Author: strose

Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,

Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.

He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.

— Luke 13:12-13

The peace of the Lord be with you. Today’s reading from Luke says volumes about Jesus and the mercy of God. Jesus recognizes the torment and suffering of one of those he was called to save and rescue. Even though it is the Sabbath, he recognizes that this is something that needs to be dealt with right away. Once again the officials criticize him for doing this on the Sabbath. He points out to them that there are times when there are things that need to be done — you wouldn’t neglect one of your animals on the Sabbath.

This passage also reflects that Jesus is trying to let them know that he is the Son of God by these actions of healing. He also makes a link between this action and the salvation handed down through Abraham and those sent before him. Throughout all of history God has never stopped reaching out to us, offering us his love, offering us his healing, and inviting us to the freedom of his way of life.

May the grace of God allow us to set our priorities properly, hear his voice, and share his love with those around us. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Monday, October 26, 2020

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A little joke written by Noah Hart:

Carpooling to work, a man got increasingly stressed with each trip. After a week of panic attacks, he went to the doctor. “I’m fine on the bridges, in the traffic and even in the dark after a long day,” the man explained. “But when I go through tunnels with those four other guys, I feel like I’m gonna explode. Am I crazy?” “Not at all,” the doc said. “You just have CARPOOL TUNNEL SYNDROME.”

I know, another stupid joke! But I picked this one to emphasize the point that we all might get to the point that we might panic when life hits us hard, and things simply do not make sense to us.

In our first reading from Exodus, we hear of the people Israel being at the base of Mount Sinai. There they accept the challenge to serve God, who alone has delivered them from captivity and protected them thus far along their journey to the promised land. They are reminded of how good God is to them — and even though they were considered aliens in the land of Egypt — they are now the Chosen children of God, and will receive His generosity and protection. Because of this, they all must promise (make a Covenant) with God to protect the less fortunate of the family of God, namely the widow and the orphan, those who had no one to otherwise provide for them. This responsibility is seen as vital in the eyes of God, and if someone does not do what is expected, it would be a reason for them to panic.

So, we skip ahead in time, and we find Jesus, within the Gospel of Matthew, who always likes a little controversy. Jesus had just silenced the Sadducees, and we see a group of Pharisees hanging around in the temple courtyard discussing which Law of the Covenant was the most important — something they did on a regular basis — and look who they catch walking nearby, this one they call Jesus, let’s see what he has to say about this question.

Jesus looks at them with pity, seeing that they not only should have known, but also be the ones who sets the example for others to follow.

A little history — Judaism believed that, in addition to the Torah, Moses also received from God 613 oral laws. 248 positive ones and 365 negative ones.

So, a scholar of the law, a scribe, tests Jesus regarding which law is the greatest. Jesus does not just have an opinion, he does the obvious thing, he quotes scripture: 

Deuteronomy 6:5…

Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord our God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your strength.

and Leviticus 19:18…

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Once Jesus combined these two teachings, the scribe along with the Pharisees had reason to panic. Everything made sense! Their hypocrisy was made apparent.

This became solid orthodoxy for not only Judaism, but also for Matthew’s Jewish Christian community.

My brothers and sisters, simply keep this Golden Rule as the Law of your lives, and there will be no reason to panic. And, if for some reason you do — do not worry, you too might just have CARPOOL TUNNEL SYNDROME.

Readings for Sunday, October 25, 2020

Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.

The peace of the Lord be with you. Most of us spend a small amount of time each day cleaning and putting things back in their proper place so our homes are a pleasant place for us and those who stop by.

Today Jesus reminds us it is important to keep our spiritual homes in order as well. You may be thinking how do I keep my spiritual home in order? It is really simple and does not take much time. Spend some time with scripture, spend sometime in prayer or sacred silence, say grace before a meal, be of service to others, and at the conclusion of each day do a brief examination of conscience. Keep it simple. None of these actions need to be drawn out or time consuming — God appreciates our intent. Blessings. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Tuesday, October 23, 2020

Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’

Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.

The peace of the Lord be with you. We are material beings living in the material world, so material things are not necessarily bad in and of themselves. The difficulty with material things is when we start to make them the treasures of our heart and let them rule our lives.

Jesus reminds us today that our truest treasures are the ones that don’t take up physical space but that create eternal joy. So today let us enjoy the good things that surround us, but more importantly let is immerse ourselves in the way of God which gives us true freedom, peace of mind, and life everlasting. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Monday, October 19, 2020

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our readings throughout this week and for this weekend have caused me to think a lot about the soul and Jesus as the physician of our souls. Many of the Gospel readings this last week describe tensions between Jesus and the various religious leaders because there were differences between what they were teaching or expecting of others, but not practicing themselves. Jesus describes them as hypocrites and other not so flattering terms. I do not think Jesus is doing this to be cruel, but to diagnose an ailment or ailments that had infected them at the level of their soul. 

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church our souls are the most important and lasting part of ourselves. Our souls are created and given to us directly by God at the moment of our conception. It is our soul that makes us most like the image of God. Our soul is immortal; it does not die when our bodies die. Our soul is what gives life to our bodies. It is our soul that will be reunited with our body at the final Resurrection. Sacraments like baptism and confirmation imprint on the soul the indelible character that consecrates us for the worshipping of God.

