Sunday, September 27, 2009

Connections Bike Ride 2009

Last Sunday I got to celebrate the last day of summer with a nice ride through the Metroparks. The Connections group had their annual bike ride from Boston Mills to Peninsula with Lunch at the Winking Lizard. Jennifer and Chris Clancy did a great job organizing it. In this picture they are reacting to me telling them that whoever organized the ride is responsible for riding with the kids, while the rest of us would ride ahead and meet them at the end. Actually, the kids did great – we made it all the way there and back with no crying. Jen and Chris are a great couple and are very involved in the parish. Many of you would know them because they taught the Baptism class for years. It is so good to have them as part of the Connections group. The group is always open to any married couples in our parish and is a great way to connect with other couples. It has helped many to really experience St. Barnabas as a family. There are so many good people in this parish like the Clancy’s. It has been a real joy for me to get to know them and so many of you. It’s through being involved in the parish that we really experience the Communion that Jesus desires for us.

Turn it Off

Fr. Michael Denk
Homily
Year B, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. Barnabas - 5pm, 7:30, and 9:00
September 27, 2009

Turn it off

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,

If your TV causes you to sin... Turn it off. It's better to go without
TV then to enter into sin.
If your computer causes you to sin... Turn it off. It's better to go
without the internet then to be addicted.
If your friends cause you to sin... they are not real friends.
If you're in a relationship that is causing you to sin... it isn't love
If sports are causing you to sin and miss mass... quite the team. It's
better to play second string then it is to lose eternal life.
If anything in your life is causing you sin... turn it off, cut it out,
stop it.

If you find yourself not being able to turn it off or stop the sin...
seek help.

Here's three ways: in the Church Community, through Counseling, and
encountering Jesus in the sacrament of Confession.

Some of you would probably rather cut your arm off then get involved in
the parish, or go to counseling or step into the confessional. If
you're trapped in sin it calls for drastic measures.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Miracle on Everest

Fr. Michael Denk

September 19, 2009

Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Miracle on Everest

Associate Press 7:10 p.m. ET, Thurs., June 8, 2006

KATMANDU, Nepal - Just days after a British climber was left to die near Mount Everest’s summit, an American guide abandoned his second bid to stand on top of the world so he could rescue a mountaineer mistakenly given up for dead.

Not only did Daniel Mazur not scale the world’s highest peak from the northern side, he also failed to get his two paying clients to the top.

“It was very disappointing for me to miss my chance at the summit, but even more that I could not get my job done,” Mazur, of Olympia, Wash., told The Associated Press upon returning to Nepal’s capital, Katmandu, on Thursday.

Mazur, his two clients and a Sherpa guide were just two hours from the 29,035-foot peak on the morning of May 26 when they came across 50-year-old Lincoln Hall, who was left a day earlier when his own guides believed he was dead.

“I was shocked to see a guy without gloves, hat, oxygen bottles or sleeping bag at sunrise at 28,200 feet height, just sitting up there,” said Mazur, who scaled Everest once before, from the southern side, in 1991.

Mazur said Hall’s first words to him were: “I imagine you are surprised to see me here.”

Mazur said he knew Hall was OK because he was not crying for help and still had a sense of humor.

Mazur’s team spent the next four hours pulling Hall away from the slopes, giving him bottled oxygen, food and liquids.

They also radioed the base camp to tell Hall’s surprised team he was still alive.

While Mazur’s team was busy assisting Hall, two Italian climbers walked past them toward the summit. When asked to help, they claimed they did not understand English. On his return to base camp, Mazur discovered they did.

“I don’t know why they didn’t want to stop to help,” Mazur said. “I hope when I am there, in that state, and someone passes me ... I hope it is someone like me.”

Hall’s rescue came just days after David Sharp, 34, died May 15, about 1,000 feet into his descent from the summit. Dozens of people walked right past him, unwilling to risk their own ascents.

By the time some Sherpas showed up to help get Hall back to base camp, Mazur, his clients and his own Sherpa were too exhausted to attempt the peak. They had no choice but to return without completing their climb.

“We all looked at the summit and then returned,” he said. “We all agreed there was no choice.”

But Mazur had no regrets.

“Oh yeah, it was worth it,” he said. “You can always go back to the summit but you only have one life to live. If we had left the man to die, that would have always been on my mind ... How could you live with yourself?”

Jesus asks his apostles:

“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.

The apostles were trying to be climbers, they were overlooking the call to service so that they could reach their own summit.

So often we get so focused on our summits, success, popularity, raises, promotions that we overlook our primary purpose in this life is not to climb, but to serve.

Take a look at your life right now. Is there anyone in your class, at your school, or at your job, or on your team that has been left behind? Is there anyone who is weak and has been overlooked? Is there anyone that needs to be embraced like the child that Jesus placed in their midst?

Numerous men had passed by Lincoln Hall. Two men continued climbing while he was being rescued. His own group had left him to die. One man saw him and stopped his climb…

At that moment, three men’s dream of reaching the summit died so that Lincoln Hall could live. They stayed for four hours, watching over him until the rescue team arrived.

Lincoln Hall had been left for dead just below the summit of Everest, but because of the choice three climbers made he lived to tell the tale.

There are people dying right now that need your help. Maybe just to be acknowledged, or talked to or listened to or hugged. There are people in our lives that are starving for affection, attention. There maybe a student whose life you could change if you took an interest in. There may be a coworker who is struggling with depression or alcoholism. There may be someone next to you in the pew right now who paralyzed by fear and anxiety and your warmth could save them. There may be someone you know in a nursing home who is walking around in a daze and you could change their life by taking the time for them.

Would you abandon your ascent of Mount Everest to save another climber?

In an AP online survey out of 12630 responses 96% said Yes and 3.9% said No.

Would you abandon your ascent of Mount Everest to save another climber? * 12630 responses

Yes
96%

No
3.9%

What’s your answer? Remember…

“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Year for Priests


"The priest is not a priest for himself, he is a priest for you."
-St. John Vianney

Monday, September 14, 2009

Autumn

"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air."
- Nathaniel Hawthorne