As we go forward, safely, catch up with our Diocese, our letter from our Bishops, and our protocols. I will do the best that I can for the balance with faith and Covid-19 and will be walking with you step by step. And, brothers and sisters, welcome home for Mass according to God’s will in your life!
Hope and Comfort from God: Wednesday, June 17th, 2020
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Some upswing great news…
- How do we affect and support the LORD’s rescue of the poor who are oppressed by the “power of the wicked?”
- How do we hear the poor? How about in our own community? Around our state? Country? Around the world? 1/3 of people in the world do not eat or drink well, or even with clean food or clean drink. 1/3!
- Or, what about those in “bonds,” those in our country, especially those that were written in a letter from our Bishops: “open wide our hearts the enduring call to love a pastoral letter against racism”: American Indians, Black and Hispanic brothers and sisters
- How do we walk together with and towards Jesus Christ?
I hope these readings, even deeper in their fullness today, connect with each of our individual responsibilities, and when we seek that truth, then go to Confession, then we may show your mission which is different with each person.
May we always follow Jesus Christ, especially when we must lock in with Him, and not our worldly sinfulness
Division and Violence in the Scriptures: Monday, June 15th, 2020
As summer kicks into full gear and I reflect on my past year of seminary, my heart is overflowing with gratitude. Following the Lord’s call has brought about peace and satisfaction unlike any other I have experienced. Despite a new set of challenges remote learning presented, God continues to bless me (and others) in new ways, making manifest His power even in uncertain circumstances.
One of the aspects of seminary life I miss the most is the constant fraternity in which each of us is surrounded. The importance of this is expressed in Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens his fellow man.” When we have friends and family around that encourage us to live a life rooted in Christ, not only do they help motivate us, but in turn, we help motivate them! I found myself back home abruptly without scheduled Holy Hour, Mass, and time of fraternity. Meaning, I had to live deliberately and find the proper balance between online classes and prayer without the guidance of a formator and the rest of the seminary community. This proved to be challenging but continues to be a source of growth as I walk towards God’s call for my life, whatever it may be.
Regardless of the challenges, God’s blessings shine through. The abrupt return home allowed me to spend extra time with my family, whom I would typically only have time to connect with once a week. I cannot help but feel blessed to spend the entirety of the summer with both my human family and my parish family here at St. Thomas Aquinas. Not to mention, Fr. Ben has graciously taken me under his wing and taught me about the life of a parish priest, which serves as invaluable experience as I discern my vocation. I ask for your prayers and know of mine for our beautiful parish of St. Thomas Aquinas!
In Christ, Ben Freeman
Forgive our Enemies: Tuesday, June 16th, 2020
I must share a gorgeous day, trying to keeping us all upbeat with all that is going on around our country.
On Thursday, May 28th we, celebrated with our three sixth-graders who graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas School: Laney Becker (parents, Jed and Tonya), Nick Kostiuk (parents, Marnie and Michael) and Taleia Boyer (parents, Kim and Chad). These students were able to receive a "new" type of graduation, but the first graduation in many years. Thank you, Principal Jerry Hilfer!), and many of our teachers and employees to make it happen.
As our students did not know that we were going to have a "parade" to their homes, we were blessed to have a procession, led by Police Officer Michael Kostiuk (which I got to ride in the front!), Mayor Droba Harley (who drove his Delorean!) and each of our teachers.
For each student, we approached their homes, honking, celebrating, and having a quick six-foot social distance party. Each student was announced with the graduation pomp and circumstance played by John Faith, and Principal Jerry, as our keynote spoke to each student.
Each student received our gifts and encouraged them as they move forward in a new chapter as they are now seventh grade, and what a heart-warming afternoon.
Finally, as long as I am writing about St. Thomas Aquinas School, I must always give a congratulation for Patti Refsland as she received a new job, "right up her alley" in Crosslake, and John Faith has retired. Thus, we are already advertising open positions as a new 5th-6th grade teacher and a musician.
Please keep praying for our school, always remembering that Jesus Christ said, "…let the children come to me," and this will continue to occur, even with a challenging year.
Go, St. Thomas Aquinas SAINTS and, God Bless!
Morality in the Sermon on the Mount: Thursday, June 18th, 2020
Come, Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit.
To many of you in our family, welcome home!
After Jesus rose from the dead, took time on earth, he told his disciples: “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
As we come to the apex of Jesus birth, presentation in the Temple, the temptation of the evil one, teaching, healing, forgiving, the passion, crucifixion, death, resurrection, ascension He sent the Holy Spirit. BOOM!
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Each of you who has been baptized, who have been confirmed, you have given the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.
may the LORD be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the LORD.”
Come, Holy Spirit!
We continue to move forward in Ordinary Time, though it is interesting that, in some ways, we “slowly” begin this season on this weekend and next.
The Holy Trinity
Some quick, but sacred scriptures
This weekend I would like to share some of the challenging times in which the Trinity has been with me, and many of you
but might have eternal life.”
So seek the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
So may we conclude this homily with a traditional prayer to our Trinity
Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church: Monday, June 1st, 2020
8th Anniversary with my Brothers! Monday, June 22nd, 2020
Division in our Country: Racism: Thursday, June 4th, 2020
Not good to test Jesus! Paying to Caesar or not?: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
Peacemakers: We must Receive Peace in our Hearts through Jesus Body and Blood before Peace to our Secular World: Corpus Christi
This past week I spoke to my family during one of our Daily Masses that continues to ring in my heart
- Peacemakers…so crucial
And we hear about peacefulness in our readings today:
§ Now this could be a whole different homily (sword is not a physical sword)
§ But will the “world”—think, think, think, the world, not the globe, but humanity full of sinfulness, violence, wars, distruction
§ Has Jesus called true peace with God Father, Son, Holy Spirit like last weekend?
Or, what did Jesus speak in John 6 as we celebrate the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ this weekend?
Do to Others as we would like for Ourselves and Narrow Path: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020