Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Homily for Wednesday of the 13th Week of Ordinary Time…the Memorial the First Holy Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church

Seek good and not evil, that you may live is a very good piece of advice for all us to follow. How does one seek the good? It is not always easy as it looks. Why isn’t it easy? The answer is because we simply get in the way. To do good means to do the will of God! We do the will of God not only when we follow the Ten Commandments but also when we direct others to Him.

How do we know that what we are doing is truly good? The answer to that question comes with asking another question, are we doing it only for God for the betterment of others and ourselves. Many times we do things only because it makes us look good. For us there has to be something more than making ourselves look good, we need to do it because number one God wants us to do it and secondly because it is the right thing to do. May we pray for the grace to overcome our personal tendencies that often get in the way of following the Lord! By seeking the good you and I will truly be a witness to the saving power of God.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Homily for the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

As Saint Paul recognized his time on earth was about to end he said, “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” There is nothing like comparing our faith to a competition or a race, but yet it is so true. In living a life of faith we experience many hurdles that get in the way and cause us to stumble down. However, like any competition or race if we end up falling over we don’t stay down, but get back up and move forward.

The two men we honor today Saint’s Peter and Paul demonstrate to us true perseverance. They both experienced hardships as a result of following Christ. Both men embraced their crosses with great joy. Saint’s Peter and Paul were men of faith. Saint Paul also wrote in his letter to Timothy, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom.” And we cannot forget the dialogue between Christ and His disciples in this morning’s Gospel, where He asks, “Who do you say that I am?” It was Peter who said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Today we look to both men as models of faith. Despite their faults and weaknesses they were able to do great things. May we look to them as models of perseverance and to ask the Lord for his help that we may compete well and finish the race of life, having kept the faith leading us safely into the heavenly kingdom!

 

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Homily for Monday of the 13th Week of Ordinary Time…the Memorial of St. Irenaeus

The Lord invites us this morning to follow Him, however as we know from our own personal experience that at times can be a challenge. It’s challenging because there are many distractions out there. Sometimes these distractions cause us not to hear God speaking directly to us.

How many times in our lives do we say “Lord I am going to follow you” but end up not doing it? It’s not because we don’t want to, but it’s because we get pulled in another direction. The devil is cunning because he takes what is good and he twists it around. That is why many sins are truly a tough habit to break. Our Lord speaks of those distractions this morning when He says to the disciple, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.” It has nothing to do with burying the dead because the Lord wants us to do that but He says it to demonstrate how we make excuses. Lord I want to follow you but, I have to do this first and that next. We all do it from time to time. This morning the Lord cries out to us in a world that is inundated with so many distractions and says in a loud clear voice, “Follow me.” May we pray for each other that we can accept the challenge to follow Him daily!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Homily for the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time

“For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love.” Our society as a whole has a mistaken notion of freedom. Perhaps some of us from time to time fall into that trap. Many in society think of freedom as the ability to do whatever we want. If our notion of freedom is this one of do whatever you want mentality, than one is truly misguided.

God is love and it is out of His love for us He has given us a choice. Yes we have a choice to decide whether or not we will follow Him. The choices we have before us are to whether choose to follow God or commit a sin which is an offense against God. Which of these two choices lead us to freedom? Let’s first take a look at sin. When we sin are we truly free. Some perhaps will suggest yes because they had the ability to make a choice. Yet a person who truly decides to follow God is just as free as the person who chooses to commit a sin. The problem with sin is that it can be enticing and can disguise itself perhaps as a good. Sin leads to slavery. All of us present here this morning are sinners and we all know from experience that sin can be addicting.

Now I know this is really a poor example, but just imagine a delicious piece of chocolate cake. It looks good; it certainly tastes good, but is it necessarily a good thing. Perhaps if you’re like me in a constant battle with the scale, or an individual who has an issue with a particular medical condition such as diabetes that Chocolate Cake might not be necessarily good for ones physical health. Another example, why do we knock others down? We knock others down because in some twisted way it builds up ones ego. Is it good for us to knock others down? No of course not, because one is killing someone else’s spirit. It might make us feel better about ourselves for a moment but then again what is that saying about ourselves? Why is it that we find more and more people struggling with sins of the flesh? For starters, because we as a society are inundated with images on the computer and on television, that leaves little for the imagination. Forget about the internet and television look at how some dress in society. The marital act expressed within the context of marriage is a good thing, it is always life giving and expresses a unity with one’s spouse. However, the marital act expressed outside the sacrament of marriage is not for it is an outward sign of disunity and while the marital act expressed outside of marriage has the potential of being life giving physically, it is not life giving spiritually. These are some examples that show how sin can bind us down.

Today we must ask ourselves; do we truly want to be free? Do we truly want to experience that freedom that our Lord calls us to? That freedom is not found in sin, it is found when we can humbly submit ourselves towards the will of God and the will of God is this to avoid evil and to do good guiding others to Him! The Lord invites us to follow Him, the question is will we accept that invitation.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Homily for Friday of the 12th Week of Ordinary Time

“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” The leper in this morning’s Gospel demonstrates great faith. Could we demonstrate that same faith? What happens so many times we hold things to ourselves. Perhaps we are struggling with a particular problem and we hold it in. Many times people are afraid to go to confession because they think to themselves that what they had done is so bad that God won’t forgive them. That couldn’t be furthest from the truth.

God wants to help us! While He might not take those crosses away completely He is standing there ready to help elevate them. As He said to the leper, “I will do it. Be made clean,” He says those words to us. Today He challenges each of us not to keep our burdens to ourselves but to lay them down before Him. Indeed Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases. Place everything into His hands whom has the strength to carry the weight of the world!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Homily for the Nativity of John the Baptist

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist, the one who was destined to pave the way for the Lord. Listen closely to these words from the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” Like every child, St. John had a mission and his mission is also our mission and that is pave the way for the Lord.

Let’s briefly break apart the words from the prophet Jeremiah, “before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Indeed even before our parents even met, God knew who we were. God planned for us to be born. “Before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” The Father created us for a specific mission. Stop and think for a moment how many children were not allowed to born because of the selfishness of society through the sins of abortion and contraception. If everyone listened to the words of the prophet Jeremiah, listened to the Gospel account this morning of the angel appearing before Zechariah in the temple, or the Gospel account of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary one would clearly see when life truly begins.

