Fr. John Bauer

Rector and Pastor
Clergy

Serves on the Parish Council, Finance Committee, Stewardship Council and as a member of The Basilica Landmark Board.  Fr. Bauer led the successful merger of 3 parishes (St.Therese, St. Gregory, St. Leo) to become the new Lumen Christi in St. Paul, and completed their major building expansion.  Former Pastor of St. Therese, Deephaven and Associate at St. Patrick’s in Edina. 

(612) 317-3502

Recent Posts by Fr. John Bauer

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052619.cfm  

This Sunday we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of the season of Easter, and once again our Gospel is taken from the Gospel of John.   There are three distinct sections to this Gospel.  In the first section, Jesus reminds his disciples that:  “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our dwelling with them.”   In the second section, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit, “the Advocate whom the Father will send in my name………”   In the third section, Jesus reminds his disciples that “Peace” is his farewell gift to them.  Therefore they are not to let their “hearts be troubled or afraid.”   

Each of these sections is rich in meaning.  In the first section, while the idea of God dwelling with his people would not have been new, the intimacy and immediacy of this indwelling would have been original.   In the second section Jesus introduces his disciples to the Holy Spirit.  Again, the people of this time would have a sense of God’s Spirit.  And yet, here and later in John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of the Spirit as one with, yet distinct from the Father.  Finally, in the third section Jesus talks about giving his disciples peace.  We often think of peace as the absence of strife or tension.  For the people of Jesus’ time, however, peace or shalom had a much deeper and richer meaning.  It was an abiding sense of God’s presence.   

Our first reading this Sunday is from the Acts of the Apostles.  It is the story of one of the first conflicts in the early church.  Specifically, it deals with the question of whether gentile converts to Christianity needed to be circumcised in order to be saved.  (Circumcision was a sign of the Jewish convent with God.)  This Sunday’s reading skips Paul and Barnabas’ trip to Jerusalem to speak to the “apostles and elders about this question” and jumps to the decision itself:  “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to animals, and from unlawful marriage.”     

Our second reading this Sunday is from the Book of Revelation continues John’s vision of the “holy city Jerusalem.”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
1.  Have you ever experienced God dwelling with you?  
2.  On occasion I have felt the peace that Jesus spoke of in our Gospel today.   When you have experienced this peace in your life?  
3. In our first reading the apostles and elders were bold in their declaration that:  It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us………”    When have you felt the Spirit guiding you in your life? 

 

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051919.cfm 

This Sunday we celebrate the Fifth Sunday of Easter.   Once again our Gospel for this weekend is taken from the Gospel of John.  It comes to us in two distinct sections.  

At first blush, the opening words of the first section of this Gospel are a bit puzzling:  “When Judas had left them, Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.’”  The question naturally arises as to why are we reading about Judas during the Easter season?   The answer is that the setting of this Gospel is the last supper.  For John, Jesus’ glorification is rooted in and grows out of his suffering.  Judas’ departure set in motion the course of events that ultimately led to Jesus’ glorification.   And since Jesus’ resurrection is his glorification, there is a certain appropriateness to the mention of Judas on this Fifth Sunday of our Easter season.  

The second section of this Gospel begins:  “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.   I give you a new commandment:  love one another.”   Now while this is not a new commandment, what is new is the next sentence:   “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”   In these words Jesus really “raises the bar” in regard to what is expected of his disciples.   

Our first reading this Sunday is again taken from the Acts of the Apostles.   It tells of the missionary efforts of Paul and Barnabas to various cities.  The last sentence tells of their arrival at Antioch.   We are told:  “And when they arrived, they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.”   

Our second reading this Sunday is from the Book of Revelation.   It presents us with a “vision” of John of a “new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,”   with a loud voice saying: “Behold God’s dwelling is with the human race.   He will dwell with them and they will be his people……….”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:    

  1. The challenge for us to love one another as we have been loved by Jesus can be daunting.  When have you been successful at it?   When have you failed? 
  2. While most of us are not called to be missionaries in foreign countries, we are all called to share the message of Jesus Christ in our own ways.   Can you recall a time when you have given witness to Christ by what you have said or done?
  3. When have you been aware of God’s dwelling with you?
     

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051219.cfm    

In our three year cycle of readings on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, we always read from the tenth chapter of John’s Gospel.  In this chapter Jesus identifies himself as the Good Shepherd and his disciples as the sheep.   The section from chapter ten we read this Sunday is very brief.   It is only three verses:  “Jesus said: My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.   I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.  No one can take them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of my Father’s hand.  The Father and I are one.” 

We should not presume that the brevity of this Gospel suggests it is unimportant. In fact quite the opposite is true.  This Gospel tells us three very important things.  1.  Jesus is continually calling us to follow him.  We need to listen, though, in order to hear that call.  2.  We cannot accidentally fall away from God or be snatched out of God’s hand.  Rather, we are meant for eternal life with God.  3.  Jesus is able to promise these things because he is one with the Father, not subordinate to the Father. 

