The Lord Hears

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
Readings: Jb 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23; Ps 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8; Lk 9:51-56
Notes: In our first reading and in our responsorial psalm we see humanity in dire straits!

So bad we feel and experience awful things we lash out!

  • Cursed am I!
  • You, Lord, have abandoned me!

But Jesus response with gentle love. He hears our deepest heart desire.
He does not react negatively to their taunts but rather stays the course to save all mankind!

Reflection

The Church is for all God’s children, rich and poor, peasants and scholars, the sophisticated and the simple. But obviously the greatest concern of the Church must be for those who need the most help—those made helpless by sickness, poverty, ignorance, or cruelty. Vincent de Paul is a particularly appropriate patron for all Christians today, when hunger has become starvation, and the high living of the rich stands in more and more glaring contrast to the physical and moral degradation in which many of God’s children are forced to live.

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-vincent-de-paul

First reading
Job opened his mouth and cursed his day.
Job spoke out and said:

Perish the day on which I was born,
the night when they said, “The child is a boy!”

Responsorial Psalm
Let my prayer come before you, Lord.

You have plunged me into the bottom of the pit, into the dark abyss. Upon me your wrath lies heavy, and with all your billows you overwhelm me.

Alleluia Verse
The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Gospel Portion
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

A Homily by Deacon James Parrilli

St Christopher, Hobe Sound, FL

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sisters and Brothers, Beloved Children of God!

Today, listening to the readings, we may heard that Jesus doesn’t like rich people.

In a number of Gospel stories men of means have debated Jesus and have become “parabled”, that is to say, became a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. The rich man for example in today’s gospel.

What exactly is the danger of being rich?

In the first reading from the book of Amos…

Woe to the complacent in Zion!

Lying upon beds of ivory,

 stretched comfortably on their couches,

 they eat lambs taken from the flock

War was brewing but because of their own earthly pride they thought and felt they were untouchable. Nothing concerned them but the present age. Their outlook, priority and universe… was only focused on themselves.

Why plan for what’s next.

Then in the familiar gospel of today of the rich man dressed in fine linen and purple garments…
who dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.

We are not told how the man became rich. Paraphrasing a Shakespeare quote…

“some are born rich, some achieve riches, and some have riches thrust upon them.”

So it must not matter.

But if we think Jesus doesn’t like rich people… we couldn’t be more wrong.

Many wealth men and women in the bible helped Jesus, his followers and his ministry.

August 31st is the feast of two very wealthy, powerful and learned men,

Saints JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA AND NICODEMUS, DISCIPLES OF THE LORD

It’s hard enough for ordinary, simple people to open their hearts to a God who often reveals himself in unexpected, disconcerting ways. Often, it’s even harder for the learned who are esteemed as teachers of their people. It’s tempting to think that once we’ve studied and taught enough, we know it all, even about God. But, as we discover in two men who appear in the Gospels together at Jesus’ tomb, nothing is impossible for God.

Joseph of Arimathea

The Gospels describe Joseph of Arimathea as “a rich man” (Mt 27:57); a “respected member of the council,” or Sanhedrin (Mk 15:43), the governing body of the Jewish people that would have been the legal and religious reference point for the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and as a “good and righteous man” (Lk 23:50). Joseph was the owner of the freshly hewn tomb that Jesus was laid in. Remember…“He was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly” (Jn 19:38); after all, Jesus was a controversial rabbi who disturbed the religious sensibilities of many of Joseph’s colleagues in the Sanhedrin.

Nicodemus

Nicodemus, a Pharisee – the party of the strict observers and teachers of the Jewish law – who grants us deeper insight into the drama that unfolded in the lives of both these learned Israelites.

Chapter 3 of the Gospel of John describes “a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews,” coming to Jesus under the cover of night, drawn to him and yet fearful that this small movement or change of his heart might be noticed.

The teacher of the Law tells the Lord what he realizes and says “Master, we know that you are a teacher come from God.” But Jesus points out that this is not yet true knowledge: “Unless one is born anew, one cannot see the kingdom of God.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” asks the learned man, taken aback. Jesus, too, marvels: “Are you a teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?”

That there is a kind of knowledge that does not come from studying, that one can only receive like a child, welcoming the gift of God’s love? Nicodemus left that night with something in his heart like a crack in his great edifice of learning, we would call it a conversion but it was a fissure of light.

Both men ponder, reflect and contemplate on the Lord’s words and deeds…

until that small fissure in that hard heart becomes a wider opening.

Their eyes begin to open and see what is happening, as the web of malice and hate that surrounds Jesus is woven thicker by  all the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees,

In their secretiveness of the care, respect and love they have for Jesus

gives them strength to make small acts of courage.

The Pharisees debate what to do with this Jesus, whom they cannot stand, because of the hardness and darkness of their hearts

Alone Nicodemus asks in the Lord’s defense, “Does our law judge a man before giving him a hearing?” (Jn 7:51), earning the derision of all the Sanhedrin.

