08.14.15 - Lk. 5:27-39 (Matthew - Follow Me)
Dear St. Paul Family, Gospel lesson was from Lk. 5:27-39, where we see Jesus calling Levi to Matthew. 2 Words that can or have changed our day:
Foot Ball (I know it is 1 word, give me some leway)
2 Words that changed Levi’s life not just day were; Follow Me. As St. Cyril said, Jesus “snatched” Levi from the workshop of sin and left all and followed Him. Jesus gave a few pictures of what it would look like to follow Him.
Bridegroom – back then, weddings were 1 week long and were very joyful. In following Jesus, He gives us the picture that He is our bridegroom, not for 1 day or even a week but for our whole life. Follow Him.
Garment – Jesus doesn’t want to put band-aids on us, but to give us new garments. No more patching, all new. He offers to heal us permanently, not short term solutions. Follow Him.
New Instructions – each day we receive our instructions in our quiet time with Him. Follow them.
Party time – Matthew invited all his friends at a dinner party so they can be exposed to Jesus. The natural reaction in following Him, is to invite others to follow Him.
Those 2 words changed a sinner to a saint. God wants to do the same to us. Let’s take these 2 words personally and see Him as our bridegroom, giving us full healing, desiring to hear and do His instructions daily and invite others to share in this life full of joy. Core Value #3 – Mission Minded Develop the mindset of mission. It is not only on overseas trip that mission is done, but each and everyday and encouragement was given to see what we like or what we are good at and get involved in something. Fr. James
Sermon 08.07.16 Lk. 20:9-19 (God is Great!)
Dear St. Paul Family, Gospel lesson was from Lk. 20:9-19, the parable of the wicked vinedressers. When we really look into this parable, we can only fall in love with our amazing God. Let us look at 3 reasons:
God does everything He can to save us. God sent 3 servants and then His only Son in an effort to save the vinedressers.
I need to respond to His calling. He calls in many ways, let us be attentive to any of His ways that He reaches out to us.
God is patient. God is gracious, merciful, slow to anger but we should not abuse His patience.
I need to act now.
God wants us to be fruitful. The fruit is to be like Him, to repent, to grow in knowledge and perfection.
I need to bear fruits.
This parable has a bad ending where Jesus says that if we don’t break ourselves on the Cornerstone (meaning break our pride and bad habits) then the cornerstone will break us. Core Value #2 – Love God & Love Neighbor Focus was on the word faithful. Being faithful to the greatest commandment. So things like being faithful in my relationship with God, faithful to other’s needs and faithful to sharing the gospel. Kids’ Sermon On the 1st day of the fast for the Virgin Mary, the kids were taught how there were many symbols of St. Mary in the OT.
Pot of Manna
It was interactive and visual and showed how the OT is prophesying about Jesus and His mother Mary. Fr. James
Sermon 07.31.16 Jn. 11:1-45 (Lazarus - Delay)
Dear St. Paul Family, Gospel lesson was from Jn. 11:1-45, the great miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. Ever check the monitor at the airport and find out your flight is delayed, what’s your reaction? Easy now, this is a Christian site. In the gospel, we see Jesus found out that Lazarus was sick and delayed going for another 2 days. Why? He didn’t like Him? Wanted to chill in Jerusalem for longer? No, we see from verses 4 and 40 that all was done for the glory of God. We are so spoiled these days where fast food restaurants are timing how fast they can fill our orders and those who use Starbucks Mobile app – no delay, drink and straw waiting for you as you enter the store. Jesus teaches us that during delay, we should
Wait in Prayer – Ps 25:4-5, asking God to show, teach and guide me.
Wait in Patience – Ps 37:7, God is training us, and guess what the best training is for our lack of patience – uh huh, delays.
Wait in Promise – Ps 111:5, shows that our God keeps His promises or covenant. He is faithful.
Wait in Placed Confidence – trust in Him (Prov 3:5), He has definitely a great track record.
God’s timing is impeccable, but different than our timing. Today we saw rising of the dead and not just a healing. God wants to be glorified in your life, wait on Him. Core Value #1 – Christ Centered with Modern Day Relevance In our modern day world, technology is all around us. Let us find ways to use technology to have Christ as our center through it. Fr. James
Sermon 07.24.16 Lk 9:10-17 (Order)
Dear St. Paul Family, Gospel lesson was from Lk. 9:10-17, the great miracle of feeding the multitudes with 5 loaves and 2 fish. The second law of thermodynamics says that the natural process leads to disorder or chaos. So a toddler + paint = you know. “Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Cor. 14:40) Order or taxis means right order or to be done in orderly manner. Our God is a God of order. If we look at Creation, Noah’s Ark, The Tabernacle and today’s miracle how Christ before performing the great miracle, had them arranged in groups of 50. It’s nor a free for all, but all is done in an orderly manner. The benefits of order in our lives are:
Structure – Church : The Church has a certain order in its readings, liturgy, feasts and fasts. The church teaches us to have order and structure in our lives as well.
Structure – Personal: a) Prayer – is there an structure such as ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplications) b) Bible (is there a system that I use, or is it randomn?) c) Giving – 1 Cor 16 teaches us that we should be regular in our giving & d) Fasting – follow structure that is set.
Let us learn from this miracle not to be haphazard in our lives but for our own good and well being or incorporate order in our lives. Core Value #5 – Seeker Friendly On the same theme, let’s maintain order in moving to our new church. Great chance to start clean, to DE clutter and then to maintain order, structure and cleanliness. A clean and orderly place is a seeker friendly place. Fr. James