Archive for July, 2017

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 23, 2017

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

On Father’s Day of this year, a woman waiting in the drive-thru at a McDonald’s in Scottsburg, IN, noticed in the car behind her a man buying some Happy Meals for his children. To wish the man a happy Father’s Day, she decided to pay for his entire purchase. And so began an unbroken chain of 167 drive-thru customers paying for the people waiting in line behind them. The chain was broken only when the restaurant had to close for the night.

It’s a heartwarming story that makes us smile. On closer examination, however, it wasn’t much of a challenge for the people in those cars. After all, everybody was being kind to everybody else. It would be a different story, I think, if a customer paid for the Happy Meals of the kids who were throwing things at her car; if someone bought dinner for the woman who honked at him to move up in the line; or if a person paid for all the orders coming from the bus transporting inmates from the local prison.

We might dream of a world where everybody is kind to everybody else but the reality is that the kind and the unkind, the good and the bad, the wheat and the weeds, we all live together, constantly interacting with and affecting the lives of one another. In a way, we could say that the wheat need the weeds because they challenge us to be our best selves—the people God wants us to be, faithful disciples of Christ. How can we learn forgiveness if there are no people who have sinned against us? How can learn mercy if there are no people deserving of punishment? How can we learn Christian love if there are no people who look on us with contempt? How can we learn selfless generosity if there are no people who take without giving anything in return? How can we learn humility if there are no people who remind us of our shortcomings—who remind us of the fact that we are both wheat and weed?

see Matthew 12:24-30

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 9, 2017

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

There are probably some people here who, having received holy communion, will not chew the host but insist on allowing it to dissolve in the mouth. That’s because years ago, some Catholic children were taught that chewing a host was disrespectful to the body of Christ.

So much of who we are today was formed by our childhood. So many of our current beliefs, attitudes, and values—good or bad—can be traced directly back to what we learned from our parents or some other parental figure: Do we remember to say “please” and “thank you”? Do we vote in every election? Do we take leftover food home from the restaurant or do we leave it to be thrown in the garbage?

But without the influence of adults, little children are a clean slate, free to approach the world and other people with an innocent ignorance of what might be inhabiting the minds of people who are much older. For example, have you ever noticed that little children do not see the color of other little children’s skin, or if they do see it, it doesn’t mean anything to them? They are able to laugh and play and have fun with whoever wants to laugh and play and have fun. If we were all little children, we just might be able to get along with everybody else, regardless of place of origin, language, culture, or religion.

Jesus praises God for revealing to little ones what he has hidden from the wise and the learned. We are not slaves of the past. If, at some point in the past, we have learned to be prejudiced, to be people who look down on, reject, or despise those who are different from us, we can, with God’s help, unlearn it and see the truth that little ones already know: we are all the same.

see Matthew 11:25-30

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 2, 2017

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Who’s the most important person in your life?

If you said Jesus, I’m not sure I believe you. I think that not many people anywhere would honestly be able to say that. Instead, most people would probably list father or mother, son or daughter, spouse or friend—making most people, according to what Jesus says in our gospel, unworthy of him. But even if there are people here who could honestly say that they love Jesus more than anyone else, they would still be unworthy of Jesus. And that is because absolutely everyone is a sinner and is therefore unworthy of Jesus. No one is exempt from saying those words we say at every mass: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.”

Note that our unworthiness does not exclude us from friendship with Jesus. If Jesus called only those who were worthy of him, the number of apostles would be exactly zero. As unworthy as we are, Jesus wants us to be with him, to follow him and to walk with him in all our unworthiness. We should never be afraid to approach him, in our sadness or in our joy, with our prayers of petition or prayers of thanksgiving.

Nor should we ever stop trying to be more worthy of him, particularly by showing mercy and compassion to those who, because of their sinfulness or simply because of the scorn and judgment of others, are made to feel unworthy of God’s love.

see Matthew 10:37-42

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 25, 2017

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Think of the people who know you best in the whole world. They might include a spouse, some friends, maybe a brother or sister. But do those people really know everything about you—or are they missing a few facts? Now it doesn’t have to be something dark or evil. Maybe what they don’t know—what you haven’t told them—is an embarrassing incident that happened in college or your real favorite movie, not the one that you tell everyone is your favorite movie. But I would guess that there is no one who knows absolutely everything about us. After all, we don’t even know everything about us.

But God knows. That’s what Jesus is saying in our gospel when he says that “Even all the hairs of your head are counted.” Even if we wanted to keep some information from God, we would not be able to do it. There is nothing hidden from God’s eyes. God knows what makes us happy and what makes us sad. God knows what excites us and what scares us. God knows everything we hope to do and everything we wish we had never done. And yes, God knows our struggles, our weaknesses, our failures, and our sins.

While God’s knowledge of us is amazing, what is most amazing of all is that God knows absolutely everything about us—and still loves us. There is nothing that God knows about us that can prevent God from loving us. God might want us to change some things about us—there is a very high probability of that—but change is not a condition for God’s love.

Whatever God knows about us, whether good or bad, is not as important as what is in God’s heart.

see Matthew 10:26-33

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm