September 23, 2012 – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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September 23, 2012 

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time  

“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

 What do we believe about God, anyway?  Fortunately we have the gift of divine Wisdom to help us understand that God is the Father and source of all life.  Most especially, we believe that God has directly created you and every human soul with a plan to receive his grace and thus live freely here below and forever with him and all those who believe and live God’s love and truth.

     In today’s Gospel reading Jesus Christ speaks to our hearts of the importance of protecting every human life so that they may grow in God’s grace, love and wisdom.  To make his point he takes a child from among his disciples and places him in their midst and puts his arm around the child and says: “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”  Mk. 9:37.  We are blessed by so many parents, teachers and catechists who have received us in the name of Jesus Christ and have taught us the true faith in love.

     Jesus established his Church on St. Peter and the other Apostles and called them to share in his ministry of teaching about God and his Kingdom of truth and love.  We are called to continual learning of our faith and grow in our effectiveness of sharing it with others, with the guidance of the successors of the Apostles, the Pope and the Bishops of today, and the power of true love found in Christ’s community.

50 years ago, October 11th, 1962, the Pope and the Catholic Bishops united to him, opened the Second Vatican II Council with prayer to the Holy Spirit.  The Pope and the Bishops of every nation met inRome,Vatican City, which is the central location of Christ’s Church, to address the concerns of the Church and the world.

     In the opening Message to Humanity, the Council Fathers issued this: “The Fathers of the Council to All Men:  We take great pleasure in sending to all men and nations a message concerning that well-being, love and peace which were brought into the world by Christ Jesus, the Son of the living God, and entrusted to the Church.

     “For this is the reason why, at the direction of the most blessed Pope John XXIII, we successors of the apostles have gathered here, joined in single hearted prayer with Mary the Mother of Jesus, and forming one apostolic body headed by the successor of Peter.

     “May the Face of Christ Jesus Shine Out:  In this assembly, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we wish to inquire how we ought to renew ourselves, so that we may be found increasingly faithful to the gospel of Christ.”

     This process of renewal continues in our everyday life as individual Christians and as a Church as the Holy Spirit leads us into new insights and new approaches in living out the natural and supernatural law of God’s love and truth for creation and salvation.  Catholic teachers and catechists help in this mission.

20 years ago October  11, 1992, Pope John Paul II approved and promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church which is the norm of helping all pastors, teachers and catechists to summarize and systematically pass on the faith.

     The Catechism begins by quoting the Gospel of John, “Father…this is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Jn 17:3  It also quotes fromSt. Paul’s First Letter to Timothy 2:3-4:  “God our Savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth.”

     As we prepare for the Year of Faith which begins Oct. 11, 2012 to celebrate these two important anniversaries, we want to honor all those teachers and catechists who faithfully taught us about Jesus Christ and his plan of salvation.                                     

Peace,                                                                                                                                

Father Thomas McCabe

 

September 16, 2012- 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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September 16, 2012

Catechetical Sunday

 “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”

                                 What good is faith if it does not have works?  It is dead.

 The fresh beginning of a new school year brings many memories to my mind and heart.  I remember the anticipation of meeting new friends and meeting new teachers.  I remember wondering how much homework I would be getting and if I would make the A Squad in  sports, particularly basketball and football, my two favorite sports.

 One of my favorite teachers in grade school was Mr. Campbell.  He had served in the army and had a picture of himself as a thin, worn soldier who was willing to put his life on the line to defend his country.  He was one of the blessed ones that survived WWII and I was deeply impressed by that.  He said that it was God who kept him safe, and that “there were no atheists in fox holes.”

 I had to ask him about that word “atheists”, and what that phrase meant.  He told me that when people who do not believe in God confront death, they begin to realize the great gift of life that comes from God and they hope they survive the war, and if killed, that God will be bring them to heaven.

 I remember being amazed at the fact that some people are “atheists”.  I was amazed that they could not see the beauty of God’s gift of life. I remember God’s many gifts:  the birth of a child on a summer day – my little brother Matthew being brought home by my smiling parents and his baptism; the blowing snow while sipping hot chocolate with my brothers and sisters near the fire place in our living room; the sign of peace at Mass and the reception of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and praying for my family and friends; helping my mom deliver meals on wheels; all pointing to God and the fact that without good works, faith is dead, which we read in the Letter of St. James 2:17.

 Mr. Campbell was a very jovial, relaxed teacher, but he still was a teacher who had expectations.  In one class, he saw that we were not taking him and our studies seriously and the following day he gave us a pop quiz on the subject of English.  I was given a wake-up call when I saw that I had received a big red “F” on my paper.  From that moment I realized that I had better pay attention as a student, and count my blessings that I had such an opportunity in this country to succeed.  Responsibility took on new meaning.  I had to work at meriting a passing grade.

In a different class, we were assigned to make a design by using a protractor.  I made three curving hills and it dawned on me to put a cross on each hill with the largest in the center.  I made a large sun with radiating lines and then wrote, SON OF GOD, all in straight lines.  It was a moment of inspiration, but when it was returned to me with an “F” on it. I was stunned.

Of course, in the public school I could mention God only in some classes.  My teacher said that I had failed because I did not follow the instructions closely enough since I had made words.  It did not matter if they were all straight lines; the assignment was only to be a design made by the protractor.  I tried to explain that I only used the protractor.  My teacher finally showed mercy and gave me a “C” but did not allow it to be displayed among the other students’ designs.

 At ourHolyCrossCatholicSchoolyou can find our students giving God glory through their service projects and using Bible verses in their art work, in their singing, in their science projects; all of which helps us to keep God in our hearts and minds as the greatest Artist and Author of life, peace and salvation.  Thank you for all your support of ourHolyCrossCatholicSchool. 

 Peace,

Father Thomas McCabe

September 9, 2012-23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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September 9, 2012 

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

GRANDPARENT’S DAY 

“He has done all things well. 

He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

The Church throughout the centuries has always been a place of worship and celebration,  a place of great mourning for our sins and the sins of others, as well as a place for forgiveness, mercy and jubilation for sins  forgiven.  At the center of our faith is the Cross.  The Cross made holy by Jesus’ sacrificial love. We celebrate the Feast of the Holy Cross on Friday, September 14, 8:00 AM Mass here (also, 8:15 AM Mass at Holy Cross School).  Jesus often speaks to his disciples in paradox, “If you want to save your life, you must be willing to die for me and the Gospel.”       

Saul persecuted the first Christians until Jesus visited him in a blinding light, knocking him to the ground.  “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”  Only after Saul was confronted with his sin was he able to repent from his blindness of heart.  He regained his sight after being prayed over by the Christian Ananias, who immediately baptized him into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus knows that we will be persecuted when we stand up for the truth of God, but allows this because the suffering we endure for and with him will be used to convert the hearts of many people.  Saul becameSt. Pauland was able to write the Christians atCorinth, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” -1 Cor. 1:18

St. Paul continues, “When I came to you, brothers, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or wisdom.  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified…and my proclamations were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

 “Yet we do speak a wisdom to those who are mature, but not a wisdom of this age, nor the rulers of this age who are passing away.  Rather, we speak of God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory…” –1 Cor. 2:1-7.

St. Paul also reminds them of their role: “According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it.  But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ.  If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, the work of each will come to light, for the ‘Day’ will disclose it.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each one’s work…” -1 Cor. 3:10-13. With fervent love for God and neighbor, let us fulfill our Christian duties and amass the treasures that will withstand the fire.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Thomas McCabe

September 2, 2012 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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September 2, 2012 

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time   

“This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.”                                                                                               

     Jesus is the Perfect Teacher who inspires us to pass on the Catholic Christian faith.  Fathers James, John and I are excited about starting another school year at theCatholicEducationCenter, which houses both ourHolyCrossCatholicSchooland Religious Education Program.  Jesus is at the heart of both of these institutions.

     Fr. James and I, along with our Principal Lisa Reichelt and our part time Director of Religious Education Kathy Chlan (pronounced “kline”) were able to meet with our school teachers and some of our catechists to offer our thanks and encouragement as we prepare for another great year of passing on the faith.   This time of orientation for our teachers, catechists and ourselves, gave us an opportunity to get to know one another and share our faith in Jesus, as well as their desire to pass on this faith to our students.

     All of us are looking forward to collaborating with the parents of our students in order to grow in our Catholic faith, the fullness of faith, which includes hope and love.  Divine faith, hope and love are the three theological virtues that we receive at our Baptism and of which we need to nurture and maintain until our death in order to be received into heaven. 

     I think most Christians are aware of God’s infinite love for them and how their faith is a gift from God, the Father of lights, “with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change,” of whom we hear about in today’s second reading from the Letter of St. James.  I think most Christians believe the following statement from the same sacred letter:   “Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.”  This is God’s sanctifying grace that makes our soul open to God.

     The divine word was “planted” in us.  This is such a beautiful beginning of our faith, when our parents in collaboration with the priest, or deacon or even bishop, said “Yes” for us at our Baptism when indeed, through the power of Jesus as head of his Church, the minister of Baptism planted these three spiritual seeds within our soul: divine faith, hope and love.

     However, this is only the beginning.  St. James goes on to explain that we need to live out this word of faith; that it must mature along with the person in order to be the source of salvation.  St. James is inspired to write: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.  Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

     In today’s Gospel according to St. Mark, we read how Jesus had preached: “You disregard God’s commandments but cling to human tradition….Hear me, all of you…From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.   All these evils come from within and they defile.”

      This list of objectively mortal sins “defiles” a person, and without true repentance a person in this state of sin would not be admitted into heaven.  But what about “deceit”, does that mean any lie is a mortal sin that kills God’s sanctifying grace within us?  No, unless it is a lie with regard to serious matter which would put a person in physical or spiritual danger.  What about the sin of “arrogance”( which means arrogating to oneself authority one does not have)?

     Unfortunately, there have been a few renegade priests, ministers and lay people who disregard Jesus’ teachings on some serious moral matters, and although they might not commit the sin, they give their approval for others to do so.  They will be forever “defiled” unless they repent and let Jesus and his Church be recognized as the authority of salvation.

     God is the ultimate author of the Word of God, the correct translation of the Bible, and Jesus is his Perfect Teacher who inspires us to stay close to his word of divine faith, hope and love found substantially in his Catholic Church.

Peace,   Fr. Thomas McCabe

August 12, 2012 – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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August 12, 2012

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 “I am the Living Bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

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                  Why do things happen the way they do? Was I predestined to be here in this time and place?  Is there such a thing as “predestination”?  Predestination of people and events is a profound mystery of our faith.

                                     We believe God sees and knows all, and to the extent that we share in his life we begin to increase our knowledge, even fore-knowledge, but never reach God’s perfect knowledge.  Only God knows all the options and tendencies of people’s choices.        

     Predestination is caught up in cause and effect, the nature of God’s creation and his plan of salvation.  For example, If I eat well and exercise, I will be healthier than if I do not.  If I pray, fast, give alms to the poor and study the Catholic Christian faith I will grow spiritually.

     As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, no one is predestined to hell, but it is up to us to choose to follow Jesus into heaven.  Only one human person always chose to say “Yes” to God perfectly.

     The greatest human person and predestined event is the Blessed Virgin Mary and her assumption body and soul into heaven.  God called Mary to share everything with her divine Son, who chose her to be his Mother.  He did this so that we could share in God’s divine life of grace and salvific service to mankind by uniting ourselves to Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, as Mary did by saying “Yes” to God’s will.

     We therefore celebrate the feast of the Assumption of Mary, August 15, by recalling how Mary’s predestination is the destination of all who follow the faith of her divine Son, Jesus Christ in his Church.

     Although Mary’s Assumption was held by early Christians, it was not until November 1, 1950 that Pope Pius XII defined this doctrine as a dogma which must be held by every Catholic as a central and thus pivotal doctrine of divine faith.  We believe this dogma because God has revealed it for the purpose of having us reflect on the destiny to which God calls each person.  Our souls and our bodies are created to be temples of the Holy Spirit, just as Mary’s still is and perfectly so in heaven.

     From the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII we read: “In their homilies and sermons on this feast the fathers [of the Church, those early Catholic Christian Bishops] and great doctors spoke of the assumption of the Mother of God as something already familiar and accepted by the faithful… Scripture portrays the loving Mother of God, …as most intimately united with her divine Son, and always sharing in this destiny…Hence, the august Mother of God, mysteriously united from all eternity with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a virgin inviolate in her divine motherhood, the whole hearted companion of the divine Redeemer who won complete victory over sin and its consequences, gained at last the supreme crown of her privileges –  to be preserved immune from the corruption of the tomb, and like her Son, when death had been conquered, to be carried up body and soul to the exalted glory of heaven, there to sit in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the ages.”

