Joined: 06 May 2005
Location: Greenville, Texas
|Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 5:19 pm Post subject: Fourth Sunday of Easter 2009
|Fourth Sunday of Easter 2009
Father Paul Weinberger
Saint William the Confessor Catholic Church
May 3, 2009
There is no salvation through anyone else nor is there any other name under Heaven given to mankind by which we are to be saved
In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
There are three stories, which can help us understand the significance of Good Shepherd Sunday in May of 2009.
Yesterday I was getting ready for the 4pm Mass and just as I was about to begin someone brought me news. I am dead serious about this. Someone brought me the news that a tornado was reported coming down I-30 and it was just past Royse City and headed this way. Because of the proximity I prayed about what to do and had to be quick.
I took the Crucifix down in the sacristy and behind the Crucifix we keep the blessed palm, the palm that you received on Palm Sunday, and I brought it out into the Sanctuary and on top of a column I placed a metal plate and I cut the palm into pieces and lit the palm and let it burn there in the dish until it burned out. I led everyone in praying the Hail Mary, asking for Our Lady’s help. It was 4:00 in the afternoon and looking outside, you’d have thought it was 10:00pm.
After about ten minutes I asked the Deacon to take over for me and I went over to the rectory and turned on the local news. Channel 5 had a game on; I guess they couldn’t break for a tornado. Channel 4, 8, and 11 continued to broadcast the same kind of pictures. In Valley Ranch the Cowboys had a workout facility that was essentially a plastic tent and people were inside when it was knocked over by a wind. They kept focusing on this white tent. They showed a shot from a distance and it showed people looking at the white tent. Then they had a shot of the camera truck behind the people.
Anyway, I kept waiting and it seemed like forever; minutes went by and I kept flipping through the channels and even went to the weather channel, which were doing some kind of program and I just couldn’t get over it. Finally, someone must have tripped over it in the studio. “Oh look what I found in the floor!” Then they picked up the local weather map off the floor and hung it back up. Anyway, they saw that the tornado was right on top of us but said now it was on the south side of I-30. I am sorry because many of you live over there; I have an aunt that lives over there, but I was so grateful that the tornado, in my opinion, had been brushed aside by the gentle hand of Our Lady. Prayer to Our Lady is so powerful before her Son, Jesus Christ.
So that is the first story. I went to the TV and what I wanted wasn’t there and they kept saying things that were of no interest to me. Jerry Jones is not here; he is in Kentucky, but don’t worry, he’s been informed and I hope he stays in Kentucky forever. There is no love lost and I am sure it worries him at night. But, they kept saying inane things like that and all I wanted was the weather. Is that asking too much? [Laughter] What I was looking for wasn’t there, and except for Mother Angelica, couldn’t you say that about TV? Whenever we go to the TV, whatever we are looking for isn’t there but instead they give us a lot of other things. And then there are the commercials like, “If this lasts for more than four hours see a doctor.” I won’t fill in the blanks. These terrible commercials that teenagers and children see rob their innocents. Apart from EWTN, this is the status of television today. If you turn the TV on and you are fishing around for the truth or something good, you are going to have about as much success as I did finding the weather report on a day when tornados are sighted near Dallas.
The second story concerns some dear friends of mine, who built a new house. They have one daughter and the rest are sons. So… the girl is spoiled. It is like friends I have here, the youngest girl is spoiled but her older sister stood up for her and said, “No, she is not spoiled, we just give her everything she wants.” They were kidding of course but she knows the score.
So my friends were building a new house and because of the location they decided to make their daughter’s room separate from the boys. That is a good idea, but they gave her a private entrance. When she was fourteen an older man discovered this entrance and took great advantage of it. I won’t go into detail because there are children present, but you can fill in the blanks. The parents were very sad that they had given their daughter a private entrance because that door proved to be the undoing of their family and it is really sad.
Lastly, you notice Chris is not here today; he will be leaving to go back to Italy on June 1st. He is going to Norcia, where St. Benedict and St. Scholastica were born. Chris left in January and came back three months later, and when he came back he was telling me about how in Italy it is not uncommon to be driving down the road and have a traffic jam, but not with cars. It is a bunch of sheep going from one pasture to the other, or to town to be sold. You have to wait until the sheep get to where their destination is. Chris said he watched them as they came into Norcia where he was living and working and I think that is where he is going to be living and working for the rest of his life. This is a discernment process and that is where he thinks he is supposed to be and so do I. Chris is not here today because he is in Oklahoma. His mother is receiving an award from the Archbishop…probably for having the tallest son in Oklahoma. He is pretty tall.
Chris told me that a shepherd was driving the sheep he was watching into town and when the sheep go through the narrow streets they are all crammed in together. When they see an open space, like the plaza at the center of town, they are like boys let out of Wal-Mart into the parking lot; they want to run. Right? That is why mom and dad clamp down on that hand. “Dad, I am seventeen, you can let go now.” [Laughter] And then he runs into the parking lot, right? Anyway, when the sheep get to that open area in the plaza at Norcia they see all the open space and they want to run this way and that. They are going to get into trouble, like under someone’s wheel. As this unfolded, Chris said that all of a sudden the shepherd’s voice rang out to the sheep. Like statues they stopped in their tracks.
In this First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Peter is saying that Jesus healed the man and that there is no salvation through anyone else nor is there any other name under Heaven given to mankind by which we can be saved. Today is Good Shepherd Sunday and Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He said
The sheep know MY voice. I know mine and mine know Me.
We have to recognize that the wolf is constantly at the door and parents have to plan for this. So parents, I implore you to recognize that there are many private entrances to your home. If you allow the skirt around your house to be perforated then all of a sudden you walk into the kitchen and there is your wife in a chair with a broom. She is not aiming at what is behind the refrigerator but is aiming at you because you didn’t fill the hole outside and look what got in the house. You know he has other friends up in the attic too, right?
There are children whose parents that don’t recognize that giving a child a TV for the bedroom is giving them a private entrance. In fantasy the children can leave the room or others can come into the room. “Oh Father, you are making too much of this!” It is the same with the computer and cell phones. All of these are ways for a person using it to leave or others can enter. This is very dangerous indeed. Consider that one of the most popular movies around right now is “Twilight”. It is about a girl, who falls in love with a man vampire. But don’t worry; it is not a human blood-sucking vampire. It is as if somehow the vampire is now the kinder, gentler vampire. I guess somebody has to work for the IRS. [Laughter]
How many parents are going to allow their kids to go and see this, just like they let them go to see the Davinci Code? That movie had some terrible lies against our Lord, the Blessed Mother, and St. Mary Magdalene, and many Catholic took their kids to see this. Some of you may recall that after that came out there was a short Bio in the Dallas newspaper; they run these just about every day for someone who is just about to turn eighteen. It tells what their favorites in a number of things are. Her favorite book was “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown. I brought it up and someone said, “Oh, come on!” Well guess what? That book is about to come on the screen if it hasn’t already. I can guarantee that this movie will not give you what you want to know about angels and demons; it will tell you everything but what you want to know, and this is going into impressionable minds of people who are wide open and ripe for the taking.
The wolf is at the door and you have to recognize it. This is not being alarmist. To be asleep under such conditions is to be a hireling. Jesus said that the hireling does not lay down his life for the sheep, but sees the wolf and runs away. “Oh well father, that is just the way things are.” No it is not, not by God’s design. I am to this parish what a father is to his home and a mother working right along side with him. We must do our best to keep the wolf away, but the wolf is insidious and as unrelenting as the tide. He never stops looking for a way to get in and do great harm and destruction. For those who won’t believe this, you have to recognize that there is only one name under Heaven by which we are to be saved and that is the Name of Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd.
To go to the TV today and think you are going to get what you are looking for there, you will be as disappointed as I was yesterday. I gave up TV for Lent. I didn’t watch that much TV before Lent, but when I went back to it yesterday I decided that I didn’t really give up anything. There is nothing there that bears His Name or direction. In fact, it is quite the opposite and we have to recognize this. You think maybe you can find the ten minutes of TV that is not like that. If you do there is much risk connected with it and I wouldn’t even bother. You have to be able to direct your children accordingly and make corrections when the moment arises. To have a TV or computer in a child’s room is not helpful to your family.
The one thing I left out is video games. You say that the child seems to like the game but have you played it yourself? Try an experiment; try two weeks without the game and see if you get more than, “HUH” from your son and then two weeks with the game and you see a totally different individual. Forget the second half of that; just take it away. Unless you have played the game yourself you have no idea what is on it and you are giving them a blank check. I can see it now, the “Jesus Christ Video Game” by Dan Brown and company. Uh huh! The “Angels and Demons” and “Twilight Game”. No!
No, St. Peter says,
It was in the Name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, whom you crucified, and God raised from the dead. In His Name the man stands before you, healed. There is no salvation through anyone else nor is there any other name under Heaven given to mankind by which we are to be saved
In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit