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.
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?
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.
On 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?
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?
Fall and November lends us the opportunity to think about the Last Four Things – Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. St. Josemaria once wrote “Have you seen, on
a sad autumn evening, how dead leaves fall? Thus each day do souls fall into eternity, one day, the falling leaf will be you.” The Way # 736
It is said that Death is the great equalizer. It brings to an end that opportunity to either accept or reject the divine grace offered in Christ. Since death comes to us all, it is truly a healthy and noble thing to meditate on the moment of death. Now is the time to prepare for death. Each day we should pray for a happy and holy death in order to drive away the evil one. This is why we ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to “pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” It is great spiritual wisdom.
Following death will come a Judgment, the moment we will receive the eternal retribution for what we did in the body whether good or bad. We like to consider God’s mercy where He offers to us something that we truly are unworthy of. We can never comprehend God’s great mercy or His infinite love for us. Out of justice we must make satisfaction for the sins we commit in this life. We must repent our sins in this world through confession and make restitution for those sins by works of charity and prayer in this life or by purification in purgatory.
After thinking about the judgment we should contemplate Heaven with its’ promise of Eternal life. This is where we enter with God into a communion of life and love. We are united with the saints in glory to praise the Holy Trinity. Those who have been faithful to Christ and His holy will in this life become partners in his heavenly glorification and come to share in supreme happiness, which is the goal and longing of the human heart.
Finally we must think about Hell. That state of definitive self-exclusion from the communion with God and saints reserved for those who by their own free choice refuse to believe and be converted from sin, even to the end of their lives. We cannot be united to God unless we freely choose to love him, so to sin gravely against God, our neighbor or even ourselves pushes us away from that Love.
One day each of us will experience death and judgment and will be rewarded according to God’s infinite justice with Heaven or Hell. Now is the opportunity to reflect on the four last things and be inspired to live out our Catholic Faith with greater devotion and, of course, greater love.
Blessings, Father Dooley
Questions: Do I spend time meditating on the Four Last Things? Where do I desire to spend eternity? Have I been making up for the sins I have committed?
I along with Fr. Ken Halbur of Creston made a personal pilgrimage to Fatima Portugal where Our Lady of the Rosary appeared to the three shepherd children in 1917. We arrived and went for a walk through the large plaza. To the north was the original Basilica of the Holy Trinity, in the middle was the Chapel of the Apparition on the spot where Our Lady appeared, on the south end of the plaza was the new modern church which could hold a couple of thousand people.
In commemoration of 100th Anniversary of Fatima, pilgrims were invited to walk through the shrine and to pray for the needs of the church, which we did. First we were to start at an archway which resembled the original arch of a 100 years ago and there prayed the Creed. Next we walked to Chapel of the Apparition to pray a rosary for peace. We then when into the older Basilica and prayed at the tombs of the little shepherds for the intention of the Holy Father. Finally we went in to pray for peace in the Chapel of the Most Holy Sacrament near the modern church.
It was my intention to remember in pray my parish families, my family and friends, those who had asked for my prayers. I prayed that Our Lady of Rosary would indeed intercede with her Son, Our Lord, for all their welfare.
View Father’s slideshow here
On Wednesday of this week the Church celebrates the Feast of All Saints as a Holy Day of Obligation. November 1st is a day dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. Although millions, or even billions of people may already be saints, All Saints’ Day observances tend to focus on known saints – those recognized in the canon (list) of the saints by the Catholic Church. It was formally started by Pope Boniface IV, who consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs on May 13th in 609 AD. All Saints was eventually established on November 1st by Pope Gregory III in the mid-eighth century as a day dedicated to the saints and their relics.
On November 2nd the Church Commemorates the Feast of All the Faithfully Departed or All Souls Day. The white vestments of All Saints day are laid aside and the Funeral Vestments of mourning are brought out since Our Holy Mother the Church mourns for her children who have died and are being purified in the suffering of Purgatory. The Church teaches the doctrine and belief that all who die with venial sin, or have not fully atoned for other past transgressions of mortal sins, must experience the purifying fire of God’s love in Purgatory. The faithful on earth can help faithfully departed through this temporal punishment and hasten their admission into the joys of heaven by prayers, sacrifices and especially by offering the Holy Mass for them (see the names listed in the Daily Mass schedule). The doctrine of Purgatory is one based in mercy. It is through the experience of being purged from all attachment to sin that the soul can be united with God for all eternity and join the communion of saints.
Blessings, Father Dooley
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT Who are the dead in my family that I need to pray for? Is the doctrine of Purgatory a source of mercy for me? Am I atoning for my own sins, more than doing prescribed penance?