Sunday, September 28, 2014

Father Michael's Homily - 26th Sunday A

Now batting for the Yankees, number 2, Derek Jeter, number 2.

Many of us will miss those words.  It was an emotional night at the Stadium on Thursday night – Derek Jeter’s last home game. I kept texting my nephew, Kevin, who is in college, and has grown up watching Derek. I am happy his hero was such a good role model.

Couldn’t have asked for a better ending – if it was a movie, no one would have believed it –  Derek Jeter gets a walk off game winning hit.    After a Yankee win: we always hear: ”Start spreading the news . . .   -  but then,  we heard  “And more, much more than this, I did it my way.”

I get it - For Jeter – he worked hard, always gave 100%, played the game  “the right way.”    But I am always a bit uncomfortable with that song -   what’s more important – to do it My Way or – how about God’s Way?

God’s Way can be a lot harder to follow.  Sometimes it calls for sacrifice, for saying or doing hard things. Sometimes we feel the words in Ezekiel – God’s way are not fair!   God says -  Is it my way that is not fair or is it your way?

I think of Mary. Six years ago I offered Mass in Nazareth. Marking on floor – Verbum Caro Hic Factum Est   -- The Word Was made flesh here!    Sure she had her own plans – but now – God was asking her to go in a different direction!   Would she be the one to bring Christ into the world?  Perhaps had no idea how much that would cost her!  But that day, she chose God’s way – Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, Let it be done to me.”   God’s way, not my way.

Or Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Son of God who has come down from heaven, now being asked to suffer, to take the sins of the world upon his shoulder.  Abba, if it is possible, let this cup pass. But, not my will but your will be done.   Don’t we pray that every day?   As St. Paul said – he emptied himself.   He walks the path of obedience and humility.  And because of this – God exalted Him!  God’s way, not my way!

Sometimes hard to do God’s will:  in marriage, at work, in school, in sports -  can be easier to do it my way.    So what happens if we say no???

Reminded of Oskar Shindler – Stephen Spielberg’s “Shindlers List.”
Baptized a Catholic, he became a member of the Nazi party. He drank too much. He gambled too much. He was not always faithful to his wife. And, he tried to make money off the Nazi’s by using Jewish slave labor. But then, he began to see   “was blind but now I see.”  Saw them as people. Began to do all he could = and saved thousands of Jews from the gas chambers by putting them to work. There is ONE Nazi buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.   One son said NO  but then he said Yes!  Shindler finally said YES    God is so merciful – invites us back on the path.   We can still change our ways!

You did it your way, but more, much more than this, why not try God’s way???

New Parish Council

The role of a Parish Council is:
-          To help the pastor/administrator identify pastoral needs.
-          To help him plan pastoral objectives and programs.
-          To help him improve pastoral services.
-          To evaluate the effectiveness of existing programs and services with a view to their improvement, or, at times, their substitution or elimination.
Our new Parish Council is comprised of men and women, including two teens,  chosen “by lot” to serve a 3 year term (teens 1 year) , as well as ex officio members such as the trustees, priests, deacons, Sister Marie, Sister Kathleen and Gary Bartilucci. Because this is a new Council, terms will be staggered so that we have four people going off and four people coming on the Council each year. Here is our new Parish Council:
Serving for Three Years
Keith Slade, Steve Broussard, Cathy Crocco, Kathy Gorman
Serving for Two Years
Eric Winogradoft, Angelo Coviello, Kathy McCabe, Margaret Muenkel
Serving for One Year
Dennis McCormack, John McGivney, Mary Rose Williams, Mary Teresa Soyka
Teen – Serving One Year
Ben Schiavone
Parish Council Meetings 2014-15
Mondays at 7:30 p.m. in Library

October 6, November 10. January 12, February 9, April 13, May 11, June 8

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Funeral Mass - Frances Chesley

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Frances Chesley on Wednesday, October 1 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Funeral Mass - Michael A. Valenti

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Michael A. Valenti on Friday, September 26 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Making All Things New" Update

We received this from Bishop O'Hara:

Cardinal Dolan is in the process of reviewing the recommendations that were presented to him by the Presbyteral Council that took place on June 30, 2014 and July 1, 2014. Since that gathering there have been several developments.
The pastoral planning working group has offered a few additional suggestions for consideration based on further input from vicars and pastors, and these have only been recently presented to His Eminence for his reflection.
The Cardinal will also be heading to Rome in early October to participate in the Synod on the Family, and did not want to leave the Archdiocese so soon after the announcement is made.

In light of these developments, the Cardinal feels it is essential that he has more time to consider carefully and thoroughly evaluate all that has been handed over to him. Hence, the announcement of the Cardinal’s Making All Things New decisions will be postponed to the beginning of November The original date set to make the announcement was the end of September.

Father Michael's Homily - 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Remember playing golf with friends – walked up to beautiful elevated tee – par 3. One by one each took a shot – on or close to the green. My turn -   slice  -  only it hit tree at perfect angle – bounced off and rolled to about 2 feet away from the cup  -   was it fair?
Many people find Jesus words today troubling. Was it fair -  that those who came last got same pay?   Obviously Jesus wants us to think . . . Some thoughts . . .

1) Used to see workers line up on Yonkers Ave – just hoping for work  -   not lazy  - they want to work   -  They are totally dependent on the one who will hire them   --  our true spiritual condition before God -  in end, we are totally dependent on God –-   why we pray in the Lord’s Prayer – Give us this day our daily bread.

2) If  those who came later were given less than the daily wage, what good would that do them?? --- still could not feed their families -  and in the meantime, those who were hired early no longer had to worry – they could take care of their families.

3) In some ways the action of the owner is very comforting. Like people going on a trip – buy their ticket a year in advance – make all the plans -  others – rush at the very last moment – also will reach the same destination at the same time  Like those hired last: a number of times I have been with someone who converted on their deathbed. -   Thank God -  God’s way are not our ways!!!!

4) Shows the danger of envy   10th Commendment – thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods. -   Envy – Always comparing -  my piece of cake is not as big as yours – iphone, house, car, salary. Envy is a Sadness at the sight of another’s goods and the desire to acquire them for oneself - called a Capital Sin beause it can lead to other sins:      to resentment, becoming angry, bitter.

Suggestion - To learn “Discipline of Gratitude”   instead of focusing on what I do not have – remember what I do have
Hurricane Sandy -   35 trees down, electric out, cable out but, I am alive, my family is OK   real basics
But also to realize – my very life is a gift!!!

So - What is the Reward for the faithful worker who works all day.

A missionary was returning to the US after 40 years service in Africa – ocean liner docked in NYC. As he got off, noticed a huge crowd gathered to welcome home former president Teddy Roosevelt from a safari. He became angry – Lord, I have come back home after all these years and service to the church, and there is no one to welcome me home.     Heard a small voice – You are Not Home Yet!