CACINA

March 26, 2017, Today’s Homily at Holy Trinity Parish, the 4th Sunday of Lent

Posted in Called, christian, Christianity, church events, Faith, homily, religion, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on March 26, 2017

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Reflection for Friday of the Third Week of Lent (March 24, 2017)

Inclusive Text- Readings- Hosea 14: 2-10 / Psalm 81: 6C-8ABC, 9-11AB, 14 & 17 / Mark 12: 28-34

Sisters and brothers, I don’t know about you but I find it very difficult at times to follow one of the instructions of St. Benedict. St. Benedict says, “Welcome all as if they were the Christ”. (Paraphrased) Without sounding as if I am bragging, I could honestly say that I would give the shirt on my back to anybody. I am sure, as we all have in one way or another done this. However, there are the times when I have said those words but have not carried them out. Our actions always speak louder than words. I have learned from my own experience and from what others have mentioned to me, that it is not so much what people say that has an effect on me but by who they are and how they live that really speaks volumes?

rev. Michael Theogene

Reflection for Thursday of the Third Week of Lent (March 23, 2017) Cycle A

Inclusive Text- Readings- Jeremiah 7: 23-28 / Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9 / Luke 11: 14-23

Sisters and brothers, who is it that we rely on for our strength? Do we put our desire for strength in other humans or do we come and place our trust in the one who created us? Sometimes trust in others whether it is close friends or family can be good, but what happens to our trust when those individuals may put us down? This may not always happen but it can because we are only human. What happens to the trust we put in the Creator? Have we found ourselves disappointed?

It seems that it is us who can disappoint God which we know that is never the case. God sees and knows our potential but yet is always patient and gracious towards us and allows us to find our way. Hopefully with God’s help, we can find a way to be able to listen to God’s voice. Listening with the ear of our heart as St. Benedict reminds us. We may be waiting for the lightning bolt to show us what to do, but if we truly quiet our hearts and mind than we can get a glimpse of the whisper of what God is actually trying to tell us.

You have heard it said, God’s delay is not God’s denial as we are reminded by so much in the first and second testament writings. I sometimes believe that if we live without expectation then we will be truly blessed because we will never be disappointed.

rev. Michael Theogene

Reflection for Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent (March 22, 2017)

Inclusive Text- Reading- Deuteronomy 4: 1, 5-9 / Psalm 147: 12-13, 15-16, 19-20 / Matthew 5: 17-19

Friends, we have a responsibility, no in fact it is our duty and obligation to ensure that we do not fool ourselves when trying to be honest with others. Let us not fool ourselves when it comes to specific care and instruction of those who are placed in our paths. I think we need to be careful, knowing our own boundaries, when interacting with others. Yes, love is a risk, relationships are a risk, and yes, unfortunately love leaves a scare.

We know what we have seen and heard. We believe and yet I find that at times I don’t need to defend God. God is more than capable in defending God’s self. If we stay and remain faithful to the conversation, than more is revealed as we journey further in the conversation. It is the same with others. Look at the times when you might have been so influenced by someone and how you reacted. Look at the times when you might have influenced someone, were we careful with that person? Did we provide adequate care and instruction? If in a position of authority, did I  abuse my position over a subordinate at work or in church?

We sometimes can be so easily influenced by others as well as us impacting others. Through personal counseling or spiritual direction, let us always take the opportunity to take a step back, reexamine the situation and become mindful of how we can hurt others in our lives hopefully before it’s too late.

rev. Michael Theogene

Reflection for Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent (March 21, 2017)

Inclusive Text- Readings – Daniel 3: 25, 34-43 / Psalm 25:4-5AB, 6 and 7BC, 8-9 / Matthew 18: 21-35

We hear over and over again of how often we should forgive. So, how often should we forgive? It’s always easier said than done, isn’t it? Just as we hear of the various stages of grief so it is the same with forgiveness. I believe there are stages of forgiveness. It may not always be so easy to forgive. At times we may come out of ourselves and forgive the simple wrongs done to us by others, but how about those big hurts? The big hurts, the ones that may require a little more time to process and discern.

We may have been hurt by a parent, a loved one, and close friend, an ex-spouse, ex-boyfriend / girlfriend, co-worker, a work supervisor or by whoever, who hurt me? Who hurt us?

It is in that same like manner that when we come to that time of forgiveness, as with grieving, it has no time table. It can take that instantaneous moment or it may need to take a day or two or perhaps it can take years. The bottom line is that not to take too much of the time you think you might need. We may not have enough as at times, especially with those big hurts, as we continue to let fester in our minds and souls focusing on the traumatic hurt, preventing us from living, from moving on.

There are many books out there on how to forgive and they say many good things.  Friends, when we forgive it might be for the moment when we know what the right thing to do is. We might remember from time to time the reminder of the big hurt that comes to mind, but like anything else, it’s our job to embrace it, sit with it for a brief moment and then move on as best as we can.

The idea as Jesus reminds us so often, as he continues to do so today, is to forgive because God forgives us. When we don’t forgive in its many forms whatever the situation is or may have been, then it is us to think and act like God as if we were God ourselves not allowing the overflowing pains of forgiveness which will lead to joy in some way.

I am always amazed by the many stories of forgiveness that have arisen in our world. Sister Camille D’Arienzo, a Religious Sister of Mercy in Brooklyn, NY, has done a great deal of work on forgiveness. From families forgiving individuals who hurt loved ones through violent crimes to the process of coming to some forgiveness of the innocents taken away from love ones by priests who were to shepherd the flock and not attack the flock as ravenous wolves.

Yeah, forgiveness can be tough at times, from the minor to the major. Who is it that I need to forgive that I have found difficult to forgive? Am I worried so much about being right? Does it really matter? What steps am I going to take in order to begin the steps toward healing?

rev. Michael Theogene

Fr. Treglio of the Parish of Saints Francis and Clare- Sunday of the Third Week of Lent

Reflection for Friday of the Second Week of Lent (March 17, 2017)

Inclusive Text- Readings- Genesis 37: 3-4, 12-13A, 17B-28A / Psalm 105: 16-21 / Matthew 21: 33-43, 45-46

Thursday- Jeremiah 17: 5-10 / Psalm 1: 1-4, 6 / Luke 16: 19-31

Wednesday- Jeremiah 18: 18-20 / Psalm 31: 5-6, 14-16 / Matthew 20: 17-28

Wednesday’s Gospel brings out how human we all are.  We love God but somehow feel because we acknowledge our belief in God that we deserve a high place in the Kingdom.  And what happens?  We are told that if we want to be “great” we must be the servant.  Most of us have grown up with the idea that in order to be successful we must attain power and wealth.  What Jesus is saying about being a servant is the opposite of this.  Where is the power in service?  We are clouded by the world’s material success.  Look and see who has been the one whose story of love and service has survived over 2000 years.  That is the true meaning of success, to love yourself, to be the one willing because we are so in love with God, as Jesus is to serve whenever and wherever we can, with joy and no expectations of reward.  Jesus was criticized and mocked because of his humility, love and mercy and served no matter what. Are we willing to follow that path?

Friends, additionally how do we humble ourselves?  Do we fail to see our self-worth?  Do we feel that we are better than others?  Why did the rich man fail to see how he treated Lazares?  Was it because he was afraid that he saw his prejudice and lack of love for all?  Who do we see when we look at others?  Who is it we see when looking at ourselves?

The landowner tried to work with the tenants but was rejected.  Many attempts were repeatedly made but rejection followed.  When that person we want to hear from most continues to stare us in the face penetrating us body and soul to our core, is it ourselves who we are looking at?  What is it that we need to face and stop running away from?  Who is that we reject?  Who has rejected us?

rev. Michael Theogene

Reflection for Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent (March14, 2017)

Inclusive Text- Readings= Isaiah 1:10, 16-20 / Psalm 50: 8-9, 16BC-17, 21 &23 / Matthew 23: 1-12

My friends, who is it in our lives that we elevate to such a high standing or position? Who is it that we make god in our life? As I have also said in the past, it pretty much comes down to one thing, relationships. Relationships with others and our own relationships especially when it comes down to our images of the Creator in our life practices.

Friends, unfortunately in other parts of my work, I have seen people who are in relationships, in particular with an intimate partner or spouse, elevate that partner to a high status as if no one else existed and that person could do no wrong. In essence they make that person a god. What happens when that person, upsets you or disagrees with what you are thinking or saying? Sisters and brothers, we have to be mindful of the way we interact with the people who are brought into our lives. I am not saying that we shouldn’t trust those who are close to us or walk on egg shells for fear of upsetting them.  The love we give and measure out has a responsibility to it from both parties. Whether it is a close friend, pastor, teacher, spouse, partner or supervisor, there is a duty that we are held accountable for our actions. Parents who love their children love each child equally yet differently. There are no favorites among them.

We have to become aware of not hurting people without compromising our morals and values.  Jesus never did that, he was true to himself.  Whether we think we know consciously or unconsciously, deep down we know. There is another part to this as well. We must know our part in it. When we have been hurt, what was our role in it? Were we on another agenda? What happens when you thought they understood your position and then your world is turned upside down when they do the opposite of what you thought? Even with that you say to yourself I will follow what they say anyway.

Friends it is simple that one can swear never to be influenced, but when you are in the middle of it, you surprise yourself.  Others may even blame you for it stating that it was your idea for it and now you are to blame for all the upheaval that takes place. Whatever it is, whatever it was, we have all been there and need to forgive others and forgive our self. We need to take the responsibility of what was done and move on. Becoming more and more aware of our self in this journey is more than half the battle.

Let us remember that it is in the example of God’s servant Jesus that we strive to be true servants of God, not by being taken advantage of but by the true nature of offering up our spirits to the One who loved us first by humble service to others but that does not mean to compromise our morals and values.

 rev. Michael Theogene

Reflection for Monday of the Second Week in Lent (March 13, 2017)

Inclusive Text- Readings- Deuteronomy 9: 4B-10 / Psalm 79: 8 ,9, 11 & 13 / Luke 6: 36-38

Friends, how often do we judge? We spend the time judging others more than we judge ourselves. Why is that? Do we feel that making ourselves just as powerful as God entitles us to do this?  Do we think that by making ourselves more judgmental is going to change the behavior of those we are judging? Do we judge our self with just as much authority?

When we do this, and I am sure we do, we become so self-righteous that we focus only on what we are placing on the person and our self. It is as if we forget the person as a whole and narrow in solely on the fault at hand.

What is the message we wish to convey when interacting with our sisters and brothers? Do we want to show judgment or do we wish to show mercy?

My former first testament professor in seminary would tell this story.

One day a Rabbi had met with God and asked God, if God had prayed. The Rabbi was so adamant to prove to God that he had prayed continuously and couldn’t believe that God the Creator would even need to pray.

The Rabbi, who was so persistent, would finally hear from God. God answered the Rabbi saying “Yes, I do pray! I pray that my need for mercy outweighs my need for judgement.”

rev. Michael Theogene

Second Sunday of Lent- Fr. Joe Spina from the Parish of Sts. Francis and Clare