St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time A20

What we hear in today’s Gospel comes at the end of a section in Matthew in which Jesus is preparing the 12 for their 1st missionary journey. He seems to be asking them, “Are you ready for this?” They are not going on an adventure or a sales trip. It would be different: they going out on their own to share what they believed was really good news. Were they convinced enough and dedicated enough to do that? Jesus is being frank with them, telling them that they would experience both welcome and rejection. Jesus is demanding them to make him 1st in their lives. Nothing, no relationship nor any desire, even life itself, can be more important than what they are about to do.

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time A20

How difficult is it for you being a disciple? If you answered “Not too much”, you really are not trying.

We live in a world where money and power are signs of success, a world of competition where there are winners and everyone else is  (to quote a resident of Washington, D.C.) “a loser”. It’s a world where some races and cultures are 2nd class, kept that way by those in power and privilege as we’ve experienced by the protests that have roiled our society and world these past weeks. This is a world that needs to hear the call for conversion but is either deaf to that call or willfully ignores it and belittles, or worse, those who proclaim it in word and deed.

Corpus Christi

As we enter into Ordinary Time the Church places before us mysteries of our faith. Last week we pondered the immense mystery of the reality of God as 3 distinct persons in the one God, a mathematical mystery of 1+1+1 = 1. Today we are invited to reflect on the real presence of Christ to us in the Eucharist which we celebrate and through it receive the Lord Jesus’ abiding nearness to those who “do this in memory of” him.

Unlike the mysteries of novels, movies, and TV shows, these mysteries will never be solved by human intelligence. We would not have even known about them if not for God’s revealing them to us. The best we can hope for is a deep appreciation of what these mysteries tell us about God and God’s relationship to us: the Trinity speaks of God’s grandeur, might and majesty and the Eucharist tells us the closeness of God to us in the person of the Lord Jesus.

Trinity Sunday A20

I recently noticed several columns of the need for human contact during this time of isolation, social distancing, alone-together (an oxymoron), and stay home-stay safe. Sure, most of you are sheltering in place with a spouse and/or your children, and children with their parents or single moms and dads. But we miss our friends, most of our co-workers, teachers, fellow students, and teammates. Zoom doesn’t quite cut it nor does virtual work, school, and church. We crave human contact. Even a simple handshake or fist bump would do or, God forbid, a hug or a “holy kiss” as St. Paul recommends as a greeting. All of this simply points out what we already know: other people are extremely important in our lives. They form us, help us discover who we are, affect our moods and our perception of self.

But, why is that?

titian descent of the holy ghostPentecost

Does Pentecost have any meaning in the life of the Church today? Does the coming of the Holy Spirit make any difference in how the Church acts and believes? I mean more than speaking in languages that all people can hear and understand the Good News. The universal Church already does that by speaking every language known in imitation of the first disciples. (As an aside I prayed to the Holy Spirit when I was sent to Rome that I would become fluent in Italian. Obviously my prayer was not answered as you all learned last week!) By Church, I mean each and every baptized Christian.

7th Sunday of Easter, A 2017

This 7th Sunday of Easter is an in between time, coming as it does between the Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost.

Jesus has ascended to the Father. The Apostles and some other disciples gather in the upper room.  They were given a task by the now physically absent Lord to go and make disciple of all nations. But now they have to wait until the Holy Spirit comes upon them - “an in between time.”

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