Archives: September 2019

Pope Francis issued a Message for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be observed Sunday, September 29, 2019. Archbishop Hebda invites you to join him Sunday, September 29 at the annual Mass of Solidarity at 4:30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis.

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is home to more than 800,000 Catholics celebrating Mass regularly in 11 different languages. All are invited to share the richness of their culture by wearing the clothes of their native culture or ethnicity. 

Mass of Solidarity
Sunday, September 29
3:45pm Cultural Celebration
4:30pm Mass
 

 

El Papa Francisco emitió un Mensaje para la 105a Jornada Mundial de los Migrantes y Refugiados, que se celebrará el domingo 29 de septiembre de 2019. El Arzobispo Hebda lo invita a usted y a su comunidad a  unirse a él el domingo 29 de septiembre en la Misa Anual por la Solidaridad a las 4:30 p.m. en la Basílica de Santa María, Minneapolis.

La Arquidiócesis de Saint Paul y Minneapolis es el hogar de más de 800,000 católicos que celebran la misa regularmente en 11 diferentes idiomas. Todos están invitados a compartir la riqueza de su cultura
vistiendo prendas / vestimenta típicas de su cultura o etnia.

Misa de Solidaridad
Domingo 29 de septiembre, 2019
3:45pm Inicia la Celebración Cultural
4:30pm Misa
 

https://www.archspm.org/misa-de-solidaridad-mass-of-solidarity/

 

 

The fall is my favorite time of year. It’s not just the change in the weather, the back to school excitement, or even the start of football. It’s the feeling that things are going to get accomplished. 

I wanted to share with you the following from Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium. (I:2-3)

A joy new, a joy which is shared

2. The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.

3. I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.” The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms.

I appreciate the message the Holy Father is communicating. The document goes on to say much more. I can get caught up in my own interest to the point where I’m less than benevolent. This is the way I try to remind my self that the professional athletes train daily. If I want to be a better Christian, I need to train every day. During these workouts I know I’m going to want to quit or look away from the harsh glare of reality—due to lack of courage or just ignorance—because of not wanting to look deeper. 

I have hope that I can do better. I’m going to look at it as a new session. I ask you to call me out on any action you see me do that isn’t following the simple request to open myself to encounter Jesus Christ. 

I would like to invite anyone reading this message to make a commitment to The Basilica. We all have gifts. Please share your gifts. If you need a personal invitation from a member of the Parish Council, call me. I just ask you to leave a message at my cell 612.834.4041. I will call you back. Special thanks those of you to that follow Matthew 6:1. 

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

You folks are amazing. God Bless! 

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. http://usccb.org/bible/readings/092219.cfm 

This Sunday we celebrate the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time.   In our Gospel this weekend Jesus tells the parable of the steward who was reported to his master “for squandering his property.”   The master’s decision to dismiss the steward for his mismanagement would not have been surprising to the original hearers of parable.  Being a steward was an important and prestigious position.  An individual who failed to properly discharge the duties of this position deserved to be fired.   The steward’s response to his impending termination was very interesting.   He knew he was in a tough position, so he “called in his master’s debtors one by one,” and reduced the amount they each owed his master."   The parable ends with the enigmatic statement:  “And the master commended the dishonest steward for acting prudently.”    

What are we to make of this parable?   Was Jesus praising or endorsing the steward’s acts?  I don’t think so.  Rather, Jesus was commending the steward’s ingenuity, his resourcefulness in responding to a very difficult situation.   The steward acted decisively and cleverly to assure a future for himself.   The point of the parable, then, is that if the steward, who couldn’t have been all the smart to begin with (after all he squandered his master’s property) could act decisively and resolutely to ensure his earthly future, shouldn’t we as followers of Jesus act just as decisively and just as resolutely to ensure our eternal future.   

The first reading this Sunday  is from the Book of the Prophet Amos.    In this reading the Lord ominously promises never to forget those “who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land!” 


The second reading this Sunday is taken from the first Letter of St. Paul to Timothy.   In this reading Paul reminds Timothy (and us) that prayer is to be an integral part of our lives: “in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hand, without anger or argument.”   

