Son of God, Son of Man

It is almost time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary. Have you ever wondered why we believe that Jesus is the Son of God? It seems rather improbable that the second person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son, would come to be one with us.gerard_van_honthorst_001

If we look at the Sacred Scriptures we see that everything that is said about God the Father we can say about God the Son. When Jesus spoke about things He did it was with great authority, not like the scribes. He even revealed the unity He shared with the Father “The Father and I are one.” Jn. 10:30. He also revealed that He existed eternally when He Spoke, “… I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” Jn. 8:58. Yes, Jesus is the Son of God, the savior of the World.

We are celebrating more than just a birth, we are rejoicing in the fact that God has united us to Himself. By Jesus coming in the flesh we are lifted up and become adopted children of our Daddy God. God calls us to an intimate love. God desires that we come to share fully in the love of the Blessed Trinity, now through our worship and forever in the life to come. Just as the incarnation of the Son took place in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, so too at every Mass this incarnation is revealed in the mystery of the Eucharist. Christ is born on the altar and offers to become one with us in our receiving of Holy Communion. This is the promise to be united now and forever with God.

It does seem improbable that God would stoop down to our level, but He did. This is how much the Father loves us. By assuming our nature in the person of the Son, God lifted us up to be one with Him now in the sacrament of the Church and for all eternity. This is the reason to have hope, that God loves us and wants to share in the happiness of Heaven.

Blessings, Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT What do I believe about Jesus as the Son of God? Am I living a faith filled life so to be united to God now and for all eternity? How does Jesus change my life?

Common Chalice

A question that has come up as we enter into the cold and flu season, “Why do we all drink from the same cup? Isn’t anyone concerned with disease….” Yes the bishops and the liturgists are concerned about this issue. In receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist to drink from a common chalice is a sign of our unity in Christ and a fuller expression of the sacrament, the body and the blood of Christ. Yet, if there seems to be a particularly strong virus strain the church may suspend the use of the chalice or cup to the faithful in the pews as a precaution.

As far as the transmission of some virus or bacteria by means of the communion cup, the Center for Disease Control studied the issue and determined that between the alcohol content of the wine (11%), the exposure to air between people receiving, and the proper wiping of the richalice-1591668_640m of the cup along with turning the cup a quarter turn between people receiving, the likelihood of transmission was pretty minimal. In fact, the most likely way that germs could be transmitted is from the top of the pew which people touch without thinking about it. I think it is important for individuals who might have a cough or cold to refrain from receiving the precious blood from the cup.

One receives the full Christ if one receives just the Host. There is no requirement that we all must receive from the cup. It should be a common courtesy to pass by the cup if one is not feeling well. We have been receiving the Precious Blood from a common cup or chalice since the late 70’s and in that time there has been no outbreak of disease that I have ever heard of.

Blessings, Father Dooley

The Gospel of Mark

We are starting a new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent. Our Gospel for most Sunday Masses will be from St. Mark. As some may remember the Church has formed the lectionary into a three parts – years A, B, and C. This year in the lectionary we will be in cycle B.
Who was St. Mark and why did he write down the teachings of Jesus. Mark was a
disciple of Peter, Paul and a cousin of Barnabas. The family home in Jerusalem might have been where Jesus’ Last Supper took place. It is believed that the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount Olives probably belonged to Mark’s mother, Mary.
After Pentecost, Mark went with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch, Syria. Mark, who
was an adolescent, did not appreciate the difficulties involve with spreading the Gospel so he returned home. Barnabas and Paul divided up their missionary work and Barnabas again asked Mark to travel with him to Cyprus. Some ten years later Mark is in Rome helping Peter and then Paul in the spreading of the Gospel. He is thought to have founded the Church in Alexandria, Egypt and died a martyr around the year 74. Mark’s bones were transferred in 825 A.D. to Venice where a basilica was dedicated to him. 9798837633_212f6e4f40_b
It is believed that Mark wrote his Gospel before the year 70 A.D. while in Rome.
Many of the phases found in Mark’s Gospel are a firsthand account which would indicate that Mark was using the word of St. Peter. His Gospel was written for the Church in Rome and explains many Jewish customs for the gentile community. It follows closely St. Peters discourse found in the Acts of Apostles. The Gospel of Mark is divided into six parts – prelude to the public ministry, Jesus’s Galilean ministry, Jesus journey with his Apostles, making for Juda and Jerusalem, Jesus revealing the end of time and, finally the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Mark is giving us a straightforward view of Jesus and his “Good News.”

 

Blessings, Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT
If I were to write the story of my faith journey what would I call it? Have I read the Gospel of Mark completely? Do I believe the Gospel is “Good News” to society?

Christ the King

The Last Sunday in the Church’s Liturgical Year is the Solemnity of Christ the King. The concept of kingship may seem a little foreign to us living in a democracy but it assists us with meditating on the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus did not reveal Himself as king while he preached in Israel. There was no regal splendor, or palace, or even an army. Jesus lived poor and he died poor. Jesus Christ is King because he shares in the Divine Nature with the Father and Holy Spirit. Therefore He is Lord of all creation. By uniting His Divine Nature and the Human Nature Christ Jesus is exulted above all of creation. It is through this union that Christ Jesus redeemed the human race from sin by the blood of the Cross and so became the ruler of the Humanity. In 1924 when Pope Pius XI established this Feast of Christ the King he stated that unless individuals and nations submitted to the rule of the Savior there would be no hope of lasting peace. Instead of the gentle rule of Christ in the hearts of people we have been made slaves of materialism and rabid individualism which promises freedom and happiness, but fails miserably. True Freedom is found in the acceptance of Christ crucified, as King who says “My yoke is easy and my burden light” Mt. 11:30. If we realize this truth then true peace will be in our hearts and much happiness on Earth.

Blessings, Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT Do I believe in the Kingship of Christ which reveals his love for me? What is my role in this Kingdom? Can I break free from the powers of his world? Is Jesus my friend and King.

Giving Thanks

thanksgiving-backgroundOn Thursday our nation will celebrate Thanksgiving. There will tables full of food, family, and friends. This is a day of remembrance to be thankful for all that has happened in the past year. Yet, perhaps we need to remember what this day is about. In 1621 the Pilgrims offered a feast of thanksgiving in the fall and invited the native Wampanog people to join in the feast. The pilgrims were thankful most of all for having survived a year in the New World. They were thankful for the harvest and for the help of the Native people who taught them to raise corn, catch eel, and hunt deer. The Pilgrims were thankful for family and for all the blessings bestowed on them from God.

 

In our Catholic tradition we recognize the importance of giving God thanks. Each day of the year the Church offers a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving which is the essence of the Mass. It is on every Sunday and Holy Day we are invited to gather and celebrate Holy Mass in which we receive the Eucharist, which comes from the Greek word “Eucharistia” which means to give thanks. What are we thankful for each week? We are thankful for surviving in faith while living in the midst of the secular world. We are thankful for the promise of eternal Life (harvest of sorts) that comes to

us through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. We are thankful for our own family and the family of the Church which guides us in the way of salvation. We are also thankful for the all the blessings which Our Father in Heaven has showered upon us. We are especially thankful for the sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ, our Eucharist.

Our national holiday comes but once a year but isn’t it nice to know that in the practice of Catholicism we offer to God our worship and thanksgiving at every Holy Mass. Yes, let us truly be thankful for God’s abundant blessings.

Blessings, Father Dooley

THOUGHTFUL QUESTIONS What are you thankful for? Do I see God’s blessing in my life? Am I thankful when I come to Mass? Will Thanksgiving Day be just that, thanksgiving?

It All Belongs to God

I want to say thank you for your contributions to all the recent Special Second
Collection that have been asked of you. They went to help those effected by
hurricanes and wild fires. I know that is seems there are more invitations to financially
support this or that cause, and there are! But I think we need to look at the use of
treasure with a holier perspective.
Stewardship is the word used regarding how we as Christians should offer our
Time, Talent and Treasure. It is being responsible with everything we have since
everything we have is NOT ours but really belongs to God. We are to be good
stewards of the gifts, talents, and treasures that God has bestowed on us. The more we
use wisely and generously those gifts the richer we become from a faith perspective.
It is said that God cannot be out done in generosity.
I try as a pastor to be a good steward of the money given to the parish whether
it is from tithing or donations. I would like to encourage all parishioners to reflect on
their tithing to the parish. St. Mary’s tithing covers the monthly bills but we are a little
short each month at St. Patrick’s. If each family would consider tithing or families
that tithe would increase just $5.00 a month just think of the generous blessing God
would bestow on us.

Blessings… Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT
Do I have a religious sense of stewardship with all God’s gifts? What are my favorite
charities that I give to? Should my family begin tithing or tithe just a bit more?