Praise God we have such a wonderful Savior in Jesus and a glorious Mother to intercede to him for us! Let us choose to follow Christ and his Queen Mother into the eternal destiny of heaven.

 Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

 

 

August 5, 2012 – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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August 5, 2012

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Parish Festival

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

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      This summer month of August is a time of inspiration.  The word “august” means to inspire awe and wonder.

      St. Augustineis one of the greatest Bishops and Doctors of the early church.  He lived up to his name.

       The reason we can claim him as our own is because his mother, St. Monica, persevered in faith and prayed for him.  She is the patroness of married women and all Christian Mothers.  We celebrate her feast day on August 27, the day before her son’s feast day on August 28.

     St. Monica was born inNorth Africanear Carthage of Christian parents in the year 332 AD.  When Monica was old enough she would draw wine for the household.  She soon gave into imbibing and was found relishing a cup of wine until someone called her a wine-bibber.  She repented and was soon baptized, living a very disciplined life of discipleship.

     She was given in marriage to Patricius, a pagan who had some natural virtues.  However, he had a terrible temper and was a difficult spouse.  Monica grew in her reliance on Jesus, and through her patient prayers, Patricius was converted and baptized one year before his death.

     Monica and Patricius had two sons and a daughter.  The eldest was Augustine, who was gifted with natural cleverness, but who kept putting off his baptism, since his father only converted when Augustine was 17.

     Two years later, Augustine’s pleasure seeking led him to embrace the Manichean Heresy.  He went toRomeand then toMilan,Italywith his mother following after him with prayers, fasting, tears and eyes raised to heaven.

     InMilan, Augustine encountered the great bishop there, St. Ambrose.  He became a Christian but did not yet become a Catholic Christian through baptism.  St. Ambrose was impressed by Augustine’s natural abilities, but was more impressed by St. Monica’s supernatural faith, prayer and works, and praised her often in front of Augustine.

     At last, in August 386, Augustine announced his complete acceptance of the Catholic faith.  Although St. Monica was trying to arrange a marriage for her son,St. Augustine, age 32 decided to live a life of celibacy after his baptism by St. Ambrose on Easter, 387 AD.  He began to live a life committed to fasting, prayer, good works and meditating upon God’s law and other Christian writings.

     Soon after his baptism, St. Monica grew ill.  St. Augustinewrites this in his famous autobiography, Confessions, which gives us great insight into our ever ancient, ever new Catholic faith in the lives of the saints.

     “The day was now approaching when my Mother Monica would depart from this life; you knew the day, Lord, though we did not…  We were overwhelmed with grief, but she held her gaze steadily upon us and spoke…’One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord where ever you may be.’  Once our mother had expressed this desire as best she could, she fell silent as the pain of her illness increased.”

     As prayerful as St. Monica was, she knew that she needed further prayers and sacrifices from her sons in Christ to enter into the fullness of heaven.  Even though Jesus is the only mediator between God and man, she believed as all Catholics and saints likeSt. Augustinebelieved, that those who have been baptized in Jesus can share his divine life, his ministry, his meditation for the living and the dead.  Jesus Christ is the only Mediator who cleanses us of sin and fills us with grace, but he has called us to share in his ministry through Baptism and the Eucharist.

– Sincerely, Father Thomas McCabe

July 28, 2012 -17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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July 28, 2012

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

For thus says the Lord,

“They shall eat and there shall be some leftover.”

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      When we hand over our gifts to Jesus with faith, hope and love in our hearts, great things happen.  The divine or theological virtues of faith, hope and love (charity) are essential in seeing God work in our lives.

     The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines virtue: “A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good.  It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself.  The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.” (Paragraph # 1803)

     God is the ultimate good, and God in Jesus Christ can completely transform us into truth and love through which we are able to help others attain salvation – communion with God and others.  Thus the spiritual life and the moral life are intimately connected.  This spiritual intimacy is what we long for in our relationships: true love and the love of truth of which Jesus Christ provides for us through his Church.

     The Saints lived lives of heroic virtue because of their intimate union with God and the people around them.  August 1st marks the Memorial Feast of St. Alphonsus Liguouri, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, whose brilliant intellect shed much light on the unbreakable connection between the spiritual and moral life of man.  What a man truly believes will guide his thoughts and actions.  His or her thoughts and actions might fail to meet the standard of belief out of weakness, but never will the truly religious man deny the standard of Christ.  A holy person always strives for greater holiness, because he humbly acknowledges God’s infinite holiness and man’s sinfulness.