In our first reading this Sunday we continue to read from the Acts of the Apostles.   In the section we read this weekend, Paul and Barnabas continue to preach about Jesus Christ.   However, since the Jews of that area had rejected their preaching, they preached instead to the Gentiles, telling the Jews: “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.”   When they continue to encounter resistance they “shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.”  

Our second reading this Sunday is once again taken from the book of Revelation.  It presents a “vision” that told of a future time when “They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them.”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1.  Jesus said that my sheep hear my voice.  How do you “listen” for the voice of Jesus?
  2. What helps you to listen for the voice of Jesus?   
  3.  We are reminded in our first reading that God intends salvation to be for all people.  Why do think some people want to restrict/limit the number who can be saved?  
     

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/050519.cfm           

In our Gospel this Sunday we read of a resurrection appearance by Jesus at the Sea of Tiberias.  We are told that Simon Peter and the other disciples had gone fishing, “but that night they caught nothing.  When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.”    He asked them if they had caught anything and when they said they hadn’t, he told them: “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”   When they were not able to pull the net in because of the number of fish, the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter: “It is the Lord.”   Peter than jumped into the water and swam to shore.  When the other disciples arrived, Jesus fed them with bread and fish.  He then asked Simon Peter three different times:  “Do you love me?”   

Over the years, many explanations have been offered as to why Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him.  Some suggest that it was because Peter had denied Jesus three times.  Others suggest that Jesus wanted Peter to understand not just the importance of the question, but the importance of his answer.   I would like to suggest, though, that perhaps the most important thing about this exchange is that it was only after Peter had declared his love that Jesus gave him a mission:  “Feed/tend my sheep/lambs.”  For Peter, as for us, the things we do in the name of Jesus should come out of our love for Jesus.     

Our first reading this Sunday is from the Acts of the Apostles.   In it the disciples are brought before the Sanhedrin because in defiance of their orders, they continued to preach about Jesus.  “But Peter and the apostles said in reply, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’”  

Our second reading this Sunday is from the Book of Revelation.   The style of writing in this book is known as apocalyptic literature.  Often it was written during a time of trial/persecution, and it was intended to offer hope and encouragement.  It is not meant to be taken literally.  Rather, it uses vivid imagery and symbolic language to convey the idea that despite the difficulties of the present, God is ultimately in charge.  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. Have you ever thought God was calling you to do something?   Did you respond to that call out of love for Jesus? 
  2. Have you ever experienced a conflict between obeying God versus men?  
  3. There seems to be a fascination in regard to apocalyptic literature.  Why do you think this is?   

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/042819.cfm

 

Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter, which is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday.  Although our first and second readings for this Sunday follow our three year cycle of readings, the Gospel for this Sunday is always Jn. 20: 19-31.   It is the story of Thomas. 

 

I have always felt a great deal of sympathy for poor Thomas.   He didn’t believe the other disciples when they told him that Jesus had been raised from the dead and had appeared to them.  As a result, forever after he was known as “doubting Thomas.”   Now I don’t know that I can completely restore Thomas’ credibility, but I’d like to offer two thoughts in his defense.   First, it seems to me that the other disciples couldn’t have been very effective witnesses if they couldn’t convince Thomas that they had encountered the risen Lord.  Certainly the idea of someone rising from the dead was an unprecedented phenomenon, but the disciples couldn’t have been very persuasive if they couldn’t convince Thomas --- a man who had been in their company for three years --- that Jesus had been raised from the dead.   Second, I don’t know that doubt is such a bad thing.   Doubt and faith are two sides of the same coin.   You can’t have doubt if you don’t have (at least some) faith.   In fact, out of Thomas’ doubt came the first statement of Easter faith:  “My Lord and my God.” 

 

Our first reading today is taken from the Acts of the Apostles.  It recounts the beginnings of the apostles’ ministry, which was a continuation of Jesus’ mission and ministry.  In this reading we are told “Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord, great numbers of men and women were added to them.” 

 

Our second reading today is taken from the Book of Revelation.   We will be reading from this book for the next five weeks.  It is important to remember that the Book of Revelation is “apocalyptic” literature.  It is not meant to be taken literally.  Rather, apocalyptic literature is filled with vivid imagery and symbolic language.   It was written during a time of trial or distress and it was meant to encourage and offer hope in the face of trials and suffering.  It also reminded people to remain firm in their faith.  

 

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

 

1.   Do you think doubt is a bad thing?

2.   Have you ever tried to convince someone of something only to have them doubt you?  Did they ever come to believe you? 

3.  If you encountered someone who read the Book of Revelation literally, what would you say to them?  

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