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First Sunday at St. Michael’s Homily (14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C)

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Isaiah 66:10-14c
Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
Galatians 6:14-18
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

As I thought about what to say for first weekend I here.  I’m sure you have questions about me.  I could boast about good things I have done but I won’t.  Have I done some good in previous parishes?  I’d like to think so but only because God has helped me.  As Paul says the only thing we should boast about is Jesus and the Cross.

It is because of what God has done for me in the past, that I trust God going forward.  It is because my trust in God that I am willing to come here.  Two months ago I knew almost nothing about St. Michael’s.  I have to admit I don’t like the “unknown” so coming to a new place that I don’t know much about can be challenging.

I did know that Fr. Felix had passed away suddenly.  That has left you grieving as a parish.  It also means you have been in a temporary situation with Pat Albrecht serving as Temporary Pastoral Administrator.  There is also Fr. Anthony who came to celebrate the Sacraments for you.  It can be very challenging to lead any parish but especially “temporarily” following the death of the pastor.

So, I would like to thank Pat Albrecht for her work and ministry and Fr. Anthony for his service.

Now, with my arrival, the temporary situation is over.  However, that doesn’t mean we forget the past, especially Fr. Felix.  I need to take time to get to know you and the parish.  It will take time but it is necessary to take the time for me to know the joys and the needs of the parish.

So, there is still transition going on.  There can still be grieving the past and Fr. Felix.  There can be uncertainty about the future.  What are we to do?

Trust!

We can trust in God.  This is Jesus’ point in today’s gospel.  He sent the 72 out on a mission.  He told them to go out with no money bag, no sack, or sandals.  The point here isn’t to be poor.  The point is to trust in God to provide.

Trust can take time to build.  We trust God knowing the good things He has done for us, individually and as a people.  The Bible is full of stories of what God has done for his people.  We need to share these stories and stories from our own lives with others who don’t know about Jesus.  We must shout joyfully about the tremendous deeds God has done for us.

I try to incorporate my own experiences into my homilies and I hope you will tell others what you experience.  It might a family neighbor, a neighbor, or a general acquaintance.  Are we willing to help them know about Jesus?

What else should you know about me?

When I preside at the sacraments, especially Mass, I try to do so in a way that shows people the Grace which God offers.  I know there can be days when I come to church feeling down and leave feel better.  That’s grace.

I also treasure the opportunity to hear confessions.  This is not because I like hearing bad things, not in the least.  What I do enjoy is helping people experience God’s forgiveness.  If you come to confession to me, I do my best to show God’s love.  I want you to feel forgiven.  I also try to help you understand your sins so you can better resist temptation.

So, here we are.  I’m the new guy.  We might all be wondering where we go from here.  I don’t have any detailed plans for the future.  Here is what my plan is right now:

  • Celebrate the Sacraments in a way that reveals God’s love and mercy.
  • Listen
  • Get to know St. Michael’s and its parishioners.
  • Trust

Right now, you don’t know me but I have you have some trust in me as one sent to you by God.  In turn, I am trusting that each of you desires to know and do God’s will.  We will get to know each other better and come to a deeper trust.  For now, we trust and pray that God leads us in continuing to ensure that our parish be a welcoming and grace filled parish to all who come here.

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