15th Sunday of Ordinary Time: July 13/14, 2019

My name is Samuel. But most people just call me Sam.
Like Don Coreleone in the Godfather movies – I was named for the place where I was born. . . I am from SAMARIA — so I am Sam, the Samaritan.
Now certainly you have heard of Samaria and Samaritans – and my bet is, if you have, your impressions aren’t that great. . .
Why just a couple of Sundays ago, you heard of some Samaritans being inhospitable to your man Jesus – the Gospel said, “On the way, some messengers of Jesus entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.”
And when two of his disciples, James and John, heard of the incident they wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume them – not exactly something you want to do to people you like. . .
So why the bad blood? To make a long story short, once close kinsmen, Samaritans were regarded as not being proper Jews — by the time of Jesus. They were not orthodox, or good enough, so to speak. . . They came from a mixed background having inter-married with the local folks — so were seen as ethnically impure.
Since they were seen as outcasts and despised by the Jews in Israel, they were not allowed to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem, so the Samaritans built their own temple in their capital city of Shechem – which widened the gap between these two groups even more. . .
And that’s what gives the use of a Samaritan in perhaps one of the greatest stories ever told by Jesus – such force.
This Samaritan made good – because he was able to rise above the bigotry and prejudices of centuries and showed mercy and compassion for an injured man – after his own countrymen –
a priest and a Levite – pass him by – this was shocking news to those who originally heard the story
Remember when your preacher-man told you a couple of weeks ago that St. Luke’s Gospel is written for the underdogs of this world?? Those who are always finding themselves at the bottom of the pile, who never seem to get a break, and who always fall behind in some way?
Well, this “Good” Samaritan is a case in point – Jesus elevates this lowly one, and sets as his code of conduct the embracing of all, and the forsaking of no one – AND YOU – YOU— ARE TO GO AND DO LIKEWISE – but I am getting ahead of myself!
I’m here to confront you quite bluntly with the inconvenient truth of this story: ARE YOU CAPABLE OF BEING A GOOD SAMARITAN?? Before you answer the question, let’s consider a few things. . .
How often do you see people in need – and pass by on the other side?
Do you heed Christ’s calling to serve others, when you encounter soul after soul, day after day, everywhere you go. . . or do you pass up the opportunities way too often?
Do you selfishly justify your own agenda? Being so rushed and so distracted. Or worse, do you deem the needy unworthy of your time and effort?
Is your life bound in comfort and safety – and are those boundaries drawn to limit you from seeing the other side of the road, keeping you from going there?
It’s so easy to keep to ourselves, to our lives, to our people – isn’t it??? So are you uncomfortable yet? That’s the whole point of this parable – -to shake you up a bit. . . But I’m not finished yet. . .
Haven’t we all become somewhat blind to those barriers that have slowly been built – surrounding our sacred world of plenty, of selfish demands, of foregoing the dirty work with our clean hands?

The irony is we always looked on the priest and Levite with such disdain, using our punishing critical voice of “how could you just pass by and do nothing??”
But wait.
Don’t you see yourself? Even just a tiny bit of yourself – often doing the same thing???
“Love thy neighbor” doesn’t mean: Help when you have the time. Help when your heart is in the right place. Help when you have energy. Help when it’s convenient. Help when it’s someone you are comfortable with and love.

“Love thy neighbor” doesn’t mean — Help only those you agree with and understand. Help only the people you deem lovable and worthy of help. Help only those who believe the same things you believe.
NO, it means so much more. . .
LOVE: Sacrificially. Selflessly. Enduringly. Unconditionally. Generously. Compassionately. These are words that describe Christian ministry. . .
Our neighbor, as in love they neighbor — is broadly defined, not narrowly construed.
Now in reality — we don’t know what the priest and Levite had in their minds or on their hearts — when they chose to ignore the wounded man. . . Perhaps they did not want to get their holy hands dirty, or their sacred lives messy.
It could be that they were so distracted with their own pious mission, they simply did not think to look up so did not even see the man.
Or even worse? They may have believed someone so broken and beaten down was surely not worthy of their precious time and attention. . .
Were their deceiving beliefs keeping them from serving their Lord, hidden in the person of their neighbor? Oh, this fundamental hypocrisy lays the groundwork for so many people. . .

Whatever the reasons, no matter their intentions, two prestigious and religious people failed in God’s greatest purpose for our lives. God calls us all — to care for his children: There are no boundaries, no rules, nor qualifiers that limits this command: go, and do likewise. . .
And the one man, who was hated among the Jews. . . did what was right. A Samaritan. A Good Samaritan. He cared for a broken and beaten human being who was in desperate need of help.
What is so great about this story, I think, is that God chose a Samaritan – one of my people –
to exemplify doing the work of building the kingdom of God. A task many thought all Samaritans were incapable of doing. . .
Someone whom people despised back in that day.
Christ honors HIS heart, HIS choice, HIS service – and condemns the others for neglecting what is most important to the Lord – caring for his children – all of his children.
Oh how this truth is powerful, and the message is clear. May we all stop our busy distracted lives to lift the wounded, tend to the weak, love the unlovable, and serve those in need.
NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE, no matter how ugly the situation, or how broken and beaten down they appear.
Jesus is calling all of us to get our holy hands dirty and our sacred lives messy. We need to feel this call of the Lord deep within us, so we can open our eyes to see the broken and the wounded, the weak and the lost. We need to stretch out of our comfortable places, and remove our fears, our judgements, and our daily distractions —- AND CROSS THE ROAD!
So, my good friends of St. Patrick, take it from Sam the Samaritan – open your eyes and your hearts, open your holy hands, and your sacred lives —
For Christ is calling you to cross the road –
Because one thing is for sure – there is plenty of work to be done there.
So just to end on a lighter note. . .

Why did the Christian cross the road?? Because there was a person in the ditch on the other side. . . and they were going to help. . .

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time: 6/7 July 2019

Sister Melannie Svoboda, a school sister of Notre Dame, tells the following story in her book, Rummaging for God – a rather appropriate title as many of you will be rummaging at our garage sale this week. . . Anyway – Sister Melannie writes:

Beth and Cora, twin girls were born twelve weeks early. As was standard hospital practice at the time – the little girls were place in separate incubators in the PICU: the pediatric intensive care unit.
Cora, the larger twin at two pounds three ounces, quickly began to gain weight.
But little Beth, weighing only two pounds, had breathing and heart problems. Two weeks after birth, Beth’s condition became critical.
The doctors and nurses did everything they could to stabilize Beth. They suctioned her airway, and increased her flow of oxygen. But Beth just squirmed restlessly and her heartbeat soared.
It was then that one of the nurses remembered reading about a procedure common in parts of Europe – that called for putting newborn twins in the same incubator.
The nurse secured the permission of the twins’ parents to try the procedure.
She placed little Beth alongside her sister Cora.
No sooner had she closed the door to the incubator than Beth snuggled up to Cora. Immediately she calmed down. Within minutes her blood-oxygen level was the best it had been since her birth. Within days, Beth was gaining weight. Eventually both babies were healthy and strong enough to go home. Today, more and more hospitals are adopting the practice of the double-bedding of premature twins. . .

In the Gospel, Jesus appoints 72 people to carry the Good News of the Gospel to every town and place he intended to visit – and he sends them out not alone — but in pairs: two by two he sends them. . .
I want to strongly suggest that Jesus knew we draw great strength and support from those
with whom we share a common journey. . .
And I think that’s why the Church, in its wisdom, requires us to have godparents at Baptism, a sponsor for Confirmation, why a couple wanting to get married in the Church is sent to a lead couple as part of their preparation and why newly ordained priests spend a year or two in a parish with a seasoned pastor – because the Church also knows we draw great strength and support from those with whom we share a common journey.
During these Sundays of Ordinary Time – as we journey with Jesus to Jerusalem— making his mission our mission: bringing glad tidings to the poor, proclaiming liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and allowing the oppressed to go free:
We have to stay focused on Jesus – and not on the things of the world —– and we have to remember that we do not journey alone – in fact, we cannot journey alone – we need the care and support of one another.
Perhaps that is just another way of reminding us that because we are created in the image and likeness of the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – we long to be in love, to be in relationship, and to be in community. We are who we are because God is – who God is. . .
So let’s be ever thankful for our families – who more than likely first gave us the gift of faith — be thankful for this community of St. Patrick that surrounds us Sunday after Sunday and with whom we get to worship — and be thankful for those special people — spouses, friends, pastors, religious and relatives, godparents and sponsors — who God has sent to be our traveling companions in faith —- as we journey to Jerusalem together.

