Archives: July 2018

Join us this summer for inspiring music performed on the renowned Basilica organ. 
Free of charge. Free-will donations are gratefully received. 
 
Sunday, July 29, 2:00pm, Basilica
Katie Moss, Organist and handbell director at Messiah United Methodist Church in Plymouth.
 
Sunday, August 5, 2:00pm, Basilica
Dr. Jacob Benda, organ
Featuring the Minnesota premier of Pamela Decker’s new large-scale solo organ work titled The Seven Last Words and Triumph of Christ. The world premier of this piece occurred at the 2018 AGO National Convention in Kansas City—the one and only Minnesota reprise at The Basilica!
 
Sunday, August 12, 2:00pm, Basilica
Tucker Moore, baritone and Christopher Stroh, organ and piano
A recital for accompanied voice featuring the Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, along with other sacred vocal and solo organ “Sunday favorites.”

 

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072918.cfm 

F.H.B:   “Family Hold Back” was a phrase I heard on numerous occasions when I was growing up.   Usually it occurred when my father would invite unexpected company to “stay for dinner” and my mother would go into overdrive to make sure there would be enough food for everyone.   I suspect the fact that she was Irish had something to do with this.  From her perspective running out of food was only a slightly lesser sin than denying the faith.   This memory came to mind this past week as I reflected on our Gospel for this weekend.  In that Gospel we are told that a large crowd had been following Jesus and so Jesus said to Philip:  “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”  Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.”   

Since this is one of the few incidents that is recorded in all four Gospels, this story is familiar to all of us.   Jesus took the loaves and fishes gave thanks and distributed them to the crowd and “when they 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.”  

There are a couple things to note in this Gospel.   First, notice that Jesus started with what was at hand.   He could have worked this miracle by himself, but he took what was at hand and built on it.   Second, when God is involved, abundance is the order of the day.  Scarcity is not an issue.  There is always more than enough.   These two things remind us that if we let God work with and through us, great things can happen.  

Our first reading this weekend from the second Book of Kings, is the account of an earlier miraculous feeding.   In this case twenty barley loaves fed over a hundred people.  “For thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.’”

In our second reading this weekend we continue to read from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.   In this reading Paul urges us “to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received.”   

Questions for discussion/reflection:

  1. When have you felt God’s grace encouraging your efforts so that you were able to do something that surprised you?  
  2. Do you live with an attitude of abundance or scarcity?
  3. What does it mean for you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received?   
     

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072218.cfm 

In our Gospel last weekend we heard how Jesus sent out his disciples two by two to preach repentance, drive out demons, and anoint the sick with oil and cure them.   In our Gospel this weekend we see the disciples return to Jesus and “report to him all they had done and taught.”   While they no doubt were excited by their missionary efforts, Jesus also realized that the disciples were probably tired and hungry, so he said to them:  “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while”   Unfortunately, the people followed them and Jesus’ heart was moved with pity for them because “they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.”     

Our first reading for this weekend is from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah.    In this reading, the Lord chastises the shepherds “who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture.”  There is a clear contrast in this reading between the shepherds who have mislead and misdirected the people and the Lord, the Good Shepherd, who always has the best interests of his people close to his heart.    The connection with the Gospel is clear.   Jesus is also the Good Shepherd, whose heart is moved with pity for the flock entrusted to his care. 

In our second reading for this weekend, we continue to read from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians.    In this reading Paul reminds us that in Christ Jesus we “who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ.”   

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Have you ever felt yourself being called to go to a deserted place and rest for a while?
  2. Clearly not all shepherds are “Good Shepherds.”   What are the hallmarks of a Good Shepherd.?
  3. When and/or how have you felt yourself becoming near to Christ?   
     

On Sunday, July 22 we will welcome and bless our new icon of Mary of Magdala thus honoring her significant role in the history of salvation. It is our hope that this Icon will help correct a misconception which has diminished the importance of this Apostle to the Apostles for centuries.

Mary of Magdala’s depiction in the crucifixion scene is ubiquitous. She is often dressed in red, voluminous hair cascading down her back and tears rolling down her face. By contrast, Mary, the mother of Jesus is dressed in shades of blue and her head is covered. These representations epitomize and reinforce the image of the two most important women in the New Testament presented by the church for centuries: the repentant sinner and the pious mother.

The identification of Mary of Magdala with the repentant sinner was sealed in a 6th century homily preached by Pope Gregory the Great. In it the Pope identifies Mary of Magdala with the sinful woman who washed Jesus feet. And he classified the woman’s sins as carnal.

Recent scholarship has ended this caricature of Mary of Magdala by revealing who she really was: an independently wealthy woman who supported Jesus in his mission and who was the first witness to the resurrection. 

Saint Mary of Magdala, pray for us.

There is a story about two monks in the Middle Ages (an older monk and one of the younger monks) who were traveling cross country for a visit to a remote monastery. At one point, the road they were traveling on came to a stream. There was a woman there who asked them if they could help her cross the stream. The older monk replied that he would be happy to help her and immediately picked her up and waded across the stream. When they got to the other side the woman thanked them and went on her way, and the two monks went their way. About an hour later the younger monk said to the older monk: “Brother, I don’t think it was appropriate that you picked up that woman and carried her across the stream.” The older monk replied. “Brother are you still carrying that woman with you? I put her down the minute we got across the stream. I’m surprised you are still carrying her.” 

Like the young monk in the story above, I suspect that all of us “carry” things with us that we need to put down. It could be a grudge, an old hurt, a painful or embarrassing moment from the past, or a memory of something we did that was wrong. We hold these things close, and seldom, if ever, speak of them with others. These things weight us down and hinder our growth. They take up space in our minds and hearts and spirits, and in extreme cases can prevent us from moving forward with our life. 

I’m not sure exactly why we “carry” around these things, but I do know that prayer can help us put them down—for a while at least—and eventually forever. The image I like to use is that of an ice cube. When you hold an ice cube in your hand for a few moments and the exterior begins to warms to the touch of your hand, if you put it down and then take it up again a few minutes later, a part of it remains on the surface where you placed it. While it may be only a drop, it is not as big as it was. 

And so it is when we bring our cares, woes, hurts, grudges and pain to prayer. If we can leave them with God for a few minutes, while we may take them up again, a part of them stays with God and they are not as big as when we first brought them to prayer. And if we continue to practice bringing those things we “carry” around with us to prayer, we may discover one day that we have left them with God and we no longer carry them with us.

Like the young monk, sometimes we carry things with us that we shouldn’t be carrying and that we need to put down. Prayer is a great place to bring these things. And God is always ready and more than willing to take these burdens away from us. 

Starting the first week of August, N 17th Street will permanently become a one-way street directed North from the traffic circle around the corner to Laurel W Ave directed East. You will no longer be able to enter Laurel Ave W from the East.

The Basilica’s safety and facilities teams have been working with the City of Minneapolis and MNDOT for approval to make N 17th Street a one-way street permanently. Restricting the traffic to one direction will improve safety and traffic flow on our campus. 

The street has been temporarily directed as one-way for Christmas and Easter for the past several years and provides a great improvement for the people and cars on the road. It is especially beneficial in the winter months when snow and ice limit the road space. 

The new signs will be posted in late July and the Minneapolis Police Department will be helping us to implement and monitor the new traffic flow on Sundays.

Please help us improve safety and traffic flow on our campus and adhere to the new one-way direction. Our parishioners who are familiar with the campus will help provide a great example for those visiting The Basilica. Thank you for your cooperation! 

 

One-way N 17th St

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/071518.cfm 

In our Gospel this weekend, we are told that Jesus sent out his disciples “two by two, and gave them authority over unclean spirits.”   He also instructed them to take “nothing for the journey, but a walking stick --- no food, no sack, no money in their belts."  They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.  He said to them: ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.  Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.’  So they went off and preached repentance.

