From the Pastor – August 1, 2021

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.  And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” (Jn 6:24-29) Beginning last weekend on the 17th Sunday of the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 25, 2021

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.  When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.  When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” (Jn 6:11-14) If you regularly attend Mass in Good Shepherd Parish, you know that it is rare when I don’t mention the Blessed Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in a homily.  Since Mass is divided into two parts, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, I want my … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 18, 2021

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. (Mk 6:34) Although the image of a shepherd and his sheep is found throughout both the Old and New Testament, many Catholics have a negative reaction to being compared with “sheep.”  As I said once in a homily, sheep are stupid, smelly animals who are defined as “classic prey,” in that they are the food of a great deal of predators, most particularly wolves, wildcats and even birds of prey.  But once you study a little about sheep, you find analogies to human behavior.  For instance, sheep are incredibly social animals.  Sheep have a natural tendency to gather into a flock, and they can become very agitated and nervous … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 11, 2021

In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ. (Eph. 1:11-12) The readings for this Sunday are about the idea of “mission.”  The word “mission” comes from the Latin verb “mittere,” which means “to send out.”  The obvious “sending out” in this week's Gospel is Jesus sending out the Apostles.  In fact, the word “apostle” literally means “those sent out” in Greek.  The Apostles are sent out on a “mission.”  And the idea of “mission” is part of the continuing work of the Church.  Every year we have a “mission appeal” in the parish, where we hear about the mission of the church in different countries. However, the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 4, 2021

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this?”  And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”  He was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mk 6:1-2a, 3b, 4,6))  The most obvious reading in the Gospel today is that his own people did not recognize Jesus, the Messiah. But there's also something deeper going on, and it has to do with our worldview. We are called to view everything in our lives not simply through our natural eyes but through the eyes of faith.  When we look at a sunrise we can see it through … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – June 17, 2021

The woman [healed from her hemorrhage], realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” (Mk 5:33-34) The interesting thing about the healing of the woman with the hemorrhage in the Gospel this weekend is how it happens.  Jesus doesn’t actually “do” anything positive to heal the woman.  She took the initiative to touch his clothes, and the power of Jesus healed her.  Jesus knew that “power” (His healing power) had gone out of Him, but the healing came about through her faith in Him. What a wonderful message for us!  Since we don’t live at the time when we can actually see the incarnate Lord face-to-face, we … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – June 20, 2021

A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet!  Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” (Mk 4:37-41) “Fatherhood” is something to which we’re introduced to at a very young age.  While not as “immediate” as motherhood (we’re in our mother’s womb for 9 months!), our father is one of the first people to whom we’re “introduced.”  But fatherhood can’t be … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – May 30, 2021

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:16-20) Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. In the early days of the Church there was no special day to honor the Holy Trinity, but that changed in the 3rd century when the Church was confronted with one of the first great heresies:  Arianism.  Although this heresy would seem … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – May 16, 2021

Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. (Mark 16:19-20) Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension, which is the elevation of Christ into heaven by His own power in the presence of His disciples.  In Sacred Scripture, this occurred on the fortieth day after the Resurrection – which was actually last Thursday, traditionally called “Ascension Thursday.”  However, the celebration of the Ascension has been moved to Sunday to encourage a more active participation in the Feast.  With all of the new TSA rules, I guess Jesus’ flight got delayed for three days! The Ascension was prophesized by … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – May 9, 2021

Then Peter proceeded to speak and said, “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34-35) One of the most interesting scenes in the Acts of the Apostles involves a vision of St. Peter where he saw Heaven opened and something like a large sheet coming down containing all the earth’s four-legged animals, reptiles and birds of the sky.  A voice told Peter to “slaughter and eat.”  Since many of the animals were considered “ritually unclean” according to the Levitical law, Peter refused to eat, saying “I have never eaten anything profane and unclean.” The voice responded, “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.”  This vision happened three times. On one hand, this vision is the … [Read more...]