Church of the

7580 Clinton Street
Elma, New York 14059


September 16, 2018

24th Sunday Ordinary

24th Sunday Ordinary B

How odd of Jesus to choose Simon Peter as one of the 12. We cannot fathom the mind of God. Simon is a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. After a great catch of fish Simon tells Jesus to leave him because Simon confesses: “I am a sinful man.” Jesus nicknames Simon “Peter” meaning “rock.”

Today among the apostles, Peter is inspired to identify Jesus as the Christ but soon after when Jesus explains that being the Messiah will mean suffering and death, Simon backs off and tries to persuade Jesus that he can avoid taking that path to the cross. Be a different type of Messiah! Jesus calls Simon a “Satan”. When Jesus is arrested, Simon Peter will deny knowing Jesus.

In all four Gospels Peter receives redemption. In Mark, Peter weeps after he betrays Jesus and then, after the death of Jesus, an angel tells Mary Magdala and the women at the empty tomb to go and tell the disciples “and Peter” that Jesus has been raised and goes before them to Galilee. “There you will see him.” In Matthew, Jesus says of Simon that he will be “the rock” on which I will build the church. In Luke Jesus predicts that Simon’s faith will fail but to Simon: “once you turn back you must strengthen the brothers.” In John, Peter expresses his love to the Risen Lord three times and each time Jesus commissions Simon to be a good shepherd. The last words spoken by Jesus in the four Gospels are personally addressed to Peter: “Follow me.”

When we examine people in the Bible who are called and given a mission “perfection” is not a prerequisite and “success” not assured. The prophet Isaiah experiences rejection but comes to trust in the Lord’s help to him as a “suffering servant.” St. James reminds us that our faith must find expression in good works. In humility and aware of our own sinfulness, we must have compassion for others in need. Perhaps that is why Simon Peter is appealing to us.

In our human failures, even as shepherds, we come to experience in God a mother or father like love. Parents can express love and at the same time call their children to task for doing something wrong. We enjoy a similar relationship with Jesus who always forgives and still sets the bar high for fidelity, integrity and empathy for others. Honestly, we confess with Simon Peter that we are sinful but willing to follow Jesus.  We pray to be faithful and to continue God’s good work – always trusting in God’s mercy.

More Homilies

September 09, 2018

23rd Sunday Ordinary

There are words that are more than words. Examples: when we swear under oath to tell the truth or when we promise our love and fidelity in marriage or promise obedience at ordination. Our words can take on deeper meaning and become word-events. In our First Reading from Isaiah, the Jewish prophet, speaking for God, announces an oracle of salvation. God is coming to hea...


September 02, 2018

22nd Sunday Ordinary

There is a beautiful name for God in the Letter of Saint James: “Father of Lights.” “All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of first fruits of his creatures … Religion that is pure a...


August 19, 2018

20th Sunday Ordinary

St. Paul admonishes the Ephesians: “Brothers and Sisters: ‘Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.’” Paul’s letter, written long ago, cautions us, during evil days, to be mindful o...


August 05, 2018

18th Sunday Ordinary

The crowd follows Jesus back to Capernaum. Jesus fed the multitude and now they seek him out for more food. He admonishes them: “Do not work for food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life which the son of man will give you.” Curious, they ask: “What can we do to accomplish the works of God.” Jesus replies: “This is the work of God, believe in t... READ MORE

July 29, 2018

17th Sunday Ordinary

I grew up on Wonder Bread. Even “enriched” it didn’t have the texture and taste of homemade bread. Today we can choose multigrain and whole wheat breads. Lately I am buying oatmeal and potato breads. They are great making a sandwich and for toasting. Why talk about bread? Today we are proclaiming and listening to Jesus feeding a multitude with loaves of bread and fis... READ MORE

July 22, 2018

16th Sunday Ordinary

I am enjoying my back porch. This year I put out bird feeders – seeds and suet. During the summer there has been an increased number and variety of birds coming to eat but also chipmunks, squirrels and black crows. To use a word from our first reading from the prophet Jeremiah, there is a “gathering in” – it is the responsibility of the shepherd to gather the scatt... READ MORE

July 15, 2018

15th Sunday Ordinary

“Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two..” Jesus summons and then sends. He calls “disciples” (those who follow him) and commissions them to be “apostles” meaning “those who are sent.” They are to travel light: with a walking stick and sandals but no food, no sack, no money, and no 2nd tunic! Can we imagine setting out with lit... READ MORE

July 08, 2018

14th Sunday Ordinary

We would not expect a homecoming like this when Jesus returns to his native place. He is recognized as the carpenter, the son of Mary, with brothers and sisters. “Brothers and sisters” in Aramaic is a Semitic idiom that refers to the extended families of Joseph and Mary including cousins, nephews, nieces, half brothers and half sisters. They are astonished at his teach... READ MORE

Displaying Homilies -3 - 1 of 395


Stewardship is having the wisdom to understand that everything we have is a gift from God.

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