This Gospel reading is taken from chapter 6 of Mark’s Gospel which is not even the half way point in his Gospel, so why would Jesus send his disciples out at this point in his ministry?  I think there are at least two reasons why Jesus would do this.   1)  He wanted his disciples to experience what it would be like to preach and heal in his name.  This would be there responsibility after he was no longer with them, so what better time to do this then when he was still with them and could encourage them and help them understand what they were to do.   2)  I also think, though, that Jesus sent them out at this time and in this manner (taking nothing with them) so they would realize that it was by God’s power and authority and not their own that they were able to do what they did.   I say this because along with their mission, Jesus gave them “authority.”  And he wanted them to know that it was because of God’s bounty and by virtue of the authority he had given them that they were sent forth to preach and heal in his name. 

Our first reading this weekend from the Book of the Prophet Amos, shares the theme of the Gospel. Amos is clear with Amaziah, the high priest of Bethel, that he did not choose to be a prophet.  Rather, he was chosen and empowered by God:  “The Lord took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”   

In our second reading this weekend, Paul reminds the Ephesians (and us) that we have been chosen by God “to be holy and without blemish before him.”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Every now and again I slip into the bad habit of failing to remember the most basic fact of our existence, and that is that everything I am and have comes as a gracious gift from a loving God.  What helps you to remember this? 
  2. Have you ever felt called and empowered by God to do something?
  3. What helps you to live a holy life?   
     

Tickets still available for the Basilica Block Party. 

Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7

Band line up and volunteer information at basilicablockparty.org.

Join us for a great weekend of fun and music benefiting the restoration efforts of The Basilica Landmark and St. Vincent de Paul Ministry. 

Due to the Basilica Block Party, on Friday, July 6, Mass is celebrate at 7:00am in the chapel. There is no Noon Mass.

On Saturday, the 9:00am Confession is canceled. There will be no 5:00pm Mass celebrated.  

Sunday Masses are as regularly scheduled.

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. ‘
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/070818.cfm   

At a conference I attended several years ago one of the speakers began his talk (to a group of peers) by saying:   “An expert is someone who comes from at least twenty-five miles away and carries a briefcase.   I am not an expert, I am one of you. ”   I suspect the speaker began this way both to disarm us and to challenge us to be open to what he had to say.    He realized that sometimes it is hard to be taken seriously by a group of peers.   Our peers know us.  They know our faults and failings.  They are familiar with us.   We are a recognized commodity.   

A situation similar to the above occurred in our Gospel for this weekend.  Jesus had returned to his “native place, accompanied by his disciples.”    When he began to teach in the synagogue those who heard him were astonished.   “They said, ‘Where did this man get all this?  What kind of wisdom has been given to him?  What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!  Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses, and Judas and Simon?  And are not his sisters here with us?” 

While the people in this Gospel did know Jesus, they stopped at the point of familiarity.   They made the mistake of thinking they knew all there was to know.  Because of his wisdom and by the mighty deeds wrought by his hands, though, they should have realized there was more to Jesus.  Unfortunately they were too caught up in their own way of thinking and looking at things.   

Our first reading this weekend relates the call of Ezekiel to be a prophet.   He has been sent to the Israelites, a people who are “hard of face and obstinate of heart.”   This reading shares the same theme as the Gospel.  It reminds us that sometimes our pre-conceived ideas of the ways and work of God can blind us to new realities.    

In our second reading this weekend from the Second Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul talks about being given a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him from becoming too proud and to remind him that God’s grace was enough for him.   This is a lesson I have learned and then had to re-learn several times in my life.   

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Has there been a time when--only in retrospect--you recognized the presence and/or power of God in your life? 
  2. Have you ever been “hard of face” and “obstinate of heart” with God?
  3. Have there been times when you have discovered that God’s grace is enough for you?