From the Pastor – August 12, 2018

The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph?  Do we not know his father and mother?  Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. (Jn 6:41-44)As I mentioned over the last two weekends, the Gospel this Sunday is a continuation of the 6th Chapter of John’s Gospel.  Two weeks ago we heard about the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes.  Last week we heard Jesus raise the bar and describe Himself as the “Bread from Heaven,” calling to mind the manna from heaven of the Exodus.  This Sunday Jesus starts facing … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 5, 2018

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.  And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” (Jn 6:24-29)Beginning last weekend on the 17th Sunday of the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 29, 2018

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.  When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.  When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” (Jn 6:11-14)If you regularly attend Mass in Good Shepherd Parish, you know that it is rare when I don’t mention the Blessed Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in a homily.  Since Mass is divided into two parts, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, I want my … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 15, 2018

In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ. (Eph. 1:11-12)The readings for this Sunday are about the idea of “mission.”  The word “mission” comes from the Latin verb “mittere,” which means “to send out.”  The obvious “sending out” in this week's Gospel is Jesus sending out the Apostles.  In fact, the word “apostle” literally means “those sent out” in Greek.  The Apostles are sent out on a “mission.”  And the idea of “mission” is part of the continuing work of the Church.  Every year we have a “mission appeal” in the parish, where we hear about the mission of the church in different countries. However, the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 8, 2018

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished.They said, “Where did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him.Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”  He was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mk 6:1-2a, 3b, 4,6))The most obvious reading in the Gospel today is that his own people did not recognize Jesus, the Messiah. But there's also something deeper going on, and it has to do with our worldview. We are called to view everything in our lives not simply through our natural eyes but through the eyes of faith. When we look at a sunrise we can see it … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 1, 2018

The woman [healed from her hemorrhage], realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” (Mk 5:33-34)The interesting thing about the healing of the woman with the hemorrhage in the Gospel this weekend is how it happens.  Jesus doesn’t actually “do” anything positive to heal the woman.  She took the initiative to touch his clothes, and the power of Jesus healed her.  Jesus knew that “power” (His healing power) had gone out of Him, but the healing came about through her faith in Him.What a wonderful message for us!  Since we don’t live at the time when we can actually see the incarnate Lord face-to-face, we … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – June 24, 2018

All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, "What, then, will this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel. (Lk 1:66, 80)The life of John the Baptist is a preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ, and the circumstances of his birth are miraculous. In Luke’s Gospel, John’s parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, were without children and beyond the age of child-bearing.  During Zechariah's time of priestly service in the Temple in Jerusalem, he is chosen to offer incense in the Holy Place.  While there, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him and announced that he and his wife will give birth to a child, and that they shall name him John.  However, … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – June 3, 2018

While they were eating, He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.”  (Mk 14:22-24)Today’s Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ  (“Corpus Christi” in Latin) is a fairly recent addition to the Church calendar, dating from only the 13th century.  We know that the Body and Blood of Christ are present at every Mass, but this special feast to honor the Body and Blood of Christ owes its existence to the petitions of a Belgium nun named Juliana of Liège from the 13th century. From a young age, Juliana had a great love for the Blessed Sacrament and longed for a special … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – May 27, 2018

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:16-20)Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. In the early days of the Church there was no special day to honor the Holy Trinity, but that changed in the 3rd century when the Church was confronted with one of the first great heresies: Arianism. Although this heresy would seem … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – May 13, 2018

Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. (Mark 16:19-20)Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension, which is the elevation of Christ into heaven by His own power in the presence of His disciples. In Sacred Scripture, this occurred on the fortieth day after the Resurrection – which was actually last Thursday, traditionally called “Ascension Thursday.” However, the celebration of the Ascension has been moved to Sunday to encourage a more active participation in the Feast. With all of the new TSA rules, I guess Jesus’ flight got delayed for three days!The Ascension was prophesized by Christ’s … [Read more...]