Today’s Gospel tells us to “stand tall and raise your heads” and pay attention to the signs of the times, so that we might be ready when the Lord comes. The images in the Gospel can be frightening – signs in the heavens, the shaking of the earth, the roaring of the sea – and one way to respond to these could be to lock our doors, hide under our blankets, and mistrust strangers who come our way.READ MORE
I once got out of a traffic ticket because I remembered the altar boy’s first response to the priest in the traditional Latin Mass. It comes from Psalm 43: “I will unto the altar of God. To God, who gives joy to my youth.” That is how the Mass began: responding to a call to the altar. An altar call is a tradition in some Christian churches in which those who wish to make a new spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ are invited to come forward publicly. It is tempting to see this as something done only in Protestant churches and yet, for the past several weeks, we have been doing the very same thing in our communion procession. Now we all come to the altar to receive the Eucharist or a blessing. Our “Amen” affirms our belief in the real presence and a renewal of our own spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ. Today after the homily you will receive a special invitation to come to the altar to place your Stewardship Commitment card in a basket. Too often stewardship is seen only as a monetary contribution rather than a fuller service commitment of time and talent as well. It is for this reason that I am asking you to make this special trip to the altar today as a symbol of your love of and ongoing commitment to St. Francis Xavier parish and GodREAD MORE
Humility and gratitude are two virtues that stand out for me in the gospel of today.
Jesus speaks strongly to the religious leadership of the day. The scribes and Pharisees are hypocrites in that they preach one thing and do another. Love God and love one's neighbor is the one commandment that sums up the Jewish tradition. The scribes and Pharisees are only looking after themselves and even makREAD MORE