“I am the living bread”

 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:51)

On the third consecutive Sunday in Ordinary Time the Word of God invites us to consider Jesus as the bread of our lives. We continue to hear the bread of life discourse from John’s gospel. In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus declares, that “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I give is my flesh for the life of the world.” Bread is synonymous with food. When we pray The Our Father we say, “give us today our daily bread, it means give us today our daily food. So, let us ask one question. What does bread do to our life?

 Bread essentially does three functions to life. First of all, bread nourishes human life. Without bread life would come to a grinding halt. It facilities all human activity. It is the source of all our energy. It makes us work and play, sing and sail. It is the essential ingredient of life. Secondly, it not only nourishes our life but also relishes us. We just don’t eat one kind of food always throughout the year. We enjoy different recipes. We try to explore varieties of food and varieties of food add flavor to life. Thirdly, we would not be alive if it were not for food. Bread not only nourishes life but also propagates and perpetuates life. Life continues from one generation to another because of bread.

When Jesus declares that He is the bread of life, He appropriates to Himself these functions of bread. As bread nourishes life, so does Jesus. As bread relishes life, so does Jesus. As bread perpetuates life, so does Jesus.  My dear friends, Jesus is the source of our energy. He nourishes us through the Holy Eucharist. He nourishes us with his own Body and Blood through the Eucharistic banquet. Jesus not only nourishes our life but also adds flavor to our life. And finally, Jesus gives us immortality. He tells us this is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.

We have the most personal experience of God in the Eucharist. He comes to us, speaks to us, and touches our hearts. Jesus, “the Bread of Life,” the “living bread,” becomes our bread. Let us appreciate Christ’s presence in the Holy Eucharist: Since the Holy Eucharist is “the Body and Blood, together with the soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ,” as the Sacrament it increases our intimate union with Christ. It preserves, increases, and renews the Sanctifying Grace we received at Baptism. It cleanses us of past sin and preserves us from future sins. Let us appreciate Jesus who comes to us as bread for our soul and be grateful to him throughout our lives.

Let us ask ourselves, how do we approach this Most Holy Sacrament? How does it change us and make us enlivened each time?

Fr. Kishore  Batu SAC


Stewardship Thoughts

In today’s Scripture reading from the Book of Proverbs, Wisdom inspires the people to forgo foolishness and eat the food and drink that God has “mixed.” This prefigures St. John’s Gospel account where the evangelist further develops Jesus’ theology of sacrifice and His institution of the Holy Eucharist — the true source and summit, strength and unity, of Catholic life. What a tremendous gift! St. Paul, in his Letter to the Ephesians, encourages us to discern the will of the Lord, and to give thanks for everything in gratitude to God through Christ. As Christian stewards, we strive for union with the Lord by regularly partaking in Christ’s Eucharistic banquet. Strengthened by the reception of Holy Communion, we embrace evangelization as we commit to stewardship as a way of life. We do this when we share His joy and peace with our parish community and those brothers and sisters who are in need of our Lord’s message of hope. Besides weekend Mass attendance, try to attend at least one weekday Mass to meet Jesus in the Eucharist.

 

“Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)

Among the four seasons we enjoy in our State of Michigan, Summer is a beautiful season. It’s beautiful in so many ways: gorgeous sunshine, clear blue skies, awesome lakes. It’s a great time of camping and family gatherings, picnics, relaxation and rest. In this hectic world of ours where everyone is racing against the clock, some leisure is not a luxury but a necessity. “come away by ourselves into a lonely place, and rest a while.” With these words, Jesus invites the apostles to get away from the routine ministry, to rest, to relax, to recoup and to recharge their batteries! The apostles were inundated pastorally, “for there were so many coming and going that they needed a break”. So, Jesus arranges a picnic as they get into a boat to a remote place where they could be by themselves.

 Friends, we are caught up every day in a whirlpool of work. We have so many things to do that even twenty-four hours do not seem to be enough. It is said in the Scripture: “There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation, a time for giving birth, a time for dying, a time for planting.” (Eccles 3:1-2). Amidst all our activities, cares and worries, if we find a little time for reflection and mediation, we shall be more happy, relaxed, taking the word of the Lord to heart: “Come, and rest for a while.” Yes, in the midst of our hectic activities we need time for rest. We cannot do good work unless we have time to rest.

