December 23, 2012 – FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

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December 23, 2012

 FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

 “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

                                                                  

MERRY CHRISTMAS! This greeting really says it all. First there was Mary, who had to be the happiest person since she knew the perfect joy of doing God’s will.  

 Then there was Christ, the Messiah in Hebrew, which means God’s Anointed One.  From the Divine Glory of God and from the Immaculate Heart of Mary comes to us Jesus, the baby who is truly the Son of God and the son of Mary- the son ofMan.

      Mary – Christ –Mass.  The Mass of Christ is where we have received the word “Christmas,” but I am not sure about the word Merry, if there is any connection with Mary, but I would be surprised if there is no connection.

      Jesus Christ and his “new and eternal covenant” that he gifted to us at his Last Supper is the reason for the season which is why we say “Merry Christmas”.  Christ was born inBethlehemwhich means “house of bread.”  He was laid upon the wood of the manger where animals eat, in order that we, sinners though we are, might be fed by his divine love and life which he freely laid down upon the wood of the cross for our salvation.

      That is why the night before giving us the tremendous gift of offering his life upon the cross, Christ celebrated the Last Supper and the first Mass with his Twelve chosen apostles and commanded them, “Do this in memory of me.”

      The Mass is the “new and eternal covenant” by which Christ sustains us on pilgrimage to God the Father, every Sunday and Holy Day of obligation.

    Blessed John Paul II, our former Pope of happy memory, writes this about Jesus’ relationship to his Father. “Only the Son makes the Father known – the visible Son makes us see the Father Who is invisible. ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father.’”

      Blessed John Paul II prepared the world for the new Christian millennium.  He wrote in his encyclical letter, As the Third Millennium Draws Near: “The whole Christian life is like a great pilgrimage to the house of the Father, whose unconditional love for every human creature and in particular for the ‘Prodigal Son’, we discover anew each day.”

      This unconditional, saving love of God is a gift that is found completely in Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church.  It is for this reason we strive to follow his words proclaimed at Mass and made flesh in the sacraments.  This unconditional love and grace saves us when we respond to it with faith, hope and love.  For this reason we are called to pray to our heavenly Father every day with the inspiration of Jesus, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day, our daily bread…”

     What are we saying?  God is “our Father” and so we are brothers and sisters who need to help one another on this journey to the Father’s heavenly home with both our material and spiritual resources.  If we share in his divine life and grace, and suffer when called upon to manifest sacrificial love for God and others, we are assured a share in his everlasting joy and glory. 

Mary, the Immaculate Conception, pray for us!

 Merry Christmas!

Fr. Thomas McCabe

 

December 16, 2012 – THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

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December 16, 2012 

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT 

“I am baptizing you with water,

but one mightier than I is coming.”                                               

 The public prayers of the Church consist of the Liturgy of the Mass, the celebration of the other sacraments and also the Liturgy of the Hours. All bishops, priests and deacons and religious brothers and sisters are called to pray the Liturgy of the Hours faithfully. The Liturgy of the Hours are moments of prayer to sanctify the whole day and to help nourish the laity in their work within the world. As a secular or diocesan priest, I am called to pray the Divine Office, Morning Prayer, Daytime Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer.  Include the Mass and the Rosary (which is considered a private devotion), I pray about two and a half hours a day.  Some religious brothers and sisters chant these prayers in church and have other hours of prayer which may equal seven to eight hours a day.

                Starting on December 17th, a series of antiphons (a refrain before and after prayer) are added to Vespers (Evening Prayer) after the Magnificat (Mary’s Canticle – “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior…”).  To pray these “O Antiphons” would be a wonderful way to prepare a family for Christmas.  Please feel free to cut these out and lay them near the table if you want to pray them before meal times, or whenever.

Antiphon for December 17th – O WISDOM, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care.  Come and show your people the way to salvation.

Antiphon for December 18th – O SACRED LORD of ancientIsrael, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law onSinaiMountain: come; stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.

