Showing posts from October, 2014

Fooling God or himself? Homily for 10/20/14 Parable of the Rich Man and the Grain Bins

Who's mission are you on, God's or your own? Homily for Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
My mother used to always say that you never see a Brinks truck following a hearse. I always thought that was a bit of New York Italian folk wisdom -- that is, until Randy Travis wrote his Country and Western song, “Brinks Truck,” about fifteen years ago. He added that you don’t need a wallet when you leave the earth. That’ll be nice, not having to worry about carrying a wallet around all the time!

It is sad what can happen when a loved one leaves the earth. It’s sad to lose a loved one, of course. But what is really much sadder is when a family breaks apart, fighting over the inheritance. Just like that “someone in the crowd” who asked Jesus to tell his brother to share the inheritance with him.

It can get ugly. Lawyers get drug into it. People are left with bitterness and resentments. Is it worth it? Is it really that important?

That man loved “stuff” more than he…

"Every day is Mission Day." Mission Sunday Refection

Mission Sunday Reflection, October 19, 2014 St. Isabella, San Rafael, CA

Good morning (afternoon), my name is Kris East and I am a missionary with Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. It is great to be here with you today and I would like to sincerely thank Fr. Mark for allowing me to share a reflection with you on Mission Sunday.

You know, every Sunday is Mission Sunday…actually, every day is Mission Day! As Disciples of Christ, God’s mission is the driving force behind everything we do and it defines us as Christians doing the work of the mission. If we are “doers” of God’s mission, we probably want to know what is God’s mission, and that begs the question…who is God?

1 John 4:16 tells us that God is LOVE! God’s mission is now and always has been to love…to be in relationship with us…God’s very own creation. When we realize that we have first been loved by God, the natural response is to return that love. Most people have their first experience of love from their parents. They loved …

This Sunday is Mission Pope Francis's message...


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today vast numbers of people still do not know Jesus Christ. For this reason, the mission ad gentes continues to be most urgent. All the members of the Church are called to participate in this mission, for the Church is missionary by her very nature: she was born “to go forth”. World Mission Day is a privileged moment when the faithful of various continents engage in prayer and concrete gestures of solidarity in support of the young Churches in mission lands. It is a celebration of grace and joy. A celebration of grace, because the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, offers wisdom and strength to those who are obedient to his action. A celebration of joy, because Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, sent to evangelize the world, supports and accompanies our missionary efforts. This joy of Jesus and missionary disciples leads me to propose a biblical icon, which we find in the Gospel of Luke (cf. 10:21-23) .

1. The Eva…

Being loved by an unexpected way.

“Be prepared for the unexpected.” When we do a mission immersion trip to another country we try to follow this practical, if not somewhat paradoxical advice, because in a new culture, often with a different language, currency, food, etc. anything can happen. But as much as this is good practical advice it also has profound spiritual implications. Although I have led numerous mission immersion trips over the years, I was unprepared for the encounter I had with God through a person who seemed incapable of communicating anything at all.

The spiritual implications of being prepared for the unexpected on a mission immersion trip are grounded in an image of mission being like a treasure hunt, an adventure in which we discover God through the encounter with the other, often the one who is poor and marginalized. This is an image that is quite different than an older idea of mission that you show up somewhere with God already in your suitcase, like a door-to-door salesman. You are the th…

How to Be "A Poor Church for the Poor"

"Pope Francis challenges us to be a poor Church for the poor - how do we do that?"

This question came out of a recent diocesan gathering of life, justice, and peace ministers, and is echoed in the hearts of many Christians seeking to more authentically live the call to discipleship. Many of us are more comfortable being "for the poor" than standing with the poor. But Jesus' ministry of uniting divided people's included not only empowering those with little socio-political standing, but challenging those with power and influence to abandon those things in favor of reconciliation. The question of being "a poor Church for the poor" is really a question of what we are called and willing to give up.

Abandon Positions of Privilege
Willingly abandoning privilege is perhaps the greatest task for many of us seeking to stand with our sisters and brothers on the margins. Our attachment to privilege is so ingrained that it can distort even how we think about t…

Who is my neighbor? A modern day parable about immigration.

Deacon John Coe (Fort Worth) recently participated in an immersion trip with Maryknoll to El Salvador. Here is his homily for Monday, October 6, 2014 reflecting on Luke 10:25-37 and the question, "who is my my neighbor?"
Jesus replied to the scholar that his understanding of the law was correct: Love God above all; and love your neighbor as yourself. And so the scholar, in order to justify himself, asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

I’m sure you’ve heard this story so many times that you could recite it to me from memory. So many times, that it may have lost the edge that it had when Jesus first told this parable to that scholar of the law, almost two thousand years ago.

Jesus, who is my neighbor?

There was a boy who lived in the projects in San Salvador. He was being recruited by the gangs. I have seen those neighborhoods myself; and I met a couple of the gang members, during my recent mission immersion trip to El Salvador, with Maryknoll. The gang leaders told the boy t…