Tag Archives: Rev. Joseph Cebula

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?

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!

Our Scripture Readings this weekend provide us with a reminder about how we are called to continue Jesus’s Mission and Ministry.  Each weekend we are not only summoned by the Lord to gather to hear God’s Word in the Scriptures and to be nourished by the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus…

But we are also then sent out into the world as present day disciples to bring healing, comfort and encouragement to all we interact with in the hours and days to come.

Do take some time today, this week, to see the ever present opportunities around us to make the Good News of God’s Son, Jesus, real to others.

One author, in a column she wrote recently, spoke about some of the characters she met during the Pandemic while walking around her neighborhood.

  • There was the postal worker, Archimedes, whom she never met but now they talk every day, even though Archimedes never remembers her name.
  • Then there is Kenny, the superintendent of a nearby building.  A lovely man with a beautiful spirit, who knows everything that is happening in the neighborhood and doesn’t hesitate to tell you how he feels about a given issue.
  • Then there is Elijah, who lives in the building next door, but is in a world different than the author.  Elijah is a survivor of abandonment, addiction, divorce, incarceration, and an arrhythmia that could kill him at any time.
  • But the most unexpected rapport that the author developed during the Pandemic was with “this interesting young woman who lived in her house”.  The author already knew her a bit, since she gave birth to her two decades ago.  The moody, sullen teenager had moved away for college, but came back when the campus closed.  “The child who had moved out was perpetually indignant about something, usually me” said the author, but the individual who moved back was a “reasonable and charming” young woman who “astonishingly, sometimes laughed at my jokes,” said the Author.

Summing it all up, the author of the article shared, “the weird thing about the people I met during the pandemic was that they’ve been there the whole time.”

Our lives are, if you will, a walking tour of sorts during which we encounter God in the people we meet along the way,  and if we do it right, they encounter something of the love of God in us; they encounter healing, comfort and encouragement.

So my friends, let’s enjoy the “walking tour” of our lives as person, family and Parish.  As we experience God’s grace and peace in the wisdom and insights of God’s sons and daughters that we meet along the way of life.

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!

I am sure that inquiring minds what to know what was the “torn in the flesh” that Paul was given.  What aliment did Paul have that “kept him humble”, even as an Apostle of Christ?

It is thought by many he had an eye issue, namely a recurring infection of the lining of the eye that made it difficult for him to see. Yet Paul went about his ministry. Preaching about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Preaching about how he was changed and the world of yesterday, today and tomorrow was changed.

Paul proclaimed in word and actions not his power or ability, but that of Christ dwelling within him.

I recently came across a quote about humility that said, “humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less…”

And maybe that is where St. Paul was coming from, thinking of himself less and thinking about others more.  Allowing the grace, the power of God, to work thru him each and every day.

As we live the gift of faith we have all been give, a faith that is part and parcel of our day to day lives, may we, like Paul, think more of others and less of ourselves… think more of what others need than what we want and think more of how we can allow God’s Spirit to work thru us for the good, better and best.

Keep humble St. Mary’s…  Let’s allow the Spirit of God to work thru each of us as person, families & parish today and everyday.

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!

Sometimes when the Deacon is preaching, I ask him before Mass to summarize his homily in one or two sentences.

Well if St. Paul were here today, his message would be, his question would be, “What does the love of Christ impel you to do?”

The love of Jesus in today’s Gospel impelled Jesus to save his friends from danger. And today’s Gospel story of the disciples in a boat being tossed about reminded me of the following story:

A man was asked to paint a boat. He brought his paint and brushes and began to paint the boat a bright red, as the owner asked him.  While painting, he noticed a small hole in the hull, and quietly repaired it.  When he finished painting, he received his money and left.

The next day, the owner of the boat came to the painter and presented him with a nice check, much higher than the payment for painting.  The painter was surprised and said “You’ve already paid me for painting the boat sir!”

“But this is not for the paint job. It’s for repairing the hole in the boat.”

“Ah! But it was such a small service… certainly it’s not worth paying me such a high amount for something so insignificant.”

“My dear friend, you do not understand.  Let me tell you what happened… When I asked you to paint the boat, I forgot to mention the hole.  When the boat dried, my kids took the boat and went on a fishing trip.  They did not know that there was a hole. I was not at home at that time.  When I returned and noticed they had taken the boat, I was desperate because I remembered that the boat had a hole.  Imagine my relief and joy when I saw them returning from fishing.  Then, I examined the boat and found that you had repaired the hole!  You see, now, what you did? You saved the life of my children!    I do not have enough money to pay your ‘small’ good deed.”

So no matter who, when or how, continue to help, sustain, wipe tears, listen attentively, and carefully repair all the ‘leaks’ you find.  You never know when one is in need of us, or when God holds a pleasant surprise for us to be helpful and important to someone.  Along the way, you may have repaired numerous ‘boat holes’ for several people without realizing how many lives you’ve save.

Make a difference… Continue to make a difference…

Feast of Corpus Christi

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the Feast of Corpus Christi: CLICK HERE! 

In more recent years families gathering around a table for a meal seemed to be a rare occasion, maybe at holidays, maybe on a special occasion.  Everyone had some place to go and nobody’s schedule seemed to be the same.  Then came the Pandemic and maybe one of the things that changed, at least for a while was, nobody was going anywhere.

People had to live with those people, often referred to as: husband & wife;  ma & dad;  children;  brother and sister…

People actually gathered around a table to eat, to be family.

And today we have a Feast: The Body and Blood of Jesus, that also asks us to gather around a table.  To find the time again to be with our community of faith, our family in person and in some cases via livestreaming.

When I think of families gathering together at home, of families gathering together at God’s home (Church for Mass), my thoughts are the same families and parishioners around a table with those they love, sharing in conversation, stories, being fed… good food and good wine, bonds of friendship and life and love deepening… People being nourished to go out into the world to work, to school, to serve & care for others.

I think of people being fed and becoming what they eat.  We’ve all heard that quote, “you are what you eat.”  And it is true both physically and spiritually.

I think of food and drink necessary to keep us alive, physically and spiritually, that should also move us to bring nourishment, in any number of ways, to the people we interact with day in and day out.

It is our belief that we actually receive the Body and Blood of Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine every time we receive Communion, but as the Disciples of the past remind us, we are called to feed others, to bring Jesus into the world daily, to “become what we receive” – Jesus to one another.

Maybe todays Feast is that reminder to continue to make Jesus real to the people and world in which we live – to be Jesus, to be Holy Communion to others, as we continue to come together as family, as God’s family, now and forever.   (Amen)

Seventh Sunday of Easter

To watch Fr. Joe’s Homily from the 7th Sunday of Easter: CLICK HERE! 

As I prepared my homily this week, I was very much aware of the tension between Israelis and Palestinians that is under way in Israel, the Birthplace of the Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Israelites and Palestinians seemingly on the brink of war.

And today as we gather to pray, a people of faith, we, like Jesus, pray that ALL may be one, that PEACE will prevail in our World.

And then we hear in today’s second reading, “we must love one another” – “No one has ever seen God, yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is brought to perfection”.

How many times in our lives have we sung, “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.” Yet 30 nations of our 195 nations worldwide are involved in a Civil War…

Yes we need to pray for peace among nations and within countries.  Yes, we need to encourage our leaders to work for peace, but we cannot leave ourselves out of the process.

So this week, maybe we can look within ourselves, and see where we are making efforts to love one another, and we may need to begin to make efforts in our love for another, for others, by our attitudes, our words, our actions, big and small.

By imitating Christ’s compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, love and so much more… we can continue to transform the lives of people in our everyday world by those many acts of kindness that proclaim the Gospel of the Risen Jesus to others each and everyday!