June 30th

Way back on January 27th, on the third Sunday of Ordinary Time – we heard these words from the beginning of St. Luke’s Gospel:
In the synagogue at Nazareth, where he had grown up, Jesus unrolled the scroll and found the passage of Isaiah where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. God has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
And Jesus said to them: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
With these words, Jesus told those in Nazareth, and he tells us – what his life is all about – what his mission statement is. . .
I thought it would be a good idea to revisit those words and that mission – because, in case you haven’t noticed – we are back to green – Easter and other feast days are over and done with — and now we begin our looooong stretch of Ordinary Time.
Beginning today, the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time, we will begin a methodical count of Sundays all the way up to the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary time on November 17 – and then celebrate the Feast of Christ the King –

and then begin a new liturgical year with the season of Advent – at which point we will probably be complaining about the cold and frigid weather. . .
In most years, our methodical count is interrupted by a feast day or two falling on a Sunday: the Transfiguration here, the Assumption there, and perhaps the feast of All Saints or All Souls, the Birth of John the Baptist or the feast of Saints Peter and Paul — but not this year. Our counting is a straight shot – which means our reading of St. Luke’s Gospel is uninterrupted: from now until late November, wherever we leave off reading the Gospel on one Sunday – we will usually pick right back up reading the next Sunday—
which will give us the clearest picture possible of that mission of Jesus – which needs to become our mission:
Bringing glad tidings to the poor, proclaiming liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and allowing the oppressed to go free.
St. Luke’s Gospel is written for the underdogs of this world – those who always find themselves at the bottom of the pile, who never seem to get a break, and who always fall behind in some way.
In the coming weeks as we read some interesting parables unique to St. Luke – like the farmer who feels the need to build bigger barns, guests who attend banquets, a woman who loses a coin —
And as we meet some interesting people: like a “Good” Samaritan, a rich man and Lazarus in the afterlife, a Pharisee and tax collector praying, 10 lepers who are cured, the tree climbing Zacchaeus, and a good thief who hangs on the cross next to Jesus —- who knows — we may just find out that we are among the poor, the captive, the blind and the oppressed – who desperately need to hear the liberating message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Over the next 20 weeks – we may have a guest speaker or two, hear a good story or two, have some laughs or shed some tears —
all as we do as Jesus does today – be resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem —
and we know as well as Jesus does what awaits us there: the cross —- from which our glorious king will eventually reign.
If we are going to be successful on our journey, and most especially if we are going to be successful in our mission of proclaiming the Gospel —we have to do two things — keep our eyes, minds, and hearts focused on Jesus — and know that we do not journey alone – in fact we cannot journey alone – we need the care and support of one another —- and we will have a story about that just next week.

The color for Ordinary Time is green — and out of curiosity – I googled “the meaning of the color green” and this is what I found:
GREEN is the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy. Green is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility and the environment. All life-giving and Gospel oriented things and themes. . .
Now listen to this contrast: GREEN is also traditionally associated with money, finances, banking, ambition, greed, and jealousy. Not quite as life-giving and certainly world oriented things and themes.
What are we going to keep our focus on? The world and its values, or the gospel?
The world promises acceptance.
The gospel promises the cross.
The world offers flesh and flash.
The gospel offers faith.
The world says: follow everyone else and fit in.
The gospel says: follow Jesus and stand out.
The world promises to please.
The gospel promises to save.
God doesn’t want to hear our excuses – like the ones Jesus had to listen to in the Gospel –
Let me go first and bury my father — let me first go and say farewell to my family at home – our excuses might include we are too busy, we don’t have the time or the energy, we have better things to do . . .
No, God doesn’t want our excuses – God just wants a commitment from us and asks which is it going to be — the world or the Gospel??

Let’s end with a prayer from the Letter to the Hebrews:

Let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us— and persevere in running the race that lies before us — while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross and has taken his seat at the right hand of God.
May we not grow weary or lose heart as we strive to follow after Jesus. AMEN! (12:1-3)

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time: July 13/14, 2019

My name is Samuel. But most people just call me Sam.
Like Don Coreleone in the Godfather movies – I was named for the place where I was born. . . I am from SAMARIA — so I am Sam, the Samaritan.
Now certainly you have heard of Samaria and Samaritans – and my bet is, if you have, your impressions aren’t that great. . .
Why just a couple of Sundays ago, you heard of some Samaritans being inhospitable to your man Jesus – the Gospel said, “On the way, some messengers of Jesus entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.”
And when two of his disciples, James and John, heard of the incident they wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume them – not exactly something you want to do to people you like. . .
So why the bad blood? To make a long story short, once close kinsmen, Samaritans were regarded as not being proper Jews — by the time of Jesus. They were not orthodox, or good enough, so to speak. . . They came from a mixed background having inter-married with the local folks — so were seen as ethnically impure.
Since they were seen as outcasts and despised by the Jews in Israel, they were not allowed to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem, so the Samaritans built their own temple in their capital city of Shechem – which widened the gap between these two groups even more. . .
And that’s what gives the use of a Samaritan in perhaps one of the greatest stories ever told by Jesus – such force.
This Samaritan made good – because he was able to rise above the bigotry and prejudices of centuries and showed mercy and compassion for an injured man – after his own countrymen –
a priest and a Levite – pass him by – this was shocking news to those who originally heard the story
Remember when your preacher-man told you a couple of weeks ago that St. Luke’s Gospel is written for the underdogs of this world?? Those who are always finding themselves at the bottom of the pile, who never seem to get a break, and who always fall behind in some way?
Well, this “Good” Samaritan is a case in point – Jesus elevates this lowly one, and sets as his code of conduct the embracing of all, and the forsaking of no one – AND YOU – YOU— ARE TO GO AND DO LIKEWISE – but I am getting ahead of myself!
I’m here to confront you quite bluntly with the inconvenient truth of this story: ARE YOU CAPABLE OF BEING A GOOD SAMARITAN?? Before you answer the question, let’s consider a few things. . .
How often do you see people in need – and pass by on the other side?
Do you heed Christ’s calling to serve others, when you encounter soul after soul, day after day, everywhere you go. . . or do you pass up the opportunities way too often?
Do you selfishly justify your own agenda? Being so rushed and so distracted. Or worse, do you deem the needy unworthy of your time and effort?
Is your life bound in comfort and safety – and are those boundaries drawn to limit you from seeing the other side of the road, keeping you from going there?
It’s so easy to keep to ourselves, to our lives, to our people – isn’t it??? So are you uncomfortable yet? That’s the whole point of this parable – -to shake you up a bit. . . But I’m not finished yet. . .
Haven’t we all become somewhat blind to those barriers that have slowly been built – surrounding our sacred world of plenty, of selfish demands, of foregoing the dirty work with our clean hands?

The irony is we always looked on the priest and Levite with such disdain, using our punishing critical voice of “how could you just pass by and do nothing??”
But wait.
Don’t you see yourself? Even just a tiny bit of yourself – often doing the same thing???
“Love thy neighbor” doesn’t mean: Help when you have the time. Help when your heart is in the right place. Help when you have energy. Help when it’s convenient. Help when it’s someone you are comfortable with and love.

“Love thy neighbor” doesn’t mean — Help only those you agree with and understand. Help only the people you deem lovable and worthy of help. Help only those who believe the same things you believe.
NO, it means so much more. . .
LOVE: Sacrificially. Selflessly. Enduringly. Unconditionally. Generously. Compassionately. These are words that describe Christian ministry. . .
Our neighbor, as in love they neighbor — is broadly defined, not narrowly construed.
Now in reality — we don’t know what the priest and Levite had in their minds or on their hearts — when they chose to ignore the wounded man. . . Perhaps they did not want to get their holy hands dirty, or their sacred lives messy.
It could be that they were so distracted with their own pious mission, they simply did not think to look up so did not even see the man.
Or even worse? They may have believed someone so broken and beaten down was surely not worthy of their precious time and attention. . .
Were their deceiving beliefs keeping them from serving their Lord, hidden in the person of their neighbor? Oh, this fundamental hypocrisy lays the groundwork for so many people. . .

Whatever the reasons, no matter their intentions, two prestigious and religious people failed in God’s greatest purpose for our lives. God calls us all — to care for his children: There are no boundaries, no rules, nor qualifiers that limits this command: go, and do likewise. . .
And the one man, who was hated among the Jews. . . did what was right. A Samaritan. A Good Samaritan. He cared for a broken and beaten human being who was in desperate need of help.
What is so great about this story, I think, is that God chose a Samaritan – one of my people –
to exemplify doing the work of building the kingdom of God. A task many thought all Samaritans were incapable of doing. . .
Someone whom people despised back in that day.
Christ honors HIS heart, HIS choice, HIS service – and condemns the others for neglecting what is most important to the Lord – caring for his children – all of his children.
Oh how this truth is powerful, and the message is clear. May we all stop our busy distracted lives to lift the wounded, tend to the weak, love the unlovable, and serve those in need.
NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE, no matter how ugly the situation, or how broken and beaten down they appear.
Jesus is calling all of us to get our holy hands dirty and our sacred lives messy. We need to feel this call of the Lord deep within us, so we can open our eyes to see the broken and the wounded, the weak and the lost. We need to stretch out of our comfortable places, and remove our fears, our judgements, and our daily distractions —- AND CROSS THE ROAD!
So, my good friends of St. Patrick, take it from Sam the Samaritan – open your eyes and your hearts, open your holy hands, and your sacred lives —
For Christ is calling you to cross the road –
Because one thing is for sure – there is plenty of work to be done there.
So just to end on a lighter note. . .

