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September 2, 2009

September 3rd Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 1 Period II.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for September 3rd are Glorious.

               

Florida Retreat

September 2nd - 5th

1:30pm & 6:20pm each day

Please tune in!

 

China Retreat

September 10th - 13th

Mass Sept 10th, 11th, 12th

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1 Kings 19: 4-8

He himself went on into the desert, a day’s journey, and sitting under a furze bush wished he were dead. ‘Yahweh,’ he said, ‘I have had enough. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’ Then he lay down and went to sleep. Then all of a sudden an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked round, and there at his head was a scone baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. But the angel of Yahweh came back a second time and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, or the journey will be too long for you.’ So he got up and ate and drank, and strengthened by that food he walked for forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, God’s mountain.

   

Ephesians 4: 30 – 5: 2

do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal, ready for the day when we shall be set free. Any bitterness or bad temper or anger or shouting or abuse must be far removed from you—as must every kind of malice. Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ

As God’s dear children, then, take him as your pattern, and follow Christ by loving as he loved you, giving himself up for us as an offering and a sweet–smelling sacrifice to God.

   

John 6: 41-51

Meanwhile the Jews were complaining to each other about him, because he had said, ‘I am the bread that has come down from heaven.’ They were saying, ‘Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know. How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven?” ’ Jesus said in reply to them, ‘Stop complaining to each other.

‘No one can come to me
unless drawn by the Father who sent me,
and I will raise that person up
    on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They will all be taught by God;
everyone who has listened to the Father,
and learnt from him,
comes to me.
Not that anybody has seen the Father,
except him who has his being from God:
he has seen the Father.
In all truth I tell you,
everyone who believes has eternal life.
 I am the bread of life.
 Your fathers ate manna in the desert
 and they are dead;
 but this is the bread
    which comes down from heaven,
 so that a person may eat it and not die.
 I am the living bread
    which has come down from heaven.
 Anyone who eats this bread 
    will live for ever;
 and the bread that I shall give
 is my flesh, for the life of the world.’

 

 

Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

August 9, 2009


INTRODUCTION: I Kings 19,4-8; Eph. 4,30; John 6, 41-51
Jezebel was an evil queen who reigned in Israel eight hundred fifty years before Christ. One of her many goals in life was to eliminate faith and worship of the God Yahweh in Israel. At the same time there also lived in Israel the prophet Elijah who was dedicated to serving Yahweh. Naturally these two would clash. Elijah had just worked a powerful miracle on Mt. Carmel, a place now known as Haifa, which dramatically demonstrated that Yahweh was truly God, and that the gods Jezebel promoted were non-existent. Jezebel, instead of being converted, became a sore loser she sent her army after Elijah to kill him. Elijah quickly left the place. He ran to the desert in southern Judea and this is where we meet him in today’s first reading. He is hungry, tired and deeply depressed. You will hear that God did not desert his faithful prophet. Mt. Horeb, mentioned in the first reading, is the mountain where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.

This passage has been chosen because it tells us of a special food God gave Elijah. The passage connects with the gospel where Jesus tells us he is the bread that will strengthen us on our journey through life and into eternal life.

HOMILY: The angel told Elijah: “Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you.” What must have been in those hearth cakes? Talk about energy drinks and power bars! The Jews ate hearth cakes a lot, which I believe were something like tortillas. No one knows the hidden ingredient in those hearth cakes the angel offered Elijah.

Jesus is offering the people of his own day a food infinitely more potent than Elijah’s hearth cakes: “bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die...whoever eats this bread will live forever.” If a person really believed this, wouldn’t they make sure they had a steady diet of this marvelous food? But Jesus’ hearers thought he had flipped out, making such outlandish claims.

Let’s suppose a nutritionist from our own time got into a time machine and went back to talk with those people. And the nutritionist told them that certain foods were especially healthy for them and too much of other foods like saturated fat and salt and sugar would lead to numerous types of disease. Our imaginary nutritionist would explain that there are tiny things in food which they cannot see but which will produce good or bad effects on their health. They won’t see those effects right away but the good or bad effects of what they eat will show up a few years later, and maybe not even for several years. And lastly the people are told that if the food tastes really wonderful, it’s probably not good for them. The nutritionist would probably be considered ridiculous. People wouldn’t be able to understand a message like that. Today we know a lot about food and its consequences, even if we don’t always follow what we know we should do. Jesus is telling us there is something in the food he offers that will benefit us eternally. It is we who would be the loser if we ignore what he says.

This is one of the greatest tests of our faith in Jesus – to believe something we can’t understand, to believe it simply because we trust the one who told us it is so. It’s no wonder our Lord tells us we need God’s help to accept this, for as he says: “no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him.”

I have lived with this mystery since I made my first Communion at St. Patrick’s Church here in Northside in the second grade. Many times I have questioned how this could be. How could bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. I want to tell you some of the things that have helped my faith. I received a lot of help believing in the Eucharist through meditation on this sixth chapter of John. An article by a psychoanalyst, Ignace Lepp, who was originally an atheist and a Communist and who later became a Catholic priest helped the Eucharist make much more sense to me. I was helped by reading about a German mystic, Teresa Neumann, who died in 1962 who lived for 36 years without any food other than the Eucharist. The Nazi authorities took away her food rations’ card during World War II for this reason. From what I’ve read, I am satisfied that her fasting on nothing but the Eucharist has been verified scientifically. You can look up more information about her on the internet. I have been helped by the deep peace I often feel when I pray before the Blessed Sacrament. I frequently have sensed Jesus’ presence. And finally I have been helped by simply choosing to take Jesus at his word: “This is my body” and “this is my blood.”

I’ve never had visions or ecstasies. I have to believe in the Eucharist as much as any of you. Sometimes I think it requires more faith for me, when I realize my own faults and weaknesses and failures and to think that I can say those words of Jesus over bread and wine and at that moment the bread and wine is changed to become Jesus himself.

Elijah didn’t know what was in those hearth cakes. In faith, he ate them and began his journey to Mt. Horeb as the angel directed him to do. We have been told what is in the food Jesus offers us, that it is Jesus himself. We just have to do what the angel told Elijah: “get up and eat, else the journey will be too long.” We skip meals sometimes when we’re in a hurry, but this is one meal we can’t skip. We need the strength it gives us as we make our journey to eternal life. 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)

 

  

 

  


 

The China Church is over 140 years old

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