Showing posts from June, 2022

Loaves and Fishes

  “Give them some food yourselves.” Jesus’ words to his disciples were surprising, challenging, and seemingly impossible. They responded as most of us would have, taking a quick inventory of their resources and realizing their limitations. In making such an outrageous suggestion Jesus was trying to get his students to live by faith not by sight. As St. Paul would often refer to in his letters, Jesus was trying to get the disciple to be transformed by a renewal of their minds (Rom. 12:2), to no longer behave like unspiritual men, but as spiritually minded disciples (1 Cor. 2:14-16). It is important to keep in mind when the feeding of the multitude took place. Sunday’s reading was taken from Luke 9:10-17. Leading up to this event, the disciples had witness Jesus calming the storm (Luke 8:22-25), a woman healed just by touching is garment (Luke 8:43-48) and Jesus raising a girl from the dead (Luke 8:49-56). Furthermore, the disciples had just returned to Jesus after he had sent them out

Boasting in Afflictions

 “Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Rom. 5:4-5, Second Reading for Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, 6/12/22) Paul speaks of boasting in our afflictions, elsewhere he makes a point that we should boast of our weakness (2 Cor. 11:30, 12:5, 12:9). It seems so countercultural to boast in what we cannot do or over situations that look more like failure than success. We want to herald our victories and revel in our strengths. But in the upside-down nature the Kingdom of God, we are called to embrace the very things that seem to disqualify us in the eyes of the world. This was true of the Twelve that Jesus chose: poor and uneducated fishermen, an outcast tax collector, and a political extremist. As the saying goes, “God doesn

Secret Menu Items

Have you received the Sacrament of Confirmation? Did you know that the Catholic Church teaches that when we are confirmed we are receiving the same grace and outpouring of the Holy Spirit that the disciples received on the first Pentecost? In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes it clear that Confirmation “perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church.” (CCC 1288, 1302) The Catechism also uses that terminology to describe how the Mass perpetuates Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. (CCC 611, 1323) That’s powerful when you stop and think about it. Many of us are familiar with the idea that the sacrifice of the Mass, through the Sacrament of the Eucharist, is representing Jesus’ work on the cross; that is, at every Mass we are being reconnected to the one event of Calvary. It is significant that the Church uses the same verb, perpetuate, when describing what happens in the Sacrament of Confirmation. We receive the same Spirit, the same outpouring, the same grace, as the first