St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church - Naperville, IL

Seek. Ask. Find.

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The Gospel for the
1st and 21st Centuries

May 26, 2019 – John 14:23-29

Jesus promised to send The Advocate, the Holy Spirit; to dwell within the Church and each of us individuals. Have the child abuse scandals discouraged you? Jesus promised that his Church would always be supported by the Holy Spirit. Pray to the Holy Spirit daily to guide our leaders back to walking the way of Jesus and pray for us that we might live life as Jesus showed us. After all “above all.” “The Spirit is with You!”

 

May 19, 2019 – John 13:31-33a, 34-35

Jesus, by his death and Resurrection, is transformed and glorified. He reiterates the commandment to “love one another”, but adds a twist, “as I have loved you.” This may sound like easy words.  But love seems hard to come by when you hear so often about abused children, ransom shootings and attacks on Houses of Worship. There is a Greek word “agape” which is the highest form of love. It is love of God for all humankind and humankind’s for God. Pray for all – and pray with love.

 

May 12, 2019 – Luke 6:27-38

Jesus uses the simile of sheep, animals who loyally follow their master. Do you think of Jesus as your Master in Faith? Or do you find it difficult in this modern age to accept his lead? Heaven is your reward – a gift worth striving for. And Remember – you’re in good hands with Jesus!

 

April 14, 2019 –  Palm Sunday –  The Passion of Christ 

Jesus’ Body was taken down from the Cross before the feast of Passover.Joseph of  Arimathea asks Pilate to release His Body. He along with Nicodemus, both powerful men in the Jewish Court, are silent followers of Jesus. They make preparations for Jesus’ Body for burial and place him in a new tomb. Both did face reprisals rom the Sanhedrin. Are you a silent follower of Jesus? How would you react?

 

March 31, 2019 – Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

What are you hungry for? Recognition, success, wealth? Do you hunger for acceptance, like the older son in today’s parable of “The Prodigal Son?” Or are you just plain hungry, like the younger son? God – ‘The Prodigal’ Father – invites each of us to “taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”(Ps 34) We do this in each Eucharist, taking in the boundless, overflowing grace and love of God. Will you take God up on His invitation this week? Every week?

 

March 24, 2019 – Luke 13:1-9

This past week, our news media has given us detailed description of the Muslim Community in New Zealand  tragically being gunned down by a misguided individual. Today’s Gospel speaks of Galileans who suffered at the hands of Pontius Pilate; good people were needlessly sacrificed. This is analogous to the Muslims in New Zealand and other communities in the United States and abroad who have suffered from cruelty. They sinned. We sin. But we are assured that Jesus, as the gardener, will continue to cultivate and nurture us with his grace so we may live more fruitfully.

 

March 10, 2019 – Luke 4:1-13

A cheeky commentary on the Lord’s Prayer says “Lead me not into temptation –
I can find it myself!” What tempts you – food, desire, “success”….?  It is said the Devil’s in the details. It’s Lent now; look at the details of your life to see where you need to change. Then look as Jesus did, at the big picture of God’s mercy
and love. Pray for the grace to draw closer to God’s ways.

 

March 3, 2019 – Luke 6:39-45

“I’m not judgmental, just brutally honest – tell it like it is”. Do you recognize someone you love (you) in that sentence? Lent begins this Wednesday. Try this on for a resolution: every time you catch yourself criticizing someone else, look
in the mirror of your soul. Be honest with yourself, and then pray for God’s Grace to produce goodness in your heart.

 

February 9/10, 2019 – Luke 5:1-11

Today, both Isaiah and Peter experience a calling to follow God. Each of us whether student, single, religious or married  also receive a calling to serve Him. “I am not qualified”, you might say. God calls the unqualified just as he did in the Readings in today’s Mass. God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called. Go and share the Good News.

 

January 20 – John 2:1-11

When you heard the Gospel  did you realize that all of your concerns could be given to Jesus in prayer? Mary had great confidence and trust that her son,Jesus, would find a solution to the problem when she said “They have no wine.” When you have worries, turn to Jesus as His mother did, and let Him carry them. Trust is a visible component of Faith. Keep praying and solutions will come clear.

 

January 13 – Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

This week’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord gives each of us an opportunity to re-visit our own baptism – pull out the pictures, talk to your godparents, re-light your baptismal candle – and re-commit yourself  to its implications. YOU are a child of God, beloved and full of grace, entrusted to carry on the mission of Jesus. How do you think God wants you to respond to the generous gifts you have been given? Talk with God about that frequently…

 

January 6  – Matthew 2:1-12

“Wise ones still seek Him” –  you can see it on T-shirts and plaques.  Magi, probably astrologers, are led by a star to find the Child Jesus. Who or what are you following as we seek to renew our Faith in our Church? Will you bring the gift of yourself and support to Mass? Is your mind still on the scandals in the Church? As Father Bob reminds us, “People will not seek Christ unless they see Him reflected in us.”

 

December 30  – Luke 2:41-52

Have you ever lost a child while shopping? Imagine Mary and Joseph’ fear, when thinking Jesus was with a group in their caravan, to find out He was missing. Yet, we and they see the first indication of Jesus’ Divinity when they find Him in the Temple, unafraid, and conversing with the teachers. Then Jesus goes home and is obedient to his parents. Whether our parents are young or old, let us respect and honor them.

 

December 23  – Luke 1:39-45

The words we say in the Hail Mary “Blessed are you among women and Blessed is the fruit of your womb” were said to Mary by her cousin, Elizabeth in today’s Gospel. “Jumping for Joy” is how we’d describe her reaction today. Let us remember all new life today. Pray that we hold life dear and respect it. Birth is imminent!

