Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I. Is 50:5-9a
Reading II. Jas 2:14-18
Gospel Mk 8:27-35
If today was a celebrated feast of the Church it should be called 'Rubber meets the Road' Sunday. Let me explain.
In our first reading from the prophet Isaiah we get a glimpse of the Suffering Servant who is beaten, beard plucked, buffeted and spat upon but will not rebel against his God who sent him but rather declares "The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced;I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame." Jesus greatly Identified his mission with the prophecies of Isaiah and it is on this occasion that it was 'rubber meets the road' time for his disciples; two questions: Who do people say that I am?” “But who do you say that I am?”
The 'but' at the beginning of the second questions indicated that a different answer was expected between 'the people' and 'YOU' (disciples), "You are the Christ" Peter responded, only to show later on that he did not link "the Christ" with the Suffering Servant. This lead to Jesus' discourse on faith and discipleship.
Faith requires a complete change of mindset. Peter is scolded for "thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
Discipleship requires “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me."
Deny him/herself - this means to think/love like God, which is loving and serving others not ourselves. We live in a society of self absorption and that has been the root cause of all that plagues us. I swear there are many people who will run out of letter 'I's in their lifetime; that's all they speak of.
Take up the Cross - I've often had to preach "a Christian without a Cross...ain't". We would rather hear prosperity gospels and blessings of thousand-fold rewards rather than the cross. I don't like suffering, I don't do it well but if 'the Christ' didn't deny his own cross then who am I? I have to place my trust in the Father's love as he did.
Follow me - yes, it means to copy his example but it also literally means to stay behind him as HE leads. Jesus does not send us out where he would not go or not be with us
Discipleship requires faith just as faith produces discipleship quite like James 'faith' and 'works' we heard in the second reading. They are not mutually exclusive.
F.A.I.T.H ‐ Forsaking All I Trust Him.
But who do you say that I am? The answer changes everything.
Happy 'Rubber meets the Road' Sunday.
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Reading 1 - DN 7:13-14
Reading 2 - RV 1:5-8
Gospel - JN 18:33B-37
The world was vastly changed and still changing in 1925. Not yet 10 years removed from the end of the first World War, the Communist Revolution in Russia and a rise in the nationalistic right wing nationalism propaganda in parts of Europe.
In the light of all this, Pope Pius XI looked at the centrality of Christ and established the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe.
In the New World, in neighboring Mexico, the President, Calles and his Administration, sought to suppress the power and influence of the Catholic Church and in 1926 the Cristero War began with its marching slogan 'Viva Cristo Rey!' (Long live Christ the King!). over 50,000 men, women and children would be killed before the termination of the suppression in 1929.
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading 1: DT 6:2-6
Reading 2: HEB 7:23-28
Gospel: MK 12:28B-34
"You are not far from the kingdom of God." Jesus said to the scribe and with this declaration he gave us a good yardstick to measure how close or how far we are.
Their discussion centered on the Shema which is an affirmation of Judaism and a declaration of faith in one God. The obligation to recite the Shema is separate from the obligation to pray and a Jew is obligated to say Shema in the morning and at night (Deut. 6:7).
Thus the scribe asked Jesus what was the first of all commandments and Jesus replied, "The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
But then he bookended it with a second taken from Lv 19:18:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these."
And there is our yardstick: love of God and love of neighbor.
We show our love of God in loving our neighbor and we love our neighbor because we love God. We cannot say we love God and hate our neighbor.
1 John: 20-21 If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
So we can say "Lord, Lord...Jesus, Jesus" all we want but unless our heart is turned toward our neighbor it will be for nothing and don't ask "who is my neighbor?" Jesus has heard that one before.
How do you measure up? What is your attitude toward the poor, the marginalized, people who don't look, speak or even pray like you do?
I know I have work to do myself but Lord by your grace I can do it. May the Lord say that we "are not far from the kingdom of God.
Hear, O Israel!
To distill: To increase the concentration of, separate, or purify a substance by distillation.
Whether it's liquids, concepts or ideas the final result is concentrated purity and as I quietly enjoy a finely distilled single malt scotch on this Christmas Eve my thoughts go not on the liquor but on the day we've all been looking forward to celebrate: Christmas.
On November 25, 1980 two of the greatest fighters of their era stepped into a boxing ring in Louisiana in a highly anticipated showdown. Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard were expected to deliver a boxing classic, but something incredible happened in the eight round: Duran quit! He simply said 'No mas' and walked away, leaving the boxing world stunned. It was that he was hurt or being badly beaten, in fact he only trailed by 1 or 2 points on the judges scorecard, it seemed that the fight had just gone out of him...
Pope Francis declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy with his Papal Bull of Indiction ‘Misericordiae Vultus’. He sets the tone immediately with the opening line ‘Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy’. As we begin the Sacred Triduum I want you to reflect on those words and its meaning on our lives. I want you to understand and fully realize what it means to be disciple of Christ.
‘Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy’. Today, the Church celebrates that mercy in commemorating the mystery of the Eucharist and the institution of the priesthood, and to fulfill his desire to serve one another.
What a year 2014! A year in which I was out of a job for 7 months and then suffered heart attacks recently which led to angioplasty procedures and stents being inserted.
One might be inclined to say to me "you had a rough year" but it really didn't feel so. Why?..
As we celebrate Thanksgiving today let us always be mindful that every good grace comes from God. In our Catholic tradition, thanksgiving is not restricted to a special holiday but everyday, every moment.
Eucharist comes from the Greek 'eucharístia' which means 'gratitude' or 'thanksgiving'. So for over 2000 years we have been called to be a Eucharistic people, giving thanks to God for the gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ.
Sadly many only associate Thanksgiving with 'Black Friday' shopping, football, and an opportunity to indulge and satisfy the carnal just as we can reduce the Eucharist to mere ritual without substantial thought or awareness on what we are celebrating. We are on the verge of losing our attitude of gratitude in a 'me-first' world.
So today as you celebrate take time and truly give thanks. Look around you. You are blessed more than you think.
I have much to be thankful for: life, love and especially you. Everything else is secondary.
Happy Thanksgiving! TGBTG! Peace.
"God give me patience and give me now!"
This pretty much sums up my impatient nature. I don't like waiting, I find it causes anxiety. Even waiting on God. That is a problem...
As a young boy and through my late teen years I suffered with grand mal seizures and my mother quickly observed that whenever I got too excited it would trigger an episode. Christmas and my birthday In particular were events in which I got so excited that she would allow me to open one present the night before so that I would lessen the excitement.. Perhaps it's those efforts to suppress excitement that lead to a false perception that I am so 'cool' , that I don't get flustered or excited about anything....
Hi, welcome to my weekly blog. I'm deacon Michel and I love blogging and the healthy exchange of constructive ideas. Now my mind has been known to wander on a million different things all at once so don't be surprised at what you find here. I often scratch my head and go 'Huh?' at my own thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts with me.
This blog reflects MY ongoing Christian journey: insights gained through the Holy Spirit, my experiences, my studies, my relationships. The content of this website is solely that of Deacon Michel du Chaussee, and does not represent the Archdiocese of Miami or any other entity of the Roman Catholic Church in any official capacity. Needless to say, I hope that none of my writings are contrary to the doctrines of faith and morals that are reflected in Sacred Tradition or as taught and guarded by the Magisterium of the Church or to the truths of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
For I take seriously what a very wise man has often said to me:
"Ordination is not license for private practice" - Msgr. A. Andersen