Archive for July, 2016

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 17, 2016

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Being a parent is a tough job. I see that especially when I look at my brothers raising their children or when I think back on everything that my parents went through with my siblings and me. I don’t think I could do it. But even if parenting is not my gift, I can do other things—like give a homily at mass.

Everybody has gifts from God, gifts that could include writing, running, cooking, counseling, consoling, public speaking, speaking foreign languages, speaking the truth, making money, making people laugh, making music, making friends. But my gift is not necessarily your gift and your gift is not necessarily my gift. It’s important for us to make the effort to recognize and appreciate the gifts God has given us, as they are signs to us of God’s goodness, signs of the love that God has for each one of us, as well as the means by which, through the power of God, we can serve the needs of one another and the church.

When we don’t recognize and appreciate our gifts, we can grow jealous and resentful of others, believing that we are somehow shortchanged, victims of injustice. Martha had a gift for hospitality and Mary a gift for listening. Martha would have been much more content if she had been able to recognize and appreciate both of those gifts.

see Luke 10:38-42

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 26, 2016

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

People are willing to do anything for family members: work long hours or more than one job to provide for them; take care of them during a debilitating illness; drive them around like their own personal taxi service; sit through their boring performances and games they lose; support them as they pursue dreams that are not necessarily their dreams for them.

But I wonder what we are willing to do for another family of ours—the family of God, our church community. How much of our time, our energy, our financial resources, our heart and our soul are we willing to give to the members of that family?

Jesus seems a little harsh, a little insensitive in our gospel reading today. But he’s not saying that our families don’t matter. What he’s saying is that the families that normally surround us–consisting of parents, children, spouses, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins—cannot be the only families that matter to us. Through baptism we became members of God’s family and God expects us to look after it as much as we look after those other families. Even if we do an admirable job of serving the needs of those at home, our service to God will be inadequate if we leave the members of our church community in need.

The church is not just a building we visit briefly on weekends. It is the family of God—and our family. If we are truly following Jesus on the way to God’s kingdom, the family of God, the church community, must be at least as important to us as our own families—and we have to show it is important by what we do.

see Luke 9:51-62

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 19, 2016

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

I exercise regularly—but I wouldn’t say I like it. That’s because exercise causes suffering and I don’t like to suffer. But as anyone who is serious about working out—either for personal health or athletic training—can tell you, if you’re not tired, if you’re not sweating, if you’re not pushing yourself to the point where you want to stop, you’re probably doing it wrong, or not enough.

For some people, Jesus is nothing more than a super-nice guy who heals the sick and forgives sinners, who teaches his followers to love one another and live in peace with everyone. Who wouldn’t want to be the disciple of someone like this? But there is much more to who Jesus is—and consequently, much more to who we, as his disciples, are called to be.

Speaking of himself in today’s gospel, Jesus says, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed.” If we are truly his disciples, we must be like him, willing to take up our crosses daily and lose our lives for his sake. If we are truly Jesus’ disciples, we have to be willing to give up generous amounts of time, energy, money, pleasure not only for the benefit of family members and friends but also total strangers, from whom we may never receive acknowledgement or thanks. If we are truly Jesus’ disciples, we have to be willing to forget past hurts and the desire for what we perceive to be justice, willing to love those we hate, as well as those who will never love us. If we are truly Jesus’ disciples, we have to be willing to leave behind any ambition for human power, wealth, or honor, instead putting God first and seeking his kingdom before anything else.

Jesus doesn’t want us to be miserable. Following him can bring immense joy. But discipleship also means sacrifice, and that’s painful. If, in living the life of a disciple, we are always feeling good, we’re probably doing it wrong, or not enough.

see Luke 9:18-24

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm