I read the story of a phone call Father O’Malley received. It goes like this: Hello, is this Father O’Malley? Father O’Malley says, “Yes, It Is.” From the other side, “This is the IRS. Can you help us?” Father O’Malley, “Yes-I can” “Do you know a Ted Houlihan?” Father O’Malley, “Yes, I do” Is he a member of your congregation? Father O’Malley, “Yes, He is” Did he donate $10,000 to the church? Father O’Malley, “Yes, He will”
We are celebrating Mission Sunday. Mission Sunday invites us to reflect beyond our local church and see the mission of the universal church. Some give to the missions by going. Some go by giving. Mission Sunday is the day to reach out beyond the needs of the local Parish and diocese to assist missionaries as they go and tell in the young churches. The theme for the Extraordinary Missionary Month is: “Here am I, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Pope Francis in his message for World Mission Sunday invites us to respond to our baptismal call to mission by saying, “Here I Am, Send Me.” Mission Sunday brings us together to celebrate our faith and support by our prayer and financially Pope Francis's mission.
If we listen to our media, there is a lot of questions about what is secular and what is sacred. Most of the time, we hear that we have to embrace one and hate other realities. We like to separate this world and the world to come. In reality, we cannot separate, it is a continuation. Both of the worlds give us privileges and responsibility. In the first reading from Second Isaiah, we see, God anointed Cyrus to carry out God's plan for the people of Israel. Israelites were in Babylonian exile. God called Cyrus for the deliverance and restoration of Israel. God said to Cyrus, I am the LORD and there is no other, there is no God beside me. For Cyrus, anointing comes with responsibility.
The Gospel of Matthew chapters 21 and 22 bring a series of the controversial moment between Jesus and leaders of Israelites. In the Gospel passage for this weekend, we see Pharisees sending their disciples with the Herodians. Why did they go with Herodians? Herodians are the supporters of Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, and they would favor payment of the tax; the Pharisees did not. Also, the people of Israel were against the payment of the tax to Romans. If they could find fault in Jesus, Herodians were the most suitable people to report to Roman authorities. So their question was, “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” If Jesus answers yes, people become against him and it will destroy Jesus’ influence among the people. If Jesus answers no, then, Herodians will report to the authorities. Jesus is not giving a yes or no answer; instead, he asked them to bring a coin and asked them "Whose image is this and whose inscription?" In a way, Jesus asked them to answer their own question. Jesus told them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”
The coin belongs to Caesar. Then a question emerges, what belongs to God? Each one of us belongs to God. God created us in his own image and likeness. What should we do? We should engage in the “work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope” as we hear in the second reading. St. Paul says, Holy Spirit is at work among the Thessalonians. They grew in three theological virtues. So St. Paul gives thanks to God for them.
Respect life month invites us to meditate on the dignity of life. The Bible teaches that life is a gift of God and hence we have to respect it from womb to tomb. This weekend we celebrate Inclusion Awareness Day as a part of respect life month. Respect life month we celebrate life with our abilities and disAbilities, strengths, and weaknesses. We are one family. Inclusion awareness Sunday is an opportunity to reflect on how we include everyone in the community by looking at our abilities, rather than looking at disabilities. How we appreciate the gift of each and every one. In other words, how we celebrate our differences. This weekends reading invites us to wear the wedding garment which is our good deeds. Let us “do something beautiful for God.”
Christian spirituality is joy-filled and needs to be celebrated. All three readings for this weekend we read about food. The first reading and Gospel clearly talks about the banquet.
The first reading praises God for carrying his plan to destroy the enemy and save his people Zion and they announce the victory banquet to be celebrated in the Lord’s city. It is a prophetic vision of the universality of salvation. Isaiah says, “On this mountain, the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.” This mountain is Jerusalem’s mountain, Zion. A feast for people, destroy the death, wiping away tears from every face. The Book of Revelation chapter 7 talks about “a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robe… (7:9) for the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (7:17).” On that day we will chant together, “let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us (Isaiah 25:9).”
The first reading from the book of Isaiah is parallel to Jesus’ parable of the Wedding Feast. The Gospel begins with "The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.” In this parable, the King is the Lord God, the son is Jesus, and the servants are the prophets, the invited guest is the people of Israel, they are the chosen one. They ignored the invitation and engaged their daily business. Some of them mistreated or killed the servants (prophets) who came to announce the invitation. Then the King destroyed the murderers and burned their city. It is about the distraction of the Jerusalem temple.
Then King's invitation send out everyone and gathered for the wedding feast. It is talking about the Church. God gathered everyone from around the globe. We all are invited to come to the heavenly banquets. The requirement for the wedding feast is to wear the wedding garment. What is the wedding garment? Revelation 19:8 says, “She was allowed to wear a bright, clean linen garment. The linen represents the righteous deeds of the holy ones.
Jesus told this parable to the chief priest, elders, and Israelites; today he tells us the same parable. This parable tells us that God invites everyone. The first step is to accept the invitation. The second step is to wear the wedding garment which is our good deeds. Colossians 3:12 says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Let us be grateful to Christ for the invitation and prepare well to participate in the heavenly banquet.
Christian spirituality is a spirituality of joy and celebration. Let us celebrate our faith with joy.
Thank you! I would like to express gratitude to the Knights of Columbus for putting up the cemetery of innocence for Respect Life month.
First of all, let us wish our St. Francis parishioners, a happy and joyful Feast of St. Francis. Feast of St. Francis of Assis was on October 4th. St. Francis of Assis loved the whole universe. The custom of blessing of animals originated from St. Francis’s love all creatures. Animals used to come and listen to St. Francis preach. St. Francis loved all God’s creation, in other words, loved all life.
The Church dedicates the month of October for respect life and the rosary. This year, the theme for the respect life is "Live the Gospel of Life." Every moment of our life from womb to tomb is a gift from God and He is our Hope. As I mentioned above October is the month of the Rosary, a devotion to our Mother Mary, which very well connects with respect life month. When we meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary, we walk through the life of Jesus: from the very moment of his conception in the womb of Mary, through his public life; passion, death, and resurrection to his ascension and coming of the Holy Spirit. He restored the dignity of our life. Through his salvific action, we received the dignity of life.
The first week we pray in a special way, we pray for unborn babies, mothers, and babies aborted and the healing of their parents. In the second week, we will be praying for people with different abilities (disabilities). We call it Inclusion awareness Sunday. If you know someone who has not received a Sacrament in their appropriate age, please call Kathy Rominske, Sandy Kennedy, and we can prepare them for Sacraments. If you know someone who would like to read, or greet please call the parish office. We will train and prepare them for the ministry.
On the third Sunday, we celebrate World Mission Sunday. Pope Francis, in his message, asks us to respond to our baptismal call to mission by saying, “Here I Am, Send me.” Thirds Sunday, October 18th is also the feast of St. Luck, who was a physician and patron saint of the medical profession. This weekend Mass we pray for all those who are sick, opportunity to receive the Sacrament of the Sick, and offer a special prayer for the caregivers and healthcare professional. Fourth Sunday, we meditate and pray for domestic violence and human trafficking. Again, it is an opportunity to reflect on the dignity of life in our day-to-day life.
Respect Life month invites us to reflect on the dignity of the lives from womb to tomb, and evaluate, how we respect one another’s lives. Let us pay special attention to pray the Rosary this month and pray for peace, human life, and the family. “The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” -Saint Padre Pio.
