Worship At Home
The Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Worship at Home with
Corpus Christi Church

The Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

Whatever your present status in the Catholic Church, whatever your
current family or marital situation, whatever your past or present
religious affiliation, whatever your personal history, age, background,
race or color, sexual orientation, whatever your self-esteem…you are
invited, welcomed, accepted, loved and respected by the
Catholic Community of Corpus Christi.
Let us know your needs, your hopes, your gifts.
There is a place for you here.

 


Opening Song

Anthem:

 

 

Opening Prayer

We begin in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

Amen

Loving God,
we praise you and we love you.
We cry out to you for the glory of each new breath we take,
and for the blessing of your relentless love in our lives.
We long for hearts that are understanding, merciful, and committed to justice.
Help us to focus our thoughts, words, and actions on following Jesus’ example.
We ask this through Christ our Lord

Amen


Penitential Rite

Fr. Parkos

We begin our prayer today doing what we will see (in a few minutes) the angels doing in the Gospel story.
Our prayer is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.
Our lives are very full nets. So, we haul them ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is useless we throw away.
We sometimes use the word “repent” for this process.
Repenting is about what is useful to our life’s journey to God, and what is useless to that journey. We throw away the bad choices we have made and focus on making better choices, to have us arrive more surely at our destination.
We harvest our “treasure,” and we discard the flotsam and jetsam –
what is not useful for the journey.
Lord, have mercy …
Christ, have mercy …
Lord, have mercy …
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins,
and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Let us pray
O God, protector of those who hope in you, without whom nothing has firm foundation,
nothing is holy, bestow in abundance your mercy upon us and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen

 

 


The First Reading

A reading from the First Book of Kings
The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night.
God said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”
Solomon answered:
“O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king
to succeed my father David;
but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.
I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen,
a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.
Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart
to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.
For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”
The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.
So God said to him:
“Because you have asked for this—
not for a long life for yourself,
nor for riches,
nor for the life of your enemies,
but for understanding so that you may know what is right—
I do as you requested.
I give you a heart so wise and understanding
that there has never been anyone like you up to now,
and after you there will come no one to equal you.”
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

The Second Reading

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
Brothers and sisters:
We know that all things work for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.
For those he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
so that he might be the firstborn
among many brothers and sisters.
And those he predestined he also called;
and those he called he also justified;
and those he justified he also glorified.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

The Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household
who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”
The Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

 

 


The Homily

Fr. John Parkos

My experience is that God answers all prayers in one of three ways:
“Yes.” or,
“Yes, but not yet.” or,
“I’ve got a better idea.”
In the Letter to the Romans that we read from today, Paul says, “…all things work for good for those who love God.” “Those who love God” is a designation / a code name for the people of Israel in the Old Testament (for example, Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 6:5; Psalm 97:10). In this passage from Romans, Paul applies it to their descendants
and to all who believe that Jesus is God’s Son. He wants to impress the baptized with the wonder that since the beginning of time God worked all things together for their advantage and continues to do so in their present circumstances.
From eternity, God knew each of them (and us) intimately and predestined them to play unique, intertwined roles in God’s plan for the salvation of the cosmos. Paul is saying that the communal destiny of Christians is conformity to the image of the Son, who himself displays the image of God in which every human being is created (Genesis 1:26-27).Christians recognize their call and discover their purpose when they hear the Gospel preached. When they are baptized, they are justified – which for Paul means declared innocent before God – and they are also glorified. They will experience the fullness of this glorification with the risen Christ and all of his other sisters and brothers at the end of time.
The best piece of advice I have ever received in my whole life focuses on this very belonging with the risen Christ. The advice is short and sweet: “Do not ask God for any of the created gifts. Ask for the uncreated gift.” The uncreated gift is the Divine Self. That gift we KNOW God wants to give each of us. That sums up the whole of the history of the universe. God is bending over backwards to share God’s own Self with every one of us. God wants to share Divine Life with us; and God wants us to freely return the sharing of that gift. God is thus initiating a cycle of sharing that never ends. And in the process our every need is met – each of us and all of us together. In the process this raw material that we are reaches completion and perfection and the glory God dreamed for us and for all creation. If we focus on asking only for this one gift (that includes all others); then, either we will come to know specifically what other gifts we may subsequently need to ask for, to complement / complete the central gift of the Divine Self; or God will automatically give us all these other gifts along with the central gift of Self.
How do we ask for this central gift? Try asking two simple questions to get the conversation started: Ask God, “Who are you?” and “And tell me who I am.”
I have no idea how or when God will answer these questions. (You probably already noticed that these are loaded questions!) But God is no fool. You WILL get an answer. [And in the process, you will probably get the socks affirmed right off of you. God LOVES affirming the people God loves!] Keep you antennas up and listening. You WILL get an answer!
Jesus’ question in the Gospel passage today, “Do you understand all these things?”
reinforces a point made in the parable of the sower (Fifteenth Sunday), namely, that disciples must ponder and study his teachings until they see how to put them into practice. He portrays his followers as evangelized scribes and likens them to heads of households who bring from their store rooms (literally their “treasure” rooms) both the new and the old to nourish God’s people. For Matthew, the new refers to knowledge of Jesus’ life and teachings. The old refers to the Jewish Scriptures of his day – the Torah, prophets, and writings that bear witness to all that God did for Israel.
Where do you find / have you found your treasure?
What gift(s) truly satisfy you?
Is God enough for you?

 

 


Another Reflection from our Community

This Sunday the Gospel continues with more parables to teach about the Kingdom of God. There are three more examples: a worker in the field finds a buried treasure, and then he sells all he has to buy that field he was working in; a merchant finds a fine pearl and he sells all he owns to buy it; and lastly, the Kingdom of God is like the many things caught in a fisherman’s net, the rejects will be thrown into the sea and only the good catch is saved. The first two can teach that us that the Kingdom is so valuable that we ought to be willing to give up everything for it. We may not have to sell everything we have, but we may have to change our way of doing things. The net can show us that the just and unjust must exist together in this world. There will come a time when sorting will happen, but not in the middle of the fishing process, and not by us. There is a gap between finding/seeing and possessing. We are in that gap. The kingdom is now but not yet, is present but future, it is not yet something one can possess. It is the prize that gives meaning to the present, and its fullest delight draws us into the future. God’s Kingdom demands everything from the believer. The Scriptures are clear that the purchase price is beyond us and has been paid for us by Jesus Christ. We cannot earn it. We cannot buy it. But there is a transaction that takes place, the old is exchanged for the new. The message of love and mercy replace the message of hate and selfishness. The net and seeds are cast out far and wide to all, the many fish and the weeds and wheat will all be gathered one day. A large teaching on this was that Jesus was offering a salvation beyond genealogy, you were not just born into it. Some will be diligently searching for the truth before they find it and others will be living their lives without much thought to eternal things. Each will find their way on the journey, in their own time as they respond to the Word, with us walking beside them, not judging them.
Many of us like to look at the world and know what is coming and what will be asked of us. We want to know that if we work hard, and do the right things, we will get the results we expect and think we deserve. We like to think we are in control. This pandemic and the revealing of the systemic racism that is entrenched in our society, has taking that “control” and turned it on its head. We have politicized healthcare, a living wage, education, affordable housing, respect for all stages of life, human dignity, healthy drinking water, and simply wearing a mask. These are core beliefs from Jesus, tend to the sick, feed the poor, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the orphan and the widow, and love your neighbor. How did we get so far off track? We are being called by Jesus into a new way of seeing and living. We are being called to check our priorities and discover the many treasures among our ordinary dirt. Notice they are all action verbs, “tend, feed, clothe, shelter, care, and love.” We are being called to action and Jesus is questioning a possessive way of life. Our world needs people who are not possessed by their possessions, people who live a non-possessive life, Kingdom people. Let us refocus our minds to know that the Kingdom is not a different place, a reward, or a thing to be had, it is a different way of being, living, and relating. The Kingdom is not a “where” or a “what”, but a “how”. When we live a possessive life, we are more focused on me, than we, more passionate about my rights, than my responsibilities and more concerned about being right, than doing what is right. We have become concerned with keeping what we have and getting what we don’t have to the point where we are possessed by what we possess, whether they are things, beliefs, opinions, status or power. Let that sink in for a minute. Fear is probably the greatest impediment to a non-possessive life and is being spread across the globe right now. Many live in fear, consciously or unconsciously, of what they believe they have control over, but God is in control. Maybe this brings new meaning to the many times Jesus says, “Do not be afraid.” Do not be afraid of a non-possessive life. This pandemic has given many of us the gift of time, stripping away some of the busyness that distracts us. We have choices to make about how we move forward as a community, a state, a country and a world. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has given us the grace to listen through the Synod Process to where we want the church to move, do we now have more to add? Have our priorities shifted even more to be inclusive and in line with Jesus simple command? We are at our best when we live a non-possessive life. We become more welcoming, and hospitable, we forgive more freely, we are more generous with our time, money, and resources. We see more clearly our deep interconnection with the needs of others. We open our hearts and minds to other people and possibilities. Life is more full and we are more free to live. We have all been given vineyards, they are the people, relationships, circumstances, and events of our lives that God has entrusted to our care. The vineyards, our work in those vineyards, and the fruit produced come together to show us to be sharers in God’s Kingdom, or not.

 

 


Profession of Faith

Let us together profess our faith:

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,          
born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen.

 

 


Prayers of the Faithful

PRESIDER:
We gather these prayers for those who are most in need of the treasure of God’s presence,
a treasure that yields peace,
comfort,
and understanding.
LECTOR:
For the Church:
May we boldly make room to answer the Holy Spirit’s invitation to include the diverse treasures in our communities when making decision to move the Church forward …
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For the environment:
for all in the world who depend upon it; and for those who threaten it through policies or personal behaviors …
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For those whose contribution to God’s Kingdom is advocating justice, healing, compassion, integrity, and lasting peace …
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For families torn apart by politics, policies, beliefs, stress, and addiction:
May they find ways to begin healing conversations working towards being in loving relationships again …
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

For the sick and weary, for those longing to see loved ones:
May each day bring healing with the dawn, restore energy, and heal wounds…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

We remember our beloved dead,
especially John Woitas, and Chuck Cermack…

(PAUSE)

May they be welcomed with open arms in the Kingdom of heaven…
We pray to the Lord

Lord hear our prayer.

 

PRESIDER:
Bountiful God,
who offers us a fruitful harvest,
we pray for the wisdom and courage to look beyond life’s daily distractions and false hopes.
Give us eyes that can see and hearts that are open to all that you have promised.
Help us to hear and trust what Jesus teaches about your Kingdom.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 


Closing Prayer

Good and gracious God,
we have experienced your help and know it is a sign of your everlasting love for us.
Help us to recognize that we are profoundly united with every living creature.
May we protect the world and not prey on it.
Sowing beauty, not pollution and destruction, caring for the many treasured resources you have given us.
Allow us to share our joy with those who are in need of hope.
Protect us from everything that is evil and bring us to the joy of heaven.
United with our sisters and brothers everywhere,
together we pray in the words Jesus taught us:

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done.
on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Amen.