, “Well, Lord, it’s your church. You take care of it. I’m going to bed.”

With that same humility and trust, parents sending their children off to school, especially those sending their child off to college, pray a similar prayer, “Lord, I have taken care of your children that you have entrusted to me, trying my best to teach them by word, discipline and example. As I send them off, they will no longer be under my watchful eye, and will be out of the reach of my control, my influence and my protection. So, I give them back to you. They are your children. You take care of them.”

Oh, the three names, we mention at every Mass: Benedict, Dennis and Joseph. When we do that, we are reminding ourselves that we are a part of something bigger than us and our gathering, we are being grateful that the Lord is protecting and preserving His Church, and we are praying for our pope and our bishops who have a unique role and responsibility in the Lord’s church, of which we are a part. Perhaps our prayer for them, if nothing else, will help them sleep better.

 

Simon, You Rock!

19 Aug

The readings for Mass on Sunday, August 21, 2011 can be found here: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Please help God help me. Read the Scriptures for this weekend. Suggest to me a thought from your mind, an emotion from your heart or an example from your life, so that I can speak to the people of St. Andrew something that might connect with their minds, hearts and lives. 

This is what I am thinking thus far …

As school begins for many students, we have Jesus quizzing the disciples. When he asks his question, Jesus finds out that some are saying that he is Jesus the Baptist or that he is Jesus the Prophet. Rightly, Peter says that he is Jesus the Christ. (BTW, Christ is not Jesus’ last name, like I am Rob Waller. He is Jesus the Christ, like me being Rob a Christian. He is the Christ. I am a Christian.) In saying that Jesus is the Christ, Peter got it right, well, almost. He knew that Jesus is the Christ, that is, Jesus is the Anointed One, Jesus is the Messiah, and for that answer the teacher gave him a star, “Simon, you rock!” Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ. He just didn’t know what it really meant. In next week’s Gospel, Peter says that it obviously means that Jesus will not have to suffer. Oops. He should have quit when he was rock. This week he gets a check mark for “participates well.” Next week he gets one for “needs improvement.” This week he is a rock. Next week, he is a stumbling block. Sounds like us, doesn’t it?

Now click on “comments” below, and tell me what stirs in you when read Isaiah, Psalms, Romans and Matthew.

Puppy Under the Table

11 Aug

The readings for Mass on Sunday, August 14, 2011 can be found here: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Please help God help me. Read the Scriptures for this weekend. Suggest to me a thought from your mind, an emotion from your heart or an example from your life, so that I can speak to the people of St. Andrew something that might connect with their minds, hearts and lives. 

This is what I am thinking thus far … When we buried Kimberly at much too young an age, we noticed something about those who arrived to grieve. They came from all walks of life, from all kinds of places and for all kinds of reasons. Their languages, their skin tones, their ethnic backgrounds, their jobs, their interests and causes were all so different, one from another. Many of them did not know each other. Some had to explain to Kim’s parents how they knew her. One flew in that afternoon, sat on the sidelines at the funeral home for several hours, and when the visitation ended, left directly for the airport to fly back home to Colorado that night. Kim’s father said it best, “Kim collected friends. The only thing that anybody had to do to be her friend was to want to be her friend, and that was it. You were her friend.”

According to Isaiah, all who join themselves to the Lord will be acceptable to him. The apostle Paul worked for the salvation of his own people and for the salvation of those who were not his own. Distracted and convinced by the thought of someone sneaking table food to a puppy under the table, Jesus reached out his healing hand to the outsider (and underdog) who cried out, “Have pity on me. Help me. Please, Lord.” That was enough for her to be his friend.   

Now click on “comments” below, and tell me what stirs in you when read Isaiah, Psalms, Romans and Matthew.

That Sinking Feeling

6 Aug

The readings for Mass on Sunday, August 7, 2011 can be found here: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Please help God help me. Read the Scriptures for this weekend. Suggest to me a thought from your mind, an emotion from your heart or an example from your life, so that I can speak to the people of St. Andrew something that might connect with their minds, hearts and lives. 

This is what I am thinking thus far … Walking on water and sinking in the sea: it’s like the difference between a period and an exclamation point. When we are walking on water – when things are going well, when we are accomplishing, when all (or at least most) is calm and bright – we believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior. That is a statement that ends in a period. When we get that sinking feeling, when we exclaim, “I can’t do this! Lord, save me!” then we really come to know that Jesus is Lord and Savior for me. It was only when St. Peter was sinking that it sunk in who he was in relation to Jesus. He was not the one who could walk on water.

Now click on “comments” below, and tell me what stirs in you when read Kings, Romans and Matthew.