The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

Engagement with the World

May 20, 2018 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

May 20, 2018
John 24: 19-23
Fr. George Smiga

Sometimes we imagine that faith in Jesus Christ is a personal matter, a way of coping with the difficulties of living and assuring eternal life. No small part of today’s feast of Pentecost is intended to remind us that this personal approach is incomplete. Now of course, our faith helps us deal with life’s challenges, with sickness, failure, betrayal, and death. But disciples of Jesus know that their ultimate call is to participate in the transformation of the world.

Today’s responsorial psalm sets the tone for the feast: “Lord, send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.” Now God’s spirit certainly comforts us in our pain and guides us through our doubt. But God’s spirit is also a fire, intending to burn out and destroy everything in our world that is opposed to God’s will.

And the scope of the spirit is universal. Look at the number of places Luke mentions in today’s first reading. Pentecost takes place in Jerusalem, but it affects people from Egypt, Libya, Rome, and twelve other places. Clearly the role of the spirit is not some local concern, but a universal one. God’s spirit intends to renew the face of the earth.

Our call then, as followers of Jesus, is to become engaged in the issues of our world. To work for justice wherever injustice is found. When the risen Christ appears to the apostles in today’s gospel, they are huddled in a locked room. Jesus comes to tell them they must leave that room behind. He says, “As the Father sent me, so do I send you.” Jesus calls upon disciples to leave the security of the locked room and work for justice in our world.

So disciples of Jesus are meant to be agents of change in our world. What issues, what causes are we called to undertake? There are many choices, and we are free to choose those opportunities that match our experience and our gifts. Pope Francis has spoken eloquently upon the threat to the environment of the earth. What can I do to somehow lessen the waste that is so much a part of our American culture? How can I use my political leverage to ensure policies that will be more protective of our planet? Catholic teaching is clear that every person has the right to immigrate to another country in a just way. How can I lend my voice to the voice of others who are seeking to establish a just and generous immigration policy for our country? Human life in our society is threatened by abortion, poverty and neglect of the elderly. What can I do in my own community to see that human life is protected from the forces that threaten to destroy it?

In our own parish, we provide opportunities for action. Two weeks ago, you heard an appeal to participate in our Adult Learning Center, to help the clients there achieve a high school diploma and build a better future. This weekend, our Pastoral Council again invites you to participate in Neighbor-to-Neighbor meal, which strives to lessen hunger and loneliness. There are many options we can choose. Choose one and act.

Faith in Jesus is more than a comfort and a promise of salvation. Faith calls us to become engaged in the issues of our world. We pray, “Lord send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.” It is only reasonable then to conclude that God’s work of renewal will move through us.

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