On this Sunday Jesus invites us to leave the relentless wheel of routine, our punishing schedules, and retreat to a remote place.  Without this remote place our lives are in danger; we become workaholics. In modern societies marked by ‘hurry and worry’ we have to take time off and be with God so that He may recharge us with spiritual energy and strength. To receive this strength, we need time for prayer, silence and recollection. The ministry of Jesus was born in this remote place. He retired into the hills spending the whole night in prayer, went into the desert withdrawing into silence and solitude, rose long before dawn and spent time alone with the Alone.

Ask yourselves on this Sunday: Do I take some time to have my yearly retreat and regain my spiritual strength? 

Fr. Kishore Babu Battu SAC

Parish Activities!

Save the Dates:

August 26— Parish Picnic – St. Valentine Church picnic will be held on Sunday, August 26th. We will begin with Mass at noon in church followed by fellowship in the gym until 4pm. This is a fun-filled day to share with your family and fellow parishioners. Plans are still being formed. Update to follow soon.

 

 

September 16—13th Annual Fun Run & Spaghetti Dinner – For all those trying for a personal best time on their 5 K Run—the date is set…September 16th!

 Volunteers Needed!  As always, we need a lot of volunteers to help make this day run smoothly. We always need you …. Young or the Young at Heart all are needed!

Sponsors – In the past we have only solicited businesses to sponsor our Fun Run/Walk, BUT if a family/anyone would like to sponsor the Fun Run we would more than graciously accept your donation of $100 or more OR 225 of an item to put in the runners goodie bags. Please feel free to contact Bonnie at the parish office 313-532-4394 x101.

 

Welcome to St. Valentine,  Fr. Kishore! May God bless you in your ministry!

Hi friends,

     I am Fr. Kishore Babu Battu SAC from Andhra Pradesh, in the Southern part of India. Let me give you a short history of my life. I grew up in a beautiful state called Andhra Pradesh, Guntur region of India, which is known for its education and cultivation of rice, chilly and cotton. I am the fifth of seven children of Mrs. Mary Sunamdalu Battu and the Late Sebastian Battu. My parents are farmers. Unfortunately, I lost my father at the age of 14. I did my elementary school from 1st to 5th at home. Then my parents placed me in the boarding run by the Pallottine Fathers for further studies. I stayed there from 6th to 10th in the Pallottine boarding and successfully completed my studies. Those 5 years were crucial for my vocation to the Priesthood. The Pallottine Priests, their ministry, the Charism of the Society really inspired me to become  a servant in the vineyard of the Lord. I fulfilled my childhood dream of joining the Seminary. For thirteen years I studied at different stages of formation in the Pallottine Seminary.

 

I was ordained a priest for the ‘Society of the Catholic Apostolate’ on April 17th, 2008. I served as associate pastor as well as in-charge of boarding during my first assignment. I had many great opportunities to serve people in mission places, where I was brought up. It was a very satisfying ministry to serve people at these missions. After my first year of service, I was asked to be an administrator of the Millennium Residential High School, where I served as such for three years. It was a wonderful opportunity to take care of the physical and spiritual needs of the children who were in residence with us. At the same time, I also taught the children in the seventh grade and assisted the neighborhood diocesan parish with the Sacraments.

I arrived in Michigan in November of 2012 and was stationed here at St. Valentine parish for six months. Then, I was fortunate to be appointed as associate pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, in Livonia for three years. It really exposed me to different apostolates. Later I was transferred to St. Joseph Parish, in Lake Orion for two years. It has been an amazing experience here in a great parish. I had great experiences working at St. Joseph’s. And now I am so grateful to God for the opportunity to come back to St. Valentine and share the Good News of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I am very glad to be here to share with you the hope, joy and love of God with all of you.

 

God bless you all.

 

Fr. Kishore Babu Battu SAC