Friday, December 2, 2016

Closing Gaps

There are times when the gap between us and the ones we love is just too wide to cross.   Even when there is a bridge, crossing over to the other side just worsens the situation and increases the tension.  Tempers still run hot.

We haven't come much farther in our evolution as a species than what's depicted in this cartoon.  Both sides still want to inflict harm - physically or emotionally.

Still, there is hope.   It's Advent and time to not just bridge the gap, but to close it through forgiveness.  No need for a bridge.  Time to drop the clubs and open arms.
Christ would have it no other way. 

Deacon David Pierce


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Limestone Faith

Today’s Gospel includes: “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.  The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.  But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.  And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.  The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.  And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”  The meaning is clear enough: a strong and abiding faith is like a rock on which we stand.   It holds up even under the most trying of circumstances such as poor health, and we rely on it to withstand the rains, floods, and winds that otherwise would wash or blow us away.  

For many of us the Advent season and then Christmas doesn’t bring joy but sadness, regret, and memories of those lost to us through death or a parting of the ways – love lost.   Nevertheless, with rock-hard faith in Christ, we rebound, we are reborn, and we begin the new year with hope to withstand the next storm whenever it comes.  Such is the miracle of the Christ-child and his effect on us.

But, is our faith rock-hard?   Is it more like sand?   I suggest it’s more like limestone that can erode over time and lose its shape and form due to rain and water flow that constantly runs over and around us.  That’s life: a flow of water in which we are immersed and must swim, sometimes with the current and sometimes against.   Again, it’s our life we experience causing us to examine and perhaps question our faith.  And, that’s perfectly normal.   

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Beautiful Feet

In today’s reading from Romans (10:9-18) we hear: “…How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!  But not everyone has heeded the good news…”  This reminds us of the expression: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” [or, see photo]. 

St. Paul is not talking about pedicures and pretty toes shaped, polished, and painted.    He’s referring to the dusty and dirty feet of those hard workers who speak of Jesus: his life, teachings, and fate.  These are the “beautiful feet” of which he speaks.  

We’re in Advent, and we wait for the good news in the person of Jesus we celebrate at Christmas and then follow throughout the year.    If we harken to his news, as Paul says, “Our voices will go forth to all the earth, and our words to the end of the world.”   Throughout this special season let’s make the effort to at least have our voices go forth in our homes and communities.  We know a lot of “horses.”  Perhaps they will drink [or think].

Deacon David Pierce

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Peace Be With Us

Being the first week of Advent with our thoughts beginning to turn to gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, other gifts may come to mind: gifts of the Holy Spirit.  When were they made known to us?  Today’s first reading from Isaiah gives us a clue (IS 11:1-10).   It reads: “…On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a Spirit of counsel and of strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD…”  There they are from the Old Testament, not the New.  This just goes to show how much of the Old we drawn upon to understand the Holy Spirit and Jesus, our Christ.

Our first reading then gives us a splendid visual of what Jesus’ arrival will cause through our interpretation of Isaiah’s meaning: “Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra’s den, and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea…”  

This is some dream, but for much of our world’s history since Jesus’ time, it has been a nightmare especially in the Middle East where wars continue to be waged and religious factions view the other as the enemy.   And, the United States is not immune with anger and hate on display with the election campaign and outcome continuing to give evidence.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Installation Mass & Reception ~ Fr. Edward Healey

click for Mass ~ Homily ~ Photos

Fee Advice

We’ve begun a new year – the one according to Matthew (year A).   We’ve left Luke behind, although not entirely.   This transition reminds us that we need to move forward as best we can, especially for those who still carry the weight of previous bad decisions or the ill-fated decisions of others impacting our lives.  

What’s done is done so we must forgive and forget, and seek forgiveness for the harms we have done.  Yes, easier said than done to be sure.  

Nevertheless, Jesus has given us the cure with no payment due: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  That’s great fee advice.

Deacon David Pierce  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Can Catholics Be Born Again?

This past week we had an interesting discussion on being “born again” at our bible study at the Falmouth Hospital. I was leading the group of about 10 with questions from the first letter of John, chapter 3. About two thirds of the group is Protestant and one third Catholic, so we have a good mix. I have to admit that when I hear that term I am sort of put off. I think, no, I am not a “born again” Christian. That is for those Protestants from the Bible Belt who think that the only way to be saved is by being “born again”. Most of us have our faith given to us by our parents. We are baptized when we are babies and then we are brought up in our Catholic faith through catechesis and through the faith that is passed on to us from our parents. There are some select who chose to convert and become Catholic, but is that because they are being born again, or is it because they have studied the Catholic faith and realize that it is the one true faith instituted by Christ and has continued through the last 2000 years through the successors of Peter, the first pope, until and including Pope Francis. I understand that “born again” Christians do have a strong commitment to their faith and belief in Jesus Christ. That is a good thing. Anyone who believes that Jesus is the straight and narrow path to heaven is moving in the right direction.

