Thirty- Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Christ, King of the Universe…

-Testifies to the truth.
-He is the author & blueprint of Creation/Life.
-As Logos He speaks all Nations and things into existence.
-All human activity has its purpose & is redeemable through Him.

I visited recently the “Dubrovnik Hall of Heroes” – A small room containing pictures of the young who gave their lives in the great wars to protect this seafaring fortress city in Croatia…

-Without The Resurrection their deaths have little meaning beyond the temporal – But these deaths have a deeper meaning precisely because of the resurrection

-Arlington National Cemetery, Our dead buried in Normandy – All temporal honor and sacrifice raised up to the eternal in the Bodily Resurrection of Christ.

As King of the Universe, He will redeem His Church!
-Sacred Scripture paints us this Image of the Church – A Boat in stormy seas.
-Constructed from the bark of Saint Peter…

Pope Pious XII – use to meditate on this picture in his chapel before prayer – A picture of the Apostles, in the boat, in stormy seas, with Jesus appearing to be asleep. This was during WWII with Germany and the axis powers threatening the world. And throughout history the Church rides in stormy seas, threatened from within, and from the outside – Yet, Christ is not asleep, even if it seems that way. He will guide His church, the ark, to Heaven.

Never say your life or someone else’s life is not redeemable.

-Thru Christ the King, all can be redeemed, starting at Mass by simply saying – Lord I’m not worthy to receive you under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.

Those who hold to the resurrection of the body are those who are most effective at working for justice and peace in this world. If you are a complete materialist and secularist, you hold that everything and everybody, in the end, just fades away. But if you believe in the resurrection of the body, then everything in this world is destined for redemption. Everything matters.

Amen Fr. Vic

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

“This is a monkish practice for anyone to adopt, and I highly recommend it. At the end of the day, take an inventory of all the people who have angered you, and forgive them. Say it out loud. Then you can go to bed.” (Fr. Augustine Wetta, OSB from Humility Rules) . . .

Amen Fr. Vic

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Immediately before and for a good while after my conversion, I was of the opinion that to lead a religious life meant one had to give up all that was secular and to live totally immersed in thoughts of the Divine. But gradually I realized that something else is asked of us in this world and that, even in the contemplative life, one may not sever the connection with the world. I even believe that the deeper one is drawn into God, the more one must ‘go out of oneself’, that is, one must go to the world in order to carry the divine life into it.” (St. Edith Stein in conversion)…

Amen—Fr. Vic

Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time

This past week the Church celebrated St. John Paul II Feast Day. I think one of his greatest gifts was a number of talks he gave which were collected & published as “Theology of the Body.” Our bodies are a part of us, and the body is sacred.

From – “Theology of the Body in One Hour”…More than abstinence or self-restraint, piety is a deep reverence for all things sacred, including the body. If sin dulls our understanding of the meaning of the body and the value of sexuality, piety heightens our sensitivity to the dignity that the body possesses. It is the crowning of chastity, and according to John Paul, “turns out to be the most essential power for keeping the body ‘with holiness.’” It is the Holy Spirit who empowers each person to view his or her body—and the bodies of others—with such reverence.

Amen—Fr. Vic

 

Twenty-Nineth Sunday in Ordinary Time

When we sometimes feel down. Or ask questions like…

-Why can’t God change me – Why do I confess the same things

– Why am I not progressing spiritually

– Why do I seem to be a failure?…

-Then how about this…
-The Crucifix around your neck – The crucifix above our church altars the world over.
-Jesus changed a Roman instrument of torture and brutality into a sign of salvation, Hope, & love – A sign that was meant to bring terror is now a sign of blessings and hope.

-If Jesus can do this with the crucifix – He can certainly change us.
-The Curse of the “wood of the tree” found in Deuteronomy & the instrument of torture – The “Wood of the Cross” – is turned into love – And when lifted up – “Will draw all nations to myself says the Lord.”

We are lifted up at every Mass, Confession and in the Sacraments – Our Lord can change us, just like He changed a sign of Roman damnation into a sign of Christian forgiveness and renewal – Patience & Perseverance are key.

Amen—Fr. Vic.

Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Look at the Crucifix” was comprised by a “Father of Mercy”. I love to meditate on these when I need a pick me up moment. Simple but shows the true depth and love of our Lord for each one of us. Reminds me of the High Priest (28 Sunday’s – “Letter to the Hebrews”) who has experience all that we have, and His love for each of us displayed by the acceptance of His Cross and Passion. Pax – Fr. Vic

LOOK AT THE CRUCIFIX

– If you want to know God, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to love God, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to know the infinite, eternal love of God, look at the Crucifix.

– If you wish to have a part in giving that same love to others, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to know who you are and your worth, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to know how you were saved from the jaws of hell, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to know how much God wants to save your immortal soul, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to know Who will lead you to Heaven, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to live well, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to die well, look at the Crucifix.

Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 13:55 “”Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary…”

As you read this pastor’s corner remember this – Our Lord Jesus, CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE earned his living as a young man, by working with his hands; thus, adding value to the lives of others as a simple carpenter. GOD, a carpenter.

I remember when public schools used to have a class called “Industrial Arts.” We called it “Shop” for short. Where a young person could learn how to work on wood/carpentry, build things of necessity, work with metal/plumbing – even learning how to work on small engines. I always envied those who excelled in using their hands and minds to create and conserve things that improved our standard of living.

With that said, I am saddened that we have fewer technical schools, and have pretty much ignored these disciplines. I am also intrigued that everyone wants to become a star and that we revere hollywood, and professional athletes, yet it was a teacher that planted the seed for St. John Paul II to pursue the life that lead him to sainthood.

I write this on the day that the Church celebrates St. Therese of Lisieux who spoke of doing all things, big and small, out of love of God. She did the simple tasks in the convent that needed to be done “out of love of God.” This is the path to greatness in the kingdom. Doing the little things well.

Imagine if we had a breakdown in society where we could no longer depend on Amazon Prime, grocery stores, or shopping to gain items in which to survive. What if there was no one to pick up our trash, or no plumber to fix our toilets, or the handy man to repair the toaster, or the bank teller, or the order taker – you get my point. I could continue naming things and simple vocations that we take for granted, but are absolutely necessary for a healthy and vibrant society.

Thus, we all have value and a place in society. Every job, that adds something to our lives, big or small, has dignity, unless it is something contrary to the natural law of God – of course. On this Respect Life Sunday – Every Life Matters – And every job that adds something to our lives should be appreciated and respected. We all have been created with purpose and a role to play.

If the world collapsed around me – I am not looking for a Hollywood star, a professional athlete, nor a politician to help me survive – I am finding the person(s) that have the skill sets that we take for granted – those who can help me survive and flourish.

Pax – Fr. Vic

Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

We live in an age where breakthroughs in medical research, technology, procedures and drugs have eliminated many diseases, has improved our lives, and raised our quality of living. We have reduced pain, and we live longer. Those are good things.

On the other hand, I would like to point what a culture looses when trying to eradicate all forms of pain, suffering, discomfort, and the removal of any form of the cross from daily life. In our struggles, weaknesses, and discomfort The Lord can use our suffering, struggles, pain, weaknesses, and discomfort to sanctify us. It is through suffering that we have an opportunity to participate through love and charitable acts to bring comfort to one another. To bring Christ’s concrete love into a broken world. Without suffering or the cross these moments to participate in Sanctifying Graces are missing from life.

Our own personal crosses and struggles can be used for our good when we seek grace through penance and abstinence. In Christ Jesus, don’t think I am being punished by my struggles with sin and vice. No, my struggles against sin and vice are being used to sanctify me. My crosses are there to point me to my daily need of God and Sanctifying Grace.

And we are open to extraordinary graces when we offer up to God, our little daily inconveniences, as well as, the bigger sufferings. Offering this up for others is a powerful force for the good in this fallen world. And the suffering of others allows us opportunities for charity, which inflames our own souls with grace, and the presence of Christ in our hearts.

-The Lord desires to share in every aspect of your life, and wants to reconcile and elevate every area and work of your life as we participate in Glory and work of Christ Jesus.

Saint Leo the Great, pope: And this is the reward they will receive for their love of God and neighbor: when their struggle with all temptation is finally over, there will be no further adversities to suffer or scandal to fear; but they will rest in the peace of God undisturbed, through our Lord who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

Pax – Fr. Vic

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

(Venerable Fulton J. Sheen—from Through the Year with Fulton Sheen):

“Does God know anything about pain? Does God know what I suffer? Did God every have a migraine headache as if his head was crowned with thorns? Does God know anything about the starvation in India an Africa? Did he ever go without food for two days? Or three? Or five? Does God know anything about homelessness? Was he ever without a home? Does he know what it is to be a refugee? To flee from one country to another? Does he know what it is to be in jail? To be the victim of scourging? Does God know any of these things? Yes. God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”

—Jesus chooses to endure the cross and to suffer so that we can have life.

—Jesus, embracing the Father’s will experiences, in the flesh, all that we endure, except sin. He is pure so we can become pure.

—Sacrificial love is powerful, and when we participate, we are renewed and thus, heal and save many lives following this model of our Lord’s sacrificial cross.

—Even though God does not desire suffering, nor was suffering or pain part of creation before the fall, God can use it to bring about a greater good.

At this point I was planning on continuing with this weekend’s homily on suffering and the cross, but will wait until Sunday. Until then, please know our Lord desires to share in every aspect of our lives and to reconcile and celebrate our lives as we participate in the ministry of Christ Jesus. (Saint Leo the Great, Pope): “And this is the reward they will receive for their love of God and neighbor; when their struggle with all temptation is finally over, there will be no further adversities to suffer or scandal to fear; but they will rest in the peace of God undisturbed, through our Lord who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and every.

Amen.” Pax—Fr. Vic
Contributions

Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

This week I will start and end with quotes from Jeff Cavins, a Catholic convert and apologist-

If we can’t receive your Body and Blood, where are we going to go? Will you exchange the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ for a homegroup, where you can read the Bible together? Will you exchange the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ for a prayer meeting? It’s a question we all have to answer. We are fed as Catholics on a diet of the Word of God and by his Body and his Blood. This all takes place in the Mass.”

As I said during a daily Mass homily this past week – “Don’t put all of your trust and hope in the church’s hierarchy – For they are not the end, but a means to an end – The end is Christ, Salvation, and Heaven. The means is the Church, Christ’s Instrument of Salvation.”

  • The Church, The Mass, and The Sacraments are what will infuse us with the Divine Life.
  • The people may be flawed but not the Mass instituted by Christ, the center and core of this ancient church He founded. For His Bride shall be found without spot or wrinkle. This is accomplished daily, as the Mass and Sacramental Life continually washes, nourishes and heals a wounded church through Christ, her Bridegroom.
  • After Jesus explained in John 6; …That He will nourish His followers with His Body and Blood (Gift of the Mass and Holy Eucharist).

Jesus then asked the apostles; “Are you going to leave me as well?”

          – St. Peter responded; “Lord, where shall we go, You hold the words to eternal Life.”

Shall we run away as well? or shall we stand and be a voice for the innocent, and live bold Christian Lives as a witness to our Bishops and to the world of this ancient and Holy Faith founded upon a suffering, but ultimately triumphant Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jeff Cavins – “There are problems in the Church today, we all know that. But through all of it, Jesus manages to feed us. Why? Because he’s the Shepherd and we rely on his ability to feed us, not on the cleverness of men; not on the ingenuity of men or the verbal eloquence of men.” (Both quotes are from his talk titled, I’m not being fed…)

Amen!  Fr. Vic