NOW ENROLLING FOR 2018-2019. Stop by or call the St. Joseph School Office at 440-988-4244

2018 Marketing_Open House flyer

Fr. Tim’s Homily for Sunday, June 3, 2018

 

Sunday, June 3, 2018 

THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST-B

CORPUS CHRISTI

image

Exodus 24: 3-8

Hebrews 9: 11-15

Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26

 

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Eucharist. 

In today’s first reading, Moses offers a sacrifice to God in the desert and reads to the Israelites from the Book of the Covenant.  And all of the people answer:  “All that the Lord has said, we will heed and do.”

God had brought the Jewish people out of slavery in Egypt and was leading them to the Promised Land.  They were pilgrims on the way to their homeland.

And so are we:  we are pilgrims on the way to our homeland in heaven.

In the Gospel, Jesus sends two of His disciples into the city to make arrangements for the Passover meal.

Then Jesus came and celebrated the Last Supper with His apostles and gave them – and us – the gift of Himself, the Eucharist: “This is My Body.  This is My Blood.  Do this in memory of Me.”

Then at the end of the Passover meal, after singing a hymn, they go out to the Mount of Olives, where Jesus would be arrested and be led to His death…  and, of course, His resurrection would follow.

There is a lot of movement in these Scripture passages:  a lot of going and coming…  a lot of processions.

A crowd of people walking down a busy street is exactly that:  a random collection of individuals who happen to be moving in the same direction.

But when those individuals move in the same direction and for the same purpose – to march for life in Washington, DC, to celebrate a Cavs’ championship, to march in a Memorial Day parade – the act of walking together unites them as one body.  And if that group begins to sing, they become one voice.

So it is with the Mass:  walking and singing in procession unites us as one body, one voice.

The Mass is built on processions.  The entrance procession moves the ministers from the main doors of the church to the altar. The Gospel procession moves the Gospel book and the Gospel proclaimer from the altar to the pulpit.  The offertory gift procession moves the bread and wine from the table in the back of the church to the altar in the front of the church for consecration.  The Communion procession moves all us from our places in the pews to the altar where we are fed with the Lord’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist.  The closing procession leads us from the church to announce the Gospel to the world.

And where do our processions ultimately lead us?  We are pilgrims on journey to our homeland – heaven.  And day by day, step by step, we get closer to our final destination.

Our processions during Mass mean something.  And they do something to us.

I would like to highlight for you two processions that will take place during this Mass:  the offertory gift procession and the Communion procession – and how they are related.

With the offertory gift procession, members of the congregation process from the back of the church to the sanctuary.  They carry with them the gifts of the people – bread and wine, fruits of the earth and the work of human hands.  The priest receives these gifts from them and places them on the altar where, by the power of the Holy Spirit and through sacramental priesthood, these gifts are changed into something entirely new, that they were not before – the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

And then during the Communion procession the gifts that we presented during the offertory gift procession are returned to us not as we presented them – as bread and wine – but rather having been transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

Our processions during Mass mean something.  And they do something to us.  Walking and singing in procession unites us as one body, one voice.

And where do our processions ultimately lead us? We are pilgrims on journey to our homeland – heaven.  And day by day, step by step, we get closer to our final destination.

Happy Feast of Corpus Christi.  Happy Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ – Who makes us one in Him through His gift of Himself in the Eucharist.

Fr. Tim’s Homily for Sunday, May 27, 2018

 

Sunday, May 27, 2018 

THE MOST HOLY TRINITY-B

image

Deuteronomy 4: 32-34, 39-40

Romans 8: 14-17

Matthew 28: 16-20

 

There is a classic story about Saint Augustine who was strolling along the seashore, struggling to comprehend the mystery of the Trinity.  He encountered a youngster with a little pail.  The boy trekked back and forth, emptying bucket after bucket of ocean water into a hole in the sand.

When Augustine asked him what he was doing, the lad replied that he was putting the ocean into that hole. When Augustine told him that this was impossible, the boy responded that he would sooner empty the entire ocean into that hole than Augustine would completely understand the Trinity.

Bishop Fulton Sheen, years ago, delivered a lecture on the Trinity.  Afterwards a woman in the audience told him that she now totally understood the Trinity.  Bishop Sheen replied, “Madam if you think that you fully understand the doctrine of the Trinity now because of my talk, you didn’t understand a word I said this evening!”

Today throughout the world the Church celebrates Trinity Sunday – one God in three divine persons:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that the Trinity is “the central mystery of our Christian faith and life” [#234].  We profess our belief in the Trinity when we make the Sign of the Cross.

From all eternity, without beginning or end, God the Father looks upon God the Son and loves Him.  God the Son looks upon God the Father and loves Him.  And their love is so intense, so dynamic, so personal that their love is Himself a person – God the Holy Spirit.

How do we know about this mystery of the Trinity? Only because Jesus revealed it to us. His last words to us before He ascended into heaven are found in today’s Gospel:  “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” [Matthew 28: 16-20].

We Christians are Trinitarians.  We were made in the image and likeness of God.  And so we are going to find evidence of the Trinity around us.  One place is in Christian marriage.

Christian marriage – the lifelong union of a man and a woman – is God’s idea and God’s gift to the human race.  Marriage is not simply a civil or political invention that can be re-designed or re-defined.

Christian marriage mirrors the life of the Trinity: a husband and a wife – two distinct human beings – love each other so intensely and so personally in the oneness of their marriage that their love itself may become a person – another distinct human being – in the conception of their child.  And all of this, of course, in cooperation with God.

God has chosen us, adopted us, to be His beloved sons and daughters.  “Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be His own,” [Psalm 33] was our Responsorial Psalm today after the first reading.

And as Saint Paul told us in today’s second reading:  “Brothers and sisters:  You received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”  [Romans 8: 14-17].

Why did the Lord choose us when there are so many other people He might have chosen?  Why did He choose the twelve apostles?  They all had their weaknesses, but He chose them.  For His own reasons, the Lord has chosen us to be His disciples.

I came across these thoughts about people that we read about in the Scriptures and maybe this reflection will be helpful to you:

There are many reasons why God shouldn’t choose you or me, but don’t worry:

Because Moses stuttered, and David’s armor didn’t fit.

John Mark was rejected by Paul, and Hosea’s wife – she was a prostitute.   And God chose them.

The prophet Amos’ only training was in the school of fig tree pruning. Solomon was too rich, Abraham was too old, David was too young.  Timothy had ulcers.

Peter was afraid of death, and Lazarus WAS dead.

John was self-righteous.  Naomi was a widow.  Paul was a murderer, and so was Moses.  And God chose them.

Jonah ran from God, and Miriam was a gossip.

Gideon and Thomas both doubted.   Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.

Elijah was burned out, John the Baptist was a loudmouth, Martha was a worrywart, and Mary was lazy.  Samson had long hair.  And God chose them.

Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?  So did Peter and Paul and a host of others.

God doesn’t require a job interview.  God doesn’t hire and fire like most bosses.  Because with God, He is more our Dad than He is our boss.

With all of our weaknesses, God the Father has chosen us.  We must know our weaknesses, and we must know our strengths.  It is important that we put them both in the hands of Jesus Christ and rely upon the grace of the Holy Spirit.

“Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be His own,” [Psalm 33].

“Brothers and sisters:  You received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”  [Romans 8: 14-17].

We profess our belief in the Trinity, “the central mystery of our Christian faith and life,” every time we make the Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Older posts «