To view the bulletin, or to print your own copy, please click here.
Archives for August 2018
The character Tevye from Fiddler of the Roof is a great example of Peter’s response to Jesus: Lord, to who else shall we go? Through out the entire play, Tevye has an ongoing conversation with God, even to the point of questioning why God is doing some of things that are happening in life. He asks honest questions yet choose to remain faithful to God. Peter is really saying the same thing. There is no other person but Jesus who will constantly be there; even in the darkest of moments.
We need to ask our self’s: Why?
- Why continue to believe even when it is tough?
- Why stay faithful when it seems God is silent?
- Why pray when our prayer is not answered the way we want?
Peter and Tevye show us the how to pray like this. We must have a living relationship with God. Both teach us that key component is prayer; but, not just reciting the prayers someone else wrote. The most authentic prayer is the ongoing conversation with God that includes everything we are going through out the day.
- Our cars can become a chapel;
- our desks at school or at work can become Mountain of transfiguration
when our prayer leads to insight,
- standing next to someone who is serious ill or struggling with an addiction or having a tough time can become Calvary
- and every joy and good thing becomes an experience of Easter morning.
To choose to follow God, to realize that as Christians we have no one else to go through but Jesus, and like Tevye who was honest with God like an old friend, then and only then, will the church be rebuilt!
As disciples of Jesus, we must develop this deep prayer. Prayer is adialogue by its very nature. For many Catholics, this is a unique approach. We are taught our prayers and we say them. The traditional prayers of the our faith are essential, but like Tevye who knew the prayers of the Jewish people, he continues his prayer outside the synagogue by this ongoing conversation. I believe in the traditional prayers of our church because they give us words when we don’t have any; but they must lead us into the ongoing dialogue between our hearts and God’s.
For me, this is the first step in rebuilding the Church. Each one of us including the Pope, every Bishop, every priest and deacon, every Catholic must echo the word’s St Peter: Lord, to who else can we go? Then and only then will the Church begin again.
Lord Jesus, we, your broken and hurting Church, stand before you today laying bear the pain, the hurt, the mistrust in our leaders, the sorrow for those abused, and our doubts. Lord, we have no one else to go to. You alone have the words of life. Give us the grace to reform your church in your image so that we may become your Body, broken and in pain, but also renewed by the healing light of your Resurrection. Lord, heal us your people.
To view the bulletin, or to print your own copy, please click here.
Where do we go in times of struggle, anger and disappointment? Everyoneresponds differently. Some of our coping is healthy; others destructive. As Catholic Christians, the banquet that God provides is the place to go. Here, we are welcomed. Here, we can raise our voices in songs of praise, cries of lamentation, desperate cries for help. Here, we let each other know we are here for each other. Here the food and drink is the Body and Blood of the Lord…which is all we need. it is at this Sacred Meal we find peace in our struggles, hope in times of despair, solace in times of pain, forgiveness in times of sin and God when He seems far away.
With everything that has happened this week in our Church, the only place we can go is to the Lord. Right now, he alone is where our trust is. He alone can heal the wounds that are open in the Body of Christ. He alone can refashion his Church. Christ alone will show us the way to finally move beyond this pain.
There are no easy answers or solutions. We need to begin by being honest with what we are feeling. You and I need to dialogue about how this is affecting us personally. Then, and only then, can we begin to solve this. Do not think you are powerless in the face of the hierarchy. You are God’s people; you are the Church; and you have the right to call our leadership to task. Many people are saying to allow priests to marry, allow women to be priests or do away with celibacy….these ideas first solutions. Before anything like that is considered, we need to look why this abuse occurs in all strata of life and how it can be addressed for the safety of children and the vulnerable. We need to address the abuse of power and the crossing of boundaries that occur in all realms of ministry; the same thing needs to happen in the corporate world and in all relationships. I am advocating solutions, not quick fixes. I am advocating challenging those who are Bishops to honestly confront their abuse of power and exercise their legitimate authority with charity, compassion, and justice. This challenge is also for all of us in leadership, and for all who have power over others…..inside the Church and out.
Please talk with me if you need to and are comfortable with it or find someone who is a good listener. Do not allow your justified anger at people who abused power to rob you of the grace of the Sacraments and the Church. No one should have that power over any of us.
It is my plan next month to have an hour of prayer for the healing of the Church and for those who harmed by the abuse of this power. You need to tell me what else you need. I do not want this to swept under the rug and our community die because of it. With our focus on the Lord, we will heal and a new Church will be born from the roots of the Cross. May Mary, the Mother of the Church and patroness of this community, pray for the healing of her children.
At the Mass I went to last Sunday, the homilist said something that I cannot stop thinking about. I heard him say that we need to remember who the focus of our worship is. We talk a lot about the community that gathers at the Lord’s table and how we live out the message, we focus on us. What we forget is that Jesus is the reason we gather. It is Jesus who is the true Bread come down from heaven. The priest was clear that we need to be careful when we gather for the Eucharist that we worship God and not ourselves and what we do.
This really challenged me. I am a firm believer that we need to work on being a community who are active and living disciples. What I forget is the one who makes us a community is the one who fed the masses, the one who went to Calvary and the one who rose again. It could be human nature to see ourselves as the center of the universe and see ourselves as the cause of our success. This is the reason we begin our worship and remember who we are …… “Mindful of our sinfulness, we prepare ourselves for the sacred mysteries”. What we do here is for the honor and glory of God.
What we do here, we changes us into community of disciples who gather and minister to the world. God knows us better than we know ourselves, so he provides all we need. He fed Elijah the prophet who was fed up with the people of Israel because they wouldn’t listen. He fed the people wandering the desert after they left Egypt and traveled to the promise land. He feeds us as we walk the journey to him in heaven.
The homilist last weekend reminded me who invited me to the altar to serve him and you. It was not my choice to be a priest, it was God’s. It is not your choice to be a disciples, it was Jesus who called you and me. Our choice is to be who God calls us to be. In this current moment in the life of the church, as see how power corrupts and some of our leaders made power their god, it is good for us to remember that Jesus is the one we owe our lives to and it is Jesus we worship and adore. We have a right to be angry and disappointed that those who serve and have served as successors of the Apostles have betrayed our trust, but, remember, Jesus is the Bread of Heaven. He is the one who feeds and sustains us. The Lord can work in spite of those who worship power and use control to harm others, but that is no excuse. Our faith is not in an institution but in a real, living, breathing person who is in our midst always, who teaches us in the Word proclaimed, who comes to us in the Sacrament of the Altar and remains as the Living Bread in the tabernacle, and changes us into to Body in the world. This is an eternal truth that no abuse of power or cover up will destroy. The man who calls us to follow Him was a simple carpenter and the Incarnate God. It to him we owe our worship and praise.
Let us always greet each other here with joy and peace. May God change our lives here. But, we all need to remember who we gather for……the Living Bread of Heaven, Jesus our Lord. He is the only One we give our lives too and him alone.