Daily homily thoughts, 5/20

Today Acts 16 tells us: “[Paul and Timothy] traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them, so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas.”  I remember Bishop Doherty preaching on this text at my seminary graduation. He said that we tend to think of life as a kind of slingshot, where we are set in a single direction all the way till our reward.  But the reality is there is lots of “pinging around” when we follow the Spirit.  It’s not always comfortable!  Sometimes God shuts us down, or sets us in some unexpected direction. Or he prevents something we anticipate from happening.  But thanks be to God for the pinging around. Life would be rather borning without it.

Catholic schools and trust in the Church

“In sending your son or daughter to Catholic school, you place your trust and faith in the Church. There are many great ways one could educate a child, there are good schools, but you sacrificed to send your child here and trusted the Church to help raise your child. On behalf of the Church, thank you.” – Msgr. Mark Svarczkopf, 8th grade graduation Mass

Daily homily thoughts, 5/19

The Scriptures are filled with stories of God taking people from one place and sending them out on assignment, on mission someplace else.  Our first reading tells us how Judas and Silas got a new assignment and were sent out to Antioch from Jerusalem, some 300 miles away.  I was thinking about this because today we will send forth our 8th grade. Many of them have been at our beautiful school since preschool. They will be sent out, moved from this place to another. Whenever God sends us out of one place and to another, he ultimately gives us the same mission, which Jesus mentions in our gospel today:  Love and bear fruit that will last.  When we love as Jesus calls us to love, no matter where we are or what mission we’re on, we will leave behind a kind of legacy…..we’ll leave behind a kind of fruit that will not rot–some good work we’ve done, some prayer we’ve said, some love we’ve shown…those fruits will remain and live on.  Let us pray for our 8th graders today, and our preschoolers, who will also graduate today. May God bless them all!

Our 8th Grade

Today was the last school Mass for our 8th grade. We got on our knees to pray for them today. This is an incredible and holy group of young people. I am fiercely proud of them. They graduate on Friday.

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Daily homily thoughts, 5/16

From the second Responsory in Matins today:

Live in me as I live in you.
— Just as a branch cannot bear fruit of itself apart from the vine, so you cannot bear fruit unless you live on in me, alleluia.

I chose you to go out and bear fruit, a fruit that will last.
— Just as a branch cannot bear fruit of itself apart from the vine, so you cannot bear fruit unless you live on in me, alleluia.

Daily homily thoughts, 5/15

Today we remember that sometimes it takes a bad thing for a good thing to happen. Take the first reading. Here we see Paul and Barnabas, being attacked in Iconium. So they hit the road and went elsewhere, like to Lystra. There they find a crippled man, lame from birth and God works a miracle through them. Had they not been attacked at Iconium, they wouldn’t have been there in Lystra for this blind man. It took a bad thing–attacks and persecution and rock throwing–for a good thing to happen. Likewise St. Isidore the Farmer. One day his son fell into a well and almost died. God spared him, miraculously. After that he began to follow Jesus in a deliberate, entire way. It took a bad thing for a good thing to happen. Same with the cross. Same with our lives.