Why did the Christian cross the road?? Because there was a person in the ditch on the other side. . . and they were going to help. . .

Ms. Monaghan’s Message – May 10

Good Morning St. Patrick families! What a week we have had!  Thank you to all of our families who made this such a special week for our entire staff.  We are incredibly grateful to you!  This year has gone by so quickly and it’s hard to believe that our last day of school is only one week away!   Please see my newsletter for important information about the upcoming week!   www.smore.com/grwqd-ms-monaghan-s-message-may-10 Have a relaxing and restful weekend! Kaci Monaghan Principal St. Patrick School

3 Easter – 5/5/2019

By Fr. Matthew Brumleve

Mercy, Pope Francis says, is the very face of God.  The pope also said: “Mercy makes us understand that violence, resentment, and revenge have no place in the life of a Christian.”  But oh how we love those things – rather than forgiveness. . .

There once was a little boy, Johnny,  who was visiting his grandparents on their farm.  And his grandfather gave him a slingshot to play with out in their vast woods.

The boy practiced shooting his slingshot every day – but he could never hit what he was aiming at – trees, stumps, tin cans on fence posts. . . all were missed – why, he probably couldn’t  even hit the side of the barn!

 Getting a little discouraged after a week, he decided to give up on the slingshot.

But as he neared the house from walking back  from the woods that day – he saw his grandmother’s pet duck.  Just out of impulse, he picked up a rock, put it in the slingshot and let fly at the duck – most to his surprise – he hit the duck square in the head and killed it.

Johnny was shocked and scared. . . it was his grandmother’s pet duck!  In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the woodpile – only to see his sister, Sally, watching.  Sally had seen what had happened – but said nothing.

Until after lunch that day – when Grandma said, “Sally, help with the dishes.”  And Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me HE wanted to help with the dishes, don’t you Johnny?”  And she quietly whispered to him, Remember the Duck. . .

So Johnny helped with the dishes.  Later, Grandpa said, “let’s go fishing.”  Sally and Johnny were both ready to go – until grandma said, “I need Sally to stay and help me clean the house.”  And Sally said, “Oh no, grandma – Johnny will be more than willing to say and help, won’t you Johnny?” As she quietly whispered, Remember the Duck. . .  So Johnny stayed, and Sally went fishing with grandpa.

After several days of doing BOTH his chores and Sally’s, Johnny could not stand it anymore.  He went to his Grandmother and confessed that he had accidently killed the duck. She knelt down, gave him a hug and said, “Sweatheart, I know.  I was standing at the window and saw it all. But because I love you, I forgave you. But I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you. . .”

Something like that happened in today’s Gospel – and happens in our lives.  There was, you recall, a campfire. Around it, Peter, Jesus’ hand-picked leader of his group, denied him three times – and with swearing and cursing at that!

Then, loaded with guilt, Peter bolted from the fire and fled into the dark streets of Jerusalem.  Still enslaved by his guilt, he apparently just wanted to go back to what he knew best — fishing — rather than doing that fishing for men and woman as Jesus had invited him to do.

That’s where we find him in today’s Gospel.  Then, as we heard, Peter unexpectedly found himself around another campfire.  This time he had the chance to affirm his love for Jesus three times – and Jesus, who was wondering just how long his guilt would make a slave of him – embraced Peter and forgave him – and set him free — just as Johnny’s grandmother did for him.

But this should not surprise us.  Mercy was Jesus’ name and forgiveness was his game – not revenge.  And hopefully we can all nod in agreement and be filled with gratitude that Jesus will give us a second chance as well, no matter what we do.  . .

For Jesus, there is always another campfire around which to set things right – for all of us.  And it is only when we are liberated from our fear, our guilt, our pain and confusion – that we can do what Jesus asks of us – just as he asked Peter:

LOVE ME:  BY FEEDING MY LAMBS, BY TENDING MY SHEEP, BY FEEDING MY SHEEP – that is how we are called to follow after Christ.

And we cannot do that if we are carrying around the weight of the past – being held back by grudges, or seeking to harm or retaliate against another – by reminding them of the ducks they have slain. . .

Mercy:  is the very face of God.  We show mercy to others by forgiveness, and through love:

Feed my lambs.

Tend my sheep.

Feed —- my sheep.

Come, let us follow after the Lord.

Ms. Monaghan’s Message – May 3

Good morning St. Patrick families! It’s donut day and donut day brings a lot of excitement around here.  :)  Thank you to everyone who supported our Student Council by purchasing donuts!   Please see the link below for my newsletter this week.  We have a lot of important information for the days ahead and you don’t want to miss out! www.smore.com/exr0t-ms-monaghan-s-message-may-3 Have a great day, Kaci Monaghan Principal St. Patrick School

2 Easter – 4/28/2019

By Fr.Matthew Brumleve

During the Jubilee year of 2000:  Pope John Paul II designated this 2nd Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.

On this Sunday, and throughout the Easter season and in fact – throughout our lives — we are invited to take up the strength of grace that comes to us from the mercy of God – and show that mercy to others.

THAT is a direct command which always comes to us in the Gospel on the 2nd Sunday of Easter.  Jesus says to the disciples [and to us]:   “As the Father has sent me, so I also send you.”

After saying this, Jesus then entrusts them with a special task, telling them:  “receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive — are forgiven.”

This is the meaning of mercy that is presented to us by Christ:  forgiveness.  Not carrying around the weight of the past – not to be held back by grudges, not seeking harm or retaliation of another — but forgiveness.   

The first task the risen Christ gave to his followers is to forgive one another. . . This commission is to be a concrete and visible sign of Christ’s mercy.

Today, in Pope Francis – we have a Pope who never tires of talking about mercy.  “Mercy,” the Pope says, “is the face of God.”

I can do no better today than to simply read some of Pope Francis’ quotes on mercy – pausing after each one to let it soak in a bit – and then we will end with an appropriate response to mercy – singing.

Pope Francis says:

“Jesus kept his wounds so that we would experience his mercy.  This can strengthen us and give us hope.”

“Let us never forget that mercy is the keystone of the life of faith –and a concrete way with which we give visibility to the Resurrection of Christ.”

“We are all sinners but God heals us with an abundance of grace and mercy and tenderness.  We are called to go and do likewise.”

“Mercy is a verb – not a noun:  we have to show mercy in order to receive mercy.  We cannot meditate on mercy without it turning into action.”

“Start by feeling compassion for the poor and the outcast – then surely you will come to realize that you,  yourself, stand in need of mercy.”

“Mercy warms the heart and makes it sensitive to the needs of our brothers and sisters.  Mercy commits everyone to being an instrument of justice, reconciliation and peace.”

“For it is by mercy that the Lord forgives our sins and gives us grace to practice acts of mercy in God’s name.”

“Mercy makes us understand that violence, resentment, and revenge have no place in the life of a Christian.  The first victim is whoever lives these sentiments – because it deprives them of their own dignity.”

“The most important thing in the life of every man and woman is not that they should never fall along the way – the important thing is always to get back up – not staying on the ground and licking your wounds.  God’s mercy helps us to do that – to get back up — and our mercy can help others do it.”

“If our hearts are closed – if our hearts are made of stone – the stones quickly find their way into our hands and we are ready to throw them.  So open your heart to mercy – -and let go of the stones.”

“God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking God’s mercy,”

“Let the church always be a place of mercy and hope – where everyone is welcomed, loved, and forgiven.”

After meditating on mercy – how can we keep from singing?  So I invite you to turn to #494 in the hymnals to learn a simple refrain. . .

Mighty Spirit of our Lord. . .

Give us faith to live your word.

You have loved us as your own. . .

Make us turn to you alone.

May we be a blessing true. . .

Christ as Lord of all we do.

Be the fountain of each soul. . .

Flow in us and make us whole.

Make us children of your light. . .

As your gospel shining bright.

God who lives beyond our death. . .

Love as near as every breath.

As the mystic St. Faustina taught us to pray:

For the sake of his sorrowful Passion – have mercy on  us and on the whole world. AMEN!

