From the Pastor – September 9, 2018

They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” (Mk  7:37)Two weeks ago we finished reading the 6th chapter of John’s Gospel, called the “Bread of Life” discourse. It’s a break that we experience each year during the normal reading of Mark’s Gospel, and it’s meant to point directly to what Jesus gives us in the Holy Eucharist each time we participate in Holy Communion. Now we are back to reading the Gospel according to Mark.Out of all of the Gospels, Mark’s is the shortest, and is likely to have been the first written. However, it often tells the story of the ministry Jesus in more vivid detail than either Matthew or Luke. Mark stresses Jesus’ message about the kingdom of God breaking into human life as good … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – September 2, 2018

He summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand.  Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” (Mk 7:15)If there’s one thing in the world we don’t like, it’s hypocrisy. I remember sitting next to a man on an airplane one time.  When he saw that I was a priest in clerics, he was initially very courteous. He said he was Catholic and spoke about being involved in the Church when he was younger. As our conversation continued, he began to spend a lot of time criticizing the Catholic Church, particularly it’s teachings on marriage and sexuality, a male priesthood, and the “hierarchy.”  After listening for a while, I asked him where he went to church at the moment. He responded: “Oh, … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 26, 2018

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” (Jn 6:66-69)This Sunday we complete our five week Eucharistic study of the 6th Chapter of John’s Gospel.  Four weeks ago we heard about the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes – earthly food.  Three weeks ago we heard Jesus describe Himself as the “bread from Heaven,” calling to mind the manna sent from heaven to nourish the Israelites in their Exodus in the desert.  Two weeks ago Jesus starts facing detractors; but instead of backing down, He … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 19, 2018

“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day." (Jn 6:53-54)As I mentioned over the last three weekends, the Gospel this Sunday is a continuation of the 6th Chapter of John’s Gospel. Three weeks ago we heard about the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. Two weeks ago we heard Jesus raise the bar and describe Himself as the “bread from Heaven,” calling to mind the manna from heaven of the Exodus. Last Sunday Jesus starts facing detractors, people who rejected his audacious claims, and He “upped the ante” by describing Himself as the means by which we have access to the Father.  This week, things get even … [Read more...]

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...]