Fr. Tomy Homily, February 10 2019

SUNDAY 5TH WEEK YEAR C

In each of the three readings Isaiah, Paul and Peter feel they have very good excuses for not accepting God’s call. None of them feels worthy or capable enough. Isaiah’s reply is “What a wretched state I am in, I am a man of unclean lips”. Paul says that he hardly deserves the name of apostle, being the least of the apostles at a time when nobody even himself remotely expected this.  Peter tells Jesus after the miraculous catch of fish: “Leave me Lord, I am a sinful man”. Each one knows that he is in the presence of the Holy One and believe that they are totally unworthy of God’s choice of them. They experience what we might call ‘Spiritual Inferiority’

God chooses us because He is good and not because we are worthy.  Jesus does not deny what Peter says about being a sinful man but he calls him nevertheless in the hope that Peter will realize that the work Jesus is entrusting to him could never be accomplished by man or woman without the powerful help of God’s Spirit. It will take a whole lifetime to realize how we need God’s help.  So here, Simon as he was then called gets a new name, Peter, a new job and a new image and all three take time to complete their transformation.

In that we are baptized we too, like Peter, are called to witness to God in the world.  It is not Isaiah, Paul and Peter who choose God.  It is the very opposite and that is what matters.  Maybe we can see the demands involved.  We might prefer to opt out. If that is our choice then God will leave us free to do if we wish. But we will never have the deep peace and joy we seek if we search for it in other places apart from God.

God sees the marvelous potential in each of us. We each have different roles to play in God’s desire to bring about his kingdom of truth, peace, justice and forgiveness here on earth be it as parents, children, priests, religious etc.

Peter had worked hard all night and caught nothing.  Jesus asked him to try again.  He could have objected saying he was exhausted or that there were no fish where they had failed to catch any.  However, he responded to Jesus and tried again. Look at the result.  Sometimes we too may get tired of trying to be good Christians. We may get bored, disillusioned with what we sometimes see going on in the church.  We may want to give up on ourselves or on others who disappoint or even betray us. To all of us Jesus says, ‘try again’.  I am with you. I count you worthy. You have great potential.  But we must be like Isaiah, Paul and Peter realize deeply that we cannot succeed alone.  Like Peter, we may fish all night in darkness, but Jesus invites us to call on his help. He is the Light of the World and he will make our efforts fruitful in his own way and in his own time.

In the gospel today Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom (verses 1-3) and fishing, the daily work of these people (verses 4-7) are interrelated.  It is an important lesson for us. The gospel must be proclaimed on the basis of people’s lives – yours and mine. Ultimately, of course it is only out of our own personal understanding of who God is that we will witness to here and now. If we think, God is out to punish us and send us to hell then that is the God we will reveal to others. If my experience of God is of someone who loves me passionately and unconditionally, chooses me to work for him despite my failings and sins, knowing that I am forgiven, a loved saved sinner, then that is the God I will witness to.

Jesus invites us all to enter into a new experience of God, to a surprise which only God can work out. God wants to use each one of us to do His work. He does not look at our sinfulness; rather, He comes to our aid. Peter though he was a sinful man was given the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. It is not sin that keeps us away from God but the persistence in sin. Peter after hearing Jesus’s words followed him and became a new being.

Today’s Gospel invites us to do what peter and his companions did, to persevere in our efforts in life. It also invites us to involve Jesus in our efforts in life.

 

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, February 10 2019

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

This week (Mon-Fri) I am taking some vacation time.  I will be going to a farm show in Kentucky with Dad and some of my family.  We will be swinging through Cincinnati on the way down to visit some relatives.  It is going to be a fun week.

We have had an interesting winter so far- I don’t know when the last time was our kids got 7 days off of school in a row!  Hopefully the Polar Vortex is gone for the year.  Nevertheless, I want to take this opportunity to answer a couple of questions that come up every winter.

Parish Office closure:

When this happens, I just want to remind you that in the event of an emergency you can always get ahold of me or Fr. Tomy by calling the emergency line.  That number is 517-258-0448.

Our Mass Schedule:

We will always have Mass at Sacred Heart when it is scheduled even if the parish office is closed for weather.  Fr. Tomy or I can always get over to the Church and so we will pray Mass.  I have always been amazed- in every parish I have served in no matter how bad it is someone always shows up.  I have never been the only one there.  For those who can come and want to come we will be there.

With St. Mary on the Lake there might be the occasion where Fr. Tomy or myself can’t make it for Mass.  If this happens on a Sunday Deacon John would offer a communion service (technically called a “Sunday Celebration without a Priest” Liturgy) for whoever comes.  If this happens on a Thursday, we will cancel the Mass and Suzzanne will send out an email notifying parishioners.

This all being the case when it comes to extreme weather please use prudence.  If it isn’t safe to come to Mass please don’t come to Mass.  I would encourage you on those occasions where weather keeps you home to take 45 minutes to an hour, (the same amount of time we would spend with Jesus at Mass), and spend that time in prayer.  If you find it helpful to keep up with the readings you would have heard at Mass you can find the readings online or on the My Parish App.

Distribution of the Precious Blood at Mass:

This time of year, the flu is always making its way around.  There can be a concern about receiving the precious blood from the chalice at Mass being the cause of the flu spreading.  At times we will stop distributing the precious blood during a particularly bad flu season.

My policy on that will be to follow what the Diocese ask us to do.  When it is warranted the Diocese will ask every parish to stop distributing the precious blood.  Otherwise we will keep on distributing the precious blood for those who feel comfortable receiving from the Chalice.

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, February 10 2019

 

A Catholic education is one of the best gifts parents can give their children.

Great News – The Witness to Hope Campaign was focused on raising money for tuition assistance and the money is now available for students in K-6th from the Diocese of Lansing.

Sacred Heart School also has local scholarships that can be used, in addition to Diocesan grants, making tuition very affordable.

Sacred Heart Families,

The Witness to Hope Campaign has made funding available to our families to help with cost of Catholic education! Additional local scholarship are also available, making Sacred Heart School affordable for all families. In order to receive scholarship of any kind you must fill out the FACTS application. We are very excited about the additional funding because Sacred Heart is dedicated to keeping our tuition low enough so that everyone can afford our private education. It is easy to apply and qualifying families will receive $750 per student in scholarship.

Families Must Apply by the March 1st Deadline:

  • Log into your FACTS account or set up a new FACTS account and complete the online form (under Grants and Aide tab). The cost is $30.00 and is payable to FACTS through their online application.
  • You do not need to make your decision to attend to Sacred Heart at this time, but you do not want to miss the deadline and opportunity for financial assistance.
  • Upload supporting documents through FACTS online, fax to 1-866-315-9264, or mail to: FACTS Grant and Aide Assessment P.O. Box 82524 Lincoln, NE 68501-2524

If you would like us to walk you through the scholarship process, call Tammy at 448-6405 for an appointment or on-line assistance.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, principal

 

Deacon’s Corner, February 10 2019

Our Scripture readings today are as much about humility as they are about God calling us to step up and do whatever he has planned for our life.

The 1st Reading is about the call of Isaiah.  His first response to the Lord was “why me” – my lips are unclean.  The 2nd Reading and Gospel are about the apostles, Peter and Paul, who Jesus called to carry on his message and ministry.  Peter says “why me?”- for I am a sinful man.   Paul says he, too, is sinful – “the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”  In spite of their past, God had a plan for each of them, and used those three, humble men to alter the course of history.

Just who are the Isaiahs, the Peters, and the Pauls in our society today?   When God wants to send a message of love to the outcasts of this world, who will say “Here I am; send me!”  When God wants someone to speak out in the halls of government against injustice, who will say “Here I am; send me!”  When people march out to war, violence, and bigotry and God needs someone to march in the opposite direction with a message of peace, who will be his messenger and say “Here I am, send me!”  As our world suffers from the ill effects of the evils and unfairness we’ve caused, and the Church offers a way out through its social teaching of justice and human dignity, who will be Jesus’ apostles to bring that message to the world?   Who will jump up and say “Here I am, Lord; send me!”

 During a radio message in 1978, Pope John Paul I said, “My brothers and sisters—all people of the world! We are all obliged to work to raise the world to a condition of greater justice, more stable peace, more sincere cooperation. Therefore, we ask and beg all—from the humblest who are the connective fibers of nations to heads of state responsible for each nation—to work for a new order, one more just and honest… We open ourselves with great trust to the assistance of the Lord, who, having called us to be his representative on earth, will not leave us without his all-powerful grace.”

