Good morning. Happy Trinity Sunday! Many of you know me, but for those who do not, my name is Steve Mandarino and I have been serving as the Parish Manager of Corpus Christi for almost four years.
If you were here either of the past two weeks, you heard Father Chad discuss a book called Forming Intentional Disciples. If you weren’t here, I invite you to review Father’s homilies on the church website. Also, if you weren’t able to get a book last weekend, as we ran out, we have more on the way that should be here next weekend. We are only asking for $5 to help offset part of the cost, which is a large discount provided by Father Chad because he feels the book is so valuable in content.READ MORE
Last week was the first part of a 2 part homily series- and if you weren’t here, a reminder that my homilies are on our website. Last week I provided some alarming statistics from the book Forming Intentional Disciples regarding how many American adults who were raised Catholic but now are not practicing their faith. Do you recall the percentages of adults who are practicing- 30%, and 70% are not! And another statistic saying that over half of the Catholics who do attend Church believe that one cannot have a relationship with God. I want to make it clear that the book proposes those statistics are directly related. One of the reasons why so many people have stopped practicing their Catholic faith is because they did not develop a personal relationship with God. This book asserts that individuals who not know deep down in their souls how much God loves them and desires a relationship with them will pull away and search for love and happiness in other places.READ MORE
I hope you are ready for a wonderful time in our Church. We are beginning 4 Sundays of Feasts- today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension, next week is Pentecost, followed by Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi. And during this time of celebration, I have decided to give a mini- 2 week homily series to help lay out the direction that I have discerned for our parish.READ MORE
Our Gospel today, like the last and next couple weeks, is taken from John’s version of the Last Supper. You might know that in John’s Gospel, Jesus teaches about the Eucharist in chapter 6, not at the Last Supper. Instead, John uses the Last Supper as the setting for a great narrative in which Jesus gives his last and parting words to his disciples before he is to be handed over and crucified. They are inspiring words indeed, I encourage you all to read and pray over John chapters 14-17.READ MORE
Are you a disciple? Am I a disciple? That is the question each and every one of us must answer in our lives. Are you a disciple? Raise your hand if you would say you are. So what are you a disciple of…. Or rather who or what do you follow? Most would say a disciple of Jesus is someone who follows him. After all, when we think of who the disciples were while Jesus was on earth, we think of Peter, John, Matthew, maybe Mary Magdalene, perhaps all the people Jesus healed, and other apostles. They each had a common trait; they all left what they were doing and followed Jesus. We can recall the story of the rich young man whom Jesus called to give all he had to the poor and follow Him, but unfortunately he wasn’t ready then to become his disciple. I wonder if he was ever ready to follow our Lord?READ MORE
Today the Church celebrates what has been come to be known as Good Shepherd Sunday (for obvious reason as the Gospel every year is taken from John chapter 10 where he teaches how Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd). However, not only should we know Jesus as the Good Shepherd, but we are also called to be shepherds like the Good Shepherd. In order to be good shepherds we need to become like Jesus. In addition, the Church calls this day ‘the World Day of Prayer for Vocations’. Vocation- in Latin is Vocare- meaning “a calling”. Webster’s definition of vocation is “a strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work”.READ MORE
There is so much we are celebrating today. We celebrate not only the 2nd Sunday of Easter and the fact that Christ is risen from the dead for the forgiveness of our sins, but also we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. Do you know the story?READ MORE
Happy Easter everyone! Each of us is meant to really know the joy and glorious occasion in which we gather. In order to fully appreciate it, join me as we place ourselves with the disciples.
The Apostles watched as Jesus Christ, the person they believed was the Messiah, the Son of God, suffered and died. Without knowing how God could die, their faith was shaken. The disciples were confused, grieving, and depressed. Without hope and unsure about the future, all they knew is that the person they thought was their Savior had died, they laid him in the tomb, not knowing what would happen next. How would you have reacted? Would you be feeling the same despair? Haven’t we all felt lost and confused, unsure, perhaps doubting, if or how things that are happening in our life will ever work out for the good.READ MORE
Today begins the Holy Triduum, the holiest and most important 3 days in all of history. We celebrate Holy Thursday today in which Jesus celebrated the last Passover with his apostles. Tomorrow, Good Friday on which Jesus is sacrificed, and finally Easter Sunday on which Jesus rises from the dead. Although celebrated on different days, it is important for us to view everything that happened to Jesus as one event, especially the last supper and crucifixion. In this homily I will explain exactly how the Church sees these events as eternally connected, and why they are of the most importance to us.READ MORE
I am preaching at all the Masses this weekend to let the whole parish know about something important, but before I get into that, I wanted to say a few words about today’s readings.
In the Gospel of John chapter 12, just before the verses from today, a large crowd had come to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Upon hearing Jesus was on his way into the city, they took Palm branches and went to him and cried out “Hosanna, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the king of Israel”. And Jesus then came into the great capital city riding on a donkey, which as we know fulfills the prophet Zechariah writing.READ MORE
My brothers and sisters in Christ, as I was praying over and thinking about these readings, I was inspired to share with you the immense joy that comes in being real with Christ.
Our 2nd reading begins, “God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ”. But in order to know the God who is rich in mercy and love, we must know the consequences of our sins. The book of Romans tells us that ‘the consequence of sin is death’. The consequence of sin is death, every sin, no matter how big or small, is against God, and anything that is against God is not worthy of God. Because of Adam’s sin, and in turn, because of each of our individual sins, we are not worthy to share in God’s life- that is we deserve death. And so, as our 2nd reading says, we are dead in our transgressions. And there was nothing we could have done about it, no amount of good we could ever do could make up for just one sin. There was nothing we could have done to make us be happy and have life in us.READ MORE
This Sunday we are about half way through Lent. On this 3rd Sunday, the Church gives us such powerful readings from our Lord in order to intentionally focus our hearts on what this season of Lent is all about. The focus of Lent should be to root sin out of our lives. By reflecting on and applying our readings today we can do just that.READ MORE
These 3 readings are probably somewhat familiar to many of you, for they are well known stories by themselves, but the Church gives us these 3 readings today, on this 2nd Sunday of Lent, for a reason. This season of Lent calls us to grow closer to God, to grow in trust and dependence on God, and to grow in love for our neighbor. And these readings we are given today help us to do just that. So let us look into and relate our lives with our 1st reading in order to help us understand the reason for our 2nd reading and Gospel.READ MORE
Sometimes it is really helpful in our Spiritual lives to reflect on the Scriptures in a little different way than perhaps we usually do. So instead of reading and reflecting on what was said in the Scriptures, sometimes it is helpful to use our imaginations and place ourselves in the story being told, and allow the Holy Spirit to inspire us just as the people in the stories might have been inspired. Today, I encourage you to use your imaginations and place yourself as one of the people in our readings. You may close your eyes if you’d like, as long as you don’t fall asleep. And together, let us take a moment now to ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand what the people were thinking and feeling, and ask that the Holy Spirit to foster conversion in us just as the people in our readings.READ MORE