Bottom line: In the Eucharist you join the whole cosmos in giving thanks to God. With Jesus we can say, "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth..."
The great theme in today's reading is praise and thankgiving. Our Psalm says, "I will praise your name forever..." And Jesus exclaims, "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth..." Praise springs from a grateful heart.
In spite of all we've been through this year, I feel a deep gratitude. As we celebrate Independence Day, I am thankful for our nation in spite of all our troubles. For me gratitude is personal and local. I think about our parish mission statement: "Blessed to live in this beautiful valley, we are Christians in union with Pope Francis and Archbishop Etienne who strive to lift up Jesus, love one another and make disciples." We are blessed to live in this gorgeous valley.
I am grateful to be pastor of St. Mary of the Valley. This week I begin my twelfth year as your spiritual father (wait for applause). It seems like yesterday I came here in July of 2009. So much has happened: children and adults baptized, young couples married and the death of dear parishioners like Maggie Beatte, Leo Moore and of course Sister Barbara.
Those events have bonded us. And we've worked together, for example, the new bell tower, the centennial renovation of our hall, the upgrade of our church lighting, sound, rest rooms, pews, etc. I'm grateful to you for your support in all this and on a more personal level, the rectory renovation we will do with the parish share of the Called to Serve as Christ campaign. To date we've received $ _________ - 15% of total donated so far.
I could go on. I have many reasons for gratitude - and I know you do as well. Gratitude is important. Gratitude results in a smile - inner happiness. Even in times of trial and suffering, a person can find reason for gratitude, a reason to praise God.
The great prayer of gratitude is the one we are participating in now - the Mass, the Eucharist. The word itself means thanksgiving. In his pastoral letter for the Year of the Eucharist, Archbishop Etienne quotes Pope Francis: "Joined to the incarnate Son, present in the Eucharist, the whole cosmos gives thanks to God." Every creature, each in its own way, praises God - sun and moon, stars and fire. Living creature give glory to God. My puppy, Rosie Cotton, glorifies God in a way that lifts my heart.
You and I were created to give glory to God. Each of has something no one else possesses something no one else has. Without you something would be lacking in the Communion of Saints. When you come to Mass you bring your uniqueness - your prayers, works, joys and sufferings. You join the whole cosmos in giving thanks to God. With Jesus we can say, "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth..."
From Archives (for Fourteenth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru