Archives for October 2011

From the Pastor – October 30, 2011

“Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called 'Master'; you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matt. 23:9-12) Occasionally, I've jokingly observed that the hierarchy of the Church made sure that Popes, Cardinals, Bishops and Monsignors weren't on Jesus' list of prohibited titles! But seriously, this is a Gospel passage that is sometimes used against the Catholic Church in criticism for priests being called “Father.” Such literal fundamentalism is misguided and un-Biblical. If Jesus were prohibiting the use of “father,” then why does Jesus Himself use the term in other contexts? He confirms the commandment to “honor … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 23, 2011

I love you, LORD, my strength, LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, my saving horn, my stronghold! Praised be the LORD, I exclaim! I have been delivered from my enemies.” (Ps. 18:2-4) “Love” is a very difficult thing to define. We use the words in a lot of ways. We might use it to describe our favorite restaurant, “I love La Petite Grocery.” We might use it to describe our favorite tech device, “I love my iPhone.” Or we might use it to describe bigger things, like our city: “I love New Orleans.” And in all of these usages, it's used primarily as a superlative of the word “like.” When it comes to people, the usage of the word “love” can also vary. We might love our grandparents, our parents, our spouses and our children, but the way we … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 16, 2011

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen. For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.” (1 Thess. 1:2-5) A number of years ago, I remember Archbishop Hughes calling all priests to a Holy Hour of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament at St. Louis Cathedral. And the way he did it was so succinctly Trinitarian. He asked us to “come let us pray with Our Lord Jesus to the Father that He will send the Holy Spirit down upon us.” I remember hearing it and having a new and different … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 9, 2011

“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.” (Is. 25:6) It's fairly astounding how many times that Sacred Scriptures describe Heaven in terms of food and drink. The “promised land” was a place flowing with “milk and honey.” Alternatively, Isaiah describes a “mountain” with “rich food and pure, choice wines.” For people living in an arid place, the idea of abundant food and drink was very appealing, especially in times of famine. But Jesus takes the analogy even further by describing a wedding banquet, something that was by far the most joyous occasions in the life of a Jew. If you think today's wedding receptions are “over-the-top,” think again. Jewish weddings were marked by an … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 2, 2011

“Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus?” (Phil. 4:6-7) I'm not planning on using this passage from Sunday's second reading in my homily, but I have to admit that it spoke to me as I was going through the readings this week. It's a passage that reveals the fruits of a deep faith. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta used to have a little card that she gave people she met. She called it her “business card.” I've reproduced one she gave to me after I worked in Calcutta one summer: It's nice having her autograph, but that's not the point. The point is how she connects silence to prayer to … [Read more...]