Easter Sunday Homily 2019

By Father Matthew Brumleve

On behalf of myself and our deacons:  Jim Koger and Mike Lewis,

Our Principal:  Kaci Monaghan.

Early childhood director:  Mary Ragan

Liturgist and financial coordinator:  Robin Lamb

Religious Education Director:  Jean Folken

Office Administrator:  Lisa Angotti –

And anyone else I may be forgetting about –

I wish all of you a happy and holy Easter!  We are glad you chose to spend part of your day with us here at St. Patrick – and hope you get to spend the rest of your day with family and friends:

Enjoying some good food, a little candy, perhaps an Easter egg hunt – but most especially just enjoying each other’s company.

The resurrection of Jesus calls us to NEW LIFE – and so may you find the strength and grace you need in this liturgy and in this Easter season – to be a witness to the resurrected Christ in your home, your place of work, here in the parish – and in your schools and neighborhoods.  And to this we say: ALLEULUIA!

It was Art Linkletter who first told us years ago – that kids say the darndest things.  And if we need proof of this – here are a few examples:

** An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him:  “Carl, how do you ever expect to get into heaven?”

The boy thought it over for a moment and finally said:  “Well, I’ll just run in an out //and in and out// and in and out – and keep slamming the door – until St. Peter finally says, ‘For heaven’s sake, Carl, either come in or stay out,’ —and then I’ll just stay in!”

**After listening restlessly to a long and tedious homily, a six year old boy asked his father what the priest did the rest of the week.  “Oh, he stays pretty busy,” his father replied.

“He takes care of Church business, visits the sick, helps the poor. . . and then he has to rest up.  You know — Speaking in public isn’t an easy job.”

The boy thought about that, and then said, “well let me tell you – listening in public—  ain’t an easy job either!”

** A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan, in which the man was beaten, robbed, and left for dead on the side of the road.

She described the situation in vivid detail so her students would be drawn into the drama.

 Then she asked the class, “If you saw a person lying on the  roadside all wounded and bleeding – what would YOU do?

A thoughtful girl broke the hushed silence by saying, “I think I would throw up!”

And finally, for any friends we may have from Minnesota – and I think we have a few — A little girl from the twin cities came home from Sunday school with a frown on her face and a real attitude. . .

“I am NEVER going back there anymore,” she declared.  “I don’t like the Bible they keep teaching us from.”

A little worried, the girl’s mother asked:  “Why not?”

“Because,” said the little girl, “the Bible THEY use is always saying St. Paul this – St. Paul that.  You would think that every once in a while –they could say SOMETHING about Minneapolis!!!”

There is a reason for telling such things on Easter Sunday – because I think above all else – Easter is a day for LAUGHING. . .

LAUGHING at the folly of the scribes and Pharisees and Roman officials — who thought they could silence the message Jesus was proclaiming – by silencing the messenger. . .

LAUGHING at the naiveté of the Pilate and the guards – who thought a stone – even a very big one – could contain the risen Lord.

LAUGHING at either the fear of the lack of faith on the part of the disciples that kept them hidden away – while women went to the tomb as the first day of the week was dawning.

LAUGHING perhaps even at ourselves who continue to think all of this is just too good to be true.

Yes, on Easter – we can laugh at darkness, laugh at sin, laugh at death, laugh at the power of evil:  BECAUSE JESUS HAS BEEN RISEN FROM THE DEAD!

LAUGH because the TOMB IS EMPTY – the long reign of sin and death have ended!

LAUGH because our salvation has been won FOR US – we don’t have to do anything to earn it!  

LAUGH for life is now perfected in Jesus the son!

AND OUR RESPONSE TO THIS CAN’T HELP BUT BE:

Alleluia, alleluia.  Alleluia! Happy Easter!

Easter Vigil Homily 2019

By Fr. Matthew Brumleve

First of all, I want to say congratulations to Sarah – who will be Baptized tonight,

And Jennifer – who will be making a profession of faith.  And hopefully you realize what we do tonight just marks the beginning of your journey in our Catholic faith – not the end – because our journey with the Lord is life-long — and ends when we gaze face to face at Christ in heaven.

I welcome all those who have come to be with you both this evening – and with the faith community of St. Patrick as we celebrate this solemn vigil tonight.  And, of course, I wish all of you a happy Easter.

In however God led you here tonight – I am glad you are with us — and hope you experience something in this liturgy which re-ignites the flame of faith in your heart so you can run from this place and boldly proclaim by your words and actions – the good news of Easter.

