What is the Word?

From the Question Box: Just before Communion we recite, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”. What is the word? We need to look at the scriptural reference where the phrase is used. In Matthew 8:8 Jesus encounters a Roman Centurion who asked Him to heal his servant. Jesus is willing to go to the house, but the Centurion out of deep humility says “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word and my servant will be healed.”

So the “word” could be a word of command, “be healed” which we are all in need of because of the struggle with temptation and sin. It could be a word of compassion which Jesus has for all of us who humbly come to Mass. It could be a word of love which is demonstrated by the fact the Jesus loves all of God’s children and has called them to faith.

We must remember that Jesus himself is the Word of God incarnate, in the flesh. At this point in the Mass the priest has elevated the Host and Chalice showing Our Eucharistic Lord to the faithful gathered in prayer. The incarnate Word of God is there to receive our praise, our thanksgiving and our Love. One could conclude that “the Word” is Jesus himself who heals us, is compassionate towards us, and who loves us as we humbly recognize his presence in the Eucharistic elements.

Blessings, Father Dooley

Fatima

We are coming up on a very important anniversary this week. On October 13th we will celebrate the centennial of the great miracle of Fatima. It was a rain soaked day and thousands had traveled to the little town of Fatima, Portugal because they believed that fatimathe Lady who was appearing to three small shepherd children was going to reveal who she was and that there was going to be some spectacular miracle. The children had been coming to the Cova da Iria on the 13th of every month since May and now this “Lady from Heaven” was going to reveal who she was. She said that she was the “Lady of the Rosary” and that the rosary should be prayed every day.

As the Our Lady opened her hands and rose into the sky, suddenly the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and the Sun shone brightly. It continued to get larger and brighter, it spun around and beautiful colors seemed to be coming from it. Then, just as suddenly, the sun appeared to be falling out of the sky. The thousands of people were terrified, many dropped to their knees in prayer, others shouted out in fear and just as suddenly, the Sun returned to its proper place in the heavens.

The people realized that their clothes we dry and the ground was sun baked as though it had not rained in weeks. Newspapers reported the miracle, non-believers witnessed the event. Even people twenty miles away experienced the Miracle of the Sun.

Blessings, Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT How much of the story of Fatima do I know? Do I need to have a superabundant miracle to strengthen my faith? Is Fatima an important event in the history of the world?

Holiness

When we were baptized we were incorporated into Church as a child of God. This first sacrament paves the way for us to have many privileges like receiving the other sacraments and also many responsibilities like attending Mass regularly and becoming a faith full disciple. Christ Jesus truly wants his followers to travel down the road of spiritual excellence as we are called to grow in holiness.crucifixion1

It is important for a disciple to grow in holiness as one comes closer to Christ. Holiness is not so much about being separated from the world, but holiness is bringing God into the world. Christ revealed the Father’s love to the people He encountered every day. The disciples were sent out in the villages and towns with the message of the Gospel that God is near to you this day. We are asked to share the same message with the people we encounter every day. It is by our actions that others will either be attracted to or repelled from joining Christ Jesus.

We have been given a mission to bring others to Christ and His Church. This is not done with grand arguments or finely woven presentations. It is usually accomplished by a smile, a kind word, or a simple gesture. When our lives radiate Christ others will be drawn to the beauty that is the Catholic Faith.

Blessings, Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT How have I shared my faith in the past? Do my words and actions attract others to the Gospel? What hinders me from sharing my faith at home, work, or at school?

Parish Ministry

Will you help me? Will you serve your parish? I am looking for parishioners who have been Confirmed to volunteer for important ministries in the parishes. St. Mary’s and St. Patrick’s parish is in need of Lectors and Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Why are these ministries important? Because through these ministries the Word of God is proclaimed and the body of Christ is distributed. Sometimes we can get the notion that for some reason or another we are not worthy or skilled enough for participation in these ministries. However, it is God who is the one calling us to ministry, unworthy as we are, and with training and practice we can become skillful.

To be a Lector means a person is willing to process in with the Book of the Gospels and then read aloud the First and Second Scripture passages plus lead the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass. There are workbooks to help you pronounce any difficult words. I think I am a pretty understanding person towards lectors when there are long scriptures or difficult words.

To be an Extra Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion means a person is willing to assist the priest in distribution of the Eucharist at the time of Holy Communion. You come to the altar after the priest receives communion, you receive communion and then take the Chalice of Precious Blood or the Bowl of Consecrated Hosts to be offered to the faithful at the time of Holy Communion. At St. Mary’s the E.O.M.H.C. on Sunday mornings are also asked to take communion to the four parishioners who are homebound or to the five or six people at Avoca Care Center round 9:30 a.m. So again I ask you. Will you help me? Will you serve your parish? If so, please click here and fill out the form.

Blessings, Father Dooley

Parish of Intentional Disciples

As we continue to look at becoming an intentional disciple we can discover that there are five steps or “Thresholds” as Sherry Weddell calls them. First there has to be that initial trust of Jesus Christ, the Church, a believer, in order to move closer to God. This leads to spiritual curiosity where a person wants to know more about Jesus, his life, and his teachings. A person who is curious about something still has not made a commitment. Next comes Spiritual openness where a person acknowledges the possibility of personal and spiritual change. This is not commitment yet. Then a person becomes a spiritual seeker actively seeking to know God and to see if they can trust God enough to make a commitment to Christ and the Church. The final step is to become an intentional disciple. To make that lifelong commitment.T1286_300

We have to remember that, like the stages of grief, the stages of discipleship are not set in stone or guided by the clock or calendar. We are dealing with a person’s intimate relationship with God. God is calling the individual. We are just there to answer a question, or to share our journey, or to give some encouragement.

We have to always make room for the Holy Spirit of God to operate, first in our own lives and then in lives of those who are seeking something. If we try and force a timetable on them or dump a lot of Church information on them too soon they will become overwhelmed and turn away. Maybe it is time for a study group in the parish to reflect on Sherry’s book to see how we might become parishes of Intentional Disciples.

Blessings … Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT : What have been the moments I have had conversions? Do I recognize these stages in others? Would I like to join with others to see what we can do for parishioners? (see Father)

Be an Intentional Disciple

In the book “Forming Intentional Disciples” Sherry Weddell shares a list of what should be considered NORMAL for a Catholic who is an intentional disciple. They would have a living relationship with God. They would be an excited Christian activist, be knowledgeable about faith, scriptures, doctrine, history, and the moral teachings of the Church using their gifts (Charism) in fulfillment of their vocation, understand their vocation and mission in life, would be actively discerning and living this vocation in the world, and have fellowship with other committed Catholics. Finally she writes that the local parish would function as a house of formation for lay Catholics to empower members to achieve all of the above.
All of Sherry’s list is normal in the sense that the Church itself views them as normative part of Catholicism. St. John Paul II wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation on the Lay Faithful, “Christifideles Laici,” that the Good News calls us to conversion and life and to cling to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior by helping a person to be open to receive Baptism and Eucharist. That allows a person a new life according to the Holy Spirit.
Now I know that this all may seem somewhat strange to many of us. However, if we are to truly follow Christ Jesus into the Kingdom of Heaven we will need to be in a relationship with him now. All of us know how uncomfortable it is to be in a house of someone we do not know every well. Surely we do not want that to be our experience in eternal life.
Blessings, Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT
Is my relationship with God, Christ personal or distant? Do I believe that I can have
an intimate relationship with God? Do I live out my vocation in the world?