To watch Deacon Andy’s homily from the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
Today we hear from a number of people who were called by God:
- The servant in the Isaiah reading, who may be Isaiah himself, speaks of being formed by God in the womb.
- Paul sharing he was called by the will of God.
- John the Baptist was called to make known to Israel that Jesus was the Son of God.
Each of them dedicated their life to carrying out their call. Each was called not just to proclaim the faith, but to broaden its reach.
Isaiah called the chosen people back to faithfulness, but God tells him it is too little; he must go further “that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.”
Paul clearly takes Jesus’s message further, preaching to the wider gentile world and establishing Christian communities far and wide.
John the Baptist, in making Jesus known to Israel, prepares the way for Jesus’ mission to bring salvation to all.
We too are CALLED to do the will of God and to carry on the mission and ministry of Jesus as our Responsorial Psalm reminds us today, “Here I am Lord, I come to do Your Will”.
How are we called today and tomorrow to do the will of God? I am sure you can give many examples, but let me offer two:
- In recent days, I overheard several men speaking about their daily prayers for their family, in particular they noted they pray for their children that they will find a faithful spouse.
- And in that same circle of men, two of them shared that they were very much involved with offering “summer opportunities” for adults over 21 with various challenges. (Even to the extent of taking off 4 weeks in the summer to do so)
May the words of Psalm 40, “Here I am Lord, I come to Do You Will”. (As person, family and Parish) words that have been lived by many people over the centuries. Words that must translate to a lived faith continuing to give testimony to our faith in Jesus, the Son of God – “The Lamb who takes away the Sins of the World.”
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
(Please note: a major winter storm will hit the Northeast beginning Saturday afternoon thru late Sunday – with snowfall expected up to 20 inches, with hazardous driving conditions)
Today is the Second Sunday in our Liturgical Year. And I think I just heard someone say a major snow storm is anything but ordinary, even for us here in the Northeast!
I have three points for our “storm weekend” reflection:
1. Be the “Face of Jesus” today and every day.
2. May we use our God given talent/gifts for the good of others.
3. May we continue to “back up” our words of faith with actions of God’s kindness, care, life and love.
As I was preparing my homily for this weekend, I was very much aware that it was a Holiday Weekend as our nation honors and remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was considering using some parts of Dr. King’s famous speech of 1963 (The “I have a Dream Speech”) so I printed up a copy and read it; (as a matter of fact there is video of the speech).
Might I suggest that we turn to our computers sometime today or tomorrow and search for the “I Have a Dream Speech” by Martin Luther King, Jr. Think of it as a time of prayer and reflection for today or tomorrow.
Have your ever thought that God has a plan, not a dream but a plan, for you and me and us? We hear in the First Reading today from Isaiah, “The Lord said to me: You are my servant, Israel, through whom I show my glory.”
God had a plan for the people of Israel, his Chosen People. God has a plan for you and me and us… His Church.
Isaiah says it so well, “The Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb… My God is my strength!”
What has God formed us to be now and in days to come??
One answer is as St. Paul reminds us: God has formed us to be HOLY. There’s a loaded word – Holy. I think for many people that words like “holy” and “saintly” seem to be outside our experience.
Without great detail, the lives we live at home, at work, at school, at church… the everyday details and routines of life are meant to bring us a step closer to being whole and holy people as we live our Baptismal call to love God, love others, and grow as Disciples of Jesus every day.
In the days and weeks ahead, look and listen for where God is speaking to you in the events and happenings and people of everyday life.
In the days and weeks ahead look for the opportunities that call us a person, family and Parish to love God, to love others, to grow as Disciples of Jesus.
Those opportunities that allow in our day “the salvation of the Lord, to reach the ends of the Earth”, including St. Mary’s, Crescent.
And like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who had a dream, he also had faith that the “Glory of God would be revealed, and all flesh will see it together.”
A faith that allows us all to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to stand up for freedom, peace and justice together.
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; John 2:1-11
At lunch this past week your hardworking Parish Staff entered into a discussion about the Pastor’s Homilies of the past few weeks. Of course they liked them all…. What would they say….
But the staff commented that each homily had that one phrase or quote that was a good guide for thought and action going into the week ahead. Mentioned by the staff was, “Pray for One” and “Be a Star – Lead others to Jesus!”
