Gospel reading and homily at Sunday’s Mass at the Church for All People

Posted in Christianity, church events, inspirational, scripture by Mike on March 16, 2009

Fr. Joe unlocks the mystery of Sunday’s gospel reading:

Gospel and homily from a CACINA parish March 8

Posted in church events by Mike on March 10, 2009

Fr. Joe reads from the gospel last Sunday:

Here is his homily after the gospel:

Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2009 Reflection

Posted in Uncategorized by coapbk on February 25, 2009

Readings for the First Sunday of Lent:GENESIS 9:8-17, (1 PETER 3:18-22), MARK 1:9-15

Daily Reflection by Father Joseph Diele, Church for All People, Brooklyn and Tarrytown

The Lenten season is all about the Christian Community recalling our Baptisms.  It is time for those preparing for Baptism to be prepared in a much more focused way. We go from ashes to the fire of The Easter Vigil and we go from the desert of these weeks to the waters of Baptism.  We go from the remembrance that we are dust to the fact that this dust can rise by God’s power.

Noah goes onto the ark with the world.  All creation is brought onto the ark.  The scene is wonderful because it recalls for us the beginning.  God is recreating the world.  Scientifically we know if the story were factually true, the water reached the highest mountain, and if that were so, the water would have surmounted the Himalayas.  If the water had really reached the top of the highest mountain, the world would have spun off its axis.

What if the ark is a symbol of an embryo floating in a womb?  What if this story is really about the Great Mother? What if the creator God we meet in Genesis 1 as the Feminine Breath of God is here as the womb of God?

Ponder for a moment the meaning of creation? Of motherhood? Of a Divine Mother?  Ponder for a moment the feminine side of God.

-What have we created recently?

-The great command of God both in the beginning and again here is to go and be fruitful.  Too often and way too many church people have made this literal. The real command is much deeper, much more profound than only pro-creating rather how are we creating ourselves and our world?

-What do our communities tell us about being creative?

Daily Reflection for Friday, February 13, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by coapbk on February 13, 2009

Readings: 2 KINGS 5:1-14 and MARK 1: 40-45

Reflection by Father Joseph Diele, Church for All People, Brooklyn and Tarrytown, NY

Draw a picture about being the unclean.

What does it look like when someone is considered unclean? Where is this person in the picture?

Try by the picture to draw isolation, aloneness and even hatred. Try to make your character be the unclean.

Remember this is not an art lesson.

This picture is just for you and your prayerful reflection.

Use color if you have. Use stick figures if you feel more comfortable. The idea behind this exercise is to get us to see what it is we are thinking about this situation.

Now draw someone who is considered clean.

Where are they in the picture?

What are they doing? What has changed?

Reflection for Thursday, February 12, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by coapbk on February 12, 2009

Readings: 2 KINGS 5:1-14 and MARK 1: 40-45

Reflection by Father Joseph Diele, Church for All People, Brooklyn and Tarrytown, NY

When a leper would enter a village, it was necessary to cry out UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN! Everyone had to know that an unclean person was entering the area.

Can we imagine what it must have felt like to be considered unclean? It would be good to think about what the life of the unclean must have been like. Where were they accepted?

Where could they go? If you were considered unclean, what did you think that God thought of you? Remember this was a religious law so it had something to do with God. God must consider you unclean if there was a religious law concerning you and your disease.

You were now considered an outcast to your family, your village, your religious community and to God. The leper was isolated and left alone because they were not clean.

Who are today’s lepers?

Who do our churches consider as unclean?

Who do I consider unclean?

Who does my community, my church consider unclean?

Reflection for Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by coapbk on February 12, 2009

Readings: 2 KINGS 5:1-14 and MARK 1: 40-45

Reflection by Father Joseph Diele, Church for All People, Brooklyn and Tarrytown, NY

Leprosy was seen as a horrible disease in ancient days in Israel. The people Israel did not experience the disease that we know as leprosy.

Our disease of leprosy, (Hanson’s disease) did not reach Palestine until much later in history.

The rules around leprosy were not medical in nature they were about religious or ritual purity. There was a need to be able to control bodily functions and a concern about what emanated or was put into the openings of the human body. The rules seem to have a great deal to do with boundaries on both the individual level and the public level.

What are our boundaries?

-What happens when people go beyond the prescribed boundaries?

-What are boundaries that have caused us the most pain when they have been crossed?

-What boundaries have our communities helped us to maintain?

Reflection for Monday February 9, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by coapbk on February 9, 2009

Readings: 2 KINGS 5:1-14 and MARK 1: 40-45 Reflection by Father Joseph Diele, Church for All People, Brooklyn and Tarrytown, NY

What did you never hear in the story before?

What fascinates you?

What questions do you have?

Have you ever been desperate, in search of a healing?

Have you ever tried, tried, tried, and come up short, empty without resources?

Have you ever lived in doubt of God’s help or a cure or peace?

Can you relate to Naaman?

Daily Reflection for Saturday February 7, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by coapbk on February 7, 2009

Readings JOB 7:1-4, 6-7 and MARK 1:29-39

Reflections by Father Joseph Diele, Church for All People

We sometimes expect if God were God then there would be no pain.  We all have expectations around our belief and understanding of God.  We all create images and hold ideas about how we expect God to be and act.

We want God sometimes to protect us from ourselves.  We want God to be what God is not. We want God very often to be made in our image and likeness.

-What are our expectations for God, fulfilled and unfulfilled?

-How do we deal with the problem of suffering in a world that is divinely charged?

– What do we do or say when we are confronted with suffering our own or others?

-How do our communities cope with suffering?

Job offers the challenging question both to us and to God, “Why do innocent people suffer?” The book of Job really does not give us an answer. When Job encounters God with the questions of his heart, God replies, “So Job were you there when I made the heavens?” The reality of God’s reply is that in reality, we are not God and our ways are not God’s ways. God is God and we are not. God promises to be with us no matter what but nowhere do we see God saying to us we will not be limited, finite, and frail or suffer. God says to us that we will always have the divine presence with us, abiding with us this is God’s promise.  We on the other hand are being asked to deal with life on life’s terms.

-The intersection between what is and the promise of divine presence comes to us, as we are where we are. How do we deal with life as it is and a God who has promised to be beside us?

-How have we dealt with pain in our lives?

-Are we the cause of pain and discomfort for others or a cause of healing?

-Have we brought pain to our communities or have we been an instrument of healing?


Daily Reflection for Wednesday, Feb 4, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by coapbk on February 4, 2009

Readings: JOB 7:1-4, 6-7 and MARK 1:29-39

Reflection by Father Joseph Diele, Church for All People

Job has friends and his friends try to comfort him.  They have the belief that there is a cause and an effect between suffering and one’s moral life. They try to comfort Job but they say to him, “Job you can trust us, you must have done something wrong at some point and now you are suffering because of it.”

In every age, people try to say things that they think are helpful to a suffering person but in actuality, I am not sure they are so helpful. Please do not use them on me!

“You are special because God picked you to suffer”

“God never gives us more than we can take.”

“God wanted another angel in heaven.”

“You are so blessed because God has asked you to bear this pain.”

-How do we understand pain?

-How do we explain pain?

-Where is God in our understanding of pain?

-How do our communities help us to deal with pain?

Daily Reflection for February 2, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by coapbk on February 2, 2009

The book of Job is a literary masterpiece. The author is unknown to us and even the dating of the manuscript is unsure.  The scholars say it is written sometime between the seventh and fifth centuries Before Christ.

Job is a good man and his life falls apart around him. The whole book cries out with the question why do good people suffer.

We almost want to say we can understand when bad people suffer but good people suffering, how can that be? Suffering itself is something so out of our control.

Read as much as you can of Job: it is a very long book.

How do you understand suffering?

What does the community to which you belong say about suffering?