Archives for October 2016

From the Pastor – October 30, 2016

“Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.  For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Lk 19:9-10) I love the story of Zacchaeus.  It reminds me of two things.  When I was little, it reminded me a little of Mardi Gras.  In the parable, it sounded like a parade was rolling by, and Zacchaeus wanted to see it!  But instead of Rex, it was the King of Kings!  As a young, small boy, I remember not being able to see Mardi Gras parades because of the crowd.  Often, I resolved myself to looking for spare doubloons. The second thing that the story reminds me of was a visit I made to Rome in 1994, before I entered seminary.  I was fortunate to be able to attend a Papal Audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall.  As the audience was … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 23, 2016

“God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.” (Lk 18:11) I recently heard a quote to the effect that “there are only two types of people in the world:  saints who think they are sinners and sinners who think they are saints.”  That pretty much sums up the two characters in today’s Gospel.  The Pharisee has justified his life, and the Publican has condemned his own.  In truth, each of these men was a sinner in some way.  As the Evangelist John said:  “If we say that we have not sinned, then we make God a liar, and His word has no place in our hearts” (1 Jn 1:10).  So what separates the two men?  One simple fact.  One acknowledged the reality of his life and the reality of his sin, and the other didn’t.  And having … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 9, 2016

“Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”  Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you..” (Lk 17:17-19)   This Gospel this weekend concerns gratitude. The story is simple. Jesus cures ten lepers, and only one returns to thank Him. The word gratitude is interesting. It’s usually defined as “a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation.” And we might experience gratitude for many things. If we’re late for work, we might feel gratitude that we make it through all of the stoplights. We might wake up and see a beautiful sunny day, and feel gratitude. We might experience gratitude for any of the amazing little things that happen to us during the day – a rainbow, a sunset, a butterfly … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 2, 2016

The Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” (Lk 17:5) By the time the Apostles have gotten to the 17th Chapter of Luke’s Gospel, they’ve seen Jesus do a lot of things. They’ve seen a miraculous catch of fish. They’ve seen Jesus expel demons. They’ve seen Him heal a mother-in-law, a leper, a paralytic, a man with a withered hand, a servant, a woman with a hemorrhage, a crippled woman and a man with dropsy. They’ve seen Jesus calm a storm, feed 5000 people and raise two children from the dead. At this point, they realize that Jesus has some pretty serious authority. And out of all the things they can ask for, they ask him for one thing: “increase our faith.” What is it about “faith” that is so important to the Apostles? There are two ways that we understand faith in the … [Read more...]