Weekend: Saturday 5 pm; Sunday 10 am
Weekday: 9 am (except Thursday)
Holy days: 9 am & 7 pm
Confessions: Sat. 4:15 to 4:45 pm
Eucharistic Adoration: (1st Friday) 9 am to Noon
January 18, 2015
Rev. Anthony Medairos,
1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10
1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a,
My first week in Korea, friends
took me by taxi to a restaurant in Tongduchon, a bustling, crowded city just outside
our camp. The hostess was very friendly;
it turned out she owned the restaurant.
I asked her to write down its name and address so I could return some
day. She wrote in the beautiful Hangul alphabet
words that she had to translate: “Come
and See.” “Come and See? That’s an unusual name for a
restaurant.” She explained that, as a
Christian, she hoped to share the message of Jesus Christ through a ministry of
hospitality, so she took the restaurant’s name from the Gospel of John. That scriptural verse is found in today’s gospel,
where the words of Jesus are translated:
“Come and you will see.”
Rabbis would gather disciples and
teach them at the same location each day – often at the rabbi’s home. So, for these inquirers to call Jesus “rabbi,”
and then to ask him, “Where are you staying?” they were not merely asking,
“What is your address?” They were inquiring,
“What are you teaching? What knowledge
do you have to impart?” And Jesus
answered, “‘Come and you will see.’ So they
went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with him that day.” And lest anyone miss the significance of that
encounter, John the Evangelist identified the exact moment it happened, as had been
recounted many times by Andrew and his companion in the re-telling: “It was
about four in the afternoon.” This is
the occasion that changed these men’s lives.
They would never forget the words; they would never forget the place;
they would never forget the time: “It was about four in the afternoon.”
Samuel’s first encounter in a
personal relationship with God resonates with the same vivid memory. The lad, apprenticed to the holy man Eli,
“was not familiar with the Lord.” God’s
call was misunderstood by Samuel and even by his mentor. But when the elder discerned that it was the Lord
who was calling the boy, he advised Samuel:
“If you are called, reply, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is
listening.’” And this is what Samuel did
and so entered his journey as a prophet.
We see in Andrew and his friend, we
see in Samuel, eagerness, curiosity, and willingness to be touched by God. These men were called to special
ministries. But you and I are each called,
while less dramatic than becoming a prophet or one of the Apostles, we are
called to discipleship that is essential to God’s revelation. But do we have the same eagerness, the same
curiosity, the same willingness? Many
do; but some of us are marking time. It
is good that we stand within this worshipping community, for our eagerness,
curiosity and willingness to be disciples finds support here. And if we are
marking time, God’s grace flows here – just being around those who are eager, curious and willing, and in
the real presence of Our Lord in the sacraments.
But there are others whose curiosity
has been piqued, but who are not being nourished. While they could become eager and willing
disciples of Jesus the Christ, they haven’t encountered him. And that’s our task as believing Catholics: to facilitate that encounter, as did Eli when
he told Samuel to answer the Lord, “Your servant is listening;” as did John the
Baptist, when he told two men as Jesus passed by, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Andrew certainly continued that impulse as he
brought his brother Simon Peter to Jesus.
Later, Andrew would do the same for many.
This is called evangelization. How are you and I to evangelize? First, recognize in these stories that God approaches
us first. God spoke in Samuel’s
dreams. Jesus was present in the place
where Andrew and his companion might encounter him. God is delivering invitations all the time.
But then people whom God summons need
to respond. There were many
dreamers, but it was Samuel who said, “Speak, for your servant is
listening.” There were many on Jordan’s riverbank
where John was baptizing, but it was only Andrew and his friend who asked Jesus
where he was staying and followed him.
God calls you and me. God even calls people who do not come and
worship with us. There are invitations
and calls from God all the time. Some people
are just not curious. Some are not eager
to change their lives. Some are unwilling
to be disciples. But there are some who are.
are the ones who ask the Lord to speak.
These are the people who make time for prayer and scripture. There are those who ask, “Lord, where do you
stay?” meaning, “What is it that you teach, Lord?” Where the Lord stays is within the teaching
ministry of the Church as formed by the scriptures and the Spirit-guided Tradition
is what we disciples are called to do:
to develop robust prayer lives so that we may learn to listen for the
Lord’s word. We are to seek out and
embrace the gift of the Church’s teaching authority and to immerse ourselves in
the Word of God as found in scripture. Having
done these things in our own lives, we are then to share our encounters with
others: praying with them and for them;
sharing with them the words of scripture; explaining Christian teachings; inviting
them into the community of faith, the Catholic Church, in other words
disciples must ask the Lord where he is staying – and then go there: The Lord may be found in the Church and its scriptures. We disciples pray in order to hear God’s word
so we may respond with curiosity, with eagerness, and with willingness, “Speak,
Lord, for your servant is listening.”