 

December 16  – Luke 3:10-18

This Sunday’s Gospel is practical Christianity 101. As St. Theresa of Calcutta reminds us:  “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
It’s in our everyday doings that we honor and follow Jesus. Let the Mass and the Scriptures inspire you to action as well as prayer.

 

December 9  – Luke 3:1-6

Today’s Gospel speaks of the actual historical people in power in the 1st Century as well as John the Baptist who, after living a secluded life, goes out to the people then and now, saying  “Proclaim the way of the Lord. Make straight His paths.” This Advent, let us put our desire for power and recognition aside and prepare ourselves in humility and repentance for the coming again of our Lord.

 

November 25  – John 18:33b-37

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” (Ps. 95) Can you hear the echo of that in John’s Gospel today? Pilate is thinking from a political point of view. Do we allow our biases to cloud our sense of who Jesus is and the truth He taught while on this earth? Do we try to make Jesus the way we want Him to fit our personal agendas or do we “belong to the truth and listen to His voice?”

 

November 18  – Mark 3:34-32

Our days are getting shorter, we are experiencing darkness earlier, and our trees are barren of leaves. Compare this with our Gospel reading today! We know the seasons of the year but are we aware of the seasons of our lives? We do not know when our lives or our world will end. But remember the full cycle of birth/death/rebirth. Prepare the final coming of Jesus to spring with new growth. Remain faithful to His message so as to experience new and everlasting life.

 

November 11  – 1 Kings 17:10-16

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer – that’s the way the world seems to be going. Yet each of us can make a difference in someone’s life with even a small contribution to the well-being of another person, whether that’s food, money, clothing, or direct service. It’s how we build up ‘treasure in heaven.’ Wouldn’t you like to be rich in that regard? Help someone here to be less poor!

 

October 27/28  – Mark 10:46-52

Bartimeus, a blind man, wishes to see. His healing is manifested not  only in his physical eyesight but spiritually in his faith. Are we physically blind to the needs of others? Do you pray for spiritual awakening? We have much in common with Bartimeus. Will we, like him, follow Jesus “on the Way” through our lives? Pray for whatever needs healing in you – whether it is physical, mental or spiritual.

 

October 20/21  – Mark 10:35-45

James and John, Apostles of Jesus, request that they have a special place beside Jesus. How many people in our society desire status and power? How many spend their lives chasing them? When we contemplate the Gospels, we become aware we are to be there for others and follow Jesus at all costs. How about you? What is your goal in life… power or loving kindness?

 

October 13/14  – Mark 10:17-30

Many people either give up on Christianity or don’t take it seriously, saying Jesus sets impossible expectations and standards. In reality, keeping the Commandments and doing good for others trains us in the way of God’s Grace. How often have you heard “No pain, no gain?” Something worth working for takes time and effort. The promise of Eternal Life is worth your effort. Self-giving love and sacrifice will point you in the right direction. God’s Love and Grace will take you the rest of the way home.

 

October 6/7  – Mark 10:2-12

Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees quotes Genesis when he speaks of God joining a man
and woman together to live in love. Hardness of heart — it afflicts all of us at some point and always leads to disruptions in relationships. The law says “Do the Legal thing.” Jesus says “Do the loving thing.” What if we applied that principle not only
to marriage but also to other areas of shared life… politics, economics?

 

September 29/30  – Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

“Whoever causes these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” Do you think our Bishops, Priests and ourselves should reread the Gospels? Has this scandal caused you to doubt your Church? Why remain Catholic? Even amid human sin and betrayal, the Holy Spirit confirms the Church. Jesus’ Real Presence is in the Eucharist and the Catholic Church is the Church of the Eucharist.

 

September 22/23  – Mark 9:30-37

Jesus selected twelve Apostles to follow Him in humility and service; yet, they argue among themselves in pride and ambition. Today, we have a scandal in our Catholic Church among our priests and bishops, followers of Jesus who seem to have forgotten the servant leadership Jesus modeled and commanded. Let’s not forget or neglect our call, as individuals and as a community to follow Jesus Christ in humility and service.

 

September 15/16  – Mark 8:27-35

In the Gospel today, Peter admonishes Jesus because he is thinking not as God does, but as a human being fallible yet faithful. Today, we have to honestly ask ourselves if we are followers of Jesus  Christ. Will we carry the cross of scandal or will we realize that Faith is the most important?  Bishop Barron says “ Even as leaders in the Church fail morally, the Church remains the Mystical Body of Christ, the bride of Christ. And she’s worth fighting for.”

 

September 8/9  – Mark 7:31-37

Our Gospel is about a deaf man who asks Jesus for healing so he might hear and speak. Today, many of us are deaf to the truth of our Church. It’s not about the fallible people who are part of it. It is about the Trinity and the Eucharist- Jesus’ Real Presence in that small wafer we receive. Lord, open our minds and hearts that we might learn the true meaning of our Faith; and as recipients of the Eucharist, let us bring God to others.

 

Aug 25  – John 6:60-69

Do you ever doubt your faith? Many of Jesus’ disciples did and no longer followed him. There is a decrease in attendance in our Churches today. Are people too involved in secular society and are indifferent to God? Remember these words in the Gospel of John: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life.” Jesus feeds us here and for the hereafter. Are you in for the long haul?

 

Aug 18/19 – John 6:51-58

“Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” When we taste something we perceive as good, we want more of it. So the question is – what do you feed on? Some people “feed” on the admiration and adulation of others. Some feed on “success.” What is life-giving to you? Do you feed on Christ in word and sacrament – or on something else? You get to choose. Just remember- your choice has eternal consequences.