Face of Cardinal Newman and Melissa Villalobos

Grateful for Miracles | #946

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Ordinary Time, 28th Sunday (C) Naaman receives more than a cure for leprosy: he is cured from false worship and welcomed into a relationship with God. God often wants to heal problems that we don’t know we have. When we unite our hardships to the cross, they become the source of new life. The miracle attributed to St. Cardinal Newman reminds us that God still heals. Have confidence that God will use your hardship for good.

(13 Oct 2019)

Going Deeper: Read about the miracle attributed to St. Cardinal Newman. Attend a healing service by Encounter Ministries or the John Paul II Healing Center.

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Single tree in the middle of the dead sea

Mulberries Growing in the Ocean | #945

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Ordinary Time, 27th Sunday (C) Faith can do the impossible. But how much faith do we need? Just enough to realize that we need to let God handle it! We are called to be humble servants. But often times we start expecting God to serve us. When he fails our expectations, we doubt his faithfulness. Let go of your expectations. When you are faithful, amazing things will happen.

Our Diocese has been focusing on missionary discipleship and fostering communities of discipleship. It’s a good vision, even if the results are discouraging. Each year God gives me something on my annual retreat — and I promptly forget it. Write down the vision! Focus on being a faithful servant and God will handle the rest.

(6 Oct 2019)

Going Deeper: Read and reflect on Bishop’s article in this week’s Compass: Why We Need Missionaries

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National Novena Begins October 1st

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Any given Sunday in Wisconsin something special can happen. Particularly if you find yourself attending Mass at a local Catholic Church. One Sunday the Queen of Heaven came to speak to a Belgian immigrant named Adele. The message was very simple:

“I am the Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same. You received Holy Communion this morning and that is well. But you must do more. Make a general confession and offer Communion for the conversion of sinners. If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them.”

The Queen had a special mission for this young lady:

“Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation….Teach them their catechism, how to sign themselves with the sign of the Cross, and how to approach the sacraments; that is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing. I will help you.”

This apparition changed the Adele’s life forever. It was October 9, 1859. A shrine was soon built at the spot where Mary appeared. Many have found hope and healing by praying to the Queen of Heaven. Please consider commemorating the apparition by joining in the National Novena which begins on Saturday, October 1st (see below). If you heed the Queen’s requests, you too can fear nothing, for she will help you.Read More

Collage of Lazarus and homeless people

Look Down and See the King Is At Your Door | #944

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Ordinary Time, 26th Sunday (C) Where do we find friends in high places? We find them in the low places! Do you see the homeless as an obstacle or an opportunity? It actually costs less to house the homeless than to leave them chronically homeless. When you open your heart to the poor, you open your heart to Our Lord. Look down and see — the King is at your door. Look down, don’t fright, he’s covered in sores.

(29 Sep 2019)

Going Deeper: Spend some time reflecting on the homeless collage. Which one is Jesus?

Learn more and make a difference at https://www.stjohnhomelessshelter.org

Thank you John & Amy and Tom & Sue | Image by BrotherPriest.com with Whyy.org/DoSomething/WikimediaCommons


Get Yourself Some Friends In High Places | #943

Fr. Joel Homilies 1 Comment

Ordinary Time, 25th Sunday (C) How can we understand the parable of the dishonest steward (Luke 16:1-13)? Jesus explains: You cannot serve both God and mammon. The steward is a hard-working servant of mammon. Jesus admires his work ethic. Why don’t the servants of God work as hard to store up treasure in Heaven?

The dishonest steward learns that money isn’t everything. So he decides to use his money to get himself some friends. We are stewards of Almighty God. But most of us are squandering God’s gifts by investing them on ourselves and on this world. “I tell you,” Jesus says, “make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” In other words, take God’s blessings and use them to bless others. And you in turn will be eternally blessed.

(22 Sep 2019)

Going Deeper: One of the options for the blessing of a newly married couple says:

“May you be witnesses in the world to God’s charity,
so that the afflicted and needy who have known your kindness
may one day receive you thankfully into the eternal dwelling of God.”

