Monday, August 27, 2012

This saying is hard; who can accept it?

This past weekend I preached on the upcoming marriage amendment here in Minnesota. I mentioned in my homily that there are some well done articles regarding what and why the Church teaches about marriage, and here is a link to our parish homepage which has all of the articles available. Also, here is a link to the Minnesota Catholic Conference which has more articles regarding the marriage amendment. As mentioned in my homily, I know that this can be a very controversial subject, but what I am asking is for you to be aware of what and why the Church teaches what it does in regard to marriage. I hope that these links and my homily help out in this regard.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Whoever Eats this Bread will Live Forever!!!

This is a previous post re-posted!!!! I did not preach this past weekend, but here is a homily that I gave at Epiphany on the same Scripture passage. I think that it was one of my best homiles, so I hope that you take a listen (it was before I switched to video) and learn more about the Eucharist.

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.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Actively Participating in Mass

Sorry about the audio quality, for some reason the CD did not actually record the audio. However, if you pay attention you should be able to hear what I am saying.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Apostles of Jesus

This past weekend we were able to host Fr. Richard Nyamwaro from the Apostles of Jesus for our missionary appeal. It was great to have him join us and share with us all the work that his society does. Here is a link to the society's website for more information on them. Unfortunately, Fr. Richard was not able to stay around for the Sunday evening Mass, so I attempted to preach on behalf of his society, and I have included the video of the homily below.
As I mentioned in the homily, the American Catholic Church was established by missionaries, and there are so many impressive Catholic churches that were built by the missionaries from other countries. Also, there are so many great examples of Catholic missionaries, but I would like to draw your attention to one in particular. Father Pierre-jean De Smet, S.J. (1801-1873) was known as the Apostle of the Rocky Mountains. I happened to come across a book about Fr. De Smet when I was on retreat in March out in Colorado, and I could not put the book down when I was out there. Fr. De Smet mostly ministered to the Native Americans tribes of the West. This is part of the description on the back of the book: “If anyone will begin this book, he will want to finish it. For it is filled with adventures, descriptions of the Indians, their needs, their faith, their paganism, their willingness to convert, their being corrupted by the white man, etc. etc. Here is a biography that will surprise, inspire and edify readers--- guaranteed! What a story!” Here is a link to more information on the life of Fr. De Smet, and here is a link to in case you want to buy the book. It is definitely worth the read!
I think that we need to remember to pray for the success of the missions more often and to support them as well. I remember in high school that one of my teachers, Brother Alphonsus Martel, FSC, would take a collection everyday for the missions that he supported. He would  always say “My kiddies need money” and then would pass the collection cup around. We too need to continue this by not only supporting charitable organizations for this country, but for the whole world, especially in countries where the word of Christ is being heard for the first time, and where many Christians are being persecuted for their faith.