Archive for November, 2015

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 15, 2015

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

We’ve all seen this—but certainly not at our own tables: couples or whole families eating together but not conversing, faces instead buried in electronic devices. Or how about the people walking down the street but seeming to pay no attention to where they are going, faces, again, buried in electronic devices.

Today in our gospel Jesus tells us to watch for the signs that the world is coming to an end. But I have to wonder what would happen if the world came to an end—and people didn’t know it. Of course, it’s not just people who are obsessed with electronic devices who can be caught unaware of what is happening around them. We all can be so distracted by the many elements of our lives, good and bad— social activities, medical issues, home maintenance, children, work, relationships, even the practice of our faith—that we can find ourselves living in a bubble, unaware of what is going on outside that bubble.

As Christians, we must be aware of what is going on outside that bubble, down the street, across town, on the other side of the country, on the other side of the planet. We can’t just be concerned with what is of importance or interest to us: we are responsible for the whole earth, what Pope Francis calls “our common home,” and all who dwell in it—our sisters and brothers. If we don’t know anything about them, how can we serve their needs?

No one knows the day or the hour when the world will end. Until that time, we should open our eyes and our ears and make the effort to know what is happening in that world, whether near or far, whether good or bad, that we may be more prepared to answer God’s call to serve.

see Mark 13:24-32

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

All Saints, November 1, 2015

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Certainly there was a lot of controversy surrounding the decision of Pope Francis to canonize Father Junipero Serra on September 23 of this year. Critics of the Franciscan priest who founded nine of the Spanish missions here in California during the 1700s still say that Fr. Serra’s sinfulness outweighed his holiness, that even if he personally did not abuse any of the native people the Franciscans came to convert to Catholicism, he at least encouraged or tolerated the mistreatment that undoubtedly occurred.

But just as some people may find it hard to believe that Fr. Serra was a saint, we may find it hard to believe some of our own relatives and friends are saints. With what we know about their troubled histories and annoying personalities, their bad choices and their shameful weaknesses, it may be difficult to imagine these relatives and friends among the blessed in heaven.

And yet it is true: because of the mercy of God, a mercy that is totally beyond our human capacity or understanding, even relatives and friends who may seem the least likely candidates for sainthood are included in that “great multitude, which no one [can] count, from every race, nation, people, and tongue.” With saints recognized by the whole Church, as well as relatives and friends whose holiness was less questionable, these imperfect relatives and friends stand before the throne of God, ready to receive our prayers and ready to intercede on our behalf. As imperfect as we all are, may we someday be blessed to join them.

see Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm