Archive for October, 2016

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 2, 2016

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Tuesday, November 1—All Saints Day– is the next holy day of obligation—but many of you will not be here for mass. There are probably a number of reasons why church attendance on holy days of obligation is not what the clergy would hope it would be, but I think one reason is the ugly name “holy day of obligation.” Things that we do out of obligation are usually things we don’t want to do but we do anyway in order to avoid some penalty or punishment: we’re obligated to pay taxes every year; we’re obligated to stop at a red light before making a right turn; we’re obligated to take certain classes before we can graduate; we’re obligated to return to work after being on vacation; we’re obligated to use these prayers for mass even though they are strange and grammatically incorrect.

But the truth is that while Jesus talks about “unprofitable servants” who do only what they are obliged to do, I’m not sure that we are even at the level of those unprofitable servants when it comes to living our faith as Catholic Christians. For example, how many of us readily and regularly follow Jesus’ command that we forgive our enemies? How many of us readily and regularly serve the poor, seeing Jesus in the least of his sisters and brothers? How many of us readily and regularly avoid judging others, lest we ourselves be judged? These are all obligations but it seems to me that most of us, if not all of us, fail to meet them.

In my opinion, those unprofitable servants are not so bad. Of course, Jesus hopes that we become something better, that we do more than what we are obliged to do. But at least those servants did what their master expected of them. And I think that is a goal to which we all can aspire.

see Luke 17:5-10

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 25, 2016

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Scientists have yet to find a way to make human beings disappear, but that doesn’t mean a lot of people don’t feel invisible. Consider:

  • The homeless man pushing his cart loaded with belongings on the busy city sidewalk
  • The refugees huddled in a boat on the sea, not knowing if they will ever make it to land—or the kind of reception they will get there
  • The kid who is different, sitting alone but surrounded by others in the noisy school cafeteria
  • The elderly people propped up in wheelchairs along the corridor of a convalescent hospital
  • The janitor silently emptying the garbage cans as employees talk of the latest technological advances
  • The beggar sitting on the street corner, watching all the well-dressed people hurrying to their next appointments
  • The abused spouse trapped in her own home
  • The farm laborers working along the highway in the hot summer sun

As the dramatic story of Lazarus makes clear to us, no one who feels invisible is invisible to God, who sees every face, every tear; who hears every prayer, who suffers every wound.

Also visible to God, as our story makes clear, is our response—or lack of response—to those who feel invisible.

see Luke 16:19-31