On this final preparation for the coming of Christ, each of our readings speak to us about what it really means to receive Christ into us. Let us look at each of our readings and be inspired and convicted to fully receive Christ into us.READ MORE
We celebrate the 3rd Sun of Advent, just two weeks til Christmas. Are you wanting, are you ready for the coming of Jesus? Indeed for us human beings, it is easy for us to get so busy in this season that before we know it Christmas is here, and we have hardly prepared. Have you taken time to pray and reflect on what it means for Jesus to come? Are you ready and wanting Him to come, with all your heart? It is easy to kind of go through the motions in Advent and Christmas- something we have probably done many times over the years- and so we can kind of know what to expect.READ MORE
Happy New Year everyone. Although the world celebrates the new year in January, we as Church celebrate the start of Advent as a new year. We begin a new cycle of readings, in this year of ‘A’, the Gospel of Matthew. However, we don’t start this 1st Sun of Advent, as one might expect, with the beginning of the Gospel, instead the Church wants us to begin towards the end of Matthew’s Gospel, with the preparation of the 2nd coming. The word ‘Advent’ means ‘coming’. So indeed, the Season of Advent is about preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ, but especially in the 1st couple of weeks, we focus not on preparing ourselves for the 1st coming but for the 2nd coming. Listen to the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 524: “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present an ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation of the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming”. We, in this age, remember the 1st advent, but are to focus our hearts and our desires for the 2nd advent, for the final coming of Christ.READ MORE
The story is told about a man who was so scared and nervous during his first plane ride. The man beside him suggested that he get a glass of whisky from the flight attendant. Which he did and which he downed in one gulp. When he asked if he could get another one, the man beside him pointed out to the button above his head and told him to press it if he wanted another drink, whereupon he stood up and pushed the button and held his glass underneath. (When we are scared sometimes our mind does not work well.)READ MORE
The Church gives us such amazing and powerful readings today. In our 1st reading we come to know the depth of who God is and what He wants, and also who we are and who we are meant to be. Then in our Gospel in the story of Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus, we see how this identity of God and of human beings is to be applied in our lives.READ MORE
Just to warn you- this homily will be a little longer because it is simply too important.
The Devil is a divider who will use almost any tactic to separate Christians from Christ...except for one. He doesn’t typically come right out and say, “Deny Jesus Christ!” because he knows that someone who loves Jesus would immediately reject the suggestion. So, he tends to use more subtle means and subtle words.READ MORE
Our 1st reading from Exodus tells the story of how Israel defeated the attacking Amalekites. The Early Church Fathers saw this story as a great analogy for the Church. It is this that I want to focus on in this homily.
Our 1st reading begins, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. We know from Scripture that the Amalekites are one of the tribes that stood against and wanted to conquer Israel.READ MORE
Today in our 1st reading and our Gospel, we hear 2 very similar accounts of healing of lepers. In our Gospel, there are 10 lepers who are healed by Jesus; and in our 1st reading we hear part of the powerful story of the healing of Naaman from his leprosy. What I want to do today is try to relate the characters in these readings to people today, perhaps ourselves; I think that relating the characters to people today will help us apply them to our lives; because these readings are not just about people being healed, as they are about our journey of faith, our journey to discipleship.READ MORE
Do you have faith? A question that many of you probably quickly answered, ‘Well Yes, of course’ I’m here at Church aren’t I’. If you say you have faith, what or who is it that you have faith in? And what exactly does it mean to have faith?
For many people faith is nothing more than a belief in God, a recognition that God exists. However, our readings today help us to understand more in depth what faith really is. As I try to explain more fully what faith entails, I want you to think about if you really have faith to the extent our readings encourage us to have? Faith is much more than just having a belief in God.READ MORE
Today we are given quite convicting readings. I ask each of you to take a moment to pray, and allow the Holy Spirit to touch and convict your heart during this homily and Mass.
In our Gospel Jesus gives us a story of a rich man who dressed in fine and expensive clothes, who dined sumptuously every day. A man who had everything he wanted and was enjoying his life doing whatever he wanted to do. At his doorstep was a poor man, named Lazarus, a man who was covered with sores and didn’t have anything to eat. The rich man didn’t even open his front door and give Lazarus anything, not even scraps of food. The rich man who was living for himself and only looking out for his own desires, probably stepped over Lazarus every day without a second thought.READ MORE
In today ‘s Gospel we have one of the more confusing parables, with a strange twist; and although it might be difficult to understand, it really is a pretty simple straight-forward message, but still a message that is difficult to live. So let us jump right into it to try and understand the parable and then appreciate the message Jesus is giving us and how to implement it into our lives.READ MORE
Our readings this week speak of the merciful love God has for each one of us. No matter how sinful we have been, no matter how far we have strayed from the flock, God searches for us to bring us home. Within this message is a call to each of us to be evangelizers, that is to share our love for Christ with others so that they will come to experience the living Christ and become themselves true disciples and followers of Jesus.
Before exploring this further, St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York has a cemetery. During the summer they borrow three sheep to feed on the grass and thus maintain the lawn. This year they named the sheep faith, hope and charity. Six parishioners have been trained as volunteer shepherds to care for the sheep. Their main responsibility is to gather the sheep into a shed at night. To help protect the sheep from intruders the shed is secured with an alarm. The cemetery grounds are under 24/7 video surveillance and the pastor and shepherds can monitor the sheep with their smart phones, tablets or computers. I am happy to say as of this time there are no reports of lost sheep. Faith, Hope and Charity are alive and well at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. If you would like to help care for the sheep you can visit the iphone app Soho sheep to make a donation.READ MORE