Thursday, August 31, 2017
Monday, August 14, 2017
Opening – Stem cell researchers discovered that mothers retain in their bodies cells that belong to their children. The cells have all the kid’s DNA, not just mom’s half. They somehow migrate during pregnancy. Mary has Jesus cells in her body. If he rose, why wouldn’t she?
Three great moments in Mary’s life
1) Annunciation – Mary says Yes. The angel called her Full of Grace – Mary, the new Eve, has been born free from Original Sin. Creation begins anew in her.
2) Incarnation – Through Mary, the Word become flesh – God becomes one of us!
3) Assumption – One of the effects of sin is death as we know it. Mary instead gently returns to the Father. Where she has gone, we hope to follow.
All this points to the love God has for His people – if only we were to have the same love for one another!
Last Spring there was a gathering of almost 200 people in the chapel of Georgetown University – they were united in a common bond – back in 1838, 272 of their ancestors were sold as slaves to finance the college. Sandra Thomas spoke for them – “Their pain is unparalleled. Their pain is still here. It burns in the soul of every person of African American origin in the US.”
Thankfully, Georgetown initiated this gathering and is taking many steps to rectify this wrong. But the question is still – Why? How could this have happened – a Church that is supposed to see through Jesus and Mary the sanctity of all human life!
It continues of course – the events in Charlottesville have been awful. Might we say it again: Racism and Christianity are not compatible. If you are a racist, you are not a Christian. There is no place in America for hate. Hatred is not welcome here. That is not who we are!
Nice religious feast – Assumption – but with profound implications. We are children of Jesus and Mary – we are all children of God.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Mark Twain was visiting Holy Land. He wanted to go on a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. How much do you charge? – they saw his white suit – a rich Texan - $25.00 - Twain said - no wonder Jesus walked!
There was a plaque on desk of President Kennedy. Admiral Rickover would give it to submarine captains. In the Spring of 1963 he gave one to President Kennedy. “O God, Thy Sea is so great & my boat is so small.” Some attribute the quote to St. Brendan the Navigator.
In our Gospel, Jesus had just been told of the death of his cousin, John the Baptist. He has fed the 5,000 with the loaves and fish. Now he goes off to a mountain to pray while he send his disciples across the lake in a boat.
Goes to the mountain to pray. Mountains are high – closest to heaven. A place of encounter with God. He had to do like Elijah - tiny whispering sound. Had to be still and listen – really listen Poet Noel Crowell “Hold up your cup, dear child, for God to fill. He only asks today that you be still.”
Jesus goes to pray – because he wants to be with his Father - he needs strength, love, hope. But, prayer also connects him even more deeply to his disciples – Jesus brought to prayer all their cares and worries. People always ask me - Pray for me – be assured that I do – I carry your prayers in my heart & I put you on the altar each day.
That day, prayer caused him to leave the mountain & go to His disciples.
As Jesus came walking across the water, his disciples were no longer afraid of the storm – they were afraid of Him! He said: Take courage - It is I (ego emi – Moses at the bush) Do not be afraid (70 times in NT)
Peter asks – can I come to you? “Come!” And for a while, one of us, Peter, is walking on water! But what happened? What was his mistake? He began to look around. Like when I am climbing a height – do not look down!!! He looked and saw what was actually going on. He took his eyes OFF Jesus. Then he began to sink. Save Me!!! Jesus reached out His hand - why did you falter?
St. John Vianny the Cure of Ars saw a farmer sitting in church – what are you doing? I look at Him – He looks at me.
Calmest place in a hurricane – the eye – keep our eye on him!
“O God, Thy sea is so great and my boat is so small!”
Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus! With all worries about finance, children, jobs, health, elderly parents, marriage, world conflicts - Keep our eyes on Jesus – and we might find ourselves walking on water, too!!!
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Thanks for being here today. Interesting how our journeys have brought us together here at this time and at this place. Is this an accident?
Jesus and his disciples are also on a journey – to Jerusalem. A few days before, Jesus asked them – who do people say that I am? Some say the Baptist, Elijah, one of the prophets. Now – who do you say I am? – Peter said – you are the Christ – the Anointed One. Now they were ready, but be prepared – I am going to be rejected.
So, it is with mixed emotions that they are traveling south through the Galillee to Jerusalem – excitement and fear. Jesus now decides to take them up a mountain – Mount Tabor – it stands alone – very steep – tour buses cannot go up it even today – crazy taxi drivers. Up a mountain – close to God – see things in a new way.
Transfigured – turned inside out – see Jesus as he truly is – remember this now as you face the cross. It is also a reminder who we are and what we will one day become!!!
Moses and Elijah are with him – Law and Prophets – which points to reality of eternal life!
Put up tents say Peter – can we stay? Would like to! Like honeymoon period of marriage – cannot stay – must go down the mountain – but remember this!
Cloud = shekinah – the glory of God - led people Israel –
My beloved Son – listen to Him – best advice possible – listen to Jesus – follow his way – they are afraid – Do Not Be Afraid.
So, our journeys have brought us together today – for a brief time up the mountain with him:
- To remember who He is
- To remember who we are
- As we face the challenges of the week – don’t be afraid!!!