Antiphon for December 19th – O FLOWER of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you.  Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.

Antiphon for December 20th – O KEY of David, O Royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of heaven: come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.

Antiphon for December 21st – O RADIANT Dawn, Splendor of Eternal Light, Sun of Justice: come, shine on those who dwell in the darkness and the shadow of death.

Antiphon for December 22nd – O KING of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.

Antiphon for December 23rd – O EMMANUEL, King and Lawgiver, Desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.      

I hope you enjoy this opportunity to prepare your hearts, minds and souls for this ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD, JESUS CHRIST!  AND HIS GLORIOUS RETURN! 

A blessed Advent of preparation,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

December 9, 2012 – SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

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December 9, 2012 

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT  

A voice of one crying out in the desert:

                          “Prepare the way of the Lord.”                                                               

                                     God inspired His Church to organize the year into Liturgical Seasons to help us understand Jesus’ plan of  salvation.  The Advent Season and Christmas Season are more holy than Ordinary Time, because we prepare for and celebrate Jesus’ birth, but also prepare for Jesus’ second coming – the day of Universal Judgment: “He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead and his Kingdom will have no end.”   

    Jesus warned his disciples to pray daily, to worship together weekly and to live Christian lives of study, service and sharing of the Gospel in order to be ready for death and Jesus’ glorious coming, whichever comes first.  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every weekend encapsulates our lives as Christian disciples.  At Mass we celebrate our Christian life received at Baptism of which is being born anew on the altar to cleanse venial sins and strengthen us for our Particular Judgment at our death.  For this reason every Sunday is “The Lord’s Day”, a sacred day of solemn obligation. 

    The Advent Season is a gift from God to heighten our awareness of Jesus’ call to be “perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48).  Thus, the Church gives more opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession.  We want all our parishioners to have a joyful expectation of Jesus’ second coming when God’s faithful will be rewarded with God’s infinite beauty, goodness and truth.   

     I recommend going to Confession monthly as a family, but especially during Seasons of Advent and Lent.  To celebrate Confession in a worthy manner, follow these five steps of trusting love:

1. Diligently examine your conscience in the light of the Word of God, in particular the Ten Commandments and the moral catechesis of the Gospels, especially the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5-7.

2.  Confess your sins, especially the kind and number of mortal sins, to a validly ordained priest with sincere contrition and firm intention not to sin again.  Sin is the greatest of all evils – it blocks and/or totally forfeits God’s love and protection: “All mortal sins of which penitents, after a diligent self-examination, are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue (Ten Commandments – coveting thy neighbor’s spouse and goods); for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly…”  CCC #1456. 

3.  Receive the penance with a grateful heart and a firm intention to fulfill it.

4.  Receive the priest’s prayer of Absolution that assures you that all sins confessed, and even those unintentionally forgotten, have been wiped away that God’s grace might grow in your body and soul.

5.  Thank God and the priest, and be a living member of the faith community that supports God’s healing love and truth.  Do this by living deeply the Catholic Christian faith of which the Mass is the “source and summit.”         

          Baptism should lead us to Confession and the Sunday Eucharist, as we read in St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews: “Let us hold unswervingly to our profession which gives us hope, for he who made the promise [of salvation] deserves our trust… We should not absent ourselves from the assembly [congregation], as some do, but encourage one another;… If we sin willfully [mortal sin without repentance] after receiving the truth, there remains for us no further sacrifice for sin – only a fearful expectation of judgment and a flaming fire to consume the adversaries of God… Do you not suppose that a much worse punishment is due the man who disdains the Son of God,…”  (Heb. 10:23-31)

     Thank God for another Advent Season to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus at his birth, in the Eucharist, and in his power and glory on the Last Day.

Advent Peace and Joy,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

 

 

December 2, 2012 – FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

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December 2, 2012

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

          Jesus Christ, as Divine Head of the Catholic Church, has inspired the visible head of his Church, Pope Benedict XVI to proclaim the Year of Faith.  It began on October 11, 2012, the 50th Anniversary of  the beginning of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), as well as the 20th Anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

     The Year of Faith is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” ( Porta Fidei 6).  It is an opportunity for Catholics to pray for a deepening conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ and to pray for the conversion of hardened and violent sinners who have lost true faith in the God of life and eternal salvation.

     The Year of Faith will inspire and challenge us to put God’s priorities, his warm love and illuminating truth, before all else in order that we might fulfill his plan of redemption found perfectly in Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe.  The closing of the Year of Faith will be November 24, 2013 on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

     Our beloved Pope, Benedict XVI, wrote an Apostolic Letter entitled Porta Fidei which is Latin for “The door of faith” which is a reference to the Book of the Acts of the Apostles found in the New Testament to indicate the Holy Spirit’s call to live deeply this Year of Faith.

“The ‘door of faith’ (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church.  It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace.  To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime.  It begins with baptism (cf. Rom. 6:4), through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory (cf. Jn. 17:22).  To profess faith in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is to believe in one God who is love.”

     In order to take advantage of the Lord’s favors during this Year of Faith, the members of our Parish Pastoral Council support this year’s mission statement: “Family and Friends Fully Alive in Jesus Christ.”  They will advise me and explore with me ways to help increase the growth of faith and membership of our faith community.  We have looked at what contributes to the growth of faith individually and communally, and in searching Sacred Scripture and hearing about the lives of the Saints, we believe that there are 5 Essential Responses that we need to continue to understand, promote and live more deeply:

  1. Daily Prayer: (Individual and family) To listen and speak to God and one another in love.
  2. Weekly Worship: To gather as a community to celebrate the Word of God and his Sacraments.
  3. Christian Service: To serve the dignity of every human being in the light of faith and salvation.
  4. Discipleship: To regularly study the faith as a student follower of Jesus and his Catholic Church.
  5. Welcoming and Evangelization (W/E): To ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in sharing our faith and life with family, friends and others around us.

     The Year of Faith corresponds with our St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese effort to enliven the faith through the Rediscover initiative.  All those who are interested to learn more are invited to an inspirational gathering at theCrusaderCivicCenter on Tuesday, December 4 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. 

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ,

-Fr. Thomas McCabe

November 25, 2012 – Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

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November 25, 2012 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe 

“Everyone who belongs to the truth

listens to my voice.”

  In the month of November we remember the many blessings God has given to us.  We give God thanks and seek to help those who are poor materially by giving to our local food shelf.  We also help those who are poor spiritually by praying for the “poor souls in purgatory”.  Although we are called to give of ourselves and our talents completely to God for the salvation of souls, only some will love God perfectly to give everything and even die as martyrs and thus be brought immediately to heaven.

  The majority of us will have to be purified in purgatory after our death because of our attachment to earthly things at the expense of our relationship to Jesus Christ and those who are materially or spiritually poor.

   The Catechism of the Catholic Church (par. #1030) states: “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven.”

     “The Church gives the name ‘Purgatory’ to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned …As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is purifying fire.  He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. (Mt 12, 32)  From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.”  (Cat. #1031)

   Fortunately, those who follow Christ on earth can help the suffering faithful who are in purgatory.  The following is a Summary of Norms for Gaining Indulgences for the poor souls in Purgatory or for oneself (Pope Paul VI, Jan. 1967).  A plenary indulgence is a complete release from the temporal punishment due for sins already forgiven (as far as their guilt is concerned, assuredly through the Sacrament of Confession).  A partial indulgence is always gained when this is practiced imperfectly or incompletely.