This week as I reflected upon the Scriptures, the phrase that came to mind was, “Give a Helping Hand.” Isn’t that what Jesus did today? At the bequest of his mother; and who can say no to a mother? Jesus helps the couple avoid embarrassment by running out of wine. Jesus turns water into wine.
I remember a story that a priest friend of mine used many years ago, a story that I have used many times since, including today.
Seems a Religious Education Teacher was teaching today’s Gospel story to her class. After telling the story of Jesus turning water into wine, the teacher asks the children to share what the message of the story is. On girl in the back of the class begins to wildly wave here hand, while saying, “Pick me, pick me, pick me.” The teacher does pick her and asks the girl what the message of the story of Jesus turning water into wine was. The girl answered, “the message of the Wedding Feast at Cana where Jesus turns water into wine is this: when you have a party – invite Jesus.”
We might smile at the response. But at the same time we who have been blessed by God with various talents and blessing, (as St. Paul reminds us in the second reading today), can certainly “give a helping hand” as the moment unfolds or “give a helping hand” in scheduled ways also.
Like Mary, may we continue to see the needs of others around us.
There are a multitude of ways to give a helping hand to the people we live with, the people we work with, the people we go to school with, the people we know or do not know at all.
The Spirit of God, has blessed us with the talent and ability to bring joy, life, hope and so much more to one another and to others.
Loved the grade school students who wrote letters of encouragement to the field goal kicker who, last week, missed a short field goal that would have gotten his team to the next NFL Playoff game.
It’s been said that the action of Jesus at the Wedding Feast at Cana was a sign of what Jesus has been sent by God to do, to transform our world by bringing generosity, hope and healing.
As Disciples of Jesus, may we continue to transform our world, as we become more aware of the needs of others around us and “Give a Helping Hand.”
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 3: 3-10, 19; 1 Corinthians 6: 13-15; 17-20 John 1: 35-42
There’s a story today about an only child, a 3 year old girl, whose mother was pregnant. The girl could not wait until the baby was born. Soon after the parents brought the baby boy home from the hospital, she excitedly made a request: could she be alone with her new born brother in his room all by herself for just a few minutes.
Her parents were a bit uneasy about the idea, but since they had installed an intercom system, they reluctantly granted her wish. So, once the daughter went into the baby’s room and shut the door; they raced to the intercom to listen to what she was doing. What they heard was their 3 year old whisper to her newborn brother, “tell me about God – I have almost forgotten.”
This story may make us smile, but just maybe there is a bit (or maybe a lot) of truth in the 3 year old girl’s request… “Tell me about God, I have almost forgotten.”
The story suggests that when we are young we clearly know that we came from God. But in the process of growing up, we start to forget. We forget from whom we came and in whom we live.
St. Paul today in our second reading reminds us that when a person decides to follow Jesus, we become one Spirit with Jesus. Following Jesus, truly being his Disciple, calls us to glorify God in all that we do!
Following Jesus, truly being his Disciple, calls us to live a life of grace, a life of grace that is centered in the Sacraments – especially the Eucharist, each week. That special hour, each week, when we “listen” to the Lord who speaks to us in the Scriptures of that week. The Lord who invites us to the table to be fed with his Body and Blood (The Eucharist), food for the journey of life and faith.
And having listened to the Lord and having been nourished by our God, we go out into the world to witness to God’s love, God’s caring, God’s forgiveness, and so much more in the week ahead. In that week ahead, in the lives we live, we pray that others may know of God’s goodness and love because of all that we do to glorify God in our daily living.
I heard about the music group Maroon 5, who last month took a Saturday to crash several area weddings. What they did, and it was a surprise to everyone, was set up a curtained stage at the reception and at the appropriate moment the couple was invited to come forward to the closed curtain. As they did, the curtain opened and Adam Levine’s – Maroon 5 sang for the couple and guests. Talk about using your talent for another.
We may not be Adam Levine, but we are all capable of bringing some joy, some life, some love into the lives of another, of others.
In the United States Bishop’s Pastoral Letter entitled, “A Disciple’s Response,” the Bishop’s speak of the “Choice,” the “Challenge,” and the “Vision.”
The “Choice” is to develop a mature discipleship that responds to the call of Christ, no matter the cost.
The “Challenge” is to make this discipleship a lifestyle, not just a series of volunteer actions.
And then the “Vision” is that disciples are transformed into stewards eager to follow Christ, cultivate their gifts, and share them with the community.
This is the Faith to which we are called.
This is the call of Jesus for his disciples of yesterday, today and tomorrow.