The subject, however, did make me think and wonder, “What does the Catholic Church say about being born again.” After all, as several in the bible study group pointed out to me, Jesus says in John 3:3, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” They were very adamant that in order to be saved, you had to be born again. In other words, you had to formally and publicly proclaim that Jesus is your savior. But there were a couple of holdouts, including me, that said there are many good people in the world who are not born again and yet I believe they will enter into heaven. I believe in a loving, kind, merciful and forgiving God. Not one who prevents good people from entering heaven. In fact, doesn’t Jesus say in Mt 8:11-12, “I say to you, many will come
from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

With all of these questions in my mind, I decided to research what the Catholic Church says about being born again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Solemnity of Christ the King, The Year of Mercy

This is the homily I gave on Sunday slightly edited to fit the blog format.

2 Sm 5.1-3; Ps 122.1-5; Col 1.12-20; Lk 23.35-43

This is the last Sunday of the Church Liturgical year. Next week we begin Advent, where we anticipate the birth of Jesus into the world. And so on this last Sunday of the year it is appropriate that we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, the feast day of our church. Today we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the formation of our parish and the 27th anniversary of the dedication of our Church. It is truly a joyous event. It’s a time for remembrances and thanksgiving for all that has happened in our parish; for all the wonderful ministries that have been formed over the years. It is a time to thank God for the wonderful development of our parish as a faith community, praying together, staying together; for all the out-reach to those in need, both materially and spiritually that we as a parish have fostered.

Last night we celebrated the hundreds of volunteers to the various ministries in our church with an evening of appreciation. It is appropriate that this occurs during this week of Thanksgiving – we have much to be thankful for.

And yet the gospel reading today brings us back to reality. Who was Jesus when he was on earth? What did he do? Who was he to those around him? More Importantly, Who is he now? Who is he to each of us here?

The problem is we don’t always recognize Jesus in our midst. We can picture him on the Cross or seated on his throne of glory. But do we see him in the beggar in the street? Do we see him in the poor or immigrant? Do we see him in our spouse, our brother or sister, or our own child or parent? Do we see him in the person who treats us meanly at work, the neighbor who is always complaining, the bully at school.

It is much easier to love someone who we get along with and have a good relationship with. But what about our relationship with those around us we find difficult to love? We show our love to Christ through the relationships that we have with those around us. All relationships are ultimately a relationship with God. As Dorothy Day put it “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mass of Remembrance

November is the month to remember those who have gone before us in faith.
Click remembrance  to see the heartwarming remembrance of our brothers and sisters .

After the month of November you'll be able to find this in the navigation on our website ( under Remembrance.

Misleading Signs ~ Fr. Edward Healey, November 13, 2016

November 13, 2016 Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings for today's Homily

To watch Mass in its entirety click The Mass

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Special Mass

Jingling all the way from Jack-O-Lanterns to Valentine's Hearts

If you didn't get around to purchasing some harvest type of decorations for your Thanksgiving celebration you have little choice now but to hope there are a few remaining in the bargain bin at the store.  Why?  Because once Halloween was over the stores moved right into full Christmas mode, one that has been present and gradually increasing since Labor Day!  For us as people of faith this becomes a tempting time of year to fall into the trap of a Christmas defined   mainly by commercial interests rather than a truly traditional religious one.  In order to boost profits retailers feel they must push Christmas at every opportunity and a cultural version of it so that all people, even those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, can observe it as consumers at least.   It is to their best interest that Christmas start now and be marketed mainly as a time of gift giving so that people prepare for it by shopping until they drop on Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays and every day until December 24th.
For Christians the Christmas season does not begin after Halloween or even the day after Thanksgiving but rather Christmas begins on the evening of the 24th of December and it should continue this year until January 9th, the Feast of the Lord's Baptism.   If we go with the flow and start observing it only as a single holiday preceded by a shopping season we will be quite tired of it by the time it arrives and so we will end up ending it before it is truly over.    We will also miss the full observance of Advent, a rather short but very important first season of the church year, one that for its first three weeks is focused primarily on our preparedness for the Second Coming of Christ.  Advent does not turn its full attention to preparation for the first coming of Christ at Christmas until the 17th of December and so neither should we!  So let us not get caught up in the decorations we see at the shopping malls or the Christmas music that is playing in the background, these will all but completely disappear on December 26th as the "after Christmas" sales begin. Ironically, this is when we as people of faith who are trying to keep Christ in Christmas should have only   just begun to light the lights on our trees and houses and listen to the carols play, but as we do so we must prepare ourselves that we are very likely to be surrounded by valentine hearts should we visit the stores! Let us plan now to celebrate the real Christmas in accord with our Christian tradition as a season of the Church Year which begins with the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Dec. 25th), continues with the Feast of the Holy Family (Dec. 30th), the Solemnity of Mary the Mother Of God (Jan.1st), the Epiphany of the Lord (Jan. 8th) and concludes with The Baptism of the Lord (Jan.9th).