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. While I understand that the parable for this weekend is encouraging us to be decisive and resolute in ensuring our eternal future, I’m not sure how to do this on a day to day basis.   How do you see this played out in your life?  
  2. I am a bit unnerved at the message of the first reading that God will not forget those who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land.   This doesn’t seem to square with our belief that God is love.   How do you reconcile these two ideas? 
  3. Do you believe you have an obligation to pray for others --- even people you don’t know, or worse that you don’t like?  

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. 
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/091519.cfm  

This Sunday celebrate the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time.   Our Gospel this Sunday is taken from the 15th chapter of Luke’s Gospel.   This chapter is often referred to as the “lost and found” chapter of Luke’s Gospel.   The reason is that it contains three familiar parables about things that are lost, but eventually found.   

It is important to remember that the key to understanding parables is to understand that they are not meant to be taken literally.  Rather, they were simple stories that Jesus used to tell us something about God or something about our relationship with God.  We use stories all the time to help us understand one another.   We say that someone has a heart of gold, or that they would give you the shirt off their back.   We don’t mean these things literally.  Instead they give us a sense of the kind of person someone is.   In a similar way Jesus used parables to help us understand God and/or our relationship with God.   

Our parables this Sunday tell us how much God loves us.   If we stray or get lost, God doesn’t wait for us to find our way back to God; rather God actively searches for us.   God seeks us until God finds us, and when God finds us God rejoices that we are once again reunited with God.  

Our first reading this Sunday shares the theme of the Gospel.  It is taken from a section of the Book of Exodus in which the people have turned away from God.   God tells Moses: “Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.”   Moses, though, reminded the Lord of all that the Lord had done for love of his people.   “Why, O lord, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand.”   And because of Moses’ words, God relented.    

Our second this Sunday shares the theme of the Gospel and first reading.  It is taken from the first Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy.   In it Paul acknowledges his sinfulness but then proclaims:  “This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:  Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”   

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

1.  To better understand this weekend’s Gospel I’d suggest a simple exercise.   Remember a time when you were lost.  It could be as a child or an adolescent, or even as an adult.   Remember how you felt, and then read these parables from that perspective.   Did it make a difference in your understanding of these parables?   
2.  Have you ever found something that had been lost for a period of time?   How did you feel?
3.  Paul says:  “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  Of these I am the foremost.”   This suggests to me that in order to be saved we need to acknowledge that we are sinners.    While it is easy for me to acknowledge that I have sinned, it is hard to think of myself as a sinner.  Is that true for you?  

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. 
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/090819.cfm    

This weekend we celebrate the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.    Our Gospel this weekend addresses the issue of the “cost of discipleship.”   At the beginning of this Gospel Jesus tells his disciples that: “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”    After telling two brief parables, the first about knowing the cost of building a tower before undertaking this endeavor, and the second about gauging the likelihood of victory before going into battle, Jesus concludes by saying:  “In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciples.”   

What are we to make of these words of Jesus?   Clearly very few of us “hate” our friends and families and/or have renounced all our possessions, and yet we still identify ourselves as followers of Jesus.   Is this a case of selective hearing on our part?    Do we get to choose which words of Jesus to follow and which to ignore?   In response we need to understand that Jesus was speaking with hyperbole to make a point.   We can’t call ourselves his disciples and then live however we want.   Jesus wants us to commit ourselves completely to him.  Nothing is more important than our relationship with him.  We need to let go of anything and everything in our lives that diverts us from that commitment.   

Our first reading this weekend is from the Book of Wisdom.   It reminds us that God’s ways and thoughts are beyond our comprehension.   “Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the Lord intends?”  

Our second reading this weekend is from the Letter of Saint Paul to Philemon.  This is Paul’s shortest letter.  It was written to an individual, Philemon, who was a Christian, and whose slave, Onesimus, had run away.   Onesimus had been converted to Christianity by Paul, and now Paul was sending him back to Philemon with the plea.  “So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.”   This request placed Philemon in a difficult position.  If he didn’t punish Onesimus he could be regarded as “soft” by his peers and by his other slaves.  On the other hand, after Paul’s request, if he punished Onesimus, he could be regarded as not a true Christian.    This brief letter reminds us once again that there is a “cost” to discipleship.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

1.  Many people either ignore or dismiss the words of Jesus in our Gospel today.    Why is this? 
2.  What do you think Christ is asking you to give up to be his disciple? 
3.  Have you ever been in Philemon’s position, where you have had to make a public decision about how to live out your discipleship?