At the foot of my parent’s bed all throughout my life – there was a cedar chest – given to my mother years ago by her parents — as a hope chest.

So it was once filled with sheets and linens and I suppose pots and pans  — all the things she would eventually need to set up her own household.

All those things were taken out – when her hope was fulfilled when she married my father in 1953.

That one-time hope chest then became a secure place for storing such things as photo albums, cast off baby blankets, war medals awarded to my uncles – and many other family treasures and heirlooms.

For well over 30 years — whenever I would go home, I would spend some time  – exploring our family’s history by exploring the contents of that cedar chest.  All of those precious items allowed me to connect to those who had gone before me – and gave me a sense of belonging.

As Christians – we spent some time tonight – a lot of time, really – exploring our family’s history by opening up our cedar chest – the Bible:  both the Old and New Testaments. . .

We have listened attentively  to the Word of God – in order to connect to those who have gone before us –so that we can have a sense of belonging.

We have read and sung more from the Scriptures tonight – 9 different readings plus the singing of Psalms – then we normally read in almost a month of Sundays!

And when we read from Scriptures – we always hear a consistent message:  God loves us!

Tonight our cedar chest of readings from Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Baruch, Ezekiel, Romans, and Luke – spans roughly 2,000 years of time.

Near the bottom of the cedar chest – is the second reading from Genesis telling us of Abraham’s test from God which occurred some 75 years or so AFTER Abraham was first called by God:  placed historically by scripture scholars around the year 1,800 BC.

And the top layer of the cedar chest — contains St. Paul’s letter to the Romans written around 57 AD – right before he is taken in chains to the great capital city of the Empire.  And the Gospel of Luke, probably reaching its final written form around 85 AD.

The point I wish to make is not the exact span of time covered by the readings – which leads some to estimate the age of the world – but my point is the consistency of the story line within this broad range of readings…. The story that has repeated itself well over 2,000 years and will continue to repeat itself in our brief life span — and repeats itself in the very fabric of our individual faith lives.

That story line is:

In love, God reaches out to his people.

People respond to God’s love.

People get distracted by other things and stray from God.

God doesn’t give up and reaches out a 2nd, 3rd, and a 4th time – in love.  God never gives up on us!

The question that comes to my mind is:  I wonder if God ever gets tired?

Tired of you, tired of me, tired of all his created beings – who just can’t seem to stay focused or committed to him for very long. . . and stray off on their own – leaving home with their bags packed, always in search of greener pastures – but often times ending up in the slop of the pig sty. . .

And that is an easy question to be answered based on 2,000 years of Scripture:  NO:

God never tires of extending his love, his mercy, his forgiveness, his grace – because God desires nothing more than to spend ALL eternity with each and every one of us.  And so God wants to connect with us – to claim our hearts as his own – and so reaches out again, and again, and again.

THIS IS GOOD NEWS!!

We follow a very strange God – a God who lavishes —-lavishes—such extravagant love on each one of us.  A get down on your knees God who does anything he needs to — so as to gain our attention AND capture our hearts:  A God who does not even withhold his OWN SON from us – allowing him to be crucified for our sake.

The one who embraced the cross – rather than run from it.

The one who willing laid his hands upon the wood of the cross – instead of fighting it.

The one who willingly handed over his spirit – so that we might have that same spirit PULSING within us.

Jesus’ very spirit – who gives us life.  Gives us courage. Gives us strength and confidence.

And the best news of all – is that not even a tomb with a huge stone at the door —could hold back God’s love for us!!!

NO – as the women who go to the tomb at daybreak on the first day of the week find out —  the stone is rolled away from the tomb so that we could get in –  and see that DEATH HAS BEEN ROBBED OF ITS POWER!!

The stone is rolled away – so that we could get in — and see that a new world order has begun – so that we could see the truth of Jesus words:  “destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up!”

The stone is rolled away – so that we could get in — to see, and hear, and experience that by his cross and resurrection, Jesus has set us free.   Free from sin. Free from death. Free from our old ways of doing and being.

Free from all those things that may hold us back and distract us from following Jesus with all our minds and all our hearts – and keep us from loving our neighbor as ourselves.

The stone is rolled way — freeing us from all those things that keep us locked up in fear – than reaching out in mercy, and compassion, and forgiveness.

YES – the greatest news of all — is that the TOMB IS EMPTY.

And there is only one way of responding to such good news:  alleluia – alleluia — alleluia!!