Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Narrow Gate

I’m grateful for a recent homily by Bishop Robert Barron who gave some great insights about this Gospel.
I’m sure this is a difficult time for many. My brother has brought his oldest daughter to college. Tomorrow he bids farewell, leaves her behind and drives 10 hours home.  Wow.
Many worries – how will she do?  Will she make good decisions?   Easy to go off on wrong path!
Jesus is asked – how many be saved?
For my parent’s generation, this was an important question. You want to get to heaven and avoid hell. When I was young, I was on the confession line most Saturdays. I was taught to avoid mortal sin.  I was taught with love, with a little dose of fear.
Things began to shift when I got to Catholic high school. We were taught that God is love.  And because God is all merciful, many began to assume that almost everyone gets to heaven.   The problem is – some now have the belief that it does not matter what you do – it makes no difference if you go to Mass or not.  Many became indifferent to spiritual things.
Jesus is asked – how many will be saved? 
Unlike the Jehovah Witnesses who talk about 144,000, Jesus does not offer a number, but: _  Strive to enter through the narrow gate!
This is not an easy path!
Did Michael Phelps swim coach tell him – just take a few laps.    Or how about Simon Biles -  just jump around a bit, you will get the hang of it?
No, they each had a goal and were taught how to achieve that goal – DISCIPLINE!   A narrow gate!
How many will win Gold Medal?  Don’t worry about it -  you get to work. Do what you are supposed to – become the person you were meant to be.
Our Gold Medal is to get to heaven – to share in the very life of God – let God’s grace invade every part of our lives  -  not an easy path.
We know our disciplines – prayer, Mass, Sacraments, the Bible, acts of charity, acts of mercy, live a moral life.
So, how will my niece do in college? In many ways (not all), it is up to her – study, discipline, keeping good friends, taking care of herself.   The narrow gate.

And how about us?    Stay on that path of faith, of goodness, of holiness, of love, of mercy – the narrow gate that leads to Eternal Life!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wedding - Anthony Buono and Kayleigh Marchetti

The Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony will be exchanged by Anthony Buono and Kayleigh Marchetti on Saturday, August 20 at 1:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Funeral Mass - Diane Ring

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Diane Ring on Saturday, August 20 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Funeral Mass - Genaro Colabatistto

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Genaro Colabatistto on Wednesday, August 17 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Be A Witness!

A couple of nights ago, Simone Manuel became the first African American to win an individual gold medal in swimming. Outstanding! In her interview after the race, she said: “All I can say is – all glory to God . . . I am so blessed to have a gold medal.”
Divers Steele Johnson and David Boudia told NBC – “Our identity is in Christ.”
Simone Biles, the gold medal gymnast, carries a rosary with her to every meet and goes to Mass with her grandparents.
Katie Ledecky, the amazing swimmer, attended Catholic grammar school & HS. She prays before every race, especially the Hail Mary. “My Catholic Faith is very important to me. It always has been and always will be. It is part of who I am and I feel comfortable practicing my faith. It helps me put things in perspective.”
How wonderful that these young people are willing to speak about their faith!
Jeremiah was 13 when he began as a prophet.  At that age, teens usually just want to fit in, get along and have the approval of friends. Jeremiah wanted that too, but he also felt called to speak and live his faith.  Prophet is not a fortune teller but a truth teller. The prophet hears the truth of God and speaks the truth from God. It would have been much easier to tell everyone what they want to hear. But sometimes, one must stand up for the truth.
Arthur Jones was drafted into the Royal Air Force and found himself in a military barracks with 30 other men. He had to face a big decision. Every night he knelt next to his bed to say his prayers. Now what? Should he change because others were watching? He asked himself - Am I going to begin my life away from home by letting other people tell me what I should or should not do?
He decided to kneel. When he finished, he was aware that everyone had seen him. And when he made the sign of the cross, everyone knew he was a Catholic.
As it turned out, he was the only Catholic in the barracks. Yet he continued to kneel, night after night. Those 10 minutes on his knees led to hours of discussions.
On the last day of boot camp, someone told him “You are the finest Christian I ever met.” “Well, I might be the most public Christian you have met, But I don’t think I am the finest. Still, I thank you for your words.”

So, just like the Olympic athletes, the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that each of us are running a race. We are being cheered on by a great cloud of witnesses. We are not alone! So, let us keep running our race, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus!