Reflection on 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Reflection on 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time

We live in a world that calls for instant gratification.  We want some random book or item we order it on Amazon and in some cities you will have it at your door by the end of the day.  We want answers to a question and we only have to do a Google search to find the answer.  If we are hungry we go to one of the many numerous vending machines or restaurants and get food.  If we are bored we simply turn to Netflix, to Amazon, or YouTube to find exactly what we want to entertain us.

These are all good things, in moderation of course, we are able to learn faster because it doesn’t take weeks for books to get to us or spend days upon days going to bookstores and libraries to find the book you want.  Arguments and disagreements are quickly solved by simply asking Google.  We don’t have to watch MTV for 5 hours to see that one music video that everyone is talking about. Yes, MTV actually played Music Video when I was younger.  But in this passage we see that we can’t translate that into our prayer lives.

Jesus tells this parable to a group of his disciples who have lost hope in the coming of the Kingdom of God.  The parable talks about a widow who is seeking justice from a corrupt Judge.  At first the Judge doesn’t listen to her but after her persistent petitions he gives her justice.   Jesus then reminds the disciples that if a corrupt Judge can be swayed to do justice by persistence how much more will God do justice if we ask him for it.

Imagine if you went up to your father or mother and asked them to eat and since it is Friday and you rather abstain from meat then do some extra penance you ask them for some fish, how many of your parents would instead just toss a live venomous snake on your plate?  Or if you ask for eggs for breakfast they instead toss a live scorpion on your plate?  Not many of them would do that, right.  So Jesus explains that if your parents, who are sinners, know how to give good things to you how much more will God, who is perfect, give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.

But it is easy to be persistent when it is easy, when we have no obstacles in the way, it’s easy to pray the rosary when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and we see quick answers to our prayers.  But what do we do when we hit an obstacle? What do we do when it starts getting old and boring?  What do we do when God doesn’t answer our prayers as quickly as we want him to?  For many of us we give up, we stop being persistent.

I want to leave you with a story I recently heard from Brandon Vogt.  A smart and gifted boy, like many of you here, leaves home for college.  He joins a fraternity and makes new friends.  The spend their time partying, chasing girls, and embracing new thoughts and ideas.  He even gets involved in a new age group that allows him to be spiritual but not religious. He moves in with his girlfriend and they have a baby together, without being married.  The entire time the smart and gifted boy’s mother is at home crying and feeling like she can’t change anything.  But being a good Catholic she does what she can and prays for him daily.

The mom’s prayed and fasted for many years for her son to return to the Catholic Church. Then when her son went off to another college she went with him and met a bishop there.  The Bishop became a spiritual guide to her and saw how sad she was about her son not being a good Catholic.  The Bishop promised her that a son of so many tears will not perish.

That young man and the Bishop ended up becoming friends.  The young man would ask the Bishop lots of questions.  Similar to what you guys do with your adult mentors here.  Finally, at the age of 32 the man got Baptized.  The young man’s name was St Augustine, the one the city is named after, and he would go off to become a Bishop himself and become one of the greatest Saints of the Church.  The mother was St Monica and she never faltered as it seemed like her prayers were not being answered by God.  She never gave up hope and continued to pray for over 20 years for that one thing.

It is in that time that we have to be the most persistent.  When we ask for big things we have to be willing to pray big.  We have to be willing to always talk to God and ask him “have you answered this prayer for me and I haven’t seen it?  How will your will be done through this petition?  How will I grow closer to you?” I hope each of you have been persistent in praying the rosary this week.

St Monica, Pray for Us

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Teaching the faith at every chance!

Every so often I get the question of “What do you do?” I have a really hard time answering that question because it varies so much day to day. Like today I came into work and found three glass bottles that we can fill with Holy Water for those getting Baptized during the Easter Vigil. I spent some time looking over the very nice certificates Sr. France, SHCJ in California made for our newly baptized. I read over the Holy Thursday Mass that I am MCing tonight.

But all of that really isn’t my job. I did my job twice today when I got a random call from Nicodemus, who wanted a quick prayer for him as he went off to a job interview at Disney. I don’t know who Nicodemus is but I am looking forward to seeing him this weekend and him filling me in on how the interview went. So say a quick prayer for him if you can.

The second time is when a recently confirmed young adult texted me. It was something I never thought I would do.  I held a mini lesson over texted.  I also love how after learning about the faith more they wanted to go out and share it with the world.

So here is the lesson, warts and all:

Hey richard ☺️

Hey!

Question!

Long time no speak!
Shoot!
(After 5 minutes of no text) Oh oh…this sounds like a long one!

Haha not too bad, good Friday’s tomorrow and I’ve never been to church on that day, what should I do, expect, how do I prepare? Why is it important?

So! Great question!

Haha thank you

Lent is over today. And these next three days. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are called the Triduum.
Tonight’s Mass marks a couple of important things the institution of the mass and the washing of the feet. So we know why the Mass is important and the importance of celebrating it’s anniversary. But the washing of the feet is important too because it reminds us that if we truly want to be good disciples of Christ then we need to be like him, a servant. So the Priest, goes around, humbles himself, and washes the feet of the people. As a good servant should do. But it is a reminder to us that we should humble ourselves as well and go out into the world and be servants to others.

That happens tonight at mass?

Yes
At the end of the mass the Priest processes out with the Eucharist and places it into an Altar of Repose.

Do people take off their shoes?

Only the 12 that will have the feet washed. So yes the Priest is kneeling to stinking feet and even kisses them afterwards.

This altar is to symbolize the time that Jesus spent in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was betrayed by Judas. We are asked to spend time with him in the Garden like he asked two of the apostles to do. To pray “That we do not enter into temptation. (Luke 22:40). After a little bit of prayer (I normally do a Holy Hour of Adoration) everyone leaves in silence. So now there is no Jesus in the Church. The Church is empty. and that is what we come up to on Good Friday.

The mass on Good Friday is normally done at 3 to symbolize the hour that Jesus died on the Cross. Since Jesus is dead the Church has no mass. It is a time to venerate the Cross that was the altar of our salvation. It is also a time to remind ourselves of what it feels like to be without Jesus in our Presence. The Churches always feel different to me in a unexplainable way on Good Friday. But it is a time to pray and reflect on our sins and the importance of his dying for us on the Cross. Again people leave this service in silence and nothing happens in the Church until Saturday Night where the Church comes together to hold a Vigil.

It used to be that people will come at night and pray together until close to dawn, waiting for the resurrection of Jesus. But today we have pushed it to after sunset on Saturday. That is the mass that we get to celebrate the that Christ is risen.
So why should you come to Mass tomorrow…because it is a reminder of what we lost. Just like you can’t have Lent with Mardi Gras, you can’t have Easter without Good Friday.

So to separate the two is to forget about the suffering and sacrificial nature of our faith that brought about the celebratory resurrection.

Thank you so much for that, so from 3-5 it’s usually silent prayer? No reading, no Eucharist, no Holmey?
No singing?

No there is a service
it’s only like 3-4
it isn’t a mass though
so there will be readings
there will be solemn prayers for the world
Then the priest will unveil the holy cross
then adoration of the cross
then communion (they use the consecrated Hosts from Holy Thursday)
then everyone leaves

What is the consecrated host?

The Eucharist
They don’t consecrate any of the bread on Good Friday (since it isn’t a Mass) they do a little Extra on Thursday so there is enough for Thursday and Friday

Ohh so they use the same Eucharist from Thursday’s mass?
Ohhhhhh I see

yep

Another question lol

yep

What does the bunny, eggs or colors have anything to do with? Or is it just something to get the children engaged?

So…it isn’t really a Catholic tradition but it has catholic roots.
As you know Rabbits are very fertile and eggs always have represented new life.
So Easter is all about new life. Waking up a new person in Christ.
So some people started decorating eggs for the children
The Eastern Church also has some traditions about Eggs
http://www.denver.goarch.org/parishes/Grand_Junction/mary_magdalene/
http://usa.greekreporter.com/2015/04/07/why-do-greeks-dye-easter-eggs-red-how-to-do-it/

Thank you so much
I’m going to be sharing this info with other today ☺️

Good