Does God Not Hear?
Rev. Robert F. Tucker
St. Louis de Montfort Parish, Litchfield
August 20, 2017
This Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 15 is not primarily about the healing but about the conversation between Jesus and the Canaanite woman.  This is an extraordinary story for both the woman and Jesus who both stand their ground and it is Jesus who changes his position!  He did not answer her at all! It would have been easy for this woman to give up in bitterness. She feels terribly handicapped as a woman alone in a man's world, a Gentile and therefore unclean; and with an afflicted daughter. But in spite of Jesus' silence, she trusts Him. She keeps at Him and in a sense beats him at a debate over her faith.  How many times have we prayed earnestly for something, something very dear and near to us, and God seems to have ignored us or rebuffed us? We turn on our heels and walk away. We give up on faith or at least think God doesn't care about me and I will just forget about Him! We quit praying or going to Church. This woman is a great example of faith, patience, perseverance and persistence for each one of us!  She has the deepest confidence and faith in Jesus and will not let Him go until she gets what she needs, a cure for her daughter!

The sign of universality that the Lord cares for all and that while Jesus did come for the lost sheep of the house of Israel this woman will take even the scraps from the table of Israel's faith for her faith is so great!  She knows that no one belongs under the Lord's Table much less not fed from it. Our problem is that on a human level we feel there needs to be a limit to all. This is not the case with faith!  Faith is a total call to openness with care, love, understanding and forgiveness for all. St. Paul wants us to know that we are all sinners and share in the streak of disobedience. Yet, we are all brothers and sisters in Jesus who came as Savior and Redeemer of all. This issue was a serious one for the early Church that at first felt all would need to become Jewish before becoming Christian.  This issue was settled in the Acts of the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem, the first church gathering on articles of faith and morals.  This story shows that although Jesus' mission or work in the human body was not to the Gentiles before He was crucified. Jesus never was opposed to ALL having a share in God's love and blessings.

As we move through this month may God give us the patience, faith and persistence to trust in Him. When things get rough as they will - may we be able to think like St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, "I know God won't give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish He didn't trust me so much." Once we have said it then may we be willing in great faith to debate Him and move with Him!

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The Miracle of  Acting in Faith!
Rev. Robert F. Tucker
St. Louis de Montfort Parish, Litchfield
August 13, 2017
It has been stated there are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle!  In today's Gospel, Jesus comes walking across the sea and they cried out in fear, "it is a ghost."  Immediately, Jesus spoke to them and said, "take heart, It is I, do not be afraid." They were all confused and fearful of what Jesus was doing walking on water? This was a most unusual miracle. Usually when Jesus worked a miracle, he was responding to someone's needs; hunger, sickness, evil spirit possession, storms on the sea. This miracle of Jesus was simply a manifestation of his divine nature! Not just walking on the water but His statement, "it is I," and equalizing Himself with the Lord and Creator of All. When Moses wanted to know God's name, God responded by saying, "I am, or I am who I am!"  All Jews knew this sacred name, but no one ever pronounced it except the High Priest once a year on the feast of the Holy of Holies. Jesus is indeed calling His closest friends, disciples or Apostles and even us this day to recognize HIS DIVINE NATURE!   All that He is and Does is in the name of His Father. He wants us and Peter to keep our eyes fixed not on his humanness but on His Divine Nature. It is only when we can say humbly and quietly in the depth of our hearts YES to the Lord that we can quietly come out of our human boat and walk toward and with HIM!  The fears and angers of life that lead to depression, resentment, anger, and anxiety can only be removed when we take a risk and walk out of self and walk forward keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Lord.

Life's shadows, fears and disappointments might result from our standing in our own sunshine! We are to move aside and let ourselves walk and act in the light and love of Jesus and there will be no shadow! While this Gospel points out the special position of St. Peter, as do many other passages in the Bible, it also shows Peter to be a symbol for each one of us. We can all do wonderful things if we get out of our own way and our own need to be the light and give it over to the Lord. Jesus invites us every day to follow him and he is there to hold us up.  Follow Jesus Not Twitter!  

This is also a good summer week to use the words THANK YOU more often toward and for others. Perhaps more people would do simple acts of kindness if they were recognized and not taken for granted! It is a good week to realize we are all molded and remolded by those who have loved us, and though that love may pass we remain, none the less, their worků.No love, no friendship can ever cross the path of our life without leaving some mark upon it forever. Acknowledge that mark as a miracle and share that miracle with others in love, concern and action in the name of the Lord.   Be thankful and say thank you to the Lord and others.

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Jesus: Divine & Human
Rev. Robert F. Tucker
St. Louis de Montfort Parish, Litchfield
August 6, 2017
A reporter asked a l03 year old man, "What do you think is the best thing about being l03?" He quickly responded, "No peer pressure!"  The Feast of the Transfiguration occurs on a Sunday once every six years or so and replaces the Liturgy of Sunday, as such an important feast as to have peer pressure! In our Gospel of Matthew this week, we hear or read of an eyewitness account of this Transfiguration. From St.  Peter himself we get an account in our second reading. St. Peter wants us to be attentive to the prophetic message of this event. Transfiguration is about Jesus and about us. When we are with Him, we are with the divine. When he is with us, he is with the human. His love, grace, sacraments, peace and compassion can transfigure us. We must be open to this grace and not let all the other pressures of life control us. Peter wants us to have a deeper faith in Jesus and to be open by this glimpse of God's glory to see it as a lamp shining in the dark and our need to bring that light into the world by our word and actions.  Jesus wants us to know there is a time to speak and a time for silence and we need to take the appropriate time for both so we may act as a light of Christ.

Tradition identifies Mt. Tabor as the mountain of the Transfiguration. I have climbed part of it and been driven up the rest and it is a quite a climb or drive to get to the top. There is a chapel on the top and I offered Mass there for our group in the Holy Land. The height and view from this Mountain is spectacular and one can feel the presence and closeness of God. It is no wonder that Peter, James and John desired to build three tents there; one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. These men wanted like most pilgrims on this mountain to let the divine of the Lord, the Prophets and the Law take a long rest within them. These 3 men, like many pilgrims, were ready to stay there for several weeks and live this awesome experience. However, just as we as pilgrims had to come down the Mountain, so did Peter, James and John, as Jesus' work for them was not finished and they had to come back to earth and the Human tasks of teaching and showing by example the Divine!

The words of God the Father and the Holy Spirit about Jesus to these three disciples and to us calls for prayer, reflection, silence and then action. "This is my Beloved Son, listen to Him. " We must stop and LISTEN!  It is great to have mountain top experiences They are given to us to receive consolation, strength, faith and good feelings about the divine. But, the real life challenge is to come down the mountain and take what we have learned, shared and reflected in silence and put it into our words and actions on a human level.  Faith, Hope and Love cannot be based on mountain experiences but they help us in dealing with the day to day pressures of life. These mountain top times and experiences should deepen our love for God and for one another and give us the grace to live it.  The challenge to take and make the human into the divine and the divine into the human is a daily task. We are to do so with the love and grace given us by the example of Jesus Christ, the Beloved Son of the Creator of All!