 As Christians, we are called to work for the good of every human being.  God will give us the grace to stand up for those suffering from bullying, poverty, loneliness, and living in fear.  To step up and be humble, virtuous leaders at work and school, in the community, and especially in the family.  And to continue the work of Jesus by spreading his message of peace and salvation for all.  Thousands of years ago, God called Isaiah, Peter, and Paul to carry on this message.  Each thought they were not good enough to do what God needed done.  But, they responded anyway and changed the world.

Who will God call to do his work today?  Just whom will God send?  Will it be YOU?

Deacon John

 

Encounter School of Healing

The 1 day Encounter School of Healing that will be held in Brighton at St. Patrick’s on Feb 15 (evening) and February 16 is an excellent Scripturally-based basic training with Fr. Mathias and Patrick Reis. It will be followed by a pubic Healing Service at St. Patrick’s…attendees of the class will have a chance (if they want to) to pray with people alongside the Encounter Ministry team and with students from the Encounter 2 year School of Healing program.
For anyone interested in being part of the Sacred Heart Healing Team, please contact Lonnie Applegate or Maria Ansett.
More info on Encounter is available at www.encounterministries.us

Altar Server Training

 

ALTAR SERVER TRAINING

Sunday, February 10

12:00 – 2:30

Fr. Todd and Deacon John will offer training to learn the skills of being an Altar Server.  Open to all kids, grades 3 and up, who would like to become an Altar Server and anyone needing a refresher!   Lunch will be provided.  In order to have an accurate lunch count, please RSVP to the parish office, 448-3811.

Fr. Tomy Homily, February 3 2019

SUNDAY 4TH WEEK YEAR C

The central theme of today’s readings is that we should have and show the courage of our Christian convictions in our day-to-day lives in our communities, when we face hatred and rejection because of our Christian Faith. In both the first reading and the Gospel, Jeremiah and Jesus are presented as prophets, chosen, consecrated and sent to their brothers and sisters as emissaries of the Word of God. The first reading tells us how God called Jeremiah as His prophet and equipped him to face opposition and rejection. In the second reading, we hear Paul speaking with the courage of his convictions in correcting the Corinthian Christian community where the exercise of God’s gifts was causing competition, jealousy and divisiveness.  He courageously presents to them a “way” which surpasses all others, namely, the way of love.  He warns them that, if exercised without love, even the gifts of tongues, knowledge, Faith and generosity are useless. The reading shows us how Jesus faced skepticism and criticism with prophetic courage. Along with Jeremiah, Jesus and Paul believed that they were commissioned by God to proclaim a disturbing prophetic message (Jer 1:4-5, 17-19). No matter how strong the opposition, the three had the conviction that God was with them.

Let us face rejection with prophetic courage and optimism. Perhaps we have experienced the pain of rejection, betrayal, abandonment, violated trust, neglect or abuse. Perhaps we ourselves are guilty of such rejection.   We must realize that God’s power is always available to transform even the most unlikely people and that His power may come to us through unlikely instruments.

Let us not, like the people in Jesus’ hometown, reject God in our lives. The story of Jesus’ rejection by his townsfolk is also a story about how we often ignore and reject God.

We must have the prophetic courage of our convictions.  By our Baptism, God   calls us to be prophets like Jesus, sharing his prophetic mission.  The task of a prophet is to speak and to live out God’s truth.   We must never be afraid of this call, for it is Jesus who will supply us with the courage, the words and the deeds we will need to oppose the many evils in our society.

We reject Jesus Christ when we give hatred to others instead of love. We reject Jesus Christ when we close our minds and hearts to the commandments of God. We reject Jesus Christ when we plan and execute evil and fail to do good. The opposite of rejection is acceptance. God is inviting us today to reappraise how we accept and return His unfailing love for us. Furthermore, there is the need for us to examine how we accept the good news through commitment and active participation in the celebration of the Word and the Sacraments.

We need to rise beyond the name “Christians” and thrive to live the Christian life. The Christian life consists of total acceptance and purposeful choice of doing the will of God in season and out of season. The Christian life also involves defending our faith even when we are confronted by trials knowing that He who knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb would protect us from the siege of those who fight against us.