For something that is so important and so precious, how often do we give much thought to our soul’s health? Do we stop to think about how our soul has been or is being effected by the conditions of this world, particularly now, with so much uncertainty and division? Today our Gospel tells us that Jesus looks into, is concerned about, and offers healing for our souls. Do you hear Jesus calling to you through your conscience? Through his love he offers us not only a diagnosis, but healing through scripture, liturgy, and the sacraments. Like any process of healing it may be uncomfortable, but His healing will allow us to his experience His goodness both here and in the life to come.

In closing I offer this prayer written by Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

Lord Jesus, make us realize that it is only by the frequent deaths of ourselves and our self-centered desires that we come to live more fully; for it is by dying with you that we can rise with you.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Sunday, October 18, 2020

Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus

The Lord said:

Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets 
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.

When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

— Luke 11:47-54

The peace of the Lord be with you. The last couple of days the words of Jesus seem rather harsh and stern. The message seems to consistently point out that people weren’t listening; that they were not doing the will of God. Jesus seems to be reminding them, and maybe also us, that often times we ignore the teachers that he has sent. Maybe sometimes we even become a hindrance to those trying to find God and enter his kingdom. Is Jesus doing this just for the sake of being critical? I don’t think that’s His intent.

Let us remember that Jesus was announcing the presence of the kingdom of God was in their midst. He was announcing that God wants to be in our lives and wants to build us up. In many respects Jesus is encouraging us to come back, to keep our eyes and our ears open to his word and teaching. He is saying I have been and continue to be right here with you. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Thursday, October 15, 2020

Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.

The Lord said to him,

Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.

— LK 11:37-41

The peace of the Lord be with you. In the history of psychology, probably one of the most studied topics has to do with motivation. What causes us or prompts us to do the things that we do?

Today Jesus points out that it is the state of our heart that has much to do with the way we act and interact. He invites us once again to check our motives for what we do. Are we doing something because it moves us closer to God? Are we doing something simply because it’s the way we have typically done it without really understanding why?

Jesus wants us to be careful about what motivates us. He invites us to do and to be grateful for the things that bring us in closer relationship to each other and our heavenly father.

May God grant us the grace today to move more deeply into the mystery of his love and share that goodness with those we meet. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This past week, I was on a retreat in Biddeford Pool, Maine with 15 of my brother priests of NH. One afternoon as I had some free time, I was walking on the beach, looking down I was wondering what treasures I might find that would be washed in from the waves.

It reminded me of a joke I once heard:

A man finds a magic lamp while walking down the beach. He rubs the lamp and out pops a magic genie! The genie says, I’ll grant you three wishes BUT!!! There is a catch, whatever you wish for, three of your worst enemies will receive double. After thinking long and hard about his decision the man finally answers, “I’d like a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO.” “Done” says the genie and snaps his fingers. The man instantly feels the weight of the keys in his pocket.  “I’d like $500,000 tax free” says the man. “Done” says the genie, and the man reaches into his other pocket and finds a power ball ticket. Finally, the man takes a deep breath and wishes his third and final wish. “I wish to donate a kidney!”

If you ever found a magic lamp, or won the lottery, what would you wish for? What would you do with your fortune? I know I would try to buy back the old school next door for our religious education program and our other parish activities, I would also add on to the back of St. Rose of Lima Church for better handicapped parking and entryway, and of course; storage. I would also build a food pantry and housewares storage building on the Franconia property. Don’t get me wrong, I would also take a nice vacation somewhere.

Our Scripture readings this weekend talk about “Having a second chance and having it all. 

I shall live in the House of the Lord,
all the days of my life.

What is important to you?

What do you value the most?

How best do you convey to others what you think and feel that brings eternal value to your existence?

I know these questions are difficult for our younger parishioners, but I know you too simply want to make a difference!

We can’t make a difference by ourselves; we all need the Grace of God to see clearly.

I’m sure you have all heard of the story of the little fish in the sea searching for the ocean, and the adult fish stating “you’re in it”, and the little fish stating, “No this is just the sea, I’m looking for the ocean!”

People ask me all the time, “Where is the Kingdom of God?” I always, state: “Look around, it’s right in front of you!”

Readings for Sunday, October 11, 2020

Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,

Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.

He replied,

Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.

LK 11:27-28

The peace of the Lord be with you. The truth is often simple, uncomplicated, and direct. Both the statement from the woman in the crowd and the words of Jesus are examples of such a truth.

The Blessed Virgin Mary was both blessed and a blessing for it was by her consent and by her purity that Jesus entered the world. The words of Jesus are the words of God himself, and when we observe those words — internalize them, make them our own, and live them out — we too are blessed.

May this day be gifted with a simplicity that is unobstructed by worldly concerns and allows us to be vessels that bring the wisdom, healing, and the peace of God to the place where we live.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Saturday, October 10, 2020

Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe.

But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils.

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

The peace of the Lord be with you. The kingdom of God is not and has never been divided. The power of God has never been diminished. The kingdom of God shines through the darkness and brings healing a long with reconciliation even in these times. Jesus warns us once we have been healed and reconciled we must actively seek out his way of life or our circumstances could be worse than before.

Today we are called to draw from well of grace, to walk in the way of God, to be vessels of reconciliation — who do not live in fear, but as a single people are confident that God has been, will be, and is providing for His creation. Be at peace. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Friday, October 9, 2020