Fr. Tim’s Homily for January 29, 2017

Catholic Schools Week

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – A


Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13

1 Corinthians 1: 26-31

Matthew 5: 1-12a



To our Saint Joseph School families, dedicated teachers, staff and volunteers – and those of our area Catholic high schools – happy Catholic Schools Week!
To all of you, our Saint Joseph and Nativity Parish Family members – thank you for your commitment to Catholic education!
[Following the 8:30 AM Mass this Sunday morning, Saint Joseph School will be welcoming you to an Open House.  There is a free pancake breakfast in the school gym from 9:30 until 11:00.  There will be activities and tours to showcase what our gem-of-a-school has to offer.  Whether or not you have school-age children, please come and see.  We would love to have you!]
Today’s Gospel is the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus goes up the mountain with His disciples and sits down. And the Gospel says:  “He began to teach them…”
What a great Gospel to hear as we open Catholic Schools Week today! They all sat down and Jesus began to teach them. The lesson that He offered is called “The Beatitudes,” or, as somebody called them, “The Beautiful Attitudes”:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”… and so on.
Jesus taught.  We continue to teach the message of Jesus.  And a major way that we do this is through our Catholic schools.
More than ever I am convinced of the irreplaceable value of our Catholic schools in our nation.  From a purely academic point of view, they educate with excellence. That is why they are particularly valued in our urban areas, where they offer a tremendous opportunity for our children – Catholic or not – to receive a first-rate education.
Then there is that intangible element we might call “a Catholic atmosphere”:  an atmosphere of faith, Scripture, prayer, sacraments, discipline, respect, order and virtue, with the acknowledged presence of Jesus in every subject and activity.
These two values of our Catholic schools – excellent academics and a faith-filled atmosphere – offer tremendous benefits not only to our Church but to our communities and society as well.
I am grateful that our Saint Joseph Parish has a Catholic day school here on our campus and that it is wide-open to be shared with our Nativity