This weekends reading is about God’s chosen people. We see in the book of Isaiah, (meaning the Lord is salvation) and the Gospel of Matthew the vineyard. The Israelites were the vineyard of the Lord. Isaiah 5:7 says, “The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel.” The parable of tenants in the Gospel is about the dealing of God with his people. In the parable, the landowner is the Lord, the vineyard is the people, hedge around them, wine press, and tower are his protection and care. The tenants are the chief priest and elders, and God’s servants who came to obtain his products are the prophets, and finally his Son Jesus. This parable is to tell us much about God, his patience, his judgment, and above all it tells about Jesus' sacrifice. It is also about the privilege of his people, freedom, the fallen nature of human beings, and answerability.
The parable concludes with the picture of the stone. Psalm 118:22: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Jews were hated by all. There were slaves of many nations. But they were the chosen people of God. Isaiah 28:16: “Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation.” There are many more places in the Old Testament. These pictures of stone are summed up in Jesus. Jesus is the foundation of which everything is built, and the cornerstone holds everything together.
This weekends reading places a question in front of us: are we for God or against God? The first reading from Ezekiel chapter eighteen rejects the idea that punishment is transferred from one generation to the next and emphasized personal responsibility. Lord says, since a person has turned away from sins, he shall live. Nobody is going to be punished for someone else’s sin. God told them that he is love and merciful. He always gives chance for each person. God is always ready to forgive; we should be able to accept forgiveness.
In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 21, the scene took place in Jerusalem. It is already predicted Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. We have for this weekends reading 21:28-32. Prior to that, we see Jesus cleansing the Jerusalem Temple (21:12) cursing the fig tree (21:18) and Jesus’ authority is questioned (21:23). The chief priests and elders show great concern and taking precautionary steps about Jesus’ presence in the Jerusalem Temple. In this context, Jesus addresses the people who challenged his authority with the parable of the two sons.
In this parable, Jesus presents a vineyard owner to the chief priests and elders of the people. The vineyard owner came to the first son and asked to go out and work in the vineyard today. He said in reply, 'I will not, but later changed his mind and obeyed. At the same the other son said “Yes” his father’s same order, but did not go. Jesus’ question for the chief priest and elders were “Which of the two did his father's will?" Their correct answer, "The first" was Jesus’ case against them. The chief priest and elders were considered as the first and separated group among the Jews. This parable emphasizes the need for continuous response “yes” to the saving act of God. The Chief priest and elders said “Yes” once, then they lost true spirit or mode of it. They were not ready to listen when John the Baptist came, and now to Jesus’ either. But the common people, so many times said “No” to God through their life, but they listen to John the Baptist and received the baptism of repentance, they listen to Jesus and follow him.
When the chief priests and elders answered, “The first” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” We see in Luke 7:29-30 “All the people who listened, including the tax collectors, and who were baptized with the baptism of John, acknowledged the righteousness of God; but the Pharisees and scholars of the law, who were not baptized by him, rejected the plan of God for themselves.” History repeats and continues, Jesus put this question in front of us. What will be our answer? Do we have an image of the first son or the second?
The second reading tells us in a beautiful way how to live our life. Paul begins by telling us to be kind, and loving, and merciful to each other. We are to put the interests of others above ourselves. Then he tells us that we should have the same attitude in life as Jesus had. Jesus emptied Himself, left all his glory, and was born in a manger. And He obeyed His Father for our sake, offered on the cross-a total giving. Christ brought us the victory through the Cross. When we received our Baptism, our parents and godparents said, “Yes” for us. At our Confirmation, we personally said “Yes” to God. This weekend readings remind us to renew our “Yes.” If we are away from that let us come back to HIM.
The Month of October is the month of the Rosary and Respect Life. We will have Rosary before every Mass. Also next weekend Mass, we will rededicate the memorial stone for the unborn.
Generosity of God…
In the classic “Charlie Brown Christmas Special,” Sally is writing a letter to Santa Claus and in the process generates an enormous list of toys she wants. Then at the conclusion of her North Pole-bound letter she writes, “But if that is too much to carry, just send cash.” When Charlie Brown sees this and despairs over his own sister’s greed, Sally indignantly responds, “All I want is my fair share. All I want is what I have coming to me.”
