Archive for the ‘18th Sunday’ Category

A Family Business in the Best Sense 7-31-2022

Saturday, July 30th, 2022

This time of year, kids set up lemonade stands to make some extra
packet money. But nine-year-old Tristan Jacobsen is not your typical
summertime entrepreneur. He set up his stand to earn money for
something special: his adoption.
Tristan was abandoned when he was four by his birth mother,
whose life was a nightmare of drugs and sexual encounters with
strangers – often while Tristan was in the room. As a result, the nine-
year-old is coping with a number of emotional issues, including attention
deficit disorder and depression.
Donnie Davis and her husband have been caring for Tristan for the
past five years and want to legally adopt Tristan, but the legal fees, close
to $10,000, are prohibitively high.
So, wanting to help, Tristan began selling lemonade one weekend
in April.
And he sold a lot of lemonade. His stand attracted hundreds of
thirsty – and generous – customers when word spread of the third-
grader’s enterprise. The stand raised closed to $7,000; an online fund-
raiser brought in another $9,000.
Prior to the opening of Tristan’s stand, the Davis family had done
everything to save money for the adoption: cancelling a summer
vacation and getting cheaper cell phone and internet service. Donnie
even stopped getting her hair and nails done.
Donnie maintains that whether legally adopted or not, Tristan “is
absolutely our son. He is in our hearts…(the adoption) is more for
reassurance for him, knowing that he has his forever family and he has
our name”.
And the experience helped the struggling nine-year-old to see that
there are good people in the world.
The adoption should be finalized the end of the year.
Tristan’s lemonade stand should make all of us realize that the
most important and valuable things in our lives do not have price tags;
they are not stored in our all-ready bulging closets and stuffed attics and
basements. The real treasure of life is the selfless and affirming love
that is and of God, love that creates and embraces, affirms and consoles,
enriches and lifts up. The fullness of life is to seek that unique, simple
but profound love that is centered in gratitude to its Author and then
working to share that love with those with whom we are privileged to
journey through this life with.

A Sunday Eucharist 8-1-2021

Sunday, August 1st, 2021

She enters the church and sits in her usual place. She mouths the
words of the prayers and hymns, but her thoughts are of her daughter.
How can she make her realize that she is making a big mistake that she
is heading down a road that will lead to pain, anguish and regrets? At the
appointed time the woman makes her way from her place up the altar to
receive the Eucharist–the sacrament of Christ the loving Brother who
says to her, “Just be there for your daughter as I am here for you”.
Right now he doesn’t want to be in the church or any church. His
heart is filled with anger–anger at the disease slowly taking his wife
away form him, anger at God for letting it happen to her. He files up to
the communion station and takes in his hand the bread of the Eucharist–
the sacrament of Christ the Healer who says to him, “Don’t look for me
in the disease. I am not in death. I am with you in the loving kindness
and support of your family and friends who reach out to you and your
family. And I will be there to take your beloved’s hand when you must
let her go” They are sports celebrities They are sports celebrities and politicians, bankers and high-
powered lawyers. They come every Sunday to the altar and receive the
Eucharist–the sacrament of Christ the humble Redeemer who says to
them, “As I have become bread for you, you must become bread for
others; as I have been lifted up for your sake, you must lift others up”.
They are the poor, the forgotten, the troubled, the sick, and the
rejected. They come to the table and extend their hands to receive the
Eucharist–the sacrament of Christ who welcomed tax collectors and
prostitutes into his presence and now welcomes them too, “Come
blessed ones, to the feast of my Father, It is good that you are here; Your
are always welcome here”!
The Eucharist demands more than the opening of our hands to take
and our mouths to consume; it demands more that we open our hearts
and spirits as well so that we may become what we receive. The AMEN!
We say when we take this bread and wine is our assent to the Holy One
who gives us himself in this sacrament–a gift that is given to us to give
to others.

You do NOT have nothing 8-2-2020

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

One morning, before Mass starts, you’re sitting quietly in your
bench, and you find yourself praying, “O God, please help the young
couple next door. Their baby is not doing well and they’re back and
forth from the hospital several times a day.
“If you listen attentively, you might well hear God reply: “Why
don’t you do something to help them?
“I’d like to, but I have nothing”.
But you hear God counter: “You have a great recipe for beef tips.
Make a batch and take it over to them some afternoon. They’d welcome
it. You do NOT have nothing”.
During the pastor’s annual parish financial report, you sigh to
yourself, “Tell me about it, Father. Money’s tight all over”.
And, in that quiet, barely audible voice in your heart, you hear
God: “So why don’t you lend a hand?”
“I don’t know anything about church work. I have nothing to
contribute”. But God persists: “You have a talent and love of gardening – get a
group together to clean up the church yard and fix up the landscaping.
You have an hour during the week – volunteer to help in the parish
office. You get along great with kids – give that hour to help a teacher in
the religious education program. You do NOT have nothing”.
Watching the news or reading the newspaper one evening, you can
barely hide your disgust at the state of things.
But there’s that voice: “So what are you going to do about it?”
“Hey, God, I don’t do politics. I have nothing – no interest, no
patience, and no competence in these issues”.
But God admonishes: “You DO have an interest and a stake in
this–for you and your children and your neighbors. This is your
community; this is your country. These matters affect you deeply — and
the world I gave you. You can learn about these issues. You can ask
questions. You can become an informed and an aware voter. You do
NOT have nothing”. When confronted by his disciples with the need to feed the crowds,
Jesus first challenges them to give something from what they have.
With more truth than they realize, the disciples confess, “We have
nothing”. But they manage to scrape together a few pieces of bread and
fish – and with that, Jesus works the miracle. God can take our meager
offerings and transform them into bread. In much the same way, Jesus
challenges us to give of our “nothing” with faith that God can transform
our “scraps” into powerful manifestations of his loving presence in our
I close,
Let Jesus work the miracles.
Let us not be afraid to give whatever we have