Hi everyone, here’s my homily for the NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – August 7, 2016. The readings for today’s Mass can be found at http://usccb.org/bible/readings/080716.cfm  Thanks as always for stopping by to read this blog; for sharing it on Facebook, twitter, Reddit and elsewhere on the Internet – and for all your feedback and comments.  God Bless You and Yours and have a great week! Fr Jim

Quick commercial… thanks to everyone who’s helped with the NEWMAN CATHOLIC 2016 SUMMER APPEAL – We’ve hit about 20% of our $20,000 stretch goal for this year… Please check out our website for information:  http://www.msunewman.com/#!appeal/cbjb  We appreciate your consideration and your support!


Back in November two New Jersey firefighters had spent 12 grueling hours putting out a fire. After that exhausting shift, they hit a local restaurant to grab a bite to eat and some coffee. During the breakfast, the waitress happened to overhear them talking about their dramatic shift. When they had finished their meal and asked for the bill, they were handed the following note: Your breakfast is on me today – thank you for all you do; for serving others, for running into places everyone else runs away from. No matter what your role is, you are courageous, brave and strong… thank you for being bold (and badass) everyday. Fueled by fire, and driven by courage, what an example you are! Get some rest! – Liz.

The guys were overwhelmed by the generous and thoughtful gesture and bragged about the whole experience on Facebook, encouraging people to go and support the business (and give Liz a big tip!) As the story started to spread and circulate, it took an even more beautiful turn. The firefighters found out that Liz’s father was a brain aneurysm survivor – which left him as a quadriplegic paralyzed for 5 years. Liz was trying to raise money to get him a wheelchair accessible vehicle through an internet donations site. The firemen then returned to Facebook and wrote: “Turns out, the young lady who gave us a free meal is really the one that could use the help.” Within days, this story went viral and eventually they collected a staggering $80,000 – well over the $17,000 goal she had set in order to do the construction work – and allowing her to look at getting a mobility van which would be a game changer for Liz, her father – and she hopes the entire world as they become brain aneurysm advocates and help raise awareness on that medical condition.

In today’s Gospel, we heard the parable of the foolish servant awaiting his master’s return – with the important words of Jesus reminding us, challenging us: where your treasure is, there also will your heart be… [and that] much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. In the eyes of God – the gifts that each of us possess means nothing. It’s what we do with whatever talents, or wealth that we possess in building up His kingdom that He’s interested in, that we will be judged on, that will determine our “greatness.” Some of us can work miracles with our great intellectual or financial power – and some of  us can bring the kingdom of God to reality with simple, genuine, sincere acts of generosity, kindness and attentiveness to those around us.

The fact is that God has entrusted every one of us with our own gifts, talents and blessings not for our own uses and aims, but to selflessly and lovingly use them for the benefit of others, without counting the cost or demanding a return. The faithful disciple will lovingly use whatever he or she possess to bring God’s reign of hope, justice and compassion to reality in this time and place of ours.