The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Sunday, November 17, 2002
Give 'em a chants

What do young people think about Gregorian Chant? Check out
Martin Ford Jr. here.

I hear at my old parish they are forcing liturgical dance on the people for Advent. When are they going to find out that the '70s are over?

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 6:07 PM link
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The last several days have been spent working on the newsletter, "Cup and Cross." It is the newsletter of the Pacific Province and I am the editor. It is finally finished. I may post a few of the articles. This one was reported by Fr. Bill Delaney.

by Fr. Bill Delaney, C.PP.S

For the past year, St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish in southeast Los Angeles has been organizing its people to be part of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Organizing Strategy or L.A. Metro. We have been teaching people what it means to be part of a relational culture where people take control of their lives and their communities. We have a core of 25-35 people who meet regularly, constantly seek out others who want to work for social justice and are dedicated to learn how to organize and not be victims. Many of those involved are undocumented.

After a few months of basic organizing, the people voiced a great concern to improve the safety on the street in front of the church, Nadeau St. There is much traffic and speeding on this street. Several pedestrians have been hit by cars. Since we are outside the city limits, we are under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Supervisors, in particular Supervisor, Gloria Molina. We have formally requested from her office a crossing light in front of the church. However we were initially turned down so we prepared a formal appeal to be presented before an Appellate Committee in September. In the process we introduced our people to the power structure of Los Angeles County and what needs to be done in order to have more safety in the community. On November 6, the State Highway Commission held a meeting at St. Aloysius Hall in which over 200 local residents were present. L.A. Metro presented accident victims, videos, pictures and petitions of over 3,000 people demanding a Pedestrian Crossing Light. The Commission voted to install such a light. A big victory for the local community!

In addition semi-trucks and tour buses have been parking on the curbside of this street for days at a time, thus impeding the vision of cars that come to an intersection and cannot see all of the oncoming traffic. The Supervisors have passed a resolution restricting such traffic which took effect in early August.

In addition, since we have many undocumented people in our community, we are working with the AFL-CIO and several local unions to obtain 1,000,000 signed postcards with the demands to President Bush and Congressional leaders to begin a new amnesty program for undocumented people. These postcards were formally presented to President Bush by a national delegation of our leaders in the first week of September. Our parish collected 2,200 signatures on the first two Sundays of July. This local action generated much enthusiasm on the part of our local L.A. Metro workers as well as among the many undocumented people who are living in limbo. These strategies will keep on unfolding in the coming months.

We also were instrumental in helping to pass a measure to fund trauma centers throughout the county and to fund bonds of 3.4 billion dollars to construct 250 new public schools and repair existing public schools. At the request of the Mayor, James Hahn, we worked to insure the succession efforts of the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood from the City of Los Angeles. The first week of November was a week of many big victories for L.A. Metro.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 4:01 PM link
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There always seems to be a problem with the comment part of this blog operation. The comments are hosted somewhere else and are dependant on the host. Well, the comments disappeared and have been gone for a while. I have been considering switching to a different comment host, but that would mean that all the wonderful comments that had been left on the blog would have been lost. Well, they are gone, lost in cybersapace and I do know how to retrieve them. But I wanted a conversation feature on this blog and so went searching for a new host this afternoon. Tell me what you think.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 3:54 PM link
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Homily Notes 11/17/02

It never comes out exactly as it is on paper, but this is the rough outline. These are the notes I preached from this morning at Bond Chapel, University of Chicago, on
this gospel. I would enjoy your reflections.

1. Why did Jesus tell this story?

Absentee landlords and people who made profit off of other people’s work are normally suspect in that day and age. Absentee landlords were not looked on as moral people, and here Jesus is using an absentee landlord as an image of God!

Jesus has a difficult time getting our attention.

He is talking about something that we cannot see. So he is reduced to speaking of cold hard cash.

But he is not here to help us make a profit!! This is a capitalist gospel only if you fail to read the rest of the Gospel.

Jesus wants our attention.
He wants our faith.
He wants our faith in action.
He wants our faith to grow.
He wants our faith to become evident, available.
He wants our faith to be seen.
He wants our faith to be ready for anything.

2. Example, Person I

It was taught by her parents
She remembered her Grandmother cherished her faith
Faith was a private matter, not something to talk about
She did all the right things: Mass on Sunday, she even used an envelope in the collection, no meat of Fridays during Lent.

Faith was not something she dealt with Monday through Friday.
God was in the Church down the street, she would see him on Sunday.

She did not consider herself devout
She would occasionally pray, especially when in need
Otherwise it would be on Sunday.

She was a “good” person. She did not steal, gossip, or otherwise abuse people. She was a “nice” person

Everything was ok, but faith was not a high point.

What were her priorities?
- getting the job done
- paying the bills
- decorating the house
- learning how to get along with the nut at work
- getting the assignment in
- passing the test
- jumping through hoops
- doing the required hours at school
- Helping kids with their homework.

The Master arrives in all his glory
The lights go on
Open the heart, what is inside
Where is faith? It is not here!

“I did my job!” she says. Not enough.

3. Example, Person two

She does not remember when God became real for her.

He is a friend and savior
She could not live without him
daily regular conversation, sometimes it is lonely, but she knows he is there.

There is so much she does not know about the faith. She knows how to ask questions, to look things up, and to search in prayer. When she is tired and not doing her best she trusts that God will take care of whatever she lacks and she does not get discouraged.

Faith is active. It means something for life itself.
She has conversations with friends, writes letters to the editor about life issues, justice issues, housing issues, work for the poor, She reads what the Bishops are saying. Some of her co-workers criticize her, and sometimes they even ridicule her for her beliefs, but she trusts in God that he suffered even worse abuse but yet endured.

Live justly
Things at work are not right—and she says so. She cannot do everything, yet she is different because she belongs to Christ

Time and talent are given whenever needed. She knows an elderly person who would not be able to go to church each week with the ride she offers.

Letters to her congress rep and Governor on pro-life issue

Jesus comes in all his glory
the lights are turned on.
open her heart
Faith abounds

Jesus only gave her the faith the size of a mustard seed
She could not see him
She knew he was with her
Faith moved her feet as well as here heart

What was found when she opened her heart was the substance of a deep and intimate relationship with her creator, lived out in faith. The mustard seed had multiplied many times over.

4. Faith

It is not a thing we can touch or see or feel.
We cannot display it on a book shelf, “O what a lovely faith.”
We cannot eat it.
It is not something to fill up on.
We cannot wear it. “Look at my lovely faith.”
It is not a quantity, “six gallons of faith.”
It is not even a quality. “Isn’t that lovely, better than the last faith I saw.”

5. Two things to remember

He “entrusted his possessions” to us.

We have been given everything we need. We have enough to do the will of God. We may not have enough to fulfill the will of the leaders of this world, but we have enough to do the will of God. He has given us his very self. He wants to get our attention. He wants to have a real relationship with us. He wants that relationship to have an effect on us and turn us into his people.

“But the person who received one talent went away, dug in the earth and hid his master’s money. Hiding a talent in the earth means employing one’s abilities in earthly affairs, failing to seek spiritual profit, never raising ones heart from earthly thoughts. There are some who have received the gift of understanding but have a taste only for things that pertain to the body. The prophet says of them, “They are wise in doing evil, but do not know how to do good.” (St. Gregory the Great, Homily 18)

“Come; share your master's joy.”

Here we receive a tremendous mystery, a presence beyond our imagination but asking of us a faith that is direct and simple. He is no absentee landlord. He is present. He is here. He has given us everything and he has asked of us to take what we receive and with it transform the world.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 3:50 PM link
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