August 24th, 2019 – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish God
wouldn’t trust me so much.” (St. Teresa of Calcutta)
Whenever I face a difficulty in my life, I find myself thinking any number of things: What must have I done wrong? Is God punishing me? Where is God when I need him most? Is there something about me that is not right and needs to be corrected before God will help me?
You can see what is common in all those reactions– “I, Me, My.” The older I get and the more I trust the spiritual guides who help me, the more I pray through Holy Scripture, the more I look at the example of Christ and the saints—I see the real peril in that approach. In this Sunday’s second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews, we hear “Endure your trials as “discipline”; God treats you as sons and daughters.”
Our difficulties could never be punishment, and are not the result of anything we have done. We don’t have that power over God. God is always present as a loving parent who helps us see our difficulties as “discipline,” a training exercise for disciples who are called to trust that even in the most difficult circumstances, God will provide sustenance, support, growth, not as we would see it, but from eternity’s perspective, the long view of love.
So let us face our difficulties together, and with the care of Christ sustain each other and let ourselves be sustained with the best way out of any difficulty— patient, eternal LOVE! We need to move from “I, Me, My” to “You, O Lord!” In this difficult world, we then can lift our eyes and see the stars, though sometimes stuck in the mud!
Sincerely, with love,
August 18th, 2019 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
You could say that a disciple of Jesus Christ is someone who “hears the word of God and acts on it” (cf. Luke 8:21). This week, we celebrate the woman who gives us the most beautiful example of hearing the word of God and acting on it – the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
Last Thursday, we celebrated her Assumption, Body and Soul, into Heaven. This Thursday, we celebrate her Queenship. From the earliest days of Christianity, followers of Jesus looked to Mary as a model of holiness and an intercessor, especially in times of sadness, hopelessness, or difficulty. One of the earliest images of Mary is found in the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome, dating back to the 2nd century A.D. Is there something weighing you down? A burden, anxiety, or worry in your life right now? A prayer you would like answered, or a cross that you cannot carry on your own? Be like so many Christians that have gone before us and place it at the feet of Mary.
I share a portion of Pope Pius XII’s prayer to Mary, our Queen:
“Reign, O Mother and Queen,
by showing us the path of holiness
and by guiding and assisting us
that we may never stray from it.
Reign over people’s minds,
that they may seek only what is true;
over their wills,
that they may follow solely what is good;
over their hearts,
that they may love nothing but what you yourself love.
Obtain for us, that all who now in every corner of the world
acclaim and hail you Queen and Lady
may one day in heaven enjoy the fullness of your kingdom”.
Sincerely, with love,
August 11th, 2019 – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“See, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who
hope for his kindness, to deliver them from death and
preserve them in spite of famine.” (Psalm 33)
Our prayers go out this sad time in our country for all those who have died by violence. As the list grows, nationally and in our beloved city, we all feel so helpless and wondering where to start to find solutions.
I saw two different bumper stickers which gave me pause to think— One said: The Lord is Coming, and He is not happy! The other said : Jesus is coming—look busy!
We need Christ more than ever in these crazy times. Violence breaks the heart of God, and humans who contribute to violence in any way, either personally, communally, in words or actions are going to be held accountable by God. The current political stalemate in which both sides of the aisle interact with disrespect and discord need to get their acts together. We need to get to work, together! America deserves better!
And in our own personal lives, we need to watch our language and attitude. All human beings deserve respect, from the very beginning to the very end. We need to get busy living out day to day the justice for all that God demands. God deserves better from his creation!
Let’s start by small acts of goodness, kindness, inclusion, hope and compassion. Maybe throw in some forgiveness and civility and patience for good measure. Our sisters and brothers deserve the best we have to offer!
We will honor all victims by creating a world of peace!
May they rest in peace.
Sincerely, with love,
August 4th, 2019 – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
As you may know, this fall our pastor Father Tim Kitzke will celebrate his 60th birthday, 30 years as a priest, and 20 years of ministry in Milwaukee’s Downtown and East Side. In my first year of working with him, he has already become such a great friend and mentor, and so I wanted to organize a celebration on the occasion of these anniversaries.
On behalf of the parish staff of Old Saint Mary, Three Holy Women, Saints Peter and Paul, and Our Lady of Divine Providence Parishes and me, I would like to invite you to “Just Say Yes” 2019.
Please join us on Sunday, September 15th to give thanks for the man and priest who has taught us so much about saying “yes” to God, family, friends, and our community:
“Just Say Yes” 2019
Sunday, September 15th, 2019
2 PM Mass at the Italian Community Center
Social with Heavy Hors d’oeuvres & Cash Bar to Follow
631 E Chicago St
Milwaukee, WI 53202
As a gift, we are kindly asking you to donate to the Catholic Parishes in Milwaukee’s Central City and the Urban Initiative of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Please make checks payable to: Three Holy Women Parish, Attn: Just Say Yes, or cash gifts in envelope with ‘Just Say Yes’ on it.
Please RSVP at: http://bit.ly/JustSayYes2019 or please call Three Holy Women Parish Office at 414-271-6577 by Sunday, September 1st
Priest or Deacon,Please RSVP additionally for Mass: http://bit.ly/SayYesClergy
Thanks, and I look forward to celebrating with you!
Fr. John Baumgardner