Friday, May 19, 2017

Lasting Love

With May being a popular month for marriages, here are some “rules” for engaged couples, newlyweds, and seasoned married folks to follow.   I am not the author.    They were written by  Larry Brown, a Cape Cod Academy teacher who writes for the Cape Cod Times.

I’ve saved many of his articles.  Here is one from April 19, 2013 entitled, “How to make love last.”

He offers ideas about how to make relationships live on and get stronger.  First, we need friendship plus desire.   Have desire without friendship and we have one wild weekend…but a long-term disaster.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Being Green

I look outside my kitchen window and see a vast wasteland – trees stripped of their leaves by rampaging and rapacious winter months and gypsy moths.  Scourges!

Waiting all winter long for the green of spring, I find myself pining for the poor trees that would scream if they could.   Crawling “worms” up the many trunks to feast on spring’s early fruits – the green leaves – the caterpillars are unwelcomed pests.  Now all oak leaves are
stripped to their veins making for grotesque, finger-like silhouettes against cloudy skies. 

Enough of my drama already!   It’s spring on Cape Cod where invasive insects have taken over to weaken trees – many of which will fall with winter winds.  Que sera sera.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Vines And Branches

“I am the vine and you are the branches” is a snippet from today’s Gospel reading from John (15:1-8).   This sounds like the vine is all important.  Without the vine the branches die.   Without the vine, the branches can do nothing.   Of course, this comparison is made with Jesus in mind.  He is the vine, and we bear fruit when we are attached.  Makes sense.

However, the vine is at the mercy of the branches from which the leaves grow to produce the carbohydrates necessary for vine growth.   We all remember photosynthesis in which carbon dioxide and water combine to produce glucose (sugar) and oxygen.  Importantly, light energy is critically important for this reaction and conversion.  Without light there’s no oxygen, and life (with some exceptions) is doomed. 

The vine, Jesus, depends on all of us leaves to sustain him.    In the words of biologists, it’s a mutualism relationship with each benefiting and depending on the other for sustenance and survival.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Resurrection Witnessed

I witnessed a resurrection recently.  Someone came back from the dead.  He was risen, and I was some glad.   Shocked is the better word.   Walking into a Mystic CT bookstore, I approached the religion section and before me was a new book written by Marcus Borg: “Days of Awe and Wonder: How to be a Christian in the 21st Century.”

Marcus died in 2015.   Quite a wonder to come back from the dead!   Actually, his wife, Marianne Borg assembled this collection of his writings from his many books, presentations, and unpublished works.   For more information on Marcus try the site: “MarcusJBorgFoundation.org.”   Some of his lectures can be viewed such as “What is God?”

Some will not like his perspective.  Nevertheless, he tells us to take Jesus seriously.  Most of us think we already do, but probably not for many of us.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Revelation

In today’s Gospel according to John (14:21-26) we read: “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.’ Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, ‘Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?"

How many of us refuse to “reveal” ourselves to the ones we love?   Many of us are guarded and unwilling or unable to share our feelings with those who really need to know us.   We’re all unique with much to offer and share.  

Let’s follow Jesus’ lead.  When we love someone, we must reveal ourselves to that person.  This is especially true for couples intending to marry.   This May many couples will marry, and we can only hope they have shared their innermost feelings.    Otherwise, it will become very hard for them to observe Jesus’ commandments.   

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Stranger Along the Way ~ Fr. Edward Healey

The Stranger Along the Way ~ Fr. Edward Healey

April 30, 2017 Third Sunday of Easter

Readings for today's Homily

To watch Mass in its entirety click The Mass



Friday, April 28, 2017

CATHOLIC CHARITIES APPEAL BEGINS MAY 1st

Where there is charity there is God:  The highest virtue – even greater than faith and hope, which are essential to the Christian life, is charity.   Why, because faith and hope are needed here and now to keep us believing in God and longing for a life in perfect union with Him, but when we get there, these virtues will no longer be necessary, that is why St. Paul tells us that it is charity that will remain, and so it is the greatest virtue of all.  Charity is not pity, it is love, not the romantic love which is the predominant notion of love in our contemporary culture, but the self-sacrificing love revealed in the Mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption, in that Christ forgoes his glory and humbles himself to be one with us, and goes even further in that he then lays down his life for our sake, accepting even death on a cross.  This is the highest form of love, the love that gives without expectation of return, the love that sacrifices all for the good of the other.  This love is not easily practiced nor frequently is it perfectly achieved, and the only hope that it will be so is that we as disciples of Christ exercise it as often as possible.  Every year the local church that is the Diocese invites us to exercise such charity by responding to its request that  that we support the  pastoral, educational,  social, and charitable activities of the church in this portion of the Lord’s vineyard which includes Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands.  This is charity because we are being asked to give even though what we give is not necessarily going to directly benefit us, or even others whom we may know but it will surely be used to instruct the ignorant, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, and welcome the stranger, and so much more besides.  In imitation of Christ we are being asked to sacrifice for the good of others from whom we can expect nothing in return except perhaps their gratitude.   Having been personally involved over the course of my priesthood in Hospital Ministry and the Spanish Apostolate both of which directly and nearly completely depend on the funds raised from this appeal, I can assure you that your donation is going toward efforts that are not only worthwhile but necessary to undertake for any community that wishes to be called Christian.  So let us begin discerning now how to make whatever sacrifice would be necessary to stretch our charitable capacity a bit more by giving something in addition to what we might be comfortable giving!  When we do we can be assured that God is in the mix, touching the lives of those who benefit from our generosity, but also as His life is increased in us through the virtue of charity.

Fr. Edward Healey

Friday, April 21, 2017

Control The Dragons

Who wants to resist happiness?    All of us, according to Matthew Kelly in his 2016 book, “Resisting Happiness.”  Father Healy provided this book during Holy Week, and all the copies were donated by a generous parishioner.

According to Kelly, “What is resistance?  It’s that sluggish feeling of not wanting to do something that you know is good for you; it’s the inclination to do something that you unabashedly know is not good for you; and it’s everything in between.  It’s the desire and tendency to delay something you should be doing right now.”

He goes on to say that resistance wears a thousand masks: “laziness, procrastination, fear, doubt, instant gratification, self-loathing, indecision, escapism, pride, self-deception, friction, tension, and self-sabotage.”  Quite the list!   “These are just some of the ways resistance manifests its ugly self in our lives and causes us to settle for so much less than God has imagined for us.”  Kelly calls resistance our enemy, and he insists “we must slay it like a dragon and slay it anew each day.”

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lonely Giant

Earth Day is almost upon us, and a USA Today piece just caught my eye.  A few children’s books about the beauty of our Earth are described.  One is “The Lonely Giant.”   Now with three grandchildren, I’ve got to spend some time finding those “good reads” with meaning for the little ones.   Although I’ve long been aware of “The Lonely Giant,” it never was on my “must read” list.

Being a giant living in a forest, he rips up trees.   The animals living in the woods start to disappear.    When the giant finds himself in a wasteland and finds one last yellow bird, he cages it.  But the bird grows sad and no longer sings.  He releases the bird and decides to replant the forest.  The animals return.

It’s a simple story with an important message for young and old.  Our destructiveness is the result of lack of unawareness and thoughtlessness.   The giant is saved by a little bird that shows him love.  There is no scolding.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Good Friday Redux

Jesus said, "I thirst." There was a vessel filled with common wine.  So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished."

This part of our Gospel [Good Friday] contains two of the seven last words of Jesus – seven sayings attributed to him as he hung and then died on the cross.  In order, the seven are:

(1) “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Jesus was whipped.  His hands and feet were nailed to a cross. Jesus was being crucified.  Despite his suffering, he gave us our marching orders – our mission to forgive.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Vigil

Ana and Nazanin were front-and-center at our Easter Vigil.   Nazanin was baptized.   She and Ana were confirmed and then received the Eucharist.   Two wonderful women who inspired me and the RCIA team to help them better understand and embrace our Catholic faith.

In return, we came to appreciate how the Holy Spirit works to bestow gifts and fruits on all of us.  All we have to do is accept those gifts and then bear fruit - meaning we come to love God even more and to love our neighbors, even those who get on our nerves (family members as well).

Ana and Nazanin rose with us during the Vigil as we all renewed our baptismal vows.   Take the time to introduce yourselves when you see them.   The light of Christ now shines on them, and we share that light.

Deacon David Pierce