My dear brothers and sisters we must preach the Gospel of Life. Notice I didn’t say we need, or we should I said without skipping a beat, WE MUST. The Lord really wants to work in the world but many times we get in the way. If we as Christians truly believe that the Sacred Scripture is the word of God than there can be no doubt about when life begins. It is sad to say that there are many people who consider themselves good faithful Christians who outright reject this essential truth of our faith and it must be clearly stated that one cannot consider themselves to be a Christian and be opposed to the Gospel of Life. We who gather here each morning have a mission and that mission is to pray for life. This is an issue that cannot be placed on the back burner but rather must be the forefront of our Christian Mission. We must preach the truth with charity and be willing to welcome those who have bought into as John Paul II put it, the culture of death, back with open arms. As John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord by preaching the truth we must do the same by preaching the Gospel of Life.

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“John is his name”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bishop Joseph McFadden named 10th Bishop of Harrisburg!!!


Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has named the Most Reverend Joseph McFadden as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg. Bishop McFadden was an auxillary bishop in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It is with great joy that we weclome Bishop McFadden as our new shepherd.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Reflection on today’s Gospel…

During the past two Sunday’s I have spoken about the importance of addressing one another’s faults. Addressing each other’s faults is in no way making a judgment on the individual. We are all humans and we all make mistakes. Some perhaps will suggest that the passage from this morning’s Gospel, “why do you notice the splinter in your brothers eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your eye,” is a reprimand from the Lord not to do that. It’s not that at all, but rather it is a challenge.

Listen to words at the end of today’s Gospel, “You hypocrites, remove the wooden beam from your eye first, then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brothers eye.” This passage instructs us first to be mindful of our own sinfulness. Like everyone else we are not perfect and make mistakes. However, that doesn’t mean we stop helping each other to reach our final destination, the heavenly kingdom. You and I are called to help one another get to heaven, and we do that when we help guide each other in the right direction.

We live in a society that expects everyone to tell us that everything is perfect. There are a lot of people who expect me as a priest to tell them each Sunday what they want to hear. “Jesus loves you” and “You are special,” are phrases that come to mind. These are very true statements, but how often do we hear preached to what extent Jesus loved us, or about how special we truly are that the Son of Man would endure the road to Calvary for our sake. Our vocation is not to tell one another what we want to hear but to tell one another what we need to hear. The Lord today challenges us to take up our crosses daily. What does that mean? Perhaps some are going through a tough time with a relationship; others might be going through a difficult medical situation, while others might be struggling with a particular sin. There are many types of crosses in today’s world. We are all humans and make bad choices, but we must challenge one another as the Lord challenges us today.

God is full of love and mercy and we have the opportunity to experience that love every Sunday in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and when we go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Sometimes our Lord demonstrates that love and mercy when He calls others to lead us in the right direction. We cannot turn and blind eye to sin, for if we do not only do we allow others to go the wrong bath, but we lead ourselves astray (for we never can forget sins of omission). It is necessary sometimes to explain to an individual why a particular choice they made is sinful. Again that in no way is passing judgment on them, but the intent rather is to lead them back in the right direction. Yes all of us are indeed sinners and we need each other to help one another stay on the right path!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To all our fathers….

Happy Father’s Day!!!

As we celebrate the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time it is also fitting to say a special word of thanks to our fathers who have helped raise all of us over the years. Some have come before us while others are still here guiding us. May all father’s model the life of St. Joseph who humbly provided for the needs of His family.

 

Prayer of Blessing (taken from the book of blessings)

God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless these men, that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Homily for the Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Listen carefully my dear brothers and sisters to these words taken from the Book of the Prophet Zechariah, “and they shall look on him whom they have pierced.” Indeed we do! We as Christians are drawn towards to images of Christ, the image of Christ crucified and the image of Christ resurrected.

Jesus poses us the same question He posed to His disciples, “who do the crowds say that I am?” If we listen to society we get many images of Christ. He is a good guy who did awesome things. Some could say He was just simply a prophet. But then Jesus changed the wording to fish out a deeper response for He then said, “But who do you say that I am?” That’s a very a good piercing question. It’s a simple yet complex question for it requires an act of faith on our part as it did for Peter. Can we respond with the faith as Peter in the Gospel, “The Christ of God?”

At the end of this exchange Jesus reasserted that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day raised.” He goes on to say, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” As Christians we are called to follow Christ and sometimes that road we have to follow will be a rocky one. We know what to expect as Christians. If we are truly following Christ than it comes with a price…it comes with the cross.

This morning I also want to focus in on these words, “for whoever wishes to save his life will lose it.” Last week in my homily in speaking about addressing the sins of others and it is important that we address each other’s sins, because we are called to help one another to get to heaven I said, “sometimes for the sake of the individual’s soul and our own (because we can’t forget about sins of omission) we must put all the cards on the table and say why what they are doing is sinful.” Many times we fail to address sin because we are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. It’s not about hurting someone’s feelings; it’s about leading them back to Jesus Christ. When I was a younger and I was caught doing something wrong either by my parents or another person in authority and was told about it of course I was upset…I was upset because I was guilty as charged. Everyone when faced with their own sinfulness is hurt because they know in their hearts and minds that what they have done is wrong. Will they be upset with the one who confronts them about it? Yes of course! Speaking as one of those sinners, who was often confronted about certain behaviors I can say this with authority we need to learn to get over ourselves. First off it’s not their fault it’s ours! Individuals who fear confronting an individual about their sinful behavior because they fear upsetting them also need to get over themselves. We are called to help one another get to heaven and we are not doing that by standing idle. Today’s message isn’t about ourselves…forget about ourselves, it’s about dying to self and rising up again with Christ. We must preach Christ crucified, and we must also preach Christ resurrected!

In baptism as we heard in the Second Reading from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” With original sin washed away we have become a new creation. Every time we go to confession, sin is washed away and we are made a new creation. In baptism and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation we die to self, but in the end we rise with Him. So today we look to the image of Christ crucified to give us hope and reassurance that we are on the right path when things are tough and we also look to the image of the resurrected Christ to assure us that what we experience now here on earth is only temporary and the beginning of greater things to come.

The Holy Father speaks about the Most Holy Eucharist

This morning I was reading over an article from Zenit.org. The title of the article is, “Eucharist is not understood, Laments pope.” His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI basically says simply that the study of the Eucharist must be a catechetical priority. Quoting directly from the article, “Benedict XVI affirmed that Mass itself, ‘celebrated in the respect of the liturgical norms and with a fitting appreciation of the richness of the signs and gestures,’ fosters and promotes Eucharistic faith.” The article continues, “It is because of this, the Holy Father affirmed, that liturgical prescriptions are not mere "external things" but "express concretely this reality of the revelation of the body and blood of Christ.”

Our Holy Father recognizes that today there is a greater need today for catechesis regarding to the Most Holy Eucharist. He also calls for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be celebrated with due care and reverence. The priests and the faithful must see to it that the Sacred Liturgy is celebrated in accordance with the NORMS OF THE CHURCH. In others words as I have seen written before, “Say the black and do what’s in red!” The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass does not belong to the individual priest or the laity, it belongs ultimately to God. Therefore, we do not have the right to add or subtract or change things because we want to, but rather do it, because it’s what Holy Mother Church wants us to do. Everything that we say and do each time we gather to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is important.

Our Holy Father is right the Eucharist is unfortunately not understood all throughout the world. Many people receive the Holy Eucharist in the hand as it was a mere piece of bread and not the Sacred Body of Christ. If the majority of Catholics truly recognized and understood that it is truly Jesus Christ present in the Holy Eucharist one would instinctively fall down to their knees. His Holiness is also right the best catechesis on the Eucharist is the Eucharist itself. A liturgy celebrated with great care and reverence goes a long way in teaching the faithful about the importance of this great sacrament.

For guidance in the proper celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass we turn to our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. Since he is the successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ here on earth we turn to him for guidance. Pope Benedict has done a lot to really enhance our experience with the Sacred Liturgy. He has placed the crucifix on the center of the altar reminding us that the Liturgy of the Eucharist is directed towards the cross. Also at his Masses, he encourages the faithful to receive Holy Communion on the tongue (which is norm in the Roman Rite) while kneeling. On occasions, in particular when He celebrates Mass in the Sistine Chapel, he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the High Altar reminding us that the Liturgy is directed ultimately towards God. It is important for us as priests and the faithful to look to our Holy Father and the directions he gives not be edict but my his very example. He has not changed the Sacred Liturgy but is striving to bring it to fulfillment my introducing some things that will help us reclaim some of the sense of wonder and awe which has been missing in so many places throughout the world.

May we follow his example that He has shown us and implement some of the things our Holy Father has introduced! In doing so we will find that the entire Church will grow to have a deeper appreciation for Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.

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http://www.zenit.org/article-29638?l=english

Friday, June 18, 2010

Homily for Friday of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time

“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” If we place our trust in worldly things, our hearts will be there. On the other hand, if we place our complete trust in the Lord than our hearts will be with Him.

Many times we place our trust in things of this world. Today in this current economic climate many people put their faith in money. Having money is a good thing to pay the bills, but it can easily consume us. If there isn’t much there we begin to panic and if we have to much we don’t know what to do with it. People who have a lot of money invest it in things that they don’t really need. Where do we place our trust? Stop for a moment and think, are we placing our total trust in the Lord and in Him alone? That’s a question we must ask ourselves today. May we not place our trust in things that come and go but place our trust in the One who will never come and go! Our Lord indeed promises us treasures but they are not here. In faith this morning may place our faith and trust in the Lord so that He can dwell within us and that we can dwell with Him.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Homily for Thursday of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time

Forgiveness is the key! The key to what someone may ask. It is the key to healing and it also the key to true happiness and peace. At times you and I try to withhold forgiveness because we have been hurt badly by some. What happens when we withhold forgiveness? From my own personal experience I can say that it weighs us down and makes us quite irritable. This is what happens when we don’t forgive.

Our Lord’s words ring true today, “if you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.” May we take those words to heart! As the Father forgives us every time we sin against Him, we must be willing to forgive others when they sin against us.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Homily for Wednesday of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time

“Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them.” In speaking to His disciples this morning our Lord is not saying to stop doing good deeds, but rather do good deeds but do them for the right reason. Have we ever done something in our lives only because we were being watched? If we are honest with ourselves I bet we have.

How does one overcome this feeling? The answer is…we simply pray. We ask the Lord to help transform our hearts. Before we do a good deed take a moment and stop to a say a quick prayer about it. Then at the end of the day say a quick prayer of gratitude giving thanks to God for the opportunity to reach out to others in His name. Prayer is the key to an internal transformation. The Lord Himself is the only one who can transform our interior motivation. Today our goal is to seek his help to transform our hearts to be ones filled with Christian Charity that we may reach out and lead others to the reward promised them by the heavenly Father!

Homily for Tuesday of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time

Once again in our readings this morning to we hear loud and clear the Lord’s plea for us to love on anther especially our enemies. There are many things in society that tries to entice into sin and sometimes we ourselves can lead others astray. Remembering what we heard from yesterday’s Gospel, Jesus said “offer no resistance to one who is evil.” What is our natural inclination to someone who deliberately intends to hurt us, we fight right back and when we do it promotes ideals that are contrary to the Lord’s.

Is it easy? Of course not, that why we need the Lord’s grace and strength to overcome our natural desires and inclinations and replace them with His. Our Lord gives us the strength to overcome evil and to transform our enemies. That strength doesn’t come from within us, rather it’s comes from above. Yes indeed as we were reminded in the responsorial psalm of our own weaknesses we ask the Lord this morning to overcome our failings so that we may bring all people including our enemies to the Lord’s banquet.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Homily for Monday of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time

“But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.” These are very tough words for us to swallow at times. Because what is our natural inclination when someone hurts us, often times it is to fight right back again. Our Lord’s words this morning our often easier said than done.

Why, when someone hurts us is our Lord asking us to offer them the other cheek? My brothers and sisters we look to Jesus Himself for that answer. When Jesus was stripped, spat at, whipped at did He once ever fight back? We all know the answer to this question. No He didn’t! But when He was on the cross He looked up to heaven the Heavenly Father and said, “Father please forgive them, they do not know what they do.” Although it is difficult for us to grasp there is something to be said about accepting the cross and the mockery and ridicule of some that comes with it. Stop for a moment and think when we complain about something it leaves a lasting impression not only on ourselves but also on others. However, if we can embrace the rejections and sufferings caused by others that come in life with a smile think how far that goes to leave a lasting impression. Combat evil with kindness; combat a frown with a smile. That’s what our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to do this morning.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Homily for the 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Her many sins have been forgiven her because she has shown Him great love.” You and I witness something special in today’s Gospel. What we see is a true act of humility and service. We too are just like the sinful woman because each one of us is a sinner; however are we humble enough to admit it.

Can we bring ourselves to our knees and throw ourselves to the Lord? Of course many of us are incapable of throwing ourselves down but what I am speaking of is not a literal throwing of oneself down before the Lord but rather a true spiritual one. We must honestly ask could we do what the woman did in the Gospel. Could we wash the feet of Jesus and beg His forgiveness? Why is it so hard for us to seek forgiveness? The answer to this question can be very complex. First today we live in a world that fails to address sin and because of this an individual perhaps doesn’t clearly understand that what they are doing is in fact sinful. Of course if someone doesn’t understand that they are doing something that is sinful why would they confess it?

This also highlights another problem and that is a failure on our part as a society to address sinful behavior. There is a tendency on the part of society not to address sinful behavior out of fear of upsetting the sinner. Now you and I have a responsibility and that is we are to help one another get to heaven. We aren’t helping each other get to heaven if we fail to confront the sins that plague our society. Now as I have said before on many an occasion we cannot forget that we ourselves are sinners. Will people get upset with us when we confront them about something (the action) that they are doing which is wrong? Perhaps they will! Is that our intention to offend the individual? Of course not! However, sometimes for the sake of the individual’s soul and our own (because we can’t forget about sins of omission) we must put all the cards on the table and say why what they are doing is sinful. Will they call us hypocrites and all other kind of other names? Maybe, at that moment yes, but don’t let that stop you from your God given responsibility to help lead one another to the heavenly kingdom.

One of the key themes in today’s Gospel is humility. We today need to relearn the virtue of humility. Being humble means being able to let go of those things that weigh us down, those things that we try to handle on our own and place them in the hands of the one who can ultimately handle them. To be humble also means being a people of service. This is what our Lord was pointing out to the Pharisee this morning. “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she had bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love.” May we strive each and every day to be a people of Christian Service! By our Christian service we bring others to Christ and in some cases back to Christ. Today let’s pray for the grace and the strength to model our lives after the woman we see in today’s Gospel. By allowing ourselves to drop down to our knees to present our concerns, our worries, and our sins down before the Lord we open ourselves up to experience firsthand the Lord’s love and mercy!

 

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Reflection on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

It is good to ponder this morning on words taken from today’s Second Reading from Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans, “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” How blest we are to have a God who still lays down His life for us through the ministry of the priest.

To have the heart of Christ means to lay down one’s life for ones friend. As Christ laid down His life for all of us, we are called to lay down our lives not only for Him, but also for one another. My brothers and sisters we are all called to have the heart of Christ. What does this mean? Having the heart of Christ, means being able to love one another as Christ did. Looking to Jesus we see a true example of a shepherd. We look to his compassion and the guidance he provided while walking the earth. While here He reached out to sinners and healed the sick. He showed others the way. You and I are called to show others the way to Christ. We are called to bring comfort to the afflicted and to reach out to sinner showing them the way back to the Lord.

As we also conclude this year for priest, I once again ask for your prayers for all of us priests. Please entrust all of us to the maternal care of the Blessed Virgin Mary that she may continue to guide and lead us to her son. May we exemplify the virtues of Saint John Marie Vianney the patron of parish priests in our priestly ministry! Pray that we have the heart of Jesus Christ.

 

SacredHeartJesus3                  st-john-vianney

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to renew the Church in the modern world!

Changes can be scary! Yet many changes can make a positive impact not only for the Church but also for the rest of society. We are in need of a renewal…not a restoration…or a radical reform…we need an authentic renewal. How does one go about an authentic renewal?

In recent weeks I have spoken more on the importance of the Latin language and proper reception of Holy Communion. Also in this past year I have talked about sin and the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. All these issues are all important topics that can lead to the authentic renewal the Church desperately needs. It is unfortunate that many Catholics cringe at the sound of Latin. Many of them are quick to point fingers and comment that the Church is going backwards and in the wrong direction. How unfortunate! Latin remains as clearly stated by the Second Vatican Council as the language of the Church. It is part of our rich traditional heritage. The complaint I often hear from individuals is that they can’t understand the Latin. Now in most parishes the only things that might be said in Latin in the majority of the cases are the Gloria, the Sanctus, the Memorial Acclamation, and the Lamb of God. What is there to understand? We have been saying these prayers in English for almost forty years.

For those who fear that the younger generations are pushing for the complete return of Latin in the Sacred Liturgy, please be assured that we do not want to turn back the clock. Rather we wish to move forward incorporating many of the beautiful Sacred Traditions that were all but abandoned. All Catholics should be taught to have a basic appreciation of the Latin Language. It is certainly proper to incorporate them into the Sacred Liturgy especially during the Holy Seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. Should the Mass ever be celebrated completely in Latin? The Mass should be celebrated in the vernacular language of the faithful regularly. However, Mass should be offered in Latin on an occasion. Perhaps one could suggest at least three times a year… at one of the Christmas Masses…at one of the Easter Sunday Masses, and at one of the Masses for the feast of Corpus Christi. We must remember that the Latin language is one that unites us as a whole Church and there is no better time for us to be united together in prayer than on these three days.

