The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Two years ago, Saint Rose of Lima Church was broken into from the downstairs. Early on a Monday morning at about 5:00 am I was informed by George Dimick, our groundskeeper, to come over to the church to check things out.  Several doors were busted down, as if the robber was trying to find something specific, but nothing seemed to be taken, other than a dozen eggs from the downstairs refrigerator. Of all things weird, it was obvious that the robber thought that our Tabernacle was a safe! He had to have worked through the night chiseling away to get into the inside of the Tabernacle! Once the Tabernacle was opened, the robber must have realized what he had done, for he actually tried fitting everything back together (an impossible task for anyone other than John D’etcheverry).

In reality, it is our safe, and it does hold our most treasured person, it holds the very Body of Jesus Christ — the actual Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ!

As your pastor, there is no greater feeling than to restore the Body of Christ to the Tabernacle following Mass at the Easter Vigil! The Tabernacle is emptied prior to the start of the Holy Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil). I know this building is where the Church gathers (brothers and sisters of Christ), and that is why they call it a church, but in reality, without the bodily presence of Jesus, it would feel just like a building. It simply feels sacred and holy to me, and I know from the depth of my existence how important that is to me, and you!

I would like to end this week’s sermon with a little joke written by Deacon Tom Sheridan:  

Recently at Mass, the gruff pastor’s homily was just four minutes long, a fraction of his usual ramblings. Why? “I regret to inform the congregation,” he explained from the pulpit, “that my dog, which is very fond of eating paper, ate that portion of my sermon which I was unable to deliver this morning.” Following Mass, a visitor from another parish shook hands with the pastor and said, “Father, if that dog of yours ever has any pups, I want one to get one for my priest.”

Readings for Sunday, June 6, 2021

Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said,

How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David?

David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said:

The Lord said to my lord,
‘Sit at my right hand
until I place your enemies under your feet.’

David himself calls him ‘lord’;
so how is he his son?

The great crowd heard this with delight.

The peace of the Lord be with you.

Here is  another one of those readings that has a intention or meaning that is very hard to discern without a commentary. The footnotes related to this reading indicate that Jesus is reminding the people about his nature of being fully divine and fully human. This is important because it reminds those around him that God is not distant and far away he is dwelling in their midst. It is also important for those of us who share in Jesus humanity. By the word becoming incarnate by the divine uniting fully with the human it elevates the already inherent dignity of the human person is even more deeply. We are called to see in our selves and others the likeness of God himself. That my brothers and sisters is a true reason for celebration.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Friday, June 4, 2021

Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs

The peace of the Lord be with you.

He is not the God of the dead but of the living…

Once again in the face of challenges Jesus takes an opportunity to clarify who God is and what God does. God gives life and is the source sustenance for all creation. Anything that is contrary to these two points is not from God.

Jesus understands how hard this can be for us to grasp and how we can get caught up in a lot of details that offer nothing more than confusion. Please note that Jesus does get upset with these people in the scriptures today — he simply lets them know that they have been misled and urges them to reconsider their viewpoints. As this day unfolds may we experience the love God is pouring out on us that we may have life abundantly.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

In our first reading from Deuteronomy, the people Israel have come to the end of their forty-year journey. They find themselves at the river’s edge of the Jordan River. Moses gives them a stern warning that the Promised Land is filled with many temptations and false worship of pagan gods. If the people remain faithful — as the God of Israel has been for them — then not only will their future be safe, but it will also be prosperous. We know the outcome.

In our own country, we have been given so much, and yet there are so many temptations to turn away from worship of the One True God. I’m sure you’ve heard the joke about Father O’Malley…

Father O’Malley answers the phone.

“Hello, is this Father O’Malley?” a woman’s voice says.

“It is,” he replies.

“This is the IRS. Can you help us?”

“I can”.

“Do you know Ted Houlihan?”

“I do.”

“Is he a member of your parish?”

“He is”.

“Did he donate $10,000 to the church?”

“He will.”

Yes, this is Trinity Sunday, and no I can’t fully explain this great mystery of our faith. I do, however, believe in the most important part. In today’s Gospel from Matthew, we see that the early church understood the baptismal formula that Jesus used, by stating go forth and baptize In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The early church understood that God continues to be with them, just as he was for the Israelites as they began a whole new life in the promised land.

God remains faithful, even when do not.

This is also Memorial Day Weekend, let us please pause in silence in honor of all of our men and women who laid down their lives for all of our freedoms, including our practice of religion and for the dignity of the human person.

Readings for Sunday, May 30, 2021

Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Now will I recall God’s works;
    what I have seen, I will describe.
At God’s word were his works brought into being;
    they do his will as he has ordained for them.
As the rising sun is clear to all,
    so the glory of the LORD fills all his works;
Yet even God’s holy ones must fail
    in recounting the wonders of the LORD,
Though God has given these, his hosts, the strength
    to stand firm before his glory.
He plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart;
    their innermost being he understands.
The Most High possesses all knowledge,
    and sees from of old the things that are to come:
He makes known the past and the future,
    and reveals the deepest secrets.
No understanding does he lack;
    no single thing escapes him.
Perennial is his almighty wisdom;
    he is from all eternity one and the same,
With nothing added, nothing taken away;
    no need of a counselor for him!
How beautiful are all his works!
    even to the spark and fleeting vision!
The universe lives and abides forever;
    to meet each need, each creature is preserved.
All of them differ, one from another,
    yet none of them has he made in vain,
For each in turn, as it comes, is good;
    can one ever see enough of their splendor?

Most glorious and blessed Father we thank you for these inspired words that remind us of the wonders of your love for all you have created. We thank you for your tender and loving care that accompanies us without ceasing. We thank you for the knowledge that helps us to appreciate the wonder which surrounds and invites us to be co-creators with you. With all you have given, help us to approach this new day with humility, generosity, and a desire to be ambassadors of your goodness to all we shall meet today.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Thursday, May 27, 2021

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest

The peace of the Lord be with you.

I once saw a quote attributed to Thomas Merton that went something like this:

We spend our lives climbing the ladder of success only to find as we reach the top that it is leaning against the wrong wall.

The dialogue that Jesus has with his disciples today says much the same thing. Our idea of greatness often gets clouded by how society measures success. Jesus says that true greatness comes from being a servant to others — not amassing wealth, power, or authority. There is nothing wrong with these material and earthly things, provided we recognize who gives us these gifts and offer thanks to God for His generosity.

As we begin this new day may we humbly and lovingly approach God to ask how He wants us to use these resources today.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Peter began to say to Jesus,

We have given up everything and followed you.

Jesus said,

Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.

The peace of the Lord be with you.

Today, Jesus reminds us we can never out give God. The generosity of God far exceeds our ability to give. Just think about all the surrounds us and those things that happen we never have to worry about. The rising and setting of the sun, the changing of the seasons, the microscopic world that we cannot see with the naked eye but that plays a vital role in our well being.That is just the obvious ones. While it is true that we are called to serve, the ways and depth of God’s service to what he has created never stops.

Let us begin today with a grateful heart for all that we have and will receive. Let us bear His likeness by being servants to each other. Let us be mindful that God is love.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

The peace of the Lord be with you.

Over this last weekend we celebrated Pentecost, which is the birth of the Church through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Today, we are introduced to another member of that family of the Church.

Today is the feast of Mary as mother of the Church. Our Old Testament reading today reminds us of the fall of humankind through Adam and Eve because they failed to follow the directions God gave them. Through the actions of Jesus and Mary this breach has been repaired. Through the gift of Baptism we become children of God and are reunited in relationship to God. This was a tremendous act of courage on behalf of Mary who accepted this task without fully understanding where it would lead her or what it would cost.

As we ponder this great mystery let us be mindful of the pivotal role that she plays in salvation history then and now.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Monday, May 24, 2021


Bob Phillips quoted by Martha Bolton:

An optimist who went hunting with a pessimist wanted to show off his new dog. After the first shot, he sent his dog to fetch a duck. The dog ran across the top of the water and brought back the game. The pessimist said nothing.  The dog retrieved the second and the third ducks in the same way — over the water. Still the pessimist did not react. Finally, the optimist could stand it no longer. 

Don’t you see anything unusual about my new dog?

he asked his companion. 

Yes — he can’t swim.

This celebration of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, is the Birthday of our Church! The Holy Spirit is given to us!  What is his purpose? To draw us into the love of God. The Holy Spirit empowers us with special gifts to not only benefit ourselves, but all within the Kingdom of God. By using these gifts, we can accomplish the Will of God.  

Last year, due to coronavirus, I was given the honor by Bishop Libasci, to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation.  As the candidate stated his or her saint’s name, I stated “Be sealed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.” As I looked into the eyes of each candidate, I easily thought of the many Gifts that each individual had from my perspective. What a blessing, it was for me, to simply witness and celebrate!

This week, I challenge you to say to one of your family members, or to a friend, neighbor, or classmate: “I recognize that you have a special gift, a talent, a way about you that really must come from the Holy Spirit! God has truly blessed you, and as a result, us too!

Happy Pentecost everyone!

Happy Birthday!

Readings for Sunday, May 23, 2021

Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved,
the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper
and had said,

Master, who is the one who will betray you?

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus,

Lord, what about him?

Jesus said to him,

What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?  
You follow me.

So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die.
But Jesus had not told him that he would not die,

What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?

It is this disciple who testifies to these things
and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.
There are also many other things that Jesus did,
but if these were to be described individually,
I do not think the whole world would contain the books
that would be written.

The peace of the Lord be with you.

As we read these closing words from the Gospel of John we are reminded that the works that Jesus did while here on earth far exceed what has been outlined here. Through His Church these works continue. Each person who has been baptized is called to be Priest, Prophet, and King in other words to continue the work of Jesus in our place and time. This is the highest form of work we can perform to be ambassadors of Faith, Hope, and Love in His name.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Saturday, May 22, 2021