Monthly Archives: August, 2019

Thank you

Fr. Bob’s homily 8/18/2019…


20th Sunday in Ordinary Time C

Every year when we go on vacation, my friend Fr. Tim and I hear the Gospel and think if we were glad or sad that we did not have to preach.  This Gospel makes me feel like I wish I had left yesterday and not today.  (Actually, this week left me feeling I wish I had become vicar general next week and not this one.)

It is jarring to hear Jesus say, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”  Or “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division.”  And yes, and although the other fifteen times he speaks of peace in the Gospels, he claims to bring peace, it makes it all the more significant when he does not.  It reminds…

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Up She Goes! By Kris Rooney

Today is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.  I have to admit, I always have a little trouble with this holy day.  It is the day we celebrate Mary’s whole body going to heaven.  I mean, who really saw this?  Legend has it that Thomas the Apostle did and caught her girdle on the way up.  Really?  It just seems a little too out-of-this-world to fathom.  But that said, it would be just like her, wouldn’t it?

There is something profound about Mary giving her whole body to what she loves, which is being with God and her son.  She is fully committed.

And when you think of Mary’s body, it wasn’t the porcelain white, manicured hands, chiseled jaw body that we often see in art.  It was a body that had birthed and nursed a baby.  It was worn with hard work.  There were lumps and bumps, scars and maybe wrinkles.  This lived-in, woman’s body is what was assumed into heaven.  As she said in her canticle, her soul doth glory in God’s love – fully!  There is a completeness, body and soul, to her self-giving.  There is a singularity of purpose.  “Here I am, Lord.  Take me as I am.  I am yours.”

What could we learn from this?  We can try to live with this kind of focus.  Do everything with a love of the Lord.  We can try to give ourselves freely to what is life-giving in our lives.  Live without fear when we open our hearts.  And we can live in hope that one day we may be whole-ly – and holy – with God too, body and soul.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

Do Not be Afraid any Longer Little Flock

Fr. Bob’s homily 19th Sunday OT…


19th Sunday in Ordinary Time C

“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock.”  Isn’t that a beautiful sentiment Jesus shares with us?   Sometimes I just love these sweet, tender and intimate words – like a mother speaking to her children.  And sometimes, when fear increases and darkness approaches, I need these words.  I need them when in Dayton and El Paso there is the tragic confluence of hate and violence – at once mindless and frighteningly purposeful.   I need it when we are reminded of the sins of our Church and our failure to respond adequately, as well as the price we must now pay.  I need it, and we all need it, when the darkness in the world reminds us of our own hurt, of the times we were used and abused, of our loss.  I then NEED to hear from the Lord, “Do not be afraid…

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If we ask, do we receive?

Fr. Bob’s 17th Sunday OT homily…


17th Sunday in Ordinary Time C

“Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  When things are going well, those words seem to perfectly depict our life with God.  But things do not always go well.  We know our prayers are not always answered.  Anyone who has had it rain every day of their vacation knows this.  There is not a fan of the New York Mets who believes that every prayer produces a positive result.

(Long aside.  People always think that I pray for the Mets.  That is inaccurate.  When I was ten years old, I told God that I would ask just once in my life for something for the Mets and I expected the correct response.  I waited until I was 21 years old and the sixteenth inning of the National Championship series.  The Mets had…

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Martha AND Mary

Fr. Bob’s 16th Sunday OT homily…


16th Sunday in Ordinary Time C

At my parish on Long Island, a new prayer group had started and it was greatly influenced by the charismatic movement.  My mother joined and heard of amazing spiritual experiences such as speaking in tongues.  Mom said she did not share in those experiences, but she felt closest to God in serving the poor.  A person in the group said, “Some of us are just Marthas.”  It was not a compliment.

Inevitably, the story of Martha and Mary plays out as a choice between two ways of life; as kind of a Catholic personality test.  You are either a Martha (practical and task driven) or a Mary (contemplative, spiritual and prayerful.)  The history of the interpretation of this passage has favored Mary.  However, for most of us, our sympathy flow toward Martha.  We have all felt we are doing all the work and…

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