And, like Eli and John the Baptist (and Andrew, too), we disciples are
to guide others to hear the Lord calling them,
inviting them to “come and see” where the Lord is staying.
January 11, 2015
Rev. Anthony Medairos,
Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10
Charlie was a quiet man; his wife
was the more talkative one, outgoing.
Charlie was tall and thin; she, a little bit plump. He worked for the town DPW; she worked at the
rectory. Charlie was around the church
almost as much as she. But for years he
and I never spoke, beyond pleasantries.
One hot day, while a group of us were doing some repairs on the religious
education center, during a break it happened that Charlie and I were sitting
under the same shady tree. He asked
about my membership in the Army Reserve.
“Did you have any military
service, Charlie?” And he told the story
of his experiences in the Army Air Forces during World War II: how he was a 19 year old tail gunner in a
B-17 (the Boeing “Flying Fortress”) and how he had flown many bombing missions
and Germany. The next day Charlie died.
Years later I was called to attend a
dying, elderly man in Southie. His
hospital bed, set up in the dining room of a triple-decker, was circled by
family. After we prayed, stories began
to flow about their Dad, who had plied the streets of Boston as a letter carrier for the Post
Office. And in some quiet moments I
wandered through some of the memorabilia on the family’s bookcases and
mantelpiece. And there: a framed Army certificate awarding this
simple family man the Purple Heart for – as the citation read – “wounds
received on June 6, 1944 in
France.” (For those unfamiliar with our
history, that was D-Day, our invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.)
Today we celebrate the baptism of
Jesus in the Jordan River by John the
Baptist. In Mark’s account of this
baptism – as also in Matthew and Luke – John announced to the people not only
their call to repent of sin, but he protested that someone was about to arrive
who was greater than he. John confessed
that he himself was not worthy even to untie this other man’s sandals.  When John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the
Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus, God’s beloved Son.
the Evangelist’s gospel is even more vivid:
when Jesus was baptized and the Spirit descended on him, the Baptist
pointed to Jesus and shouted to the crowd, 
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is
coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’”
had passed through that crowd, unrecognized.
He seemed just an ordinary man who, out of faith or out of curiosity,
came to the river like so many others to see the great preacher and prophet,
perhaps even to be baptized. Jesus
seemed a man among many. And even those
who perceived him later to be a provocative rabbi or even a prophet did not
recognize his true nature until after his resurrection from death on Easter.
many people pass by you and me unnoticed?
Or even if we might take note of them, it is only as a skinny DPW worker
or a letter carrier or a carpenter from Nazareth. We walk by folks every day without noticing
much about them. Or if we take note of
them, they are part of a throng of people going to work or school, shopping,
driving, getting in our way.
we might make it our mission – at least a little bit of the time – to attend to
the people around us. We cannot do this
all the time, of course. If we tried
constantly to attend to every individual, it would be psychologically
exhausting. But perhaps we can notice
one another at least a little more than we do, especially those who stand in
close proximity to us. Who knows? We may encounter a World War II hero!
even if that kind of personal intimacy with every single person is
psychologically exhausting – and probably even harmful – believers like you and
me should be open to recognizing that all these people around us are children
of God, creatures of our Creator, and should be acknowledged as possessing a
unique dignity. In each person we must
recognize that God abides within each one of them. Through them, God touches you and me. Through them, you and I have an opportunity
to love and serve God.
South American preacher explained it this way: “Be alert, be alert, so that you
will be able to recognize your Lord in your husband, your wife, your parents,
your children, your friends, your teachers, but also in all that you read in
the daily papers. The Lord is coming,
always coming. Be alert to his coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see,
you will recognize him at any moment of your life.” 
As the crowd at the River Jordan
barely acknowledged Jesus, the Son of God, their Savior, so you and I may
wander through our lives barely noticing that in the people who surround us we
may encounter the living God. I don’t
often quote poetry, but I think Elizabeth Barrett Browning said it
succinctly. She was, of course,
reflecting on how Moses was told to take off his shoes as he approached God,
speaking to him through the Burning Bush in the desert. She wrote:
Earth’s crammed with
and every common bush
afire with God.
