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August 29, 2009

August 30th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 6 Period I.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for August 30th are Joyful.

               

 

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Cycle C
 

 

 

Amos 7:12-15

To Amos himself Amaziah said, 'Go away, seer, take yourself off to Judah, earn your living there, and there you can prophesy! But never again will you prophesy at Bethel, for this is a royal sanctuary, a national temple.' 'I am not a prophet,' Amos, replied to Amaziah, 'nor do I belong to a prophetic brotherhood. I am merely a herdsman and dresser of sycamore-figs. But Yaweh took me as I followed the flock, and Yaweh said to me, "Go and prophesy to my people Israel."

 

Ephesians 1: 3-14

Blessed be God 
    the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who has blessed us 
    with all the spiritual blessings of heaven 
        in Christ. 
Thus he chose us in Christ 
    before the world was made 
to be holy and faultless 
    before him in love, 
marking us out for himself beforehand, 
    to be adopted sons, 
        through Jesus Christ. 
Such was his purpose and good pleasure, 
to the praise of the glory of his grace, 
his free gift to us in the Beloved,
in whom, through his blood, 
    we gain our freedom, 
        the forgiveness of our sins. 
Such is the richness of the grace 
which he has showered on us 
in all wisdom and insight. 
He has let us know 
    the mystery of his purpose, 
according to his good pleasure 
    which he determined beforehand 
        in Christ, 
for him to act upon 
    when the times had run their course: 
that he would bring everything together 
    under Christ, as head, 
everything in the heavens 
    and everything on earth. 
And it is in him
    that we have received our heritage,
marked out beforehand as we were,
under the plan of the One
    who guides all things
as he decides by his own will,
chosen to be,
for the praise of his glory,
the people who
    would put their hopes in Christ
        before he came.
Now you too, in him,
have heard the message of the truth
    and the gospel of your salvation,
and having put your trust in it
you have been stamped with the seal
    of the Holy Spirit of the Promise,
who is the pledge of our inheritance,
for the freedom of the people
    whom God has taken for his own,
for the praise of his glory.

 

Mark 6: 7-13

Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs, giving them authority over unclean spirits. And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals but, he added, ‘Don’t take a spare tunic.’ And he said to them, ‘If you enter a house anywhere, stay there until you leave the district. And if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away shake off the dust under your feet as evidence to them.’ So they set off to proclaim repentance; and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.

 

 

Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

July 12, 2009


INTRODUCTION –
Last week, in reference to the prophet Ezekiel, I commented that sometimes prophets predicted the future but most of the time they tried to direct God’s people to live by God’s laws. Consequently, they were not usually appreciated. Today, in our first reading, we hear from the prophet Amos who lived over 700 years before Christ. In that culture were professional prophets who made a nice living from telling people how to solve their problems, giving them advice, predicting the future, etc. Usually these professionals did not speak for God, rather they spoke the kinds of things their clients would be pleased with hearing. If they offered any criticism or anything offensive they would not have been paid their fee. When Amos went to Bethel, a place of worship in the north, which was established in competition with the true Temple in Jerusalem, Amos did not have warm fuzzy things to say about the way God’s people were living. The high priest, Amaziah, mistook him for one of the professional prophets and told him to go back home and prophesy. Amos protested that he was not a career prophet, rather he was living a nice peaceful life as a farmer and God called him to go to Bethel and warn the people that their sinful lives would lead to destruction. Today’s passage prepares the way for the gospel where Jesus sends his apostles out to preach and warns them they may not always be welcome.

HOMILY 
- Amos claimed that he was sent by God to preach. It wasn’t something he decided to do on his own, nor did he intend to make himself rich doing it. Because the high priest there had the king and his army on his side, it’s most likely that the high priest succeeded in throwing Amos out of town. The job of telling people they need to repent is about as much fun as telling people to cut off their right hand. It seldom happens. John the Baptist had some success in preaching repentance, but we all know how he was eventually beheaded. St. Mark tells us in today’s gospel how Jesus sent the Twelve out to preach repentance, to cast out demons, and to heal the sick. It’s from the fact that they had been sent out that they get the title of apostle. That’s what the Greek word “apostolos” means, one who has been sent out.

Like a mother bird teaching its little ones to fly, Jesus was giving his apostles their first lessons in the work they would later do when he was no longer with them in physical form. In doing God’s work, Jesus was obviously insisting they learn to trust in God for what they needed. He instructed them to bring nothing with them except the clothes they were wearing. Jesus seems to stress their living a simple life style almost as much as he stresses the message they are to bring. My suspicion too is that the apostles were probably going to be away for a short period of time. If they had to be gone for months, they would have needed a few more things. For example, when Paul was traveling, he had to bring books and the tools of his trade as a tent maker and enough clothes because it was bitterly cold in the areas where he evangelized.

I wonder whether the idea Jesus had of the apostles not taking too much stuff along when they went out to preach might also apply to how many ideas a person should try to stuff into a homily. I was on retreat last week and I had all week to think about this gospel. I had lots of things I wanted to say. When I was putting my homily together, I had hoped to say something about the priesthood, since this year has been proclaimed by the Holy Father as the year of the priest. When I started putting all my thoughts on paper, it left little room to say much about priests. I do want to say, however, I feel very strongly that I’ve had a call and have been sent out. It is very gratifying when I discover something I’ve said or done has brought a person closer to God. But sometimes there is rejection as well. It’s a delicate thing to know what to say when you want to lead a person to do the right thing. I don’t want to face God who might say to me, “you should have said something,” and at the same time I don’t want to alienate a person totally. That is one of the hardest things about being a priest. I’m sure many of you parents and grandparents face the same dilemma. As I said earlier, asking someone to stop doing something they shouldn’t or to start doing something they should is at times like asking them to cut off their right hand. In this year of priests, I hope you will remember to pray for priests. There is an insert in today’s bulletin about the priesthood, so you can read more about it if you choose.

There is one last point I want to make. Jesus’ apostles were sent to heal the sick who they anointed with oil. Mark’s gospel and the Letter of James give us the basis for the sacrament of the sick. There are people, some saints for example, who have a special gift of healing, but the sacrament of the sick has a special power in and of itself, independent of the holiness of the priest. We’ve not offered the sacrament lately, so if anyone would like to receive it after Mass today, I will be available. Amen.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 31, 1994

Words of Jesus to Members of
Shepherds of Christ Associates:

"My beloved priest-companion, I intend to use the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, and the movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates, in a powerful way for the renewal of My Church and the world.

"I will use the newsletter and the chapters of Shepherds of Christ Associates as a powerful instrument for spreading devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart.

"I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."

- Message from Jesus to Father Edward J. Carter, S.J., Founder, as given on July 31, 1994,
feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)

 

  

 

  


 

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