     St. Alphonsus was declared a Doctor of the Church, the highest honor among the Saints, because of the spiritual healing his ardent service brought to the members of Christ’s Church and the world.  He wrote: “All holiness and perfection of soul lies in our love for Jesus Christ our God, who is our Redeemer and our supreme good.  It is part of the love of God, to acquire and to nurture all the virtues which make a man perfect…

     “Since God knew that man is enticed by favors, he wished to bind him to his love by means of his gifts…And all the gifts which he bestowed on man were given to this end (the complete love of God)…He made all…out of love for man, so that all creation might serve man, and man in turn might love God out of gratitude for so many gifts.

     “But he did not wish to give us only beautiful creatures; the truth is that to win for himself our love, he went so far as to bestow upon us the fullness of himself.  The eternal Father went so far as to give us his only Son.  When he saw that we were all dead through sin and deprived of his grace, what did he do?  Compelled, as the Apostle says, by the superabundance of his love for us, he sent his beloved Son to make reparation for us and to call us back to a sinless life.”

     God holds nothing back.  That is why his All Loving, All Truthful, Life Giving presence for some is heaven, and for others it is hell.  For us on the way to heaven through this broken world it is a purgative adventure, an illuminating experience that calls us to give ourselves passionately and completely to God and to others as is humanly possible, with the assistance of his grace of our particular vocation.  That is why the Holy Eucharist, Jesus, is central to our lives.  We desire that full giving of God, and we hunger to be able to give ourselves completely back to God through Christ.

     That is why a Christian man and woman give themselves passionately and completely to one another in the marital embrace without holding back, without contraception, because they want to experience the new life of God who is the Other, who is the source of complete Love, Life and Truth of one another.

     We ask St. Alphonsus, patron of confessors and moral theologians, to help stir up our authentic spiritual life, a life striving to live completely the virtues of faith, hope and love within Christ and his Catholic Church.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

 

July 22, 2012 – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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July 22, 2012

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place

and rest a while.”

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             When Jesus saw the vast crowds, his heart was moved with pity and he began to teach them many things. Our life is a gift from God, but it is a complex gift.  Jesus established his Church to help bring healing to the five basic dimensions of our life:        physical – we need food and water, air and shelter; emotional – we need to sing, laugh, cry, to stay emotionally healthy; relational – we have a natural relationship like a Mom and Dad, grandparents, and social relationships: friends, teachers, doctors, and supernatural relationships, godparents, priests, guardian angels; and, the most important, the two spiritual dimensions: an intellect to know God and his divine Son Jesus, as well as his Sacred Gifts – the Seven Sacraments ~ and free will: we can choose to follow Jesus within his Church by loving God and our neighbor, or choose to be lost in the world of sin and confusion and false realities.

                The following is an article that helps clarify the confusion that is being promoted in the world, so that we can be compassionate and courageous.

                Taken from the July 8th, 2012 Cathedral of St. Paul Bulletin, with permission: 

Defending the Truth and Beauty of Marriage 

                Isn’t the ban on homosexual “marriage” the same as the ban on interracial marriage?

                Laws banning interracial marriage were about who was allowed to marry, not about what marriage was. Race does not matter in marriage. A black man can marry a white woman just as well as a white man can many a black woman. The key to marriage is the involvement of the complementary sexes: male and female.

                Unlike sex, race is irrelevant to marriage.

                As long as one is a man and the other is a woman, a marriage can take place, regardless of race. Laws which banned interracial marriage were clearly discriminatory, because a man and a woman of different races can certainly form the union of hearts, minds, and bodies required for marriage. Two men or two women cannot do the same: they simply cannot form the kind of union required for marriage. They cannot enter into a marriage anymore than a man can give birth or an apple can become an orange.

                It is not discriminatory to recognize truth and reality.

                You cannot “ban” people from doing something they cannot do anyway. Therefore, the comparison of defending the truth and beauty of marriage to laws banning interracial marriage does not make any sense. The debate over this issue is ultimately about the redefinition of marriage, not about who is “prevented” from marrying.