And only he who sees
takes off his shoes.
The rest sit round it
and pluck blackberries. 
Too often, I have “plucked
blackberries” and missed encounters with some special people, and indeed some
holy encounters with God within them.
How about you?
3:11-17 and Luke 3:15-22.
 Oscar Uzin, as quoted by Henri J.M. Nouwen, ¡Gracias!
(San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 57.
 Elizabeth Barrett Browning, quoted by George
A. Maloney, Jesus, Set Me Free!
(Denville, NJ: Dimension Books, 1977),
Rev. Anthony Medairos,
Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8
A newspaper feature was brought to
my attention. It is a recent Dear Abby
Abby: Recently a friend of mine went to
a ritzy gala. When dinner was served,
she closed her eyes and said a brief and quiet prayer. When she opened them, the people at her table
were appalled. One guest admonished her,
telling her that, out of respect for others, she shouldn’t pray. Was she wrong? What’s the proper etiquette? Should she stop saying grace? 
That scene reminded me of one of
those wonderfully evocative illustrations by Norman Rockwell. It is a scene in a 1950’s roadside diner in
which an older woman in a neat pillbox hat 
sits at a communal table with a youngster, perhaps her grandson, both with
heads bowed over their greasy spoon lunch.
And all eyes are on them – truck drivers staring bemused and bewildered,
a topcoated gentleman craning his head in the woman’s direction.
For good or for ill, the simple act
of public prayer affects other people.
And that act of prayer – unless it is just an “act” to impress people –
grows out of a person’s attentiveness to God in his or her own life.
With all the astonishing things that
happened at that very first Christmas – the invitation of angel Gabriel, the
shepherds summoned by choirs of angels to see a baby in a manger stall, the
birth itself – it is said of Mary that she “kept all these things, reflecting
on them in her heart.”
From Mary, the mother of Jesus, the
Mother of God, you and I may take direction for our own spiritual lives. God has done amazing things in our lives,
too: the election of Israel as God’s
Chosen People, the revelation of God’s love in the person of Jesus himself, two
millennia of Christian saints and martyrs and ordinary, struggling believers,
our own personal encounters with God – all these things you and I must keep,
and reflect on them in our heart. And if
you and I were to keep these things and reflect on them in our heart, it will
certainly elicit from you and me a response at all levels of our life: our hopeful outlook, our willingness to serve
others, our readiness to forgive, our boldness in introducing others to God,
and in our prayer – whether that prayer is in a community as we are doing now,
in private as we go to our homes, or in public as we dine at the East Bay
Grille or at McDonald’s.
As many of us toy with New Year’s
resolutions, please consider not just outward behaviors like quitting smoking
or getting to the gym more often.
Consider what each of us is keeping and reflecting on in our heart. And consider how that very intimate, personal
thing can affect others.
The Virgin Mary’s act of taking on
her role as the mother of Jesus involved trust in God, and it involved her own
humility. Hers was a choice made
possible by her readiness to hear God and to submit to God’s outlandish request
that she become the virgin mother of a divine child.
But Mary’s choice was deeper than
merely making a decision for her personal benefit. Beyond her willingness to submit to God’s
will, Mary’s humility was based in her selfless concern about how her choice
would affect others. It is unlikely that
you or I will change the course of the world as did Mary’s choice. But we can
change the course of some people’s
lives, starting with our own and expanding to influence first our family and
friends. Perhaps if our family and
friends spied us praying in times of joy or in times of sadness, or even simply
saying grace before dinner today, we may be awakening them to God’s presence in
their lives as well. And if we were to practice our faith a little
more publicly – say, for example, signing the cross and saying grace over a
restaurant meal – we may help improve some strangers’ relationship with their
God as well.
This is what evangelization is
about: perhaps we should risk upsetting
people by daring to improve our own relationship with God and with our
readiness to show that relationship to others.
Who knows what a change seeing more people praying would make in our
world? It may make more people think about
 The Tennessean, October 9, 2014.
Rockwell’s illustration “Saying Grace” appeared on the cover of The
Saturday Evening Post (November, 1951).
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
This Roman Catholic, God-centered community of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish seeks to be compassionate and faith-filled, empowered by the Holy Spirit through the grace of the Eucharist and the sacraments to proclaim and live the gospel as believers in the risen Christ. Therefore, we commit to share joyfully our time, talents and treasure in works of mercy and justice both within and beyond our parish.