Pray about a way you can live out this calling in the coming week.

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What To Do When You Feel Lost | #942

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Ordinary Time, 24th Sunday (C) Today’s readings have one thing in common: the feeling of being lost. The Israelites got lost in the desert, St. Paul got lost in his own intelligence, and the sheep lost his shepherd. Being lost makes us doubt our value. Here are three things we should do when we feel lost:

  1. Don’t forget whose you are. God has been with you, will be with you, and is with you right now.
  2. You’ve used up your own resources. Now stop trusting in your own ideas and trust that God is starting something totally new with you.
  3. Listen to the Shepherd and follow his voice.

Don’t say: “I’m a nobody, worthless, garbage.”
Say instead: “I remember who I am: I will arise and go to my Father.”

15 Sep 2019

Going Deeper: Take a moment to pause, breathe deeply, and present to the Father who is always present to you.

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Jesus plush doll with assorted items - ETSY

Discount Discipleship | #941

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Ordinary Time, 23rd Sunday (C) My brothers are counting the cost of marriage. Marriage requires one to put this relationship first, take up one’s cross, and surrender ‘my’ possessions. Discipleship, likewise, calls for a total gift of self. If we begin the process by negotiating how much I’m willing to ‘pay’, we will find both marriage and discipleship constantly frustrating. If we, on the other hand, are willing to give it all, we will find that the rewards are out of this world!

8 Sep 2019

Going Deeper: Do you want to grow in discipleship? Join our parish Alpha Experience or look into Alpha at your local parish.

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Picture of a fire engine by the ruins of the World Trade Center

To Protect and Serve | #940

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Ordinary Time, 22nd Sunday (C) Should we abolish the priesthood? Should we abolish the police? The police are meant to protect and serve the people, not protect and serve themselves. The same goes for priests… and doctors, lawyers, teachers, parents, children, you! Our value does not depend on sitting in the seat of honor. Mother Theresa went to the poorest of the poor. She humbled herself and God exalted her. Jesus did the same. When you serve those who cannot repay you, Jesus will not forget your kindness to him. When you choose the lowest place, Jesus is grateful for your company.

(1 Sep 2019)

Going Deeper: As a family or community, pray for local firefighters, police, and emergency medical personnel — by name if possible. Use the anniversary of September 11, 2001 as an opportunity to thank them for their service to your community.

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Heart with a door and ladder

Want God to Open the Door of Heaven? Do This One Thing | #939

Fr. Joel Homilies 2 Comments

Ordinary Time, 21st Sunday (C) The door to the Father’s house is open for you… but it won’t be open forever. Jesus wants you to get moving now before it’s too late. Because we don’t want to find ourselves standing before the gates of heaven begging to be let in, and hear Jesus say to us, “I stood and knocked at the door of your heart for your entire life. I can’t open the Kingdom to you because you never opened your heart to me.”

I don’t want you to miss an opportunity to accept Jesus. So today at Mass we are going to have an Altar Call. If you want Jesus to be the Lord of your Life, and to sit on the throne of your heart, then come forward. Did you know that there is an Altar Call at every single Catholic Mass? We call it, “Communion.” As you come forward you are asked: Do you believe that Jesus is willing to put Himself in your hands? Are you willing to put your life in His hands? If you are, then say AMEN.

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A Stable Place in the Midst of Difficulties | #938

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Ordinary Time, 20th Sunday (C) We face difficulties in our work, health, family, and church. We want to make the difficulties go away so we can get to a stable place. But instead, we should be searching for the place of the stable. This is where we hold the Baby Jesus, receive God’s love, and begin to burn with that same love.

At every Mass we bend down and kneel beside the place of the stable. Carry Jesus in your heart this week. Don’t be like Zedekiah with his wishy-washy heart. Be like Jeremiah, who in the midst of difficulties has found the place of the stable.

(18 Aug 2019)

Challenge: Receive Communion today as though you were receiving the Baby Jesus from the hands of his Mother Mary.

Going Deeper: “To pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all-seeing, within you.” (Theophan the Recluse from The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen)

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