I Believe, Help My Unbelief

Today’s Gospel contains the words of a father desperate for his possessed child. “If you can, help”. Jesus replies, “Faith”.

Then the marvelous confession shared by so many of us, ‘I believe…. But… Help my unbelief’

How many have a vague sense of faith. A dimly lit candle of faith. I tell you ask Jesus to help you in your unbelief’.

I sit here among the dead knowing they will rise in the resurrection. I reach out to the living telling them same.

Woodside, NY. Preaching the resurrected Jesus.

Rite of Committal

Preached the 7:30 AM Mass today. The basic notes found here this site You have heard that it was said .

Now at PBI awaiting my flight to LGA. Bringing Mom to her final resting place. Monday 11:00 AM.

Blessed Mother Intercede for Her

This will be the conclusion of the funeral rites. A final act of the community of faith in caring for the body of its deceased member.

We commit her to her resting place as one among all those marked with the sign of faith where she too will await the glory of the resurrection.

The Church on Earth and the Church in Heaven share Mother now. We with our farewell prayers and they welcome her into the company of those who see God face to face.

Family Place, Calvary, Woodside.

May the Angels accompany you.

Sing Praise, sing praise

I’ll send photos throughout. May my devotion to her be give also to all those you love for we journey as a human family and love has no boundaries.

Blessings,

Deacon Gerry

Plane reading
Saint Sebastian – Baptismal Church
Chapel
St Sebastian School she attended,
Morning Assembly
A pub the younger version frequented.

Manifest for Manifestation

In the hours leading up to the Epiphany or the Manifestation, I thought to list a manifest of preparation that will help us actually experience the Epiphany.

Manifest

A ship or plane’s manifest is the list of cargo or passengers on a particular trip.

Four Basics

1. Tear down walls of separation – from within and around me root out the prejudice which erodes the depth of our humanity.

2. See the Presence of God – teach us to recognize the many forms of God’s presence in one another.

3. Assent to be holy as God is holy – with integrity of word and deed, faith and action.

4. Let God transform me and all of creation – may every heart, voice, deed, action throughout the universe be transformed.

Happy Epiphany!

Think with Love

Wednesday night Benediction was the Gospel of Matthew 1:18-25 Joseph visited by an Angel in a dream story.

It is also the Gospel reading for the 4th Sunday of Advent. Perhaps we can use this story for our current situation.

Joseph thought in terms of righteousness. He wanted to do the right thing – at least what he thought were the available options.

He considered his options under the law: 1. Subject her to the moralists, 2. Divorce her quietly.

While he considered he had a visitation. Here is where I want to expand our understanding of Divine angelic visitation.

This invitation is to think in and through love. The third option, the one he couldn’t imagine under the law: Marry Her. Thinking in and through love he became the Protector of the incarnate one and his mother.

Yesterday the House of Representatives impeached Donald J Trump. This is the situation. This is the state of affairs. This is our predicament.

Where do we go from here? I am not suggesting The Donald is anything close to a innocent! I am not suggesting The Donald is anything close to a righteousness man!

There is no question that President Donald John Trump should be convicted and removed from office.

I’m worried about us, the People of these United States. I AM worried we are stuck between the false choice of the moralists and the quiet divorce options.

We need the same Angel to speak to us. Help us find the option of love. Which in this case is removal and full disclosure of the evil among us.

We need the contours of options knowable but only through revelation.

May God bless these United States of America.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Hidden in Christ

After a day bedside, I went to pharmacy to get my own medication.

A man looked at me and said,

You are hiding the cross!

He was upset.

I replied,

Rather, I am hidden in the Cross.

He replied,

I don’t hide anything.

Indeed. More Bible time needed. See Eph 1:7.

Religious intolerance not only is rude but closes one off to new expressions of the Divine.

Don’t be rude.

Blessings,

Deacon Gerry

Insurance Rich – Premium Poor

"We'll keep you poor throughout your life, but at least you'll be rich after you die."

Insurance Rich – Premium Poor

Greetings on this the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings: WS 9:13-18B; PS 90:3-6, 12-14, 17; PHMN 9-10, 12-17; LK 14:25-33

Modern Parable

When I was a young man and establishing my life outside of the family, in a conversation with my Mom I made mention of the different insurances being sold out in the marketplace. Car insurance, renters insurance, health insurance, life insurance, on and on the list went. She listened carefully to my descriptions of each and the relative merits each provides. When I was done she answered simply,

“You don’t want to be Insurance Rich and Premium Poor”.

Insurance Rich and Premium Poor

She went on to explain that there are many insurance products out there. Many more, in fact, than I listed above. But only some do you really need. And even then only in restrained quantities. You don’t want fear to be the primary motivator of your actions. You don’t want preservation of material goods to be your principle concern. Moms can be smart that way.

Rather the focus should be on loftier and more valuable things: relationships and behavior. Jesus offers discipleship that has us not focus on insurance of what we have and how to retain it but rather on that which we can share and bring the Kingdom of God to all in need.

Today’s Gospel Parables are the same message

Jesus compares three things (or four depending on how you count).

  1. Love of God and Bearing Your Cross
  2. Building a Tower
  3. Fighting a War

Jesus makes clear that loving God and bearing your cross is ‘The Way’. Building a Tower and Marching off to war are illusions of insurance. They are really impossible tasks that lead to no good outcome.

Choose – choose wisely. Choose to carry a cross for the Kingdom and the wellbeing of not just your own but for all.

Blessings,

Deacon Gerry

Spiritual Negligence

Leaking Cup

Spiritual Negligence

Greetings on this the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings: IS 66:18-21; PS 117:1, 2; HEB 12:5-7, 11-13; LK 13:22-30

The Gospel reading for today has Jesus speaking of the narrow gate (or narrow way). In the Gospel of Matthew version the narrow gate is evaluated or realized by the fruits of the works of the person. In the Luke version the narrow gate is determined by the effort or striving one attempts. Heaven it seems in not merely a creed or profession but a reflection on how we think and what we do.

Traffic Control

I am not sure if this is common where you live but here we use off duty policeofficer to perform traffic control at our local houses of worship. The efficient movement of many vehicles into and out of a given house of worship requires an authoritative traffic control person and who better than a police officer.

Usually this work is pretty straight forward. Maybe a 15-20 minute effort in total and it can be done without a great deal of effort. But this one Sunday there were many, many cars. The traffic control policeman really struggled to keep up with the volume and the duration of the traffic control effort. We knew it would be a more difficult day so after it was over we walked over to the police officer to thank him. Before we could say a word he blurted out: ‘Father, you must tell me in advance when you are going to have a big event! This was much too hard to do all alone and I should have had help.’ Father responded, ‘Are you Christian’ The police officer replied, ‘Yes.’ Father said, ‘Today is Easter.’

Worried People

Back to the Gospel story.

The people were clearly worried. Seeing and hearing the differences between the leadership and their teaching and Jesus and his teaching would naturally create some serious thinking: ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ Spiritual neglect (we used to call it lukewarm) is a reasonable understanding of this teaching of Jesus. What exactly do we need to think/do/say? Is wealth a sign of God’s approval or a product of sin?

Jesus instead points to the contrast – the opposite of a life of salvation. In other words, Jesus does not answer the question directly. Instead he offers the example of exactly what we should NOT be like.

In the dialog of arriving at the narrow gate and wanting access some are turned away, ‘I do not know where you are from.’

To which they reply: ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’

Jesus repeats his statement, ‘I do not know where you are from.’

The ‘ate and drink’ statement needs to be unpack. Jesus deliberately wants us to do that. The statement is concerned with the worldly good of life and is missing the spiritual good of life. It contains the three basic forms of obsession for worldly good and becomes the evidence about those who are denied entry.

The three are:

  1. Pleasures of Life (Flesh) – Food and drink even the Sign of the Multiplication of the Bread is to be taken for the body alone.
  2. Pleasures of the Eye (Possessions) – Riches of the world. Our city, you were invited to our city. We possess this place.
  3. Pride of Life (Honor) –They want to possess honor, be given honor and not give God the honor.

Narrow Gate

Jesus’ warning is that worldly good can have such a powerful influence over us as to put our eternal soul at risk of eternal exclusion.

Depart from me, all you evildoers, he said. Doing evil is the problem. Attending to your spiritual good is the way to the narrow gate.

Jesus is the gate. Following in his path, making your way to your personal Jerusalem is a truly fulfilling life with eternal benefits.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry