Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Need for Humility

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Homily for the twenty-second Sunday (C) in Ordinary Time
Read the accompanying Scripture here.

The theme of the readings this Sunday is humility, which is an essential virtue because it helps us to order our lives to God. We have been created to live our lives in an intimate, personal relationship with God and yet, more likely than not, we give little consideration to what God’s plans might be for us. Our temptation is to live for ourselves and when we live for ourselves we often have little concern for God and others.

The first reading gives us an insight into the wisdom of God. “Humble yourself more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.” The greater we are the more indebted to God we are because He is the giver of all good things and when we humble ourselves we are acknowledging that reality.

To be humble is to know the truth about ourselves. In prayer we recognize the gifts God has given us and we develop those gifts with His help for our own good and the good of the Church. We cannot separate our purpose for being on this earth from God’s plan for the coming of His Kingdom. We are children of God and He expects great things from us because it is He who will accomplish them in us.

Humility is not an easy virtue to develop because our natural inclination is to be proud. We want to be recognized for the good things we do, which isn’t so bad in itself if we are aware that God is the source of our accomplishment and we give Him glory. The problem is when we want the glory for ourselves and even become offended if we do not receive it. This can lead to jealousy, envy, resentment and even hatred.

In the Gospel Jesus shows us how we can make progress in developing the virtue of humility. He advises us that if we would go to a banquet not to seek the place of honor but to go to a lower place. In other words we should not seek recognition as if it is due us. This does not mean that if in the course of your career you have accomplished something that deserves a just reward that you let it pass without notice. It does mean that we should not place ourselves above others and clamor for recognition.

Jesus continues his advice by suggesting that when we entertain people we do not only invite those who we know will reciprocate, but also invite those who do not have the means to repay us. In other words what is our motive for the things we do? As we deepen our relationship with God we should discover that with greater frequency we are making decisions that reflect a genuine desire to please God and to grow in sanctity. This is the “narrow road” of which Jesus speaks. We can only travel it with the help of his grace.

For those who desire to travel this road I will read a portion of the “Litany of Humility.”
From the desire of being honored… deliver me O’ Jesus
From the desire of being preferred to others… deliver me O’ Jesus
From the desire of being approved …deliver me O’ Jesus
From the fear of being humiliated… deliver me O’ Jesus
From the fear of being forgotten… deliver me O’ Jesus
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus grant me the grace to desire it
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided I become as holy as I should, Jesus grant me the grace to desire it

“It is said that humility is truth. The path that will make us more like Jesus is the path to humility.” – Mother Teresa

All truth begins with Jesus, the Word of God, and he will help us.

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WHO IS the Man on the Shroud?

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Tom and I led two groups of pilgrims to see the Holy Shroud during its 50 day public exhibition display in the Archdiocese of Turin, Italy early this Spring. For us and many of the pilgrims, it was one of the most remarkable, spiritual and mysterious experiences ever!
Imagine standing before the burial cloth of Jesus Christ and thinking about His Passion and His love for us that He endured the physical and mental tortures before His Crucifixion. In fact, the cloth still shows His blood from His wounds.
One of the fruits of that pilgrimage is the vision to have a Holy Shroud Center in San Antonio called “Who is the Man on the Shroud?”. The exhibition contains replicas of the Shroud, displays, images, and other elements that tell the story of the Shroud, of Christ’s Passion. It will be one of three in the world; the others are located in Jerusalem, Rome and Sacramento, California.
You are welcome to join us in this effort in telling the story of Christ’s passion in a unique, remarkable, powerful and unforgettable way that will impact many souls. Contact Pete Remmert, one of the pilgrims, at ShroudCenterSA@gmail.com and visit our Holy Shroud Center website.

Celebrating Life with a Deacon!

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Deacon Tom Fox celebrates 22 years of his Diaconate Ordination! He was ordained into the Permanent Diaconate for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders by Archbishop Patrick Flores in August 1988.
Did you know that not many can receive all seven Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church? Tom has received all seven. 31 years ago, Tom and I received the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Life is good…with God…with each other…and attempting to “run the race” as St. Paul so boldly calls Christians to live – in our vocation of marriage, Holy Orders and mission of evangelization! (1 Corinthians 9:24).

Photo was taken near ancient Philippi, where Paul baptized Lydia. Bishop Patrick Zurek offered Mass for our Pilgrim group near the river where she was baptized.

Remember Pope Paul VI?

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As we are preparing for our show, “Catholicism Live!” this evening entitled “Disciples of the Digital Media” we could not help but recall the great work of Pope Paul VI: “Evangelization in the Modern World” addressed to all Catholics everywhere.

A few of our favorite quotes from “Evangelization in the Modern World” (An Apostolic Exhortation) 1975

There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery o f Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed.” (#22)

Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exist in order to evangelize, that is to say in order to preach and teach…..” (#14)

“…claiming to love Christ but without the Church, to listen to Christ but not the Church, to belong to Christ but outside the Church. The absurdity of this dichotomy is clearly evident in this phrase of the Gospel: ‘Anyone who rejects you rejects me.’ (#16)

Pope Paul VI, pray for us, for the evangelization efforts of the Church!

By the way, Mary Jane received his Papal Blessing in Rome in the 1960’s…however, we won’t tell you how old she was then!

"My Little Loaves"

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Imagine sitting in a grassy area by the Sea of Galilee in ancient Palestine and seeing a man named JESUS heal the sick around you? It must be an amazing sight to see! In the book of Matthew found in the New Testament; chapter 14, verses 13-21; there is a real story of crowds gathering around Jesus, in hopes to have their family or friends healed. The day passes quickly and the disciples of Jesus are concerned that it is late and no food is available for the crowds. Jesus tells them: “..give them some food yourselves. But they said to him, Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” What is Jesus’ response? Bring them here to me. He takes the five loaves and two fish, blesses them, breaks the loaves and gave them to the disciples who in turn gave them to the crowds.” Thousands ate that day!

Who can you relate to in this story? For myself…I can relate to the disciples, in my own mind I am wondering- I only have five loaves and two fish…how in the world can I feed all these people? How can my loaves help? Ahh…but Jesus’ response is the same today…bring them here to me!
Yes, we can bring the resources and gifts we already have (our “little loaves” ) to Jesus. If we humbly approach the compassionate heart of Jesus trusting in His Providence, He will provide for us out of His love and mercy.
“Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)