Monday, June 27, 2011

Whoever Eats this Bread will Live Forever!!!

It was great preaching this weekend at Epiphany. It had been 2 weeks since I had preached a Sunday homily, so I actually was a little nervous. However, it helped that it was a great Sunday to preach because it was the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ). Also, the Gospel was from John 6:51-58 which is one of, if not my favorite Gospel passage. The reason why I like it so much is because it explains the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I was able to grasp this teaching when I was in my Johannine class (the study of John). What helped me out the most was a handout that my teacher gave me, which explained that the word "eat" can be translated two different ways. Anyways, here is the handout:

John 6:51-58 

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh (sarks)." 
52 ¶ The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh (sarks) to eat (phagein)?" 
53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat (phagein) the flesh (sarks) of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 
54 he who eats (trogein) my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh (sarks) is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 
56 He who eats (trogein) my flesh (sarks) and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 
57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats (trogein) me will live because of me. 
58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate (phagein) and died; he who eats (trogein) this bread will live forever."

Sarks = Flesh
Phagein = Eat
Trogo = Gnaws or Chews

As you can tell, the difference between Phagein and Trogein is huge. We are truly called to gnaw/chew on the body of Christ. If you want to learn more about this, please listen to my homily, I think it offers a fairly good explanation. However, in the homily I did not use the word "gnaws" because I did not want to freak out any children, however "gnaws" would be a better translation.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

When in Rome (see everything possible)

Sorry for not posting anything for a long time, but as many of you know I have been on vacation for the last week in Rome. My mother and sister Sarah joined me on this trip, and the main point behind the trip for me was to see one of my friends since college get married (it was in St. Peters Basilica and I was able to concelebrate the wedding). Overall it was a great trip. We saw the Pope twice. The first time we saw him was at the Pentecost Mass at St. Peter's where I was able to be a Eucharistic Minister and where the Pope passed within four feet of my mother and sister.  The other time we saw the Pope was at the general audience on Wednesday where we had great seats thanks to Archbishop Harvey. We were also able to see almost all of the sites in Rome.  We saw St. Peter's Basilica (where I was able to either say Mass or concelebrate Mass four times), the Vatican Gardens and Museum (the gardens are beautiful), and also we were able to do the Scavi tour (which is a tour of the excavation that archeologists under St. Peters did in the 1940s to try to find the bones of St. Peter which they did). Some other churches that we were able to see were all of the Major Basilicas (Mary Major, St. John Lateran, and St. Pauls outside the Walls), and, of course, the Pantheon and many other Churches .
Just so you know we did see many other things then religious sites including the Coliseum, Forum, Palatine Hill, the Spanish Steps, and, of course, we had to go and see the Trevi Fountain (although we forgot to throw a coin in, although I never have). The food was great, and I even got to go to my favorite restaurant in Rome which is Abruzzi’s (they have the best carbonera that I have ever had, and they also have great service). We were also able to eat plenty of Gelato. One of the best things about Rome is that most of the sights are in walking distance of each other, and even if they are not the public transportation can get you anywhere where you want to go. The main way of transportation for us was the bus, but we did take the metro one day, and I soon figured out that my mother is not a fan of being underground, which she definitely let me know. I also enjoyed running in Rome, because I would be running faster than the cars (the traffic can be pretty bad).
   So, the question has to be what was my favorite part of the trip? Well, it may surprise you but my favorite part is always the same when I go to Rome; which is being able to see the Universal Church. It always shows to me that the Church is bigger than just me, or the American Church. It is the Universal Church and it is a beautiful Church. I am always amazed at how big the Church is, but also to realize that we are all part of this Church, and that what we do in our own lives affects what happens for the Universal Church. So, keep on trying to live a life that will contribute to the glorification to the Universal Church and all of its members.
If you want to see more pictures of my trip to Rome, check out this link for more great pictures, thanks to my sister Sarah.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ascension is our Glory and our Hope

I hope that you all had a great Sunday, and were able to enjoy the weather. I was able to celebrate the Ascension of the Lord and it just seemed like it was a perfect day. Below is my homily, it starts around the 20 second mark.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Time is Now

As many of you know, one of my hobbies is running. I started to do this about two and half years ago, as a way to exercise and lose some weight for the most part. However, running has not always agreed with me, I remember even as a second grader running the mile, and having an extremely bad coughing attack after I was done running, which kept on happening all the way through college. But, over the last two and a half years these attacks have gone away (for the most part), and running has become a staple in my life.
My father, Bernie, also got interested in running as a way to lose weight, and really enjoyed running. It was amazing to see my dad (who was not a small guy) go out for runs, and even run half marathons. As a matter of fact, before he was diagnosed once again with cancer (which eventually took his life), he had registered to run the Twin Cities Marathon, but never was able to complete it. Two of my sisters have ran the Twin Cities Marathon in honor of my dad, and once again it has been amazing to see their dedication to the training program, and seeing them run through many injuries and tears. So, with all of this I would like to announce that I am registered to run in the Twin Cities Marathon this year on October 2, 2011. I have been thinking about this for many years now, and I believe that this is the time to do it. The training has already begun, and I do have a target time that I want to achieve, and let’s just say Oprah’s marathon time better watch out, but the Boston Marathon qualifying time has nothing to worry about. 
One of the things that my dad was always proud of was our Catholic education, and if you take a look at the Twin Cities Marathon, you will also probably realize that it is around the same time as Epiphany’s school marathon which is on October 1, 2011. So, just like when I was in grade school, this year I too will be taking pledges for our school, with the goal of providing tuition for one student and also some other expenses that the child may have (like athletic fees, uniform, etc.). So, the total that I am hoping for is $4,000. I know that this is a lot of money, but it is for a great cause, and something that my father would be proud to be associated with. If you would like to donate what you can do is write out a check to Epiphany School and send it to me. Also, you can send cash, just make sure to include your name in the note and specify that it is for the school marathon. Every little bit will help out.
Also, I have received many comments from people letting me know that they have seen me running around Coon Rapids. If you do see me running don’t be afraid to honk your horn, wave, or even hand me some water (that would be great).  I know that the next 18 weeks are going to be physically challenging, but I think that they will go by a lot easier if I am able to receive some encouragement along the way, so please do not be afraid to honk your horn, I guarantee that it will bring a smile to my face.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to include me in your prayers as well, I know that I’ll need them.
St. Sebastian Patron Saint of Athletes, St. John Bosco Patron of School Children, St. Jude Patron of Lost Causes, pray for me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stay Tuned for Some Big News

The big news will either be posted tomorrow or Friday, so let the guessing begin (post a comment with your guess if you want). I'll give you a couple of clues, I am not moving anywhere (at least that I know of), and a picture is worth a thousand words.

Update: The guy running is the main clue. Also, the post was published on National Running Day. Good guesses though, and I would not be opposed to either of them. However, I think the Catholic Spirit may happen before the Twins make the playoffs this year.