11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s gospel we have two parables about the Kingdom of God.  Like the seed that a farmer sows, there is an inner life and power to God’s Kingdom.  The farmer no more puts life in the seed than those who serve God’s Kingdom are responsible for its power.  On a day to day basis, it may not seem like the Kingdom of God is  breaking into the world.  But neither can we see plants grow by staring at them.

Jesus spent most of His time preaching in the small villages of Galilee– about as unimportant a place as the Son of God could have chosen for His mission.  Yet from this insignificant, mustard– seed beginning the Kingdom of God was established in the universe.

If God does not seem to be acting now, like a farmer asleep for the night, His Kingdom is unfolding all the same.  The beginning of God’s reign may look tiny, like a mustard seed, but the final flowering will be majestic.

Times are such today that we find ourselves oppressed by many social issues.  We are often ridiculed for our stand about decency in public entertainment and our stance on the problems within our world.  Like the faithful people who lived before us, we need to be reassured,  to be reaffirmed in our faith in God’s power to take our tiny efforts and make them grow.

No matter how small our efforts may be to promote Christian causes, god will multiply them with His hidden power to bring about magnificent results.  He has accomplished it in the past and He will do it again through us.

We may not see these results in our own lifetime, but the parables of Jesus are a promise that they will happen in His own time.

God Bless,

Msgr. Powell

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s gospel Jesus says that anyone who does the will of God His Father becomes  not only His disciple, but also His brother and sister and mother.

What is the will of God?  The will of God is what He wants for our fulfillment and  happiness.  Ultimately Gods’ will is for us to come to the happiness of heaven.   It is His plan to help us achieve our ultimate purpose of life.

On the one hand, whatever fits in with His designs for us can be called the will of God.  This would include getting what  we need for our physical, emotional and spiritual well being.

On the other hand, whatever interferes with His plans for us is not part of the will of God.  This would include anything that deprives us of our basic necessities, impedes our growth as persons or harms us spiritually.

In our life we sometimes have accidents, tragedies and misfortunes.  They are not part of God’s will since they produce so much pain and sorrow for us.  However,  even though they are evils, they can still be used by God to bring about some good that does fit into His plan for us.

There are certain things in our lives that are already determined by God’s will, we do not have any choice about them.  This would include things like being born, being redeemed and being destined to die one day.  There are also things about our lives yet to be determined.  With these we do have a say.  This would include things like vocation decisions, career choices and lifestyle preferences.

As disciples of the Lord, we sometimes have to surrender with faith our own desires to His demands.  But in doing so, what we gain far surpasses what we give up.

Doing God’s will can never diminish or impoverish us.  On the contrary, it will enlarge and enrich us.  Doing God’s will may be difficult at times, but it will always draw us into a deeper relationship with Jesus as His disciples and as His brothers and sisters.

God Bless,

Msgr. Powell

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Do you believe strongly in Christ’s presence in the Eucharist?  On the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of the Lord), we have an opportunity to reaffirm our faith in the Eucharist.  This day we can take our stand and accept God’s covenant gift with us.  We can tell the Lord that we believe all He said at the Last Supper about the Eucharist.

During our journey through life we sometimes have to cross deserts, encounter accidents endure disappointments or suffer tragedies.  By ourselves we could never survive.  Left to our own strength we would give up.  That is why we need the Eucharist and the strength that comes from this sacred bread to energize our spirits.  This is why we need God’s special presence and power.

In Mark’s gospel we read how our Lord left the upper room and walked out to the Mount of Olives.  What He left was the Last Supper during which He instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist.  His walking out to the Mount of Olives was also something very sacramental and symbolic.  Jesus was showing that He was ready for His destiny and that He was resolved to lay down His life for us on the cross.

May this often be our own experience after celebrating the Eucharist.  Coming into church we may be afraid of what we have to face in the future.  But when we leave, may we be resolved to take up our cross.  Coming in to church we may have serious doubts about how to deal with certain difficulties.  But when we leave,  may we be filled with determination to do what God expects of us.

As we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass pray for faith in the Eucharist.  Pray for a faith which firmly believes that Christ is always present in the Eucharist, regardless of how absent He may seem to be at times.  Pray for a faith which believes that Christ’s power is always available to us, regardless of how helpless we may feel at times.  Pray for a faith which enables us to walk with the Lord to our own Mount of Olives and rise with Him in glory.

God Bless,

Msgr. Powell