The proper reception of Holy Communion is another topic that needs to be discussed at length. While one should not judge on outward appearance, one cannot help but notice how some receive the Most Holy Eucharist. One would have to wonder if they truly understand that they are receiving the living God. Today a lot of people receive communion in the hand improperly. Their hands are down below their waist with very little reverence or they offer up their hands with scribbling all over them. Where is the reverence? Where is the wonder and awe? I am one priest who truly believes that one should receive communion in the traditional manner on the tongue and for those who are truly able while kneeling. While communion in the hand is an option that was given to us by an indult the norm in the Roman Rite remains on the tongue. Once again Communion in the hand was instituted in the majority of places to allow for individuals to grow closer to Christ we cannot deny that there have been plenty of negative results ranging from a loss of the true presence of Christ, and also easier access for groups to obtain and desecrate the Most Holy Eucharist.

How can we recover the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist? One is catechesis. There are plenty of resources that are available which can help an individual grow stronger in their knowledge which will be a key to helping them grow stronger in the faith. Secondly, it must be done through our actions. If we truly believed that Jesus Christ was present in the Holy Eucharist we would all instinctively fall down to our knees. As we heard in Paul’s letter to the Philippians chapter 2 verses 10 and 11, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Now if Paul says that every knee shall bend at the name of Jesus shouldn’t we bend both knees in the presence of the Lord? Thus, receiving the Lord Jesus Christ while kneeling (once again for those who are able) and on the tongue should be encouraged.

Unfortunately today this is not feasible since most our Churches are not equipped with kneelers in the front. Earlier in the Church’s history we had altar rails in the front where one could kneel down and receive our Eucharistic Lord. In many places they have been removed because of this so called “Spirit of Vatican II.” Having read the documents one can see that nowhere will you find a mandate that states that the altar rail is to be removed! It was a personal innovation not an innovation of the Church. What should we do? Could portable kneelers be placed in the front of the minister? Absolutely, but that would be up to the discretion of the pastor. However, with this priest one would find no objection because I firmly believe Communion on the tongue while kneeling will help us grow in love once again with our Eucharistic Lord. For those who can’t come forward to receive our Lord, the Lord in His great love will reach out and come to them. Individuals, who can’t kneel, ought not feel obligated to kneel.

Now that we spoke about the proper reception of Holy Communion, we must talk about the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. These two sacraments are very important. An individual weighed down by mortal sin ought not to receive Holy Communion. These are the criteria for a sin to be mortal.

1. It must be a grave (serious) matter

2. It must be committed with full knowledge, both of the sin and of the gravity of the offense

3. It must be committed with deliberate and complete consent

If one feels that all three criteria is there than one is probably weighed down by mortal sin and is in need of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You and I are all weighed down by sin and are in need of this Sacrament. As a priest I always encourage everyone to take advantage of the Sacrament when necessary. While the Church asks us to go to confession at least once a year, we should all make it a practice to go at least twice a year to prepare ourselves for Christmas and Easter during the Holy Seasons of Advent and Lent. For others they may need the Sacrament every couple weeks or months. Please accept the Lord’s invitation to take advantage of this life changing sacrament.

While I am encouraging the faithful to take advantage of this Sacrament often as needed the times we provide are not always convenient for the faithful we serve. Most parishes offer confessions Saturday afternoon which again might not be a convenient time for some. The Sacrament of Reconciliation should be offered at various times in the week. Many people remember the line from the movie field of dreams, “if you build it they will come.” Well we can rephrase that to say, “If we provide it they will come.” Perhaps we won’t have lines week after week, but those who need the Sacrament will take advantage of it. The Sacrament should be offered a couple times a week. While retaining the Saturday afternoon confession, it might be a good practice to offer confessions one day before and after a weekday Mass, one day during lunch time, and another day in the evening. People will be more inclined to take advantage of the various time slots than take advantage of the by appointment invitation found in most parish bulletins.

Speaking as a priest I believe we must make it appoint to hear confessions whenever asked. There has been many a time when someone has stopped me whether before or after Mass and asked if I can hear their confession. When someone approaches us we as priest must make every effort to hear their confession at that moment. In many cases the individual had to build up their courage to come forward to ask the priest. As priests we are called to be shepherds of our flock, and we are called to guide and serve them to our risen Lord. From time to time a case may arise that I might not be able to hear their confession at that very moment. For example I am preparing to walk out and celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I just literally got called right before to go out and anoint someone, or I am preparing for another Sacrament such as Baptisms. However, I make every effort to accommodate requests when made at that time. If I can’t hear their confessions for one of the reasons I mentioned above I am quick to ask them what time they would be available to come in and accommodate them soon as possible.

In regards to making confession easier for the faithful and in light of the scandals to protect the integrity of the priesthood it may be in our best interest to go back to a more traditional confessional. Many people don’t like going face to face with the priest and in fact can blur the lines between the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Spiritual Counseling. From my experience while many people prefer going behind the screen many of our faithful because of physical ailments cannot kneel. Therefore it would be good to provide one side with a traditional kneeler and the other side with a chair.

Many would consider my suggestions idealistic and unpractical; however they just might be necessary for the revitalization of the faith. We as priests need to be faithful to our obligations as shepherds of the flock and lead them by our example. First we need to be diligent and faithful in providing the Sacraments for the faithful we serve. Thus we should be diligent and faithful in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and providing times ample time for people to come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As priests our primary duty is to be men of prayer and allow ourselves to be God’s instruments by providing the Sacraments. By us being faithful to the call we have been given we will help bring about true renewal in the Church.

Briefly speaking on the topic of the scandals that have come to light in recent years, today the Church must address these scandals openly. It is not time for us to be pointing fingers but to recognize the problem and publically seek forgiveness. Will it ever be enough? Think for ourselves when someone hurts us and says their sorry is it easy to forgive. Many times it is not! However, true healing can only begin when we recognize our own faults and weakness and apologize for the wrong done and the individual who has been hurt finds the strength to forgive. This is the only way we can move forward.

