Category Archives: Homilies

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: CLICK HERE!

Today’s Feast of the Assumption of Mary is the belief that “at the end of her earthly life, Mary was taken up body and soul into Heavenly Glory”.

It goes without saying that our faith is centered in Jesus Christ, but our faith also teaches us that we can learn much from people of faith over the centuries.

So today we reflect upon how Mary has led the way for us as she gave her YES to God’s desire to dwell among us at the Annunciation.

Mary led the way in being the first to be raised, the first to share in her Son’s Resurrection.

Mary led the way as the Church’s best expression of full acceptance of the feminine.  No Mary did not push for Woman’s Rights, rather it was God who wanted all to know that all are equal, all have value, all have gifts and talents and abilities to bring to the others in every aspect of life.

The Song of Mary we hear in the Gospel today, the Magnificat, is much more than Mary proclaiming God’s goodness to her.  Rather, the Magnificat is Mary’s song of faith.  A song that praises God’s actions in all our lives and world.

Just maybe Mary’s song urges us to see God’s activity in the everydayness of our world.

Just maybe Mary’s song urges us to raise people up regardless of gender, race, color, or creed.

Just maybe Mary’s song urges us to continue to look for God among us in the times and places where we are living and working and interacting with people daily.

Like Mary, may our souls proclaim the goodness of the Lord not only for ourselves, but for ALL persons!

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!

17 year old Verda was the Valedictorian for her High School class from Fitchburg High School in central Massachusetts. Verda was a brilliant student who plans to study Biochemistry at Harvard, on her way to a medical career.

After her Valedictorian speech, the principal announced the recipient of the school’s annual General Excellence Award, given each year to a graduating senior. The prize includes a $10,000 scholarship, which can be renewed for up to four years. This year’s recipient was Verda.

Verda happily accepted the award to the cheers of her classmates. But when she sat down, she says, “it hit me”. This is $40,000. That’s a lot of money, obviously, I could use it. But there is definitely someone sitting in this crowd that needs it more.

So Verda, got up, and went to the podium. She apologized for interrupting the ceremony and then said in a trembling voice, “I am so grateful for this. But I also know that I am not the one who needs this the most. Knowing that my mom went to community college, and how much that was helpful, I would be so grateful if the administration would consider giving the General Excellence Scholarship to someone who is going to Community College.

Her fellow classmates and the crowd at that ceremony cheered and rose in a standing ovation. The school superintendent said later, “everybody got it. What we witnessed was the ultimate in generosity.”

Verda and her mother, Rosemary, came to Massachusetts from Ghana when Verda was 8 years old. Her mother has been an inspiration. Rosemary got her associates degree from a local community college at the age of  47 – while working full time – caring for people with disabilities and raising Verda and her three siblings.

Verga said after the graduation, “we are blessed to be a blessing”. I thought that I was in the position where God has blessed me so much, and I thought it was the right thing to do, to bless someone else.

This, my friends is what today’s reading are about.  This is what the Eucharist (Holy Communion) is about.

God’s generosity to people throughout history, continuing through so many acts of generosity, sharing, caring, loving and more. By people not only of the past, but also of today.

Like Verda, may God gives us the wisdom to live lives that are grounded in the Eucharist.

The Eucharist that not only feeds and nourishes us, but allow us to sustain others along our daily journey of life and faith as person, family and Parish.

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!

Today’s Gospel snippet from Mark is a prelude to the miraculous feeding of the 5000, which we will be hearing more about next week. Mark’s Gospel focuses on how Jesus’ awareness of people’s needs led him to respond as a good shepherd who would reveal God’s generosity.

As we listen to St. Mark and the Prophet Jeremiah’s message and Psalm 23, we are led to discern how we are called to respond to the needs of our time…

St. Mark asks us to look at our world the way Jesus looked at his, to feel the needs of our people and respond in whatever way we are able.

Just maybe that is the question of today and of every day:  How can we, how will we, as a person, a family, a community of faith, a people, respond to the needs of those around us and even beyond, in whatever way we are able, during our daily “walking tour” of life?

Or to use the imagery of today’s readings, how will we be good shepherds to others every day in word and in deed?