Reverence, how do we or should we show reverence….
I was asked today about how I project reverence. That took me back a little, because I’ve struggled with that question. I don’t really think that working at showing reverence is appropriate. How do we show reverence? Kneeling? Folding our hands? By what we wear? The prayers we say out loud? I don’t think it is any of those things by themselves.
Reverence is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
1 :honor or respect felt or shown :deference; especially:profound adoring awed respect
4 :one held in reverence —used as a title for a clergyman
So what does that mean for me?
On Ash Wednesday, I find the readings challenging. We are told to pray in quiet and not to mark ourselves, and yet we do just that. We put a big black cross on our forehead. I reconcile that because our intent is to show our humanity and frailty, not that we are fasting. We show our dependence on God.
We all see those people doing things to be noticed. The person with the wad a prayer cards or the 30 rosaries dangling from their hands, arms and neck. Any overtly obvious sign to look at them praying or being holy. We have all seen it. This doesn’t apply to all. I think of the widow and the one coin, the woman at the well, the tax collectors and all those Jesus lifted up and they all have one thing in common, they were humble and simple of faith. Simple, doesn’t mean shallow, but unencumbered. Simple faith can be the deepest. We know when we meet those people too.
So how do I show reverence?
By respecting all of God’s people. Whenever I slip and think or say bad things about someone, I feel that I have not been reverent to God’s creation. Same is true with self-talk, we need to respect ourselves. As a priest, it is about being respectful of my duties. It isn’t my Mass, it isn’t your Mass. All our official liturgies belong to the Church. I show reverence, by doing them as closely as possible to what the Church intended. I show reverence by being the best possible priest that I can. Showing reverence is being all of who God created us to be.
2 suicides- one day. Please get to those maybe thinking of suicide
Modified a little, this was on Facebook last week. But with funerals this week, decided to also post here.
I’m sitting here a bit dazed. I’ve been a chaplain at a level one trauma center and am usually pretty unflappable, but today has me thinking and praying! 2 people working or attending my parish lost siblings to suicide today. So please, if you, or someone you know are at risk, please know there are people that care. Even people you may not know, care. The incredible pain this causes those who your life has touched is immeasurable.
If you are not sure if you can take another day, or know someone that might be feeling that way, call a church, call the suicide hotline or go to an emergency room. Always better safe than sorry!
No matter what you think right now, your life does matter. If you truly believe that no-one cares, know you were created for a purpose and ending your life in noway serves that purpose.
Here is the number for the suicide hotline. They have a chat option too in case you can’t call privately or can bring yourself to talk about it. Just google suicide hotline or call…
Homily that wasn’t given 25th Sunday Ordinary Time A – Pat O’Brien
It was the deacon’s week to preach and I always have something ready just in case. This has never happened, but one of the deacons started the homily exactly as I would have, but after that, went a little different way. I liked my homily, so thought I would just share it here and as always it is something that I needed to hear. So here is what my homily would have been for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time A.
The Gospel was about the land owner that paid the same amount to those that worked one hour as those that had worked the entire day. I would have started as Deacon Dan did. Ranting as a child “It isn’t fair, it just isn’t fair.” Life just isn’t fair. The reality is that our faith isn’t about being fair. All we have to do is look at the crucifix to see a sinless man that died for our salvation. In whose book is that fair? Not mine.
Our litigious society is all about what is fair and just. People wrong us and we want justice. People take advantage of us and we promise to not let that happen again. Fairness has become a part of everything we do.
St. Pius X Parish Festival – Celebrating 60 Years of Service!
Don’t miss out! October 8, 2017. 11Am – 6pm. This will be a great event. BBQ dinner tickets go on sale this weekend after all the masses. Only 700 printed and remember last year we sold out! This is 60 years of service, and the St. Piux X festival gets bigger each year.
Rides for the kids. Amazing live and silent auction items. Games that all can enjoy including BINGO! Sit and enjoy the live music, eat, drink and be merry!
The raffle this year has 10 prizes and is only $5.00. Look at what you can win.
Join us for a great day and a chance to win thousands of dollars or a Diamond Necklace or 65″ Samsung Smart TV.
Call parish at 210.824.0139 for more info or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This story, which we celebrate every August 6th, is in all three synoptic Gospels and is a bit odd. It really doesn’t fit with the rest of the Gospels. It is more like a magical Hollywood production than a story about a humble Savior who came with mercy and forgiveness. We have the dead reappearing and the voice of God from the heavens. It is hard not to think of Charlton Heston and The 10 Commandments.
So why is it in the Gospel? Each Gospel is written to a different community and this story is still there. I don’t know if this is my thought or from a book I read or from a seminary class, but I have seen this for a long time as having to be true. It doesn’t meet what a historian would say was fact, but the purpose has to be true for us and for our faith. Jesus even asked his disciples to not say a word about this until after the resurrection. The Transfiguration is an event that has to be for our faith. That is the only reason that it is there.
The Transfiguration brings old and new together; it shows for all people that Jesus really is our Lord and Savior. When we doubt or lack trust, we just need to look to the Transfiguration and the words of our God.
Hot of the press if you are reading this in August. Here are the details of St. Pius X and friends pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Some questions answered:
Who is eligible? Anyone with $2900 that wants to go on pilgrimage to Holy Land.
Do we have to fly out of from Houston? Yes, seats are booked, but if you live in other part of country all you need to do is get a ticket to either San Antonio and take bus, or Houston in time to meet us before flight.
Do I have to be Catholic? No. It is, however, a Catholic pilgrimage with Mass every day and focused on the Christian sites. There is not requirement of anyone to attend Mass, but there will be no transportation to other places.
Is it safe? I purposely picked a tour company that specializes in the Holy Land. The company owner is from there and his brother still lives there. They have sent thousands of people there and they have all returned safely. That is there livelihood. We are actually paying a little more to reduce our travel and avoid delays, which again increases our safety. Please come to meetings and meet Moses and he can discuss this further. (yes his name really is Moses)
Can Anyone tell us we sinned? I get asked almost every weekend, is this action a sin. I have to resist just saying, what do you think or would you be asking if it wasn’t. Too many people have the wrong notion of how to determine a sinful act and I know who to blame. I blame years of poor teaching on our part. So when I hear, I did (fill in the blank), is it a sin, I need to do a little teaching first.
Defining sin, people constantly ask, if I am sure. To avoid people thinking I’m making this up, here is the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s definition:
1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. Sin wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.
To just add a bit more Church talk a mortal sin must meet this conditions:
1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”
This is part of another Blog, but I feel that it needs to be repeated. I have preached on it, taught about it and still feel that we are a long way from people getting it! When receiving communion and you hear, the simple phrases “The Body of Christ” and “The Blood of Christ” there is only one possible response, AMEN. Period, end of story, I should stop writing. That is it, just AMEN.
First issue. We are a universal Church. Catholic means universal. There are two words that are almost the same in all languages, AMEN and ALLELUIA. I have not been able to confirm, but in all the places I have been it has been amen, not always spelled like that and I found a list of 80 languages with the sound being amen, just the writing was different.
Second issue. Amen from the original texts is more accurately translated, “so be it”. It is more a statement of faith with many other nuances that trite phrases like “I believe” just don’t have.
Finally, if the whole, or even most of the church is uttering the same thing, who are we to change it. We are attesting with those present, those at neighboring parishes and those around the world that we are one Church. With our amen we affirm our communion of faith and purpose with the entire Church. We have come together at Eucharist as one universal Body of Christ all using the same affirmation, AMEN.
Our next Pilgrimage is the Holy Land. We will be leav
ing St. Pius X at 10:30AM on Sunday March 11!
A bus will take all but me to Houston, where I will meet you after the 10:15 mass. We will check in and be met by local tour representative and check in for our Lufthansa Flight to Frankfurt, Germany. T
hose that went to Ireland, we have gone from probably the smallest transatlantic plane to the largest. Looks like we will be on at A380, which is a full two story plane. Looks like it will be 3 seats on outside of aisles and 4 in the middle. (Unless you upgrade to the top floor!) We will then board another Lufthansa Flight to Tel Aviv on what looks like an Airbus A 321, 3 seats either side of the aisle. I am assuming we will have similar planes on the way home. We get a bonus night in Frankfurt on the way home and we can get a great German dinner to prepare us for re-entry.
Do you have to be a St. Pius X, Parishioner? NO
Do you have to be Catholic? No, all are welcome! FYI, We will celebrate mass most days.
What is itinerary? We are going at a busy time, he is working on it.
What if I want more info? There will be an info night next month, watch for dates. We may stream it live on Facebook.
How much will tipping by? Included
How much will food be? I don’t know, depends on how much you eat, but breakfast and dinner are included and will be more buffet style to facilitate quicker meals most nights.
We have set aside 44 seats. I have taken one of them. This will be like last time, first come with $300 to hold, first saved.
Price should be around $3000 each and 4 hotels including one in Germany.
If you are interested and want to be adding to mailing list please watch for more info! Once I have details they will be posted here like last time!