We must ask ourselves what we are looking for in life

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The apostles John and Andrew were neighboring boys who worked their fathers' long nets.

They pined for more meaningful lives. So when they heard abut John the Baptist turning people's lives around, they got permission from their fathers to go help John the Baptist.

When The Baptist said there was one greater than him, they thought of following him. The next day Jesus walks by and John the Baptist points him out, "Behold, the Lamb of God." With that, the boys left John the Baptist to follow Jesus, who turned and asked them, "What are you looking for?"

The gospel reading honestly asks the same thing Jesus asked, "What is it you are looking for?" A question we all should be prepared to answer.

Even public persons can store treasures up in heaven

Friday, June 22, 2018

Jesus tells us that those who build up treasure in heaven are more blessed than those who build up treasure on earth.

I have been reading a very long Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of President Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, (No Ordinary Time, Doris Kearns Goodwin). They both accomplished great things, Franklin by stirring up our people to beat back the heartless ambitions of Hitler, and Eleanor by her great efforts for saving refugees and for making black people at home in this land of the free.

How we are to pray

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Jesus told us, “When you pray, do not babble on the way the pagans do.” So let’s come up with a simple recipe for our prayers.

1. Put yourself in God’s presence. As Paul said, “He is not far from any of us for in him we live and move and have our being.”

2. We listen for what he has said applying to us.

3. We ask his help in bringing us to live up to the ideal he has set for us.

4. We return to resting in his presence.

God’s rain falls equally

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

In the gospel Jesus said, “Your Heavenly Father makes the sun to shine on the good and the bad.”

This can recall a passage from Isaiah 35, “For justice from the heavens the rain and snow come down watering the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him that sows, and bread to him that eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth. It does not return to me void, but accomplishes the end for which it is  sent.”

God wants us to be complete

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Today’s gospel concludes the Sermon on the Mount. In it Jesus tells us to keep clean thoughts, to freely lend to those in need, to love our enemies.

Our English version of the Sermon concludes with Jesus saying, “In a word, you must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

However, what Matthew wrote was, “You must be complete as your Father is.” God knows the clay we are made of, so he is content with our being the best we can, even if it leaves us well short of perfect.

God's children should help one another

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jesus says do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

He saw all the world's wealth as belonging to God, and he wanted all of his children to be kept from harm. And so he is asking you to help another child of his. Our present Holy Father is unhappy with the way God's children are slow about helping each other.

We become what we think

Sunday, June 17, 2018

In the gospel Jesus says, "The kingdom of God is like seed that one scattered and then takes root."

If we have good and worthwhile thoughts, the kingdom of God will grow within us. But if we have trashy thoughts, we ourselves will become trashy people.

We must leave everything in God's hands

Saturday, June 16, 2018

In the gospel Jesus tells us to make no false claims about our abilities.  

We haven't the power on our own to change the color of our hair, to make black white or white black. In restaurants we hear people using the phrase, "I guarantee," when in fact we cannot guarantee anything. 

We must leave it all in God's hands.

Listen for God's still, small voice

Friday, June 15, 2018

In the first reading Elijah waiting for a meeting with God experiences a mighty wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but he knew God was not there. 

He heard a small voice, fell to his knees, knowing the Lord had come to him.  

This parable has two meanings for me. One is that in our prayer life we must remain silent enough to hear God whispering to us. The other thing this story tells me is that God might come to us at quiet prayers at mass rather than loud "Praise God" sessions.

Generosity and regard for others is prized.

Thursday, June 14, 2018
Jesus says that before you go to give your gift to the altar, make sure you have made peace with your fellow man.

His advice makes me conscious of how poorly we take care of each other. I have a friend who takes one blind man and one cripple shopping each week. But that kind of generosity is sadly rare among us. Another man who stands out in my mind, a priest named Phil, seemed to feel he was in debt to anyone in need. But another priest friend of mine and I saw some people in trouble crossing a stream. We mentioned it to Phil, and with that, he stood up asking, "Well, what are we going to do for those people?" 

Such generosity is rare.

Parallels between Sermons on the Mount and The Ten Commandments

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Jesus said,"I didn't come to destroy the law of the prophets, I came to fulfill them."

This is the central statement of what we call the Sermon on the Mount. The sermons on the Mount improve upon what Moses taught us in ten statements on Mount Sinai.

Where Moses began by giving us the Ten Commandments, Jesus improves with the Beatitudes. Whereas Moses said we should not kill, Jesus said we should not be angry. Whereas Moses said you shall not commit adultery, Jesus said we should not lust after each other.

St Barnabas, the encourager

Today is the feast of St Barnabas, a very early Christian whose name was actually Joseph. The apostles began calling him Barnabas, a name which means “giver of encouragement.” Because he was noted for lifting people up when they were blue.

In our diocese for twenty years, we had a lady named Pat Tierney who was in charge of our teachers. The people were saddened when the time came for her to retire. When I asked one teacher after another what they would miss about her, each of them said she was so encouraging, a word that means she puts heart in people. 

To be a good teacher one needs to know more than teaching. One needs the heart to stay with difficult tasks.

What matters with God is what we are today

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The readings today plead with us to live properly here and now. It does not matter the evil we did in the past.

It reminds me of what my father's friend John Kilker said to him one hundred years ago. The pastor had sent John and my Dad out to collect for a new church door to door. Each of the old timers they met talked about what they had done for the church in the past. To all of this John Kilker said, "It doesn't matter what you used to be, it's what you are today."

The Greatest of Commandments

Friday, June 8,2018, Immaculate Heart of Mary

Since God chose Mary out of all humanity to mother his son, we could feel right in applying the fatherly love of Moses for Ephraim. As an example of God’s love for Mary then the gospel tells us that while Mary saw loving God as the greatest of commandments, she felt that loving God is best expressed by our loving fellow men and women.

Solemnity of Sacred Heart of Jesus

Thursday June 7, 2018,

Solemnity of Sacred Heart of Jesus is the feast today. Some pictures of the heart look too anatomical to inspire human-like love.

Strangely I find love of a father for a son the most inspiring. And so in the first reading,  the affection of Moses for his Ephraim echoes the love that God has for us.