June 4, 2017 - "Stewarding our Gifts: Go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life."

Pentecost

The Jewish feast of Pentecost is an ancient one that is associated with the harvesting of grains.  It began at Passover and concluded seven weeks later, on Pentecost.  On this day, the people would bring “the first fruits” of their labors as an offering in gratitude to God.  In the Christian tradition, Pentecost marks the day Christians received a tremendous gift from God – the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Today’s readings remind us of what this gift means for us.  In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us, “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.”  In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you."  It is clear that we have been given much, and we are expected to return the first fruits of our labor to God.  It is no coincidence that the Apostles received the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  They were being sent forth, just as we are also being sent forth on a very special kind of harvest.  The Spirit that gave the Apostles courage and wisdom for this task does the same for you and I as we go in peace, glorifying the Lord by our lives!

 

June 11, 2017 - "Stewarding our Gifts: Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life"

The Most Holy Trinity

“Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; to God who is, who was, and who is to come. “ (Rev 1:8)  Today we celebrate the Holy Trinity, one of the greatest mysteries of our faith.  Readings such as the one from Exodus remind us that God the Father has always engaged in covenants with his people.  And the Old Testament makes multiple references to the Holy Spirit moving amongst the people.  But the ultimate gift – God’s greatest covenant – is presented in the form of Jesus Christ, who is fully human and fully divine.  “For God so loved the world that He gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16)  Take a moment today to think about the gift of the Most Holy Trinity.  Our God is beautiful and complex.  Are we entering into the fullest possible relationship with Him?  Are we living a life that is mindful of the gift we have been given?  Are we grateful?

 

June 18, 2017 "Stewarding our Gifts: Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life"

Corpus Christi

"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”  Throughout today’s Gospel, Jesus repeats that He is the Bread of Life and that we must EAT His flesh and DRINK His blood in order to gain eternal life.  He has made himself quite clear – there is no misunderstanding of what has to happen, but clearly the Jews are disturbed at His instruction.  Not only is his mandate unconventional, but drinking blood was actually grounds for banishment from the tribe.  And this is the point, not only for the Jews and the early Christians, but also for you and I.  Will you leave behind your old life and join a much greater “tribe”?  Will you literally partake in the body and blood of Jesus Christ?  Will you take your place in His church, amongst the more figurative body of Christ, using your life to glorify Him?  The Eucharist is the “source and summit” of our faith.  Without it, we are no better than the Israelites who wandered in the desert.   

 

June 25, 2017 - "Stewarding our Gifts - Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life"

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Someone recently asked, “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  This question causes us to reflect on our behaviors, and to consider how many of those behaviors would be considered Christian.  In today’s readings, there is a theme of sin and its dark effects.  The gospel reminds us that, “Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.”  It sounds like Jesus is telling us not to behave in a manner that we would not want revealed.  Instead, behave in a way that would certainly find us guilty of being a Christian!  We should proclaim our faith in Jesus, share His teachings with those we encounter, and not be afraid to stand up for our belief.  We can find consolation in the words of the prophet, Jeremiah: “But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.”  Do not be afraid to dedicate your life to the glorification of the Lord!