Church of the
Annunciation

7580 Clinton Street
Elma, New York 14059

716.683.5254

July 23, 2017

16th Sunday Ordinary

What is the Kingdom of Heaven? How can we understand and describe something that we cannot readily see or measure or touch? Jesus chooses to use the language poetry and parable to offer sketches of God’s Kingdom. Jesus engages our imagination and draws us into the metaphor to give us a sense of its meaning and mystery -- like solving a riddle or putting a puzzle together.

Anyone planting a garden looks askance at the appearance of weeds; although aggravated we know pulling a weed may risk taking a flower. When Jesus first tells this parable some are dismayed at his association with sinners and undesirables. They are scandalized when Jesus dines with those who are judged to be breaking the law. Jesus exhibits attributes of God mentioned in the Book of Wisdom. God revealed in Sacred Scripture is slow to anger and rich in mercy. Like God, people who are just must also be kind, and the human exercise of power must be tempered with leniency.  

The parable about wheat and weeds speaks of God’s toleration/patience with sinners but also of the coming harvest when the weeds will be bundled to burn and the wheat gathered into barns. But God will do the sorting out! It cautions us to temper our inclination to judge and condemn others. My friend and tennis partner years ago made an observation and posed a question: “Why do we judge harshly?  Are we hoping that by throwing dirt upon another person our own light will shine more brightly?” Weeds, rejection of Jesus and evil deeds, in our perception may be apparent in others but we should not fool ourselves that weeds are not also growing in us.

St. Paul tells the Church at Rome that the Spirit comes to our aid in weakness and empowers us to pray. Every day and throughout the day we must utter the “prayer of the heart”: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

More Homilies


July 16, 2017

15th Sunday Ordinary

Our devotion finds expression in art. There are paintings of Mary dating back to 1346, the early Renaissance, of Mary sitting on a cushion just above the ground with baby Jesus sitting on her lap looking at the viewer(s). The “Madonna of Humility” depicts both Mary’s earthy or lowly station and her favored status in the eyes of God. “Humility,” according to St. T...

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July 09, 2017

14th Sunday Ordinary

“Come to me.” It is an invitation from Jesus directed to “little ones” – disciples who are tired and burdened.  The only way we can receive and respond to the invitation of Jesus is by the Holy Spirit. St. Paul writes to the Church at Rome that the Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us. Prophet Zechariah, speaking for the Lord, says...

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June 25, 2017

12th Sunday Ordinary

“Terror on every side!” These are the words the prophet Jeremiah uses to describe his situation of adversity. They seem sadly contemporary. Every day we hear news of reports about the atrocities carried out by ISIS -- indiscriminate attacks against all humanity and civilization. This past week ISIS destroyed an historic mosque. How would I respond to the threat of loom...

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June 04, 2017

Pentecost

Why are there so many Jews in Jerusalem? They have traveled great distances to commemorate the Jewish feast Shavout. It recalls the Hebrew people camped at Mt. Sinai – 50 days after departing Egypt. Here Moses receives the 10 Commandments and God enters into covenant with  the People of Israel. St. Luke tells us in ACTS on this feast, after the Ascension of the Lord... READ MORE

May 28, 2017

Seventh Sunday of Easter

In the comic strip: “For Better or Worse” – Elizabeth can’t sleep. She goes to her older brother Michael’s room. He is awake too. They both can’t sleep. Michael: “I can’t sleep, Elizabeth…I’ve never known anybody who died before.” Elizabeth: “Me neither.” Michael: “Mrs. Baird was such a nice lady. I can’t believe she’s gone.” Elizabeth: ... READ MORE

May 25, 2017

Ascension of the Lord

St. Luke in Acts says it simply: “He was lifted up and a cloud took him from their sight.” We can imagine how difficult it is for the apostles. Jesus, with them for three years of public ministry and then after his crucifixion and death, with them as Risen Lord, is now gone! They can no longer physically hear, see and touch him. They are in shock, staring at the heaven... READ MORE

May 14, 2017

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Thomas asks a question. “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way? Jesus replies: “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Philip makes a request. “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” A bit exasperated Jesus says: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” The... READ MORE

May 07, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Easter

I am…? Can we say something about ourselves? Like: “I am a pastor.” “Pastor” comes from the Latin: “shepherd” and “to graze, to feed.” Jesus says: “I am the Good Shepherd.” Not only does this title describe how Jesus understands his person and mission but it is an enduring image of how we remember Jesus especially on the 4th Sunday of Easter when girl... READ MORE

Displaying Homilies -3 - 1 of 341

Stewardship

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

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