   Conditions for a plenary indulgence: A) One must be baptized and in the state of grace. B) One must receive Holy Communion each time a plenary indulgence is sought. C) One must go to Confession within a two week period.   A single sacramental confession suffices for gaining one plenary indulgence each day for that two week period (*starting with a good confession is recommended).  D) One must have a disposition of mind and heart which totally excludes all attachment to sin, even venial sin (this is the most challenging part), otherwise he can gain only a partial indulgence. E) One must pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, the Pope, preferably one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary,” however, any other pious prayer may be substituted.  F) One must have a least a general intention to gain a plenary indulgence.  G) One must also fulfill one of the following suggested spiritual works: At least a half hour of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; or a family or group Rosary; a private Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament; a half hour of pious reading of the Sacred Scripture (Bible); walking the Stations of the Cross in a church or with a properly erected display.

   You can apply this indulgence to yourself or to someone who has died.  Also, ask that person to pray for you and your intentions.  In this manner we share in the mercy of Christ who is Lord of the living and the dead.  Let us recall what Jesus said to St. Peter, our first Pope, when he gave him the keys to theKingdomofHeaven, “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will loosed in Heaven.” Mt 16, 19.

Peace in Christ the King and Divine Head of the Catholic Church,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

November 18, 2012 – November 18, 2012

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November 18, 2012

 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 “Heaven and earth will pass away,

but my words will not pass away.”

 

                Pope Paul VI wrote about the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.  He refers to the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 6, which talks about Jesus’ mission given to the Twelve.  “He said to them, …’Whatever place that does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.’  So they went off and preached repentance.  They …anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” (Mk.6:6b-13)

                Jesus’ ministry continues today because his words have a lasting power which the Church receives and embodies in faith.  In the early Church, about 30 years after Jesus was crucified, St. James wrote: “Is anyone among you sick?  He should summon the priests of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up.  If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.  Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:13-16)

                The “General Introduction” of the ritual and prayers of this sacrament sheds light upon this divine gift.  “In the anointing of the sick, which includes the prayer of faith, faith itself is manifested.  Above all, faith must be made actual both in the minister of the sacrament and, even more importantly, in the recipient. The sick person will be saved by personal faith and the faith of the Church, which looks back to the death and resurrection of Christ, the source of the sacrament’s power and looks ahead to the future kingdom that is pledged in the sacraments.” (Par. 7)

                “…Great care and concern should be taken to see that those of the faithful whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age receive this sacrament.”  “A sick person may be anointed before surgery whenever a serious illness is the reason for the surgery. (Par. 10)   “Elderly people may be anointed if they have become notably weakened, even though no serious illness is present.” (Par. 11) “Sick children are to be anointed if they have sufficient use of reason to be strengthened by this sacrament.  In a case of doubt…, the sacrament is to be conferred.” (Para. 12) “When a priest has been called to attend those who are already dead, he should not administer the sacrament of anointing.  Instead he should pray for them.  …But if the priest is doubtful…he should confer the sacrament, using the rite given in No. 269.  The anointing of the sick is not to be conferred on anyone who remains obdurately in open and serious sin.” (Par. 15)

                “For special cases, when sudden illness or some other cause has unexpectedly placed one of the faithful in proximate danger of death, a continuous rite is provided by which the sick person may be given the sacrament of penance, anointing, and the Eucharist as viaticum in a single celebration.

                If death is imminent and there is not enough time to celebrate the three sacraments in the manner already described, the sick person should be given an opportunity to make a sacramental confession, even if it has to be a generic confession.  After this the person should be given viaticum, since all the faithful are bound to receive this sacrament if they are in danger of death.  Then, if there is sufficient time, the sick person should be anointed.  The sick person who, because of the nature of the illness, cannot receive communion should be anointed.” (Par. 30)

                On Wednesday, November 21, I will have confessions from 9:30-10:50 AM, with an Anointing Mass at 11:00 AM at the Villages.

Sincerely,

Fr. McCabe

 

November 11, 2012 – 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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November 11, 2012 

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 

“For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty has contributed all she had…”

The Widow’s Mite: a story of a person filled with faith and love for God and his mission of  salvation!  We can bless the Lord by giving to hisLivingTemple-the Church-of our time, talent and treasure for the mission of his saving love and truth.  When we bless the Lord, we in turn are blessed by God through his ministers and one another.

     The Widow in today’s gospel points to the trust we should have in Divine Providence.  God will provide for those who give themselves to His plan of salvation.  It is obvious that Jesus commends the Widow in her total reliance on God, despite what some commentators have written.  That is why we also read in the today’s first reading about the widow of Zarephath who trusted the words spoken by God’s prophet Elijah. 

     The widow of Zarephath put her trust in the Lord God and helped feed the prophet her last bit of food, thus opening herself to God’s providential care and blessing.  She was the recipient of God’s blessing and miraculously her jar of flour and jug of oil remained full for herself and her son, and the prophet Elijah who lived nearby her.  In fact, if we read the rest of the story, Elijah seems to have built a little apartment on top of her roof, which was the custom of the time in a compact village of little apartments.

     At one point the widow’s son became deathly ill and the widow gets upset with Elijah because it seems she doubts his God given mission.  Elijah takes the boy who has stopped breathing and revives him back to life with this prayer:  “O Lord, my God, let the life breath return to the body of this child.”  The Lord heard the prayer of Elijah; the life breath returned to the child’s body and he revived…The widow responds, “Now indeed I know that you are a man of God.”  See 1 Kings, 17:17-24.  

     The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about blessings as a sacramental: “Among sacramentals, blessings (of persons, meals, objects, and places) come first. Every blessing praises God and prays for his gifts.  In Christ, Christians are blessed by God the Father ‘with every spiritual blessing’.  This is why the Church imparts blessings by invoking the name of Jesus, usually while making the holy sign of the cross of Christ.”  CCC #1671

     The widow in today’s Gospel, and the widow from Zarephath found in the Book of Kings both go unnamed.  However, they are not anonymous to God, and their sacrificial giving lives on in the hearts of God’s people everywhere who give themselves over to God and his mission of salvation. 

     Let us give ourselves to God by blessing those who are living, and our deceased loved ones especially during this month of November, by giving of our time, talent and treasure to Jesus who is the Divine Head of the Church.

Blessings upon you and yours,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

 

November 4, 2012 – 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

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November 4, 2012 

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time  

“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”                                                                

   The key to entering into the House of God the Father for all eternity is to have the fullness of faith, which is expressed in the love found perfectly in Jesus Christ for his Mother, Mary.

        “Someone asked Jesus, ‘Lord, will only a few people be saved?’  He answered, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.  After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’

    “He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’  And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’  Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.  Depart from me, all you evildoers!’  And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in thekingdomofGodand you yourselves cast out….”  Lk. 13:23-28  

     Thank God we know where we come from!  We know that we come from a father and a mother.  We know the 4th Commandment – “Honor your Father and your Mother” – by living the truth that God is the source of family life, which is the basis of understanding the natural law.  On a supernatural level we also know that God is our Heavenly Father and throughHoly MotherChurch we have been baptized into Jesus Christ and have become adopted members of the family of God.

     As Catholic Christians we have a moral duty to help people understand and live out these two levels of reality.  The first level is the natural law, by which through reason alone we can know that God is the Creator of the basic building block of society – the family – which is made up of one man and one woman married for the potential birthing and educating of children in God’s truth and love. 

     This fundamental respect for God and his natural law allows for divine grace – God’s supernatural life – to build upon our human nature to raise us up to the supernatural destiny that God calls each human being to.  God calls us to be saved through the repentance of our sins and a “striving strongly” to enter through the narrow door of the Father’s House with a love that embraces Jesus and Mary, his Mother.

     Jesus says that some will appeal to the fact that they ate and drank with him at his table, like the table of the Eucharist, but since they did not believe in the basic natural law and refuse to support the self-evident natural law, they find themselves – surprisingly to them – to be locked out of heaven.