These are only a few humble suggestions to bring about a true authentic renewal. Soon we will be preparing to receive a new English translation of the Roman Missal. What a perfect opportunity for catechesis. We must be open to embracing the Sacred Traditions of the Church. Secondly, we must evaluate how we approach and receive our Eucharistic Lord. Thirdly, we must take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I also spoke of our roles as priests and our responsibility to you the faithful. As we approach the close of this year of priests, please pray for us! Pray that we may be good and faithful shepherds. Entrust us to the maternal care of the Blessed Mother and ask her to help us in our priestly ministry that we may bring Christ to you and you to Christ!  Pray that we may exemplify the life of the Cure of Ars, Saint John Marie Vianney the patron of priests that we may model his example of priestly zeal in our lives!

Homily for Thursday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

Listen to these words, “Let us offer each other the sign of peace!” These words taken from the communion rite for the sign of peace is similar to the story contained in the Gospel this morning. “Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift.” Indeed we do this every single day right before we present ourselves for Holy Communion. You and I stop and exchange with one another the sign of peace, which is symbolic of this very gesture.

While perhaps we don’t get on each other’s nerves each and every day we are all sinners and when we sin it affects the entire Body of Christ. Therefore it is necessary for us to make peace with one another. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation while it is done individually, we must remember that it is also a communal sacrament for we are reunited with God and each other. This morning as we mediate on this passage let us pray for the grace to recognize our own faults and turn back to God so that we as the Body of Christ may always be one!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Homily for Wednesday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time…the Memorial of St. Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor of the Church

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Reflecting on these words from Matthew’s Gospel we need to meditate specifically on their meaning. Jesus uses this opportunity to instruct the faithful about His mission on earth. Certainly some of the things that He was saying were new to the ears. That’s not to say what was being said by our Lord was necessarily new but it was presented in another way.

What happens when we hear something that appears to be new to us? Sometimes we are very receptive but sometimes we’re not so receptive out of fear of change. For many of us change can be scary. However, is change a bad thing? Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI calls for by his very example for a renewed sense of the Sacred. Pope Benedict has placed the crucifix on the center of the altar to show the connection between the events that happened on Calvary with the Sacrifice we celebrate today. He is a supporter of the traditional Latin language of the Church and invites people to receive Holy Communion in the traditional way on the tongue while kneeling. There are some who see these things and are quick to respond in the negative, that the Church is moving backwards. Should we use some Latin? Yes because it is part of our history! Should we kneel to receive Holy Communion? For those who can absolutely out of love and respect for our Eucharistic Lord. Now on the other hand is it practical for us to kneel, unfortunately no.

You and I live in a society in which struggles to recognize the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. In regards to this matter we have nobody to blame but ourselves. We have allowed this to happen by allowing our own individual agendas and ideas get in the way. Today our Lord speaks to us. He does not want to change things back to the way they were or change things all over again. Our Lord tells us I have not come to abolish what we have done but to bring it to fulfillment. The question is will we allow Him to work through His vicar on earth or are we going to let our desires and our wants get in His way.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Homily for Tuesday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

“You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world.” This line taken from Matthew’s Gospel reminds each one of us of our responsibilities to be good stewards of the gifts that God has given us. We all have something to share with the world. There are times in our lives we try to hide our God given talents or we simply just kind of figuratively put them onto a shelf to collect dust.

What good are our gifts if we hide them from the world or by us willing to choose to ignore them? The fact is the gift does no good. Each one of us has a gift. Many of you have a gift that you utilize every day, you gather here each morning to pray and to receive the living God in the Most Holy Eucharist. It’s not only a gift that has been given to you but it is also a gift that you share. Not only do you pray for yourselves when you come here each morning, but you also come here to pray for others. As we continue throughout the day today, may we pray for the grace and the strength to keep the light of faith alive in our hearts!

Monday, June 7, 2010

THANK YOU!!!

As you all know this past weekend on the Feast of Corpus Christi I celebrated my first anniversary as a priest of Jesus Christ and my 29th birthday. 

At this time I would like to say thank you to a few people.  I would like to thank first the Lord God for allowing me to share in the gift of His priesthood and I would like to say a really special thank you to my parents for saying YES to life.  Thank you also to all who have prayed for me over the years.  If it wasn’t for your prayers and support I would not be here today.  THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU! 

IMG_0283 (Pictured with my parents after the 12 Noon Mass outside of Corpus Christi Church)

Video of the Corpus Christi Homily preached at the 10:30AM Mass…

 

Homily for Monday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

“Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.” We are reminded this morning that the Lord is the one in whom we should place our trust. So often when we discover things that are broke, we try to fix it ourselves. Many times I would try to put things together myself, of course I don’t necessarily know what I am doing, but that’s ok…here comes those famous last words…I got this, I can do this! Then what happens, it isn’t done right and I become frustrated! We have all been in situations like this before.

If something goes wrong with our car, we call a mechanic; if something goes wrong with the plumbing we call a plumber. But who do we call when we are weighed down with anxiety or fear about something? Maybe we turn to a family member or close friend. The question is… are we turning towards our closest friend the Lord Himself? You and I at times are stubborn and try to handle everything on our own, but this as we know at times can be a recipe for disaster. We need to place our trust in the one person who can handle all our problems the Lord Himself! How blest we are to have the Lord present with us these next several days here in the Church where we can come and present to Him our needs and concerns.  By having faith in God and humbly placing are cares and concerns upon Him…we can indeed move mountains!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Homily for the Feast of Corpus Christi

Before I begin I would like to ask the ushers to distribute the flyers in regards to our perpetual adoration chapel. You will be receiving a flyer and a little form. The flyer gives a little information about our adoration chapel and some time slots that are available. You will also be receiving a little slip of paper, I would like to encourage and invite you to fill out the form and drop it into the collection basket. I would kindly ask that if you are unable to commit to a time frame now to take the flyer home with you and pray about it. We are always in need for more volunteers for this special ministry and that is what it is, it’s a ministry. In fact, it’s a ministry that can really change your life! There are many here who know we have the adoration chapel available but there perhaps are a few who don’t know about the adoration chapel. This flyer is an invitation to all for you to consider taking advantage of this great spiritual opportunity. As we celebrate the tenth year anniversary of our adoration chapel we need your help in keeping it going strong. Thank you for your consideration.

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.” This last verse taken from our Second Reading from Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians reminds each of us of what is communicated by our reception of Holy Communion. When we receive Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist not only are we united with Him and with each other, but we are also making a statement of faith.

Each time we come to Communion do we truly understand number one what we are receiving and secondly what our reception of Holy Communion signifies? In reference to communion in the hand, I remember being taught in Catholic school to make a throne for the Lord, left over right or vice versa and to keep our hands at upper chest level so the priest doesn’t have to bend. One would have to wonder if some individuals by way they receive the Most Holy Eucharist if they truly recognize the real presence of Christ. Bending forward a little bit to give our Lord to young child is something I am glad to do, but bending down for someone who is quite capable of getting their hands up to chest level is another.

Since the introduction of the reception of Holy Communion in the hand one could ponder if we have become lax in our reverence towards the Eucharist. Certainly this was never the intent. For the intent was for people to grow towards having a deeper relationship with God. While communion in the hand is an option, we must clearly understand that the norm of reception of Holy Communion in the Roman Rite remains on the tongue and must be taught as such. In the document Memoriale Domini issued by the Sacred Congregation of Divine worship issued May 29th 1969 it states, “A change in a matter of such moment, based on a most ancient and venerable tradition, does not merely affect discipline. It carries certain dangers with it which may arise from the new manner of administering Holy Communion: the danger of a loss of reverence for the august sacrament of the altar, of profanation, of adulterating the true doctrine.”[1] Yes in recent years we have seen a loss of reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament. Our Lord has even been subject to mockery, ridicule, and He has even sadly turned up on EBay!

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict encourages all of us to show proper reverence toward our Lord by his example. If we have watched recently Masses with our Holy Father they invite people to receive Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue. As an individual who used to receive in the hand who switched to receiving on the tongue prior to becoming a priest, I truly believe the more traditional manner of receiving communion on the tongue and for those who are able while kneeling, should be encouraged. I believe this “take and eat” mentality has really done harm. The Church is not a fast food restaurant where we come in and go quickly and we cannot have it our way…it’s not about us…it’s about Jesus. When communion in the hand was introduced it was not introduced with the intention of causing all these problems however today…knowledge is power and we have seen the negative effects that have happened in recent years. If you have never received communion on the tongue I would invite you to try it for a few weeks. What you should find is that it will help you break the pick up and go fast-food mentality and allow you to have the experience of slowing down and allowing the Lord Himself enter you.

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(In this image our Holy Father gives an individual communion in the more traditional manner.)

The very first precept of the Church states that Catholics are to attend Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. There are some who think that if you attend part of the Mass it’s ok. Well it’s not; we are called to be here for the entire Mass. It is unfortunate that some think that they have fulfilled their obligation if they get here in time for the Gospel what’s really more unfortunate is that people have been taught this by some of us. Let’s be clear if you’re late…you’re late. I would encourage everyone to arrive at least ten minutes before Mass to settle down, to say a quiet prayer to our Lord and to read over the readings. Again there are some legitimate reasons for being late; you get stuck behind an accident on your way to Church or you have to quickly change your infants diaper or feed them these constitute good legitimate reasons. However, to show up late week after week is just as rude as the person who leaves Mass early. Again there are legitimate reasons for leaving early, if someone gets sick in the middle of Mass, or someone is a doctor or nurse and they get paged for an emergency. To leave because you want to be the first one out of the parking lot and the first in line for brunch DOES NOT CONSTITUTE a legitimate reason to leave Mass early. Now if someone is concerned about leaving a crowded parking lot I would encourage them as I would encourage everyone gathered here to spend five extra minutes after the priest leaves to say thank you to Jesus for the gift that has been given to us. Trust me if you wait an extra five minutes the parking lot will be cleared out. Besides if our Lord was more than willing to lay down His life and embrace an agonizing and painful death for our sake then He is should be worth an hour and fifteen minutes of our time. If there is an individual here who is constantly showing up late or is constantly leaving early for some non-legitimate reason, as your shepherd I want you to be aware that you are not fulfilling your Sunday Obligation.

Before I close allow me to briefly state what our reception of communion signifies! Our reception of Holy Communion signifies primarily a unity with Christ but also a unity with one another. When the priest says, “the Body of Christ,” the response of the communicant is “Amen,” which means “Yes or I believe.” If someone is in a state of mortal sin or they outright reject His teachings expressed through His Church then one ought not to receive. That’s not to say that they should not come to Mass because that is still required but they ought not to receive because to receive in this condition it is like saying one thing to His face and then turning around with intent and doing the opposite.

The purpose of this homily is not to chastise anyone but rather to make a strong plea for a renewed sense of the Sacred. For many people here I am preaching to the choir, but there might be some who gather here week after week who need to here this message. We must recognize that everything we say and do carries a lot of weight. Today we need to pray more importantly for an increase of reverence all throughout the Church in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Perhaps on this feast of Corpus Christi we need to remember, it’s not about us, our desires, our wants, but rather it’s all about Jesus and what He desires and expects from us!


[1] http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdwmemor.htm

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Once again…God does will it!!! A look back

On the 6th of June 1981 I was born and on the 6th of June 2009 I was given the best birthday gift of all a share in the Lord’s priesthood. Tomorrow on the 6th of June 2010 I celebrate my first anniversary as a priest and my 29th birthday. However, what makes this day more special is that here in the United States I celebrate this special day on the Feast of Corpus Christi which happens to be where I am assigned. Every morning I get up and thank the Lord for the awesome gift that He has given me. On the very day He gave me life was the very same day 28 years later He gave me a share in His life and what no better way to celebrate my first anniversary as a priest than to celebrate it on our parish’s feast day!

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This is the greatest gift of all, to have the ability to bring Christ to His people, and His people to Christ

PREPARING FOR FORTY HOURS…

Tomorrow also for us here at Corpus Christi in Chambersburg marks the beginning of our Forty Hours Devotion. What a perfect opportunity for us as a parish to come and worship together in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord. On the Feast of Corpus Christi may we all take advantage of the opportunity we have week after week to spend time with our risen Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist!

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Thank you Jesus for allowing me to serve you, and to have the opportunity to make you present to your flock each day!

Homily for the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ preached at our Mission Church…Our Lady of Refuge in Doylesburg

As we gather here this evening, we celebrate with great joy the Feast of Corpus Christi. This evening I want to focus on the words, “this is my body, this is my blood, do this in remembrance of me.” Each of us hears these words regularly but have we ever taken the time to ponder what they truly mean.”

When we come here we carry a lot of baggage. Many times we are weighed down with things that are going on at home with members of our families or close friends, perhaps we are struggling with a particular medical condition, or a financial problem that really puts us under a lot of stress. We all have situations like these we deal with on a regular basis. You and I have an opportunity each week to lay all these problems down on the table in the presence of our risen Lord. At every Mass those words has a special meaning for every one of us. Listen to those words, “take this all of you and eat it, this is my body which will be given up for you.” Not only am I as a priest offering my body allowing the Lord to work through me to provide you the Sacraments; you too are offering up your own sacrifices!

Listen to these words, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Sounds like a command doesn’t it? That’s because it is! Are we taking the time to offer up our own bodies each week? Sunday Mass and Masses on Holy Days of Obligation are a requirement for us as Catholics. Many people come to Church because it’s an obligation. Now we shouldn’t come here each weekend just because it’s an obligation. We should want to come here! You know what happens when we comes to Mass with the mindset because it’s an obligation…it becomes a routine! Yes God calls us here week after week because He knows what we need and to give us an opportunity to get those things off our chest at weighs us down. If we stop to think about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass there is nothing routine about it. Every time we gather here if our hearts and minds are open to it, we experience something really special. Don’t take this opportunity for granted.

As we heard in the Gospel, “they all ate and were satisfied.” This evening as the Eucharistic Prayer is being prayed, listen carefully to those words while I pray them aloud. Absorb them into your hearts and minds. As you walk forward to receive the living God, place your cares and concerns on Him and ask Him to help you bear the weight of the crosses that have been placed upon your shoulders. If you do this each week, your experience here will not be routine and feel unfulfilling…but rather you will be satisfied every time!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Homily for Friday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time…the Last 8:30AM Mass with the School Children this Academic Year

Boys and Girls there is a line from the First Reading taken from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians that I want to focus on. In the very last verse it says, “Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of Him.” We need to remind ourselves of these words from time to time because they are very important, not only for our relationship with God, but also for our relationships with one another. This morning we celebrate a special Mass in honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus. You and I need to ask the Lord to help us make our hearts more like Christ’s.

Our actions and words carry a lot of weight and when we say do and say things that are negative it really leaves a lasting impression on someone sometimes even more so than some of our good deeds and our kind words. “Let the message of Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other.” What is this message of Christ? The message is simple, Go home to your family and friends and “tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how good he has been to you.” The Lord has blessed each one of us with a special gifts and talents that are unique only to you and me. We are the only ones who can utilize those gifts and talents to their fullest potential.

You and I are called to be people of unconditional service. We are called to reach out and help each other out without conditions. I am sure you all of heard the phrase “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Our Christian Service is to be without condition, “no strings attached.” Don’t do something expecting a reward, a pat on the back, or even a thank you, do it out of love, especially out of the love of Christ. It’s unfortunate that we live in society that often complains about doing work. We all do it from time to time. I remember my parents say to me when I was younger, “Keith Michael please clean-up your room, or Keith Michael, take out the trash.” Many times my initial response was, “Do I have too!” Boys and Girls if your parents or here in school your teachers ask you to do something…do it. If you see something at home that can be done (such as cleaning your rooms, folding the laundry, sweeping up the floor) go ahead and do it!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Lord has blest us with many gifts. Be available to serve your Church, your families, and your school. Let the Lord guide everything you do!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Homily for Thursday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time…the Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions

There is a line that sticks out in the Second Letter of St Paul to Timothy and that is “the word of God is not chained.” It is always being proclaimed each and every single day. Sometimes it is proclaimed with words and at other times it is proclaimed by actions. However, it is always being proclaimed.

How is the word of God being proclaimed by our actions? Sometimes it is proclaimed by our good needs. When we reach out to someone in need the Good News is being proclaimed to the world. Our good example helps to form others to being willing to reach out to others who are in need of help. The word of God is also being proclaimed when we ourselves accept our crosses and embrace suffering. Think about that for a moment, when we embrace the crosses that have been given to us we lead others to Christ. There is at times when things don’t go our way we become bitter and complain. However, to accept the cross each day with a smile goes along way. That’s not to say we have our normal little complaints, but it doesn’t overrule our lives. The challenge is to embrace suffering for the sake of the Gospel. Although times are at times tough, we need to pray those words we said just a few minutes ago, “teach me your ways, O Lord.”

When you and I can accept the weight of the crosses that have been placed upon our shoulders, and humbly turn to the Lord and ask Him for His help in order to help us understand why these things happen we realize that we are not far off from the Kingdom of God.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Homily for Wednesday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time the Memorial of St. Marcellinus and Saint Peter

“For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.” God has given us all gifts. Almost a year ago the Lord gave me the best birthday present of all, the gift of his Sacred Priesthood. All gathered here this morning each have a special gift and talent that is meant to be shared with all.

Many of us have received things over the years that we perhaps placed up on a shelf and forgot all about it. Let’s take books for example. We have gone out to Barnes and Noble and bought books or perhaps had some given to us. Sometimes we leave them on a desk or put them on a shelf where they just sit there collecting dust. Are we using our God’s given gifts and talents or are we letting them collect dust. Saint Paul’s words to Timothy were clear, “stir into flame the gift of God you have.” This morning we lift up our eyes to the Lord and ask Him to keep the flame of faith burning within us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Homily for Tuesday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

“In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.” Our responsorial psalm reminds us that the Lord has always been there for us. There is never a minute that passes by where God is not at our side. Every breath that we take, every step that we make He is there.

When things don’t go our way it’s easy for us to become depressed and wonder where God is at that particular moment in our lives. It easy for us to take the gifts the Lord has given us for granted. He is here; He is right now in our midst. Do we feel His presence? This morning may we take solace in the fact that the Lord is always with us and during those hard times may we find the strength to place everything into the palms of His hand, He who is our refuge.