                For example, Rhode Island passed a law in 2011 which granted same-sex partners the same benefits as married couples, but did not refer to such relationships as “marriages.” After the first two months following the law’s enactment, only 14 same-sex partners sought these civil unions-the poorest response among any state which passed similar laws. The law was rejected by the same-sex partners because it did not define their relationships as “marriages.” The fight for same-sex “marriage” has never been about equal rights and access to government benefits—it has always been about redefining what marriage is and, in the process, rendering the institution meaningless.

                What is at stake is not the government benefits available to married couples, but rather the forced recognition of non-marital relationships as marriage.

Peace in Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe                              

 

July 8, 2012 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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July 8, 2012

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”

                                                                                               

                         The Sacred Heart of Jesus reveals to us the burning font of God’s love and compassion for his people. It is the infinite well-spring of God’s forgiveness and mercy for us poured out into the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation.

These two sacraments surround the crucifixion of our Lord since Christ instituted the Eucharist on Holy Thursday before his death on Good Friday, and then He instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Easter Sunday evening.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was especially enkindled by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who died in 1690 AD. Butler’s Lives of the Saints tells us that during this timeFrance had grown cold toward God’s love. There was much rebellion and the heresy of Jansenism had people turning away from the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation.

God raised St. Margaret Mary up among his afflicted people to teach the Church devotion to our divine Lord in His Sacred Heart, ” the symbol of that boundless love which moved the Word to take flesh, to institute the Holy Eucharist, to take our sins upon Himself, and dying on the cross, to offer himself as a victim and a sacrifice to the eternal Father.” St. Margaret Mary was born in 1647 at Janots, a small town inBurgundy,Francethe fifth of seven children. At the age of four she “made a vow of chastity” in a naive but prescient manner. Her life was filled with peaks of joy and valleys of sadness, and she was finally confirmed at the age of twenty-two. She entered the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial two years later. On December 27, 1673 her devotion to the passion of Christ was rewarded by a vision of Him crowned with thorns. He then revealed His Sacred Heart to her.

Jesus told her that his Sacred Heart was to be honored under the form of flesh so that people everywhere would know the eager desire of God wanting to do good and merciful acts for them within His Church. This was to be done by frequent loving communion, especially on the first Friday of each month.

Thus we have First Friday devotions here at our church. I will offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation First Friday and every Saturday morning from 8:45-9:30 AM. After the 8:00 AM Mass on First Fridays there will be Eucharistic Adoration until the closing Benediction at 5:00 PM.

Through the intercession of St. Margaret Mary, we ask Christ to bless this community with deep conversions to His way of love and truth. Please join us at First Friday devotions and unite yourselves to this mission of His promise of mercy.

Sincerely,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

July 1, 2012 – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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July 1, 2012

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Do not be afraid, just have faith.”

—————————————————————————————Reflections on The Declaration of Independence

 “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another…”  

                                                 

     Thus begins The Declaration of Independence. The opening shows respect to history, and the fact that the thirteen original colonies came mainly from Great Britain who first helped them, but then began to abuse them. Thomas Jefferson, the main author of The Declaration of Independence, respects history and the reasons for historic change. The colonies first tried to resolve the problems, but King George III would not respect their reasonable requests.                       

     “…and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them,…”                                                            

     Natural law is recognized as more than physics, it is also the God given dignity which each human being has and thus the natural right to receive the goods that God has established for the preservation of each human life.                                                     

     “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separation.”          

     The Founders of our American Republic give “the causes” for such a break from being politically bound to Great Britain, but they first acknowledge the essence of God given human dignity and natural rights by writing this:                                                  

     “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”         

     Truth is not always self-evident, but some truths are so basic they speak for themselves. Every man, woman and child, i.e. “all men”, have an equal dignity because they are human beings created and sustained by God. Some men may run faster, or work harder, and so they are not equal in every way, but they are equal with respect to their dignity as human beings, which means they have the same natural rights and basic responsibilities before God.         

     These unalienable rights and responsibilities cannot be infringed by anyone unless they are forfeited by criminal acts that are contrary to these natural laws.     This is the standard of our life as Americans.  True freedom comes from the “Creator,” and we are responsible for the promotion and defense of these unalienable rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” in that order. A responsible Catholic makes a good citizen.                           

 

Sincerely,

Father Thomas McCabe