Finally, the events themselves provide the catalyst. They act on the love of God and their total dependence on him. His Grace makes those small fissures in their hearts open into a flood of light.

As we know Jesus is crucified, his heart is opened with a spear, and Joseph of Arimathea no longer cares if people find out that he is a disciple. God’s love is more important than his reputation and status.

Or anything else.

He goes to Pilate and asks for the body of the condemned man, so that he might give it a proper burial.

He even knows where, the tomb he had bought for himself: “After this, Joseph of Arimathea … asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus…. Nicodemus also … came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds’ weight.” These powerful & wealthy men anoint the King of Israel.

These two men using their own hands gently wrap in clean linen the greatest visitation of God their people had ever known.

Together, “they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices,” and laid it in Joseph’s newly hewn tomb (Jn 19:38-42).

Both men had once been afraid to confess that they were disciples, they valued their earthly position to be most important.

But in this labor of love, their actions confess more than words ever could. Their hearts have broken open with the light and dependence of God.

These learned teachers of Israel have become like children born anew. Silently, they anoint, shroud, bury and bless the body of the Son of God, from whom, for them and us and for the world, a new kind of life knowledge and Way has come.

They underscore the teaching from last week from Luke 16:10-13

One cannot serve God and Mammon.

There is a very similar verse in in Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

And continues…

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan?

Our Dependence, commitment and love of God. Is what matters. (period!)

Joseph and Nicodemus invited God deep into their lives, to the point that all else became secondary.

They lived as men of God to who St Paul speak to in the epistle

pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. 
Compete well for the faith. 
Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called
when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.

WE, you and I, make a noble profession of our faith each time we come to Mass.

Are we praying or asking for God to come deeper into our lives with only our lips?

or are we asking like our lives depend on it.

He is our rock, our foundation, our Father

All the saints, men, women, rich, poor, young. old, wealthy or poor and so on.

Were and are completely dependent on God as we are

AS we come up for the Eucharist let us keep in our mind what type of Father we have

From today’s responsorial…

A Father who keeps faith forever,

A Father who secures justice for the oppressed,
A Father who gives food to the hungry.
A Father who sets captives free.

A Father who gives sight to the blind;
A Father who raises up those who were bowed down.
A Father who loves the just;
A Father who protects strangers.

A Father who The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
A Father who shall reign forever; through all generations.

A Father who gave up his only Son for the Salvation of the world


Amen

About: Deacon James Parrilli was ordained 11 years ago. We went through formation together and we were ordained together. He works in ministry full time.

http://www.stchrishs.com/

An argument arose

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Greetings on this the Monday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: JB 1:6-22; PS 17:1BCD, 2-3, 6-7; LK 9:46-50
Notes: I do not want to say I am unpacking the entirety of the Book of Job. That is the work of the Ages. Job plumbs the depths of the permissive will of God and the insufficiency of man to understand the situation as it really is and how the Lord treats us in fact.

Hurricane Ian offshore nearing Cuba.

First reading
One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD, Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “Whence do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming the earth and patrolling it.”

Satan put Job to four calamities in this Old Testament portion.

  • Two are from the Evil activity of nations (Sabeans and Chaldeans).
  • Two are from the evil (little e) of nature.
  1. The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them, and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid. They put the herdsmen to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.
  2. Lightning has fallen from heaven and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you.
  3. The Chaldeans formed three columns, seized the camels, carried them off, and put those tending them to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.
  4. Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother, when suddenly a great wind came across the desert and smote the four corners of the house. It fell upon the young people and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you.

Responsorial Psalm
Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

Alleluia Verse
The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Gospel Portion
An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.

In our gospel portion today, the emphasis shifts from what Satan was allowed to do (evil in the world) to childlike behavior and the tender care of children. The shift is away from ‘power politics’ to love excelling.

Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.

The greater question is are we treating people well (remember the Sabeans and Chaldeans) and are we ready to place love received and love given as the rod by which we judge.

Job ends this way:

Thus the LORD blessed the later days of Job more than his earlier ones. Now he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters: the first daughter he called Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no other women were as beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; and he saw his children, his grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren (Jb 42:12-16).

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Complacent

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Greetings on this the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Am 6:1a, 4-7; Ps 146:7, 8-9, 9-10; 1 Tm 6:11-16; Lk 16:19-31
Notes: Being complacent in regard to one’s own eternal wellbeing is a most regrettable path to take.

In today’s gospel portion we are confronted with the great chasm between Abraham with Lazarus and the Rich Man. The chasm, how did it come to be?
The Rich Man dug it, one shovelful of complacency at a time.

First reading
Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion!

Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.

Responsorial Psalm
Praise the Lord, my soul!

Blessed is he who keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free.

Second reading
But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Alleluia Verse
Though our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.

Gospel Portion
Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.

Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.

I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.

But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Pay attention to what I am telling you

The Way

Greetings on this the Saturday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: ECCL 11:9—12:8; PS 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 AND 17; LK 9:43B-45
Notes: The 25th and 26th Sundays book-end multiple layers of the gospel teachings.

Between them in the reading sequence, a series of contrasts, the gospel message below:

Monday – You are Light.
Tuesday – Mother and Brother? Will of the Father.
Wednesday – Follow me. I desire mercy not sacrifice.
Thursday – Evil is perplexed by good. They cannot ‘see’ it.
Friday – The First Prediction of the Passion (propitiation and resurrection).
And today, Saturday.

A life led in vain (sequence readings ECCL or PRV, but I will highlight today’s contrast).
A call to imitate the fullness of the generosity of God and servant leadership of the Christ.

And in either horizon, death. It is our destiny.
Combining the gospel and first reading today could look like below.

Pay attention to what I am telling you: The life breath returns to God who gave it.

Our Alleluia verse today gives us comfort to consider these things:
Our Savior Christ Jesus destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.

The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time consider two parables. Two men, one who is an educated man hired to administer the treasury of a Master and the other the Master also an intelligent man who owns a treasury.

Both have a miserable (vain) relationship to the Manna.

  • The Dishonest Steward steals what is not his own as if only he matters
  • The Rich Man keeps only for himself as if only he matters.

Both have a horizon that is painful and without hope.

  • The Dishonest Steward, in this life, sets his course to the false protection of manna.
  • The Rich Man, in his death, finds the hopelessness in which he lead his life and now suffers hopelessness immediately.

The Parable of the Dishonest Steward. https://bible.usccb.org/bible/luke/16?1
The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. https://bible.usccb.org/bible/luke/16?19

First reading
The life breath returns to God who gave it.

Responsorial Psalm
In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Alleluia Verse
Our Savior Christ Jesus destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.

Gospel Portion
While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

  • Be amazed by Jesus.
  • Be loved by the Father.
  • Set your horizon to the holy.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

A Christ of God

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest
Readings: ECCL 3:1-11; PS 144:1B AND 2ABC, 3-4; LK 9:18-22
Notes: In gospel times, modern times and recent times, people decide to serve the Lord.

Each suffer, some a little and some very much. And all suffering in the life and heart of Jesus, who sacrificed all.

Capuchin Franciscan: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-pio-of-pietrelcina

Each of us in our own way can be ‘A Christ of God‘.

Funeral today. Bishop Barbarito will celebrate Deacon Joe DiMauro’s Funeral Mass on Friday, September 23rd, 1:00 pm, at St. John of the Cross Church. Deacon Joe DiMauro, one of the first permanent deacons ordained in the Diocese of Palm Beach, and for many years the only permanent deacon serving St. Helen Catholic Church in Vero Beach, FL, died at home Sept. 12 at the age of 86. He was surrounded in his final days by his beloved wife, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and siblings who showered him with the same unconditional love he expressed every day of his glorious life.

He was ordained on June 1, 1985, by Bishop Thomas Daily, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach. https://www.strunkfuneralhome.com/obituary/joseph-dimauro

First reading
There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die.

Responsorial Psalm
Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Alleluia Verse
The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Gospel Portion
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Vanity or Blessing

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Greetings on this the Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: ECCL 1:2-11; PS 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 AND 17BC; LK 9:7-9
Notes: A life’s course can be one of vanity or blessing.
Sometimes you fall but I hope you aright yourself and get back to a life of blessing.

Everyone works.
We all work to pay rent and buy food.
But the scope of our work is not only rent and food. It is the entirety of our life course.
Some work on good things and others not-so-good things.

It is the Lord who helps us to choose rightly, the right work.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!

King Herod, the tetrarch, led a vain life.

Scripture examples in relation to Jesus and Herod’s vanity:

Curiosity, self-indulgent, advantage, and without remorse
But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him (LK 9:9).

Revenge, and without understanding
At that time some Pharisees came to him and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem (Lk 13:31-33).

Jesus’ trial, curiosity, acquisition, and without remorse
Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign (Lk 23:8).

Revenge and alliance with evil
He questioned him at length, but he gave him no answer. The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly. [Even] Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate. Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly (Lk 23:9-12).

First reading
What profit has man from all the labor
which he toils at under the sun?

Responsorial Psalm
In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!

Alleluia Verse
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.

Gospel Portion
Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed.

There was no room in him for the Holy.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Unity of faith

Greetings on this the Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist
Readings: Eph 4:1-7, 11-13; PS 19:2-3, 4-5; Mt 9:9-13
Notes: Our unity of faith is in the person of Jesus Christ, rooted in the Gospel message, protected by the Apostolic succession and lived out through the credo of Jesus:

I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.

First reading
And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ.

Responsorial Psalm
Their message goes out through all the earth.

Alleluia Verse
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the glorious company of Apostles praise you.

Gospel Portion
(Jesus) said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry