Archive for July, 2015

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 26, 2015

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Probably almost everybody here has at one time or another said or written to somebody else, “Take care of yourself,” or its abbreviated version, “Take care.” Of course, we would never think of lengthening that piece of advice to “Take care of yourself—and nobody else.” But I think that sometimes we all follow that advice or something similar to it.

Focusing just on our own needs or the needs of those close to us seems natural, and it’s easy to justify: we do it out of love or a concern for someone’s health or well-being; we’ve earned it with hard work or deserve it because of suffering; it’s necessary because our resources are limited and we have to prioritize.

Think for a moment, though, about a character in our gospel story—and I don’t mean Jesus, who, as we all already know, not only miraculously fed five thousand people but also gave himself up to death for our salvation. The person I’d like you to think about is the boy with the five loaves and two fish. Surely he was just as hungry as the other people there. What if he had decided to keep his food for himself? Or what if he had been saving that food for his family at home? No one could blame him for being unwilling to share.

But it was only because of the boy’s generosity, his willingness to focus not just on his needs and the needs of those close to him, that Jesus was able to perform a miracle for everyone. If we all could be more generous in sharing what we have—our time, our talent, our treasure—there is no telling what great things the Lord would be able to do for our parish, our Church, our community, our world.

see John 6:1-15

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 19, 2015

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

You may have heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” That’s true whether we are going on a job interview (something I hope I never have to do again), meeting the parents of a significant other (something I certainly never intend to do), or celebrating a mass when there are visitors to the parish (something I actually do all the time). We try to be careful about how we dress, careful about the words we say, careful about facial expressions or even what we do with our hands or feet. After all, we want the people who encounter us to look on us kindly, favorably, positively.

I wonder, though, if we are as careful about our first impression of the people we encounter. We want people to look on us kindly, favorably, positively, but how much effort do we make to look on them kindly, favorably, positively? Based on my own experience—and I’m sure that many of you can relate to this–it is so much easier to allow that first thought about someone to be a criticism: “he’s rude”; “she’s crazy”; “he can’t drive”; “she doesn’t know how to raise children.”

When Jesus looked out over the crowd that had followed him to a place he thought was deserted, making it impossible for him to get the peace and quiet for which he obviously longed, he didn’t say, “These are stupid people who don’t know how to take a hint” or “These are annoying people who won’t leave me alone.” Instead, “his heart was moved with pity for them”: he looked on them with love, seeing them as sheep in need of a shepherd’s care–sheep in need of his care.

It is surely Jesus’ hope that we try to look on others more kindly, favorably, positively, lovingly–just as Jesus always tries to look on us.

see Mark 6:30-34

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 5, 2015

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Imagine: people have done terrible things to us or to those close to us—and someone says we have to forgive them.

Imagine: we’ve worked hard in order to be successful, to have nice things and to enjoy a certain standard of living—and someone says all that success, those nice things and that standard of living don’t count for much.

Imagine: there are people who have obviously not worked as hard as we have, who are taking advantage of other people’s generosity—and someone says we have to be generous to them.

Imagine: we think we are good people—certainly just as good if not better than the people around us—and someone says there are still a lot of changes we need to make in the way we live.

Imagine: we’re proud to be independent, in charge of our own lives—and someone says we have to follow another’s commands, we’re not free to do as we please.

That Jesus can be very offensive. But the question is, do we take offense at Jesus’ words—or do we take those words to heart? May we who are his sisters and brothers—and not just his fellow townspeople—honor him by receiving his words with joy and, what is more important, putting them into practice.

see Mark 6:1-6a

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm