Bulletin Article for the Thirty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time (November 10, 2019)

Greetings!

Next Sunday (November 17) is a glorious day for Kole Wenner, Tanner Wooldridge, and Landon Sohre. They will be Confirmed by Bishop Quinn. They will receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. This Sacrament completes the Sacraments of Initiation. This does not mean it is the end, but rather the beginning. I had a friend in high school who was Confirmed in 8th grade. Once he was Confirmed, his parents never made him go to religious ed or even Mass, ever again. I know 8th graders believe they know everything about everything, but that’s rarely true. Moses Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher from the 13th century, talked about how God is so other, so beyond our human capacity for thoughts and ideas, that we really can’t say anything about what God is; only what God isn’t. As Christians, we don’t believe this. We believe that through the Holy Spirit and Jesus, God has revealed to us plenty of things we can positively say about God. One such revealed truth is the Trinity. The truth that there is Three Persons in the One God is something we humans could never have arrived at using logic or reason. My point is that there is always more that we can learn about God while on this earth. As a married couple loves each other on the day of their wedding, as they learn more and more about each other through the years, this deepens and strengthens their love for one another. Hopefully this is true of our relationship with God. We should love God now, but as we learn and experience His love more and more through the years, we fall even more and more deeply in love with Him. So pray for Kole, Tanner, and Landon, as they receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, as they receive the gifts (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord) and fruits (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity) of the Holy Spirit.

Today Jesus talks about marriage. Remember the Sadducees are the ones who are “sad you see” because they don’t believe in the resurrection, in life after death. So they are trying to trick Jesus by making fun of the idea of life after death. But Jesus tells them that it doesn’t matter that a woman was married to all seven brothers (one at a time); because in heaven, marriage doesn’t exist. At least the Catholic wedding vows say till death do us part. Once someone’s spouse passes away, they are free to marry someone else. Now I assume that in heaven one would still have a special relationship with the person they were married to, but they will no longer be married. Marriage is a sign on earth of what God’s relationship within Himself as a Father perfectly loving the Son and the Son perfectly receiving that love and perfectly loving the Father back. This exchange of love is so perfect it IS Holy Spirit. Marriage is also a sign of our love, our relationship, with God. When you are traveling to Chicago, we need signs (or GPS) to get us there. Once we are in Chicago, we don’t need signs because we are there. Before we get to heaven, we need the sign of marriage to remind us of what unconditional (or free), faithful, fruitful, total love looks like, the type of love we will experience in heaven. Once we are in heaven, we experience this type of love completely so we no longer need the sign of marriage. 

So pray for our families, for our married couples. Pray that they be a sign of God unconditional love in the world.

Have a great week,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Thirty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time (November 3, 2019)

Hello,

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling cold these days. I think my toes will warm up sometime in May. I see a few unpicked fields, but not many. 

I just want to thank the CCW women again for making the Wednesday dinners possible. I see so much joy on the faces of the kids as they play and eat with their family and friends. And thank you for all of you who come and make this dinner a part of your Wednesday evenings. 

Just a reminder that this coming Friday (November 8), we are having a first youth event in a while. We are having a hayride and bonfire at the Stencel farm. The more youth that are there, the more fun it will be.

Today in the Gospel we hear about good old Zacchaeus. I can easily associate with him since I too am short in stature. We short people need to stand together. Again, Zacchaeus was a tax collector. Thus he was despised and assumed a great sinner. Almost all tax collectors took advantage of their position and became quite wealthy on the back of their fellow people. Zacchaeus had a great desire to see Jesus. Jesus does him one better and goes with him to his house. There Zacchaeus promises Jesus that he will give half of his possessions to the poor and anyone he has extorted, he will pay back four times over. My guess is that this would take him from wealthy to poor. Zacchaeus is radically responding to Jesus call to focus on more eternal things than his earthly wealth. No matter how much money we have, may we radically respond to Jesus call to put Him first in our lives.

Pax,

Father Vogel