     As Catholics and citizens of theUnited States, let us make sure to vote with God’s natural law in mind that leads to the “strong love” of the supernatural law of salvation.  To do any less is to place one’s soul in jeopardy of hearing Jesus say, “I do not know where you are from.  Depart from me, all you evildoers!”  Thank God we make our presence known to God every week as we seek his mercy and live out our baptism into Jesus – the Son of God the Father, and the Son of Mary.

Peace,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

 

October 28, 2012 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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October 28, 2012

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Priesthood Sunday

National World Youth Day 

“Go your way; your faith has saved you.”

During this month of October, designated as Respect Life month, we want to recognize the beauty of every human life, especially the unborn and the poor.  We                  celebrated the feast day of St. Francis ofAssision October 4. St. Francis had a deep love for God and every person.  He knew that every person had a need for God’s saving grace.  He also knew that God’s order of creation was basically good, but disordered by Original Sin. 

Thus, St. Francis followed Jesus’ life of prayer and penance for the salvation of souls, offering up his trials, praise and sufferings as he grew in holiness.  He understood well that God’s “saving grace” builds on God’s order of creation.  He wrote the following poem, his final one, in the spring of 1224 AD.

Canticle of the Sun                                                                                                                                                                               Most

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.                                                                                                                                           To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.                                                                                                                                                                     Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.                                                                                                                                                     Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and beautiful.                                                                                                                                               Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which you give your creatures sustenance.                                                                                                                                 Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.                                                                                                                                               Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.                                                                                                                                                 Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.                                                                                                                                                     Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you;
through those who endure sickness and trial.                                                                                                                                         Happy those who endure in peace,
for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.                                                                                                                                                       Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.                                                                                                                                        Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks,
and serve him with great humility.

 

May we do our part to acknowledge God’s order of creation, his natural law, and continue to protect and restore this order of creation with the help of God’s supernatural grace found assuredly in Jesus’ seven sacraments.

Peace,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

October 21, 2012 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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October 21, 2012 

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

WORLDMISSIONSUNDAY

 

“Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.” 

 “Jesus came forward and addressed them in these words: ‘Full authority has been given to me…; go, therefore and make disciples of all nations.  Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you.  And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!” (Gospel of Matthew, 28:18-20)

     This last statement of Jesus at the very end of the Gospel of St. Matthew is the beginning of our call to receive God’s love given to us through Jesus in his Church beginning with Baptism.  We are then called to return God’s love by worshipping him in the Sacraments and serving others for His glory – that is our mission. 

     The late Pope John Paul II had reminded us that every Catholic has the “privilege”, “grace” and “obligation” to take part in the global effort for evangelization.  Through our prayers, our personal and financial sacrifices, through the Propagation of the Faith, we affect the lives and faith of people throughout the world.

Fact: St. Therese of Lisieux, the “Little Flower” who is depicted in our statue in the back of church, never went to the “missions” but she offered up her crosses to God, both physical and psychological, in order to obtain blessings of faith for those who did not know Christ.  She is the patroness of the missions, with St. Francis Xavier as patron.

Fact: Catholics now number about 1.3 billion people, about 19% of the world’s population.  To reach the other 7 billion with the Good News of Jesus Christ – the one Savior of the world- the missionary task must be a shared responsibility by each one of us.

Fact: The Propagation of the Faith was founded 189 years ago.  Its first support in 1822 was divided equally for missions inChina and the young Church here in theUnited States (Louisiana andKentucky).

     Your contribution to World Mission Sunday, this weekend of October 20 and 21 is helping the Propagation of the Faith – the Church’s central means and organization of support for the missions – to proclaim the love, compassion and truth of Jesus’ saving grace found in the sacraments.  The Word of God became flesh in the womb of Mary and made his dwelling among us.  The Son of God is now the son of Mary made flesh in the Eucharist to sustain life and bring eternal life to all those who believe, “And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!” Mt 28:20.

     As baptized disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ and his Church, let us rejoice in this call to know God’s infinite love and salvation in Jesus Christ, and pass on the Good News by serving others – for this is the call of evangelization.

Peace,

Fr. Thomas McCabe