Fr. Todd Bulletin, June 28, 2020

Dear St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart,

This weekend I am with my brother, Fr. Gary, as he moves into St. Joseph Parish in Howell, MI.  It is a very exciting time—albeit a bit strange since it is happening in the midst of an international pandemic!

Last week, we heard Jesus remind us that we do not need to be afraid.  Such timely words when so much is uncertain.  Here are twenty verses where God seeks to reassure us of His presence and love.  Let these be a source of light even in the darkest of times.

  1. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
  2. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27
  3. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
  4. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
  5. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
  6. “Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.'” Mark 6:50
  7. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
  8. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
  9. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” Psalm 34:7
  10. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25
  11. “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22
  12. “Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.'” Mark 5:36
  13. “The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” Zephaniah 3:17
  14. “Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.'” Revelation 1:17
  15. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22
  16. “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.  Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
  17. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19
  18. “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
  19. “Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…” Isaiah 35:4
  20. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

 

God Bless,

Fr Todd

 

Deacon Corner, June 28, 2020

In our 2nd reading today, St. Paul shows his frustration that many of the early Christians did not seem to realize that Baptism is a life-changing event.  Because, many of them still spent their time and energy pursing their own interests as they did before they were baptized.  He wants them to understand that in Baptism they took on a new identity.  They died to their old habits and were transformed into a new life – a life of Christ.

 

Today’s reading, Romans 6:1-11, is St. Paul’s main teaching on Baptism.  He wrote: When you were baptized, you went into the tomb with Jesus and joined him in death so just as Christ was raised from the dead, you, too, might live a new life.  Those words were easily understood by the Roman Christians he was writing to, but can be a little mystifying for us today.  The reason is that we administer the Sacrament of Baptism differently than they did.  Today, the priest or deacon dribbles a little water on the head of a child and the baptism is basically done.  But for the early Christians, Baptism was a total bodily immersion in a special baptistery, set into the floor of the church.  After an act of faith, an adult being baptized would step down into the water and symbolically “die” by going right under the water, then symbolically rise up to a new life.   But, no matter how the Sacrament of Baptism is conducted, through it we become identified with Christ.

 

In our Gospel today, Jesus identifies Himself completely with His friends and disciples when He says, “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me.”  That identification which Christ speaks of is shared with every one of us through our Baptism.   Through our Baptism, we receive special graces to grow in union with Jesus to be less attracted to sin.  We begin to understand that the consequence of sin is a loss of profound peace and joy that comes from a relationship with God, and miss the experience of Christ’s own energy flowing within us when we devote everything we do to promoting the Kingdom of God to His people.

 

This week, may we pray to be open to our Baptismal graces, and use those graces to stop being so self-consumed with our own concerns that we don’t recognize the needs of people around us.  May we pray for the wisdom to know how to approach people who need strength and encouragement so they, too, can experience Jesus in their life and enter the Kingdom of God.

Deacon John

 

Homilies from June 21, 2020

GospelMT 10:26-33

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

 

Fr. Todd Homily

 

Fr. Tomy Homily