This is a quiet week at the parishes. Which is probably a good thing. I’ve seen tons of first day school pictures on Facebook. Many of you will soon be joining them. I am praying the kids enjoy their last days of summer. However, many of you have already been busy with sports practices. It is the calm before the storm. I suppose you parents are already trying to train the kids to go to bed earlier so they can get up earlier for school.
This past week up at the Newman Center I was in a dunk tank for awhile. I also got a longboard to ride around campus. Things are going well at the Newman Center.
Today, we hear Jesus assign Peter as the first pope. Because Peter eventually went to spread the Gospel in the capital of the Roman Empire, Rome, Peter became the first pope, the first bishop of Rome. There have been 265 popes after Peter. Jesus promises that the Church built on Peter will be safeguarded from the gates of the netherworld. This means that when it comes to matter of faith and morals, the Catholic Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, always speak the truth. Now everyone in the church, including the pope are fallen human beings. We all mistakes. We are all fallible. But when it comes to matter of faith and morals, the Church cannot teach error. We have had some horrible popes in the last 2000 years. That is why I believe in the papacy so much. If it was a human institution, we would have destroyed it a long time ago. However, the papacy, the Catholic Church has lasted the test of time. It is a great gift to be able to rely on the Catholic Church to give us the Truth of Jesus Christ. When I was coming back to my Catholic faith, Truth and authority were big item for me. Jesus is the Truth.
It has been a busy week. I started the week off with playing golf with Bishop Harrington, Father Beerman, and some of the seminarians. I beat the bishop, but he’s used to it. Plus he’s 85 years old (or so). Tuesday and Wednesday I was at the Newman Center’s Ignite Retreat. Then Thursday and Friday we welcomed the students to MSU and the Newman Center.
Some exciting things are happening with the faith formation. The implementation and building up of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd continues for our 3 year olds. Again, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a very hands on method of teaching the faith. It is based on the Montessori method of teaching. If you are good at sewing or building things out of wood and would like to help, contact Sarah Caven or Neil Majeski.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tests the faith of the woman whose daughter is tormented by a demon. Jesus tells her that the food is only for the children. But the woman replies that even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table. Jesus sees that her response isn’t just clever, but that it comes from a deep faith in who Jesus is. Sometimes we expect Jesus to do amazing things for us. Maybe we pray that God will help us get an A on a test. Have we studied? No. But it would be nice if God somehow gave me an A. God isn’t likely to grant your desire in the face of laziness. However, asking God to bless your study time as you prepare for the test might be a much better prayer. A lot of the times God’s blessings are’t in the big things, but in the small things, in the scraps.
May you have a blessed week,
I hope you have had a great week. I had an awesome week at Camp Summit. The faith is alive and well. The junior high campers were amazing. I heard over and over again how much they enjoyed Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. Yes, you heard that right. They also enjoyed the high ropes course, the archery, the rock climbing, and other such activities. These kids, in the end, even if they don’t know it before hand, just want Jesus. That’s all all of us ever want. I wish you could have been there. The energy and excitement these kids had for Jesus was awesome.
Things are about to get crazy. Minnesota State University students arrive this week. Also, official sports practice for the fall sports begins Monday. Let the fun begin.
This weekend we hear about Jesus walking on water. This was actually the theme for Camp Summit this year: Walk on Water. Jesus invites Peter out of the boat. Jesus invites us out of the boat. Jesus invites us out of our comfort zone. Being a Christian is not about being comfortable; it is about being bold. How is Jesus inviting us to do new bold things for the Kingdom of God?
Maybe one thing we are doing as a cluster to get out of our comfort zone is to implement Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. If we are going to pull this off, we need help. Please contact Neil Majeski or Sarah Caven. Again Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori way of teaching the faith to kids through hands on activities. I’m really excited to see 3 year olds learn and know the Mass better, Bible stories, and other aspects of our Catholic Christian faith.
May God bless and keep you,
People have been asking me how it’s going. So far, so good. I’m still getting used to things. I’m still finding out the little things of how things are done around here. But what I’ve seen so far makes me excited. Your faith in Jesus Christ is amazing. I will try to do all I can to help us grow in our love for Jesus Christ and the desire to share the Gospel with others.
This week from Sunday afternoon to Thursday evening, I will be near Lanesborogh at Eagle Bluff for Camp Summit, our diocesan junior high youth camp. (So no daily Mass this week until Friday.) It is loads of fun and I will be rock climbing, walking 30 feet in the air on a high ropes course, playing ultimate frisbee, and other such things. Please pray for my safety and health.
This weekend we celebrate the Transfiguration. Peter, James, and John knew there was something special about Jesus. That is why they had laid down their lives and followed Him. However, when Jesus is transfigured in front them along with Moses and Elijah, they realize even more just how special Jesus is.
We weren’t there on the mountain with Jesus, James, John, and Peter, but God the Father is saying to us too, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Do you listen to Jesus? For this to happen, we need to spend time in prayer. This could be the meal prayer before meals, prayer before bed, maybe even a prayer right when we get up, maybe some silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. It is good to pray the prayers of Scripture and our Catholic tradition. But it is also imperative that we spend some time in silent prayer. Maybe get up five, ten minutes earlier so that you can pray in silence before the rest of the family gets up. It is in the silence that we hear the quiet voice of God nudging us towards His will, our holiness, and our salvation.
Have a blessed week,