The readings for this weekend are all about a sense of human justice, contrasted with the extravagant grace of a compassionate and loving God. The first reading is from the last chapter (55) of the second Isaiah. The second Isaiah is written end of the Babylonian exile. It explains the unconditional promise of redemption. Today’s first reading Isaiah reminds us that God doesn’t think in the same way that we do. God is more merciful than we are. The Lord God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.”
The Gospel reading is “parable of workers in the Vineyard.” We see a generous landlord. The Kingdom of Heaven, says Jesus, is like a landowner who goes out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Those days it was used for people who come to the town and wait for someone to call them for work. They were entirely at the mercy of chance employment. Also, the weather plays a very crucial role during the harvesting time. So it is normal the landlord goes to get people as much as possible. Their day started at 6 AM, so the workers agree to work for the usual daily wage, which is one Denarius. At nine AM, he rounds up another group. At noon, he recruits the third team, and then at three o'clock, a fourth. Finally, at 5 PM, he finds still more laborers who are willing and able to work. He sends them into the vineyard to do what they can before sundown. As the day ends, the landowner instructs his manager to pay one denarius each, the daily living wage, to all the workers, beginning with those who started at five in the afternoon.
It sounds unfair, isn’t it? If we want to understand this passage, we need to read the last part of the previous Chapter. Matthew chapter 19:21, Jesus said to a rich man, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. Then Peter asks, (27) “We have given up everything and followed you. What will be for us?” Jesus promised them ‘hundred times more’ then he said, (30) “Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” Even though Jesus promised a hundred times more to his disciples, this parable is a warning for them.
This parable should also be applied to our view of our relationship to God. God loves the person who is faithful throughout the day. His loves cradle Catholics who practice their faith throughout their lives. He also loves those who come to him during the day and even in the evening. Many people respond to God’s mercy at the end of their lives. God loves them for taking a huge step away from their former lives and for falling into the arms of His Mercy. We cannot impose our ways on the Lord. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”
Thank you! We reached the goal of the rectory roof project because of your generosity. I would like to express gratitude to all those who participated in our raffle and to all those who made generous donations to this fundraising. Thank you!
The day after 9/11, Pope John Paul II on his Wednesday address to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square said, “I cannot begin this audience without expressing my profound sorrow at the terrorist attacks which yesterday brought death and destruction to America, causing thousands of victims and injuring countless people…Yesterday was a dark day in the history of humanity, a terrible affront to human dignity. After receiving the news, I followed with intense concern the developing situation, with heartfelt prayers to the Lord. How is it possible to commit acts of such savage cruelty? The human heart has depths from which schemes of unheard-of ferocity sometimes emerge, capable of destroying in a moment the normal daily life of a people. But faith comes to our aid at these times when words seem to fail. Christ’s word is the only one that can give a response to the questions which trouble our spirit. Even if the forces of darkness appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say. Christian hope is based on this truth; at this time our prayerful trust draws strength from it…”
We remember September 11 with pain. Let us try to imagine we were on the ground running to save our lives or running to someone else. What will be our mental and emotional condition? It is hard to explain, isn’t it? Today we remember all those who died on that day, all those who did heroic action to save a life, and pray for them. Did we change a lot since 9/11? It seems to me what I heard about America before I came and since I came, I met a different America. If we watch the news, we hear about hate and unrest these days. Did we change?
It is very meaningful that we have beautiful readings about forgiveness. The first reading ends with a good reminding and gives us a challenge, “Remember your last days, set enmity aside; remember death and decay, and cease from sin! Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor; remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.”
The Gospel brings a similar message. We have seen Peter the last couple of weeks in the Gospel. The first one was, Peter proclaims the Faith, the second one was, Jesus, telling Peter, “Get behind me, Satan”. Here Peter proudly asks, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” What was Jesus answer, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” In other words, Jesus was telling Peter and the listeners that there is no limit. If we look at the book of Genesis 4: 23-24, we see Lamech, who is a sixth-generation descendent of Cane, said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; wives of Lamech, listen to my utterance: I have killed a man for wounding me, a man for bruising me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.” In the house of Cain, they had an unending avenge.
Jesus put forward a new guideline for Christian life. Jesus replaced the Old Testament view with love and forgiveness. The first part of the Gospel is a personal dimension of forgiveness. In the second part of the Gospel, Jesus tells a story to tell them the communal dimension of forgiveness.
The second reading, Paul discusses with Christians in Rome when there were tensions among them between the Gentile Christians and the Jewish Christians on the matter of law. Apostle Paul reminds them that Christians are adopted sisters and brothers of Jesus, so there is no place of hatred and bitterness. Paul says, “None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.” The second reading sums up the entire reading. So let us ask a question, where are we today as Christian and as an American?
The sign “The Buck Stops Here’’ was on President Harry S. Truman’s desk in his White House office. When I checked the meaning, I found out that the “responsibility for something cannot or should not be passed to someone else.” This weekend readings invite us to reflect on our responsibility as a disciple of Christ.
In the first reading the Lord said to Ezekiel, “You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel.” What the watchman or security is supposed to do – care for their people. They were in Babylonian exile and the prophet exists like a watchman only for the good of others. He is to give them God’s words, to challenge them, and to correct them from time to time.
In the Gospel, Jesus instructs us on the responsibility of the disciple of Christ. The Gospel of Matthew 18:1-20 is followed by the parable of the lost sheep (10-14). In that parable, the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine in the hill and goes in search of the lost sheep. Today’s Gospel Jesus gives us, as a church and as an individual Christian to look for our sisters and brothers. In the book of Leviticus 19:17 we read, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him. Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourselves, lest you too be tempted.”
The second reading summarizes both readings, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.” Being a watchman of our brother and sister is an overwhelming responsibility. The word “watch” means to guard and protect. When the LOVE involved then it becomes easier. For example, parents, look after their children. They watch their children grow, mature, and strike out on their own. I call it, it is their love journey. Once India President Abdul Kalam who was an aerospace scientist, was asked, “what was his greatest accomplishment in life?” He replied that basically he is a teacher when his student completes his/her doctorate, he sees it as his greatest accomplishment. We can be a watchman in so many different ways. Being watchman, as Church, as an individual Christian- parent, teacher, and so on.
As Church, and as a disciple of Christ, the salvation of us and others should be the greatest concern. James 5: 19-20 says, “My brothers if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone brings him back, he should know that whoever brings him back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sin.” It starts from the family, spread through the Church and community, and conquers the world. Jesus explains in the Gospel how important that we are there for one another. We come together to celebrate the Eucharist, share from the same plate and chalice the love and life of Christ and send out to proclaim the good news of oneness – being one in Christ.
Jesus Christ brought the gift of reconciliation and life through his passion, death, and resurrection. Today’s readings confront us with two aspects of the question. First, each one of us is called to conversion. Second, each one of us is the keepers of our sister and brother.
First of all, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your generous support to our parish, and early Catholic Service Appeal (CSA). Your generosity makes a difference. This weekend is the KICK-OFF of our annual CSA 2020-2021. The theme for this year's appeal is “Together in Mission...Alive with Hope!” It is also about the dedication and commitment of our life. Bishop James Powers says, “A community that is made up of priest, religious and laity, all of us working on that same mission to evangelize, to go forth to all nations to bring God’s Word of Love, Hope and Salvation to all... How important it is that all do whatever we can to make our mission possible.”
Sometimes we ask why do I need to give my money to the diocese. It could be used in my local church. It is a valuable thought. The reality is we are part of the universal church; we are part of the bigger mission. “Whether promoting vocations, educating our future priests, providing lay ministry formation, teaching, evangelizing, providing outreach to youth, young adults, and those in need, diocesan ministries reach beyond the ability of any single parish to support.” We benefit from the diocese in so many different ways. You should have received the CSA booklet in the mail. It will give you a picture of how our money is used and how many lives you touched. There are some wonderful testimonies, please take time to read it.
The goal for this year for our parishes are: St. Anthony $33,648; Immaculate Conception $10,599; and St. Francis $4,834.
Please participate and reach the goal this year. Our participation becomes successful by our own participation and by encouraging others to participate. Even nonparishioners will participate for the right cause. Let us respond to Bishop James Power’s invitation and make it a successful one. If everyone makes a commitment, we will reach this goal in two or three weekends. Let us do a miracle.
Do we carry the Cross with a grateful heart?
Does Jesus sound funny in the gospel today? We all love to have a joy-filled life, but Jesus says that anyone who wants to be his follower must take up his cross. ‘Really?’ you may ask, ‘why do we have to take up a cross to follow Jesus as he asked in the Gospel today?’ What the year 2020 tells us. I have heard people say, “I wish we didn’t have the year 2020.” Always suffering is a matter of study or discussion. It always leaves us with unanswered questions.
This weekend reading reminds us what it means our discipleship, and what it demands? Look at Peter and Jeremiah. This weekend reading we see Peter objected to Jesus’ prediction of his sufferings. We hear Jeremiah says, “You duped me, O LORD and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me…”
The Gospel passage for today can be divided into two. 1) Matthew 16:21-23 Peter’s refusal to accept Jesus’ predicted suffering and death. We saw in last weekend reading Peter proclaims the faith, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Then Jesus gave him “keys of the kingdom” and the authority to teach, govern, and forgive sins. Today we see when Peter heard about suffering says “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” Does it say something to us? Does Peter represent each one of us?
2) Matthew 16: 24-27 gives a definition of discipleship. If we want to be a disciple of Jesus, there are three things which one must be prepared to doing: he must deny himself, take up his cross follow Jesus. It gives us a scale to measure our life.
16:27 says, “For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.” The first coming of Christ was for the salvation of the world. In order to attain salvation, one has to believe in him. Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead (Rev. 22:12, 2 Tim 4:1). This will happen at an unexpected time (Matthew 24:36-51). So we have to be watchful, (Matthew 13:32-37). Rev 21:1-8 says, God will establish a new heaven and new earth where he will eternally dwell with all the redeemed. This will be the reward for discipleship.
A Sunday school teacher asked Charlie, “Do you remember your memory verse?” Then Charlie, “I sure do. I even remember the zip code…Matthew 16:16.”
What is in Matthew 16:16? Peter proclamation of faith, "You are the Christ, Son of the Living God." Todays' Gospel passage summarizes the Catholicism.
One of the social phenomena in the modern world is opinion polls. These are conducted everywhere, especially in the political and commercial spheres. One day Jesus also wanted to do an opinion poll, but for a different purpose. He was not looking for the approval ratings, but he was looking for a relationship rating. Jesus used every opportunity to teach his disciples and the common people. Jesus asked them, “Who do people say that the son of man is?” They answered: "Some say John the Baptist; for example, Matthew 14:2 Herod said to his servants "This man is John the Baptist" others Elijah; example-Malachi 3:23 "I will send Elijah, the prophet before the day of the Lord Comes." others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Jews were waiting for the coming of Messiah, but when he came, they were confused and identified with someone else.
Jesus was preparing them to answer a bigger or personal question. So he immediately followed his first question with a second: “Who do you say that I am?" We see here, only Peter is answering this question. He said, "You are the Christ, Son of the Living God." We see at the baptism of Jesus, (Matthew 3:17) "A voice came from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." Also, we heard two weeks ago, when Jesus walked on the water and entered the boat, those who are on the boat did him homage, saying "Truly you are the Son of God." (Matthew 15:33) Peter, here again, proclaims the core of our faith.
Peter publicly proclaims that Jesus is the anointed one (Christ) of God who incarnated to save humanity. Jesus responds to that and says that it is a revelation from the Father. As I mentioned before at the baptism of Jesus, the voice of the Father revealed as the beloved son. Now through Peter, it is repeated and proclaimed publicly.
In the second part of today's Gospel, Jesus reveals his plan for the Church. Jesus gave Peter the key and authority and builds the Church on the rock 'petro' Peter.
Before we go further, let us look at the first reading from the book of Isaiah. The section of Isaiah is chapters 13 to 23, the oracle against the different pagan nations. The first reading for today is from chapter 22, Shebna, the master of the place, is going to be removed from his place because of his unfaithfulness, and the Lord is going to appoint Eliakim and give him the robe, sash, and key of Shebna. The Key is a symbol of authority.
The Lord said he will place the "key of the house of David" on Eliakims' shoulder. In the Gospel, Jesus, from the house of David, gives the keys to the kingdom of heaven to Peter. God gave the key to Eliakim, but the words of Isaiah are completed in the New Testament, when Jesus, the offspring of David gave the key to Peter. Jesus chose a leader for the Church. That key is handed over again and again and at present Pope Francis holds that office.
Thank you! I would like to express my gratitude towards everyone who participated in the raffle and all those who generously donated towards the roof fundraising. We made $ 5000.00 profit from the raffle and received $ 35,670.00 as donations. We are halfway through. If you have not yet made a donation, please prayerfully consider making a donation. Thank you!
God is walking around Heaven one day, and notices a number of people in the heavenly streets who shouldn't be there. He finds St. Peter at the gate and says to him, "Peter, you've been remiss in your duties. You're letting in the wrong sort of people."
"Don't blame me, Lord," replied Peter. "I turn them away just like you said to. Then they go around to the back door and your mother lets them in."
August 15th we celebrate Assumption of Mary: a journey that we’re all called to walk: from here to Heaven. We didn’t celebrate this year because it falls on Saturday. This solemn feast of Mary was defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950 but was celebrated in the Church from its earliest days as the Feast of the Dormition, or falling asleep of Mary. Mary received the grace to be body and soul in Heaven along with her son. Our Lord ascended into Heaven in glory; Our Blessed Mother was assumed into Heaven.
We know from the Bible, God created Adam and Eve in the image and likeness of God. Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.” God gave us second Adam and Eve: Jesus and Mary. If we look at the first book of the Bible, Genesis 3:15, we read, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; they will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel.” God chose Mary, second Eve, in a special way to bring Jesus, the second Adam, who brings our salvation.
This weekend all readings talk about God’s love for his people and through the Israelites extend to all nations. The first reading is the third section of Isaiah. This section witnesses to the struggles and hoped-for blessings of the postexilic community now back in the homeland of Israel. Today’s reading prophet gives instruction for those who wish to live according to God’s word and covenant. Isaiah declares in the reading, “my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
In the Gospel, Jesus declares that salvation is extended for all nations through faith. In last Sunday's gospel reading, Peter's prayer was condensed into three words, "Lord, save me!" In today's reading the Canaanite woman's prayer is “Lord, help me.” Peter was the Lord's chief disciple, the Canaanite woman was a pagan; but their prayer was the same. Jesus said to Peter, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” on the other hand Jesus said to the Canaanite woman, “O woman, great is your faith!” Both of them received his blessing.
In today's Gospel reading, however, he appeared rather reluctant to help the woman. "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" meant "I was sent to help Jews, not Canaanites." To make it worse, he added "It is not fair to throw the children's food to dogs." The 'children' were the Jews, "the children of Israel." The 'dogs' were foreigners. It was a Jewish nickname for all foreigners at that time. In the end Jesus praises her faith and blesses her with healing for her daughter. Let us grow in our faith and bring us to Jesus for his blessing.