September 11, 2013




All the readings together
Colossians 3:1-11
Psalm 145:2-3,10-11,12-13

In today's Gospel reading at Mass we read the famous Beatitudes. It's easy to become familiar with the Beatitudes: we've cherished them at funerals, we've heard them proclaimed at Sunday Masses, we've listened to dozens of homilies unpacking their wisdom. Ahhhhhhh: the Beatitudes.

What's interested about the Beatitudes is how Luke introduces them: "Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said." (Luke 6:20) Jesus "raised his eyes" and in doing so is asking us to do the same.

At the heart of the Beatitudes is a question: where are you looking for satisfaction in life? Jesus mentions that we are blessed when we are poor, hungry, and weeping, as well as when people hate us. However, the blessing isn't in the poverty, hunger, tears, or hate per se. If we "raise our eyes" to a world deeper than this world we understand that God Himself will provide for us the blessings promised in the Beatitudes. Likewise, if we look to this world for our ultimate satisfaction, we might experience temporary consolation described in Luke 6:24-26, but we can't do so at the expense of our soul or salvation.

Here's the point: where are you looking for satisfaction in life? And ... is it really satisfying you? If we look to the natural "world" with all its glamour and empty promises then we may experience a sense of fleeting pleasure, but far too often what we were chasing fails to bring the lasting joy we really longed for. On the other hand, if we look to Christ, our supernatural souls will be quenched by a supernatural communion ... even if the consequence of such looking brings with it the poverty, hunger, or weeping mentioned at the beginning of the Beatitudes.

Where are you looking for satisfaction in life? And ... is it really satisfying you?


If you're tired of looking and not being satisfied perhaps it's time to look at the One who made your soul and wants to satisfy your soul: God. And, the good news is there's help.

Oremus starts tonight. Oremus is an 8-week experience of prayer. We'll teach you how to pray, give you resources to pray, and give you an intimate space to pray in. Oremus is designed for those who are hungry, but don't know what next to do. Oremus is designed for those who want to learn how to pray, but don't know how to take the next step. Oremus is designed for those who ready to let God draw them into greater relationship, freedom, and peace.

Oremus starts tonight: Wednesday, September 11 @ 6:30 PM @ Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church. Here's a snapshot of night #1:

6:30-6:40 PM: Gathering, welcome, introduction, opening prayer
6:40-7:15 PM: Teaching: "What is prayer?"
7:15-7:25 PM: Transition to Eucharistic Adoration
7:25-7:55 PM: Very intimate experience of Eucharistic Adoration
7:55-8:00 PM: Transition out of Eucharistic Adoration
8:00-8:10 PM: The next seven days, wrap up, closing prayer

Looking forward to seeing y'all tonight ...

© Fr. Mark Toups, 2013


This past weekend we introduced a new series: "Who is Jesus?" The core message from Sunday's homily was: "Jesus always takes the initiative". There's a great line in the movie The American President that states: "When people are thirsty enough in the desert they'll drink the sand when they see a mirage." Whew, sounds like the culture we live and the life many are leading. The good news is this: Jesus is tirelessly taking the initiative in your life to help you look at Him. If when you turn away and look at the "world" or sin, Jesus never stops calling. He never gives up on you. Jesus always takes the initiative to bring you back. Even if you have been looking in the wrong places of late, Jesus is taking the initiative to help you ... all over again. The first step is to stop ... let Him find you ... let Him pursue you. And ... stop ... let Him look at you ... let yourself look at Him ... and trust His look of love.

Click here to listen to week 1 of the new series: "Who is Jesus?"


Here's "example" of the kind of things we'll talk about at Oremus.

For more ... check out "7 Questions" from Fr. Mark.