July 16 – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God
can count the number of apples in a seed.”
The beautiful parables we hear this time of the church year are filled with basic, common-sense images that are meant to challenge us. This Sunday we hear about sowing seeds and the soil that they fall upon.
I would venture to say that Jesus knew exactly what image he wanted to use to remind folks that we must be very careful about the planting of seeds. With our words and actions we can produce so much growth and harvest, or we can create destruction and despair. Let’s choose our words carefully and realize that they are powerful tools for growth or weapons for destruction.
I would venture to say that Jesus knew exactly what image he wanted to use to remind folks that we must be very careful about the kind of soil we are in our attitudes and outlooks. With our hearts hardened and bitter, or our lives filled with so much preoccupation and worry, we can cancel out any potential for growth for true happiness for ourselves or for others. The soil of our lives rooted only in ourselves instead of the open-hearted living and loving Christ calls us to, can produce such misery, and loneliness. Let’s choose what kind of soil we want to be—open to new growth and possibility or hardened and tangled by our selfish preoccupations.
Have a blessed week!
Sincerely, with love,
July 9 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
One of the many blessings that I count in our family of four parishes is the presence of so many children through Catholic East Elementary and our Christian Formation programs ESCYM and Old St. Mary. I appreciate our prayerful liturgies with enthusiastic singing. I enjoy preaching and teaching our children and see how in many ways they echo the words of Jesus:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.” (Matt 11:25-30)
At the end of the school year ’16-’17 at Catholic East, I received a plant and a plaque from the third grade for being a Good Steward. I was given a stack of storied written by older students along with the younger kids, complete with drawings. The short stories are titled: Fr. Mike’s Time Travel Journeys. It is delightful reading.
Jesus, like the prophet Daniel, praises God for revealing the mysteries of the Kingdom to the simple, the little ones, and the disciples. Fulfilling the prophecy found in Zechariah (today’s first reading), Jesus comes as a meek king riding on an ass, the beast of burden. Like a good rabbi Jesus invites us to take his yoke (another word for teaching) upon our shoulders and learn from the Master who carries all of our burdens.
In our overly complicated world, we need to be like children who trust in Divine Providence and not worry about everything. The Spirit of Jesus will breathe new life into all of us. I hope you have a fun summer.
Fr. Mike Michalski
July 2nd – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.” (Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning)
Happy Independence Day! This great commemoration of our great country reminds us not only of the magnificent gift of our American heritage but also our magnificent responsibility to use our gifts well.
More than ever, we are called to take the best of what we are and share it so that all may benefit. And to work hard that all may be respected and cherished at the table of life.
Having visited Auschwitz, where Victor Frankl was imprisoned, and rereading Man’s Search for Meaning, I am convinced more that ever that we have a huge task ahead of us. But as a believer, and having visited the cell in Auschwitz where St. Maximilian Kolbe witnessed to his faith to the point of death, I am convinced that we can do it.
The call of our faith in Jesus Christ, who has promised to be with us till the end of the ages, leads to a hope that the witness of the saints shows us cannot be defeated.
May this Fourth of July lead us to deeper commitment to the values that lead to life and flourishing for all!
Liberty, yes! Responsibility, definitely!
God bless America!
Sincerely, with love,