Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 13:55 “”Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary…”

As you read this pastor’s corner remember this – Our Lord Jesus, CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE earned his living as a young man, by working with his hands; thus, adding value to the lives of others as a simple carpenter. GOD, a carpenter.

I remember when public schools used to have a class called “Industrial Arts.” We called it “Shop” for short. Where a young person could learn how to work on wood/carpentry, build things of necessity, work with metal/plumbing – even learning how to work on small engines. I always envied those who excelled in using their hands and minds to create and conserve things that improved our standard of living.

With that said, I am saddened that we have fewer technical schools, and have pretty much ignored these disciplines. I am also intrigued that everyone wants to become a star and that we revere hollywood, and professional athletes, yet it was a teacher that planted the seed for St. John Paul II to pursue the life that lead him to sainthood.

I write this on the day that the Church celebrates St. Therese of Lisieux who spoke of doing all things, big and small, out of love of God. She did the simple tasks in the convent that needed to be done “out of love of God.” This is the path to greatness in the kingdom. Doing the little things well.

Imagine if we had a breakdown in society where we could no longer depend on Amazon Prime, grocery stores, or shopping to gain items in which to survive. What if there was no one to pick up our trash, or no plumber to fix our toilets, or the handy man to repair the toaster, or the bank teller, or the order taker – you get my point. I could continue naming things and simple vocations that we take for granted, but are absolutely necessary for a healthy and vibrant society.

Thus, we all have value and a place in society. Every job, that adds something to our lives, big or small, has dignity, unless it is something contrary to the natural law of God – of course. On this Respect Life Sunday – Every Life Matters – And every job that adds something to our lives should be appreciated and respected. We all have been created with purpose and a role to play.

If the world collapsed around me – I am not looking for a Hollywood star, a professional athlete, nor a politician to help me survive – I am finding the person(s) that have the skill sets that we take for granted – those who can help me survive and flourish.

Pax – Fr. Vic

Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

We live in an age where breakthroughs in medical research, technology, procedures and drugs have eliminated many diseases, has improved our lives, and raised our quality of living. We have reduced pain, and we live longer. Those are good things.

On the other hand, I would like to point what a culture looses when trying to eradicate all forms of pain, suffering, discomfort, and the removal of any form of the cross from daily life. In our struggles, weaknesses, and discomfort The Lord can use our suffering, struggles, pain, weaknesses, and discomfort to sanctify us. It is through suffering that we have an opportunity to participate through love and charitable acts to bring comfort to one another. To bring Christ’s concrete love into a broken world. Without suffering or the cross these moments to participate in Sanctifying Graces are missing from life.

Our own personal crosses and struggles can be used for our good when we seek grace through penance and abstinence. In Christ Jesus, don’t think I am being punished by my struggles with sin and vice. No, my struggles against sin and vice are being used to sanctify me. My crosses are there to point me to my daily need of God and Sanctifying Grace.

And we are open to extraordinary graces when we offer up to God, our little daily inconveniences, as well as, the bigger sufferings. Offering this up for others is a powerful force for the good in this fallen world. And the suffering of others allows us opportunities for charity, which inflames our own souls with grace, and the presence of Christ in our hearts.

-The Lord desires to share in every aspect of your life, and wants to reconcile and elevate every area and work of your life as we participate in Glory and work of Christ Jesus.

Saint Leo the Great, pope: And this is the reward they will receive for their love of God and neighbor: when their struggle with all temptation is finally over, there will be no further adversities to suffer or scandal to fear; but they will rest in the peace of God undisturbed, through our Lord who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

Pax – Fr. Vic

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

(Venerable Fulton J. Sheen—from Through the Year with Fulton Sheen):

“Does God know anything about pain? Does God know what I suffer? Did God every have a migraine headache as if his head was crowned with thorns? Does God know anything about the starvation in India an Africa? Did he ever go without food for two days? Or three? Or five? Does God know anything about homelessness? Was he ever without a home? Does he know what it is to be a refugee? To flee from one country to another? Does he know what it is to be in jail? To be the victim of scourging? Does God know any of these things? Yes. God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”

—Jesus chooses to endure the cross and to suffer so that we can have life.

—Jesus, embracing the Father’s will experiences, in the flesh, all that we endure, except sin. He is pure so we can become pure.

—Sacrificial love is powerful, and when we participate, we are renewed and thus, heal and save many lives following this model of our Lord’s sacrificial cross.

—Even though God does not desire suffering, nor was suffering or pain part of creation before the fall, God can use it to bring about a greater good.

At this point I was planning on continuing with this weekend’s homily on suffering and the cross, but will wait until Sunday. Until then, please know our Lord desires to share in every aspect of our lives and to reconcile and celebrate our lives as we participate in the ministry of Christ Jesus. (Saint Leo the Great, Pope): “And this is the reward they will receive for their love of God and neighbor; when their struggle with all temptation is finally over, there will be no further adversities to suffer or scandal to fear; but they will rest in the peace of God undisturbed, through our Lord who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and every.

Amen.” Pax—Fr. Vic
Contributions

Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

This week I will start and end with quotes from Jeff Cavins, a Catholic convert and apologist-

If we can’t receive your Body and Blood, where are we going to go? Will you exchange the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ for a homegroup, where you can read the Bible together? Will you exchange the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ for a prayer meeting? It’s a question we all have to answer. We are fed as Catholics on a diet of the Word of God and by his Body and his Blood. This all takes place in the Mass.”

As I said during a daily Mass homily this past week – “Don’t put all of your trust and hope in the church’s hierarchy – For they are not the end, but a means to an end – The end is Christ, Salvation, and Heaven. The means is the Church, Christ’s Instrument of Salvation.”

  • The Church, The Mass, and The Sacraments are what will infuse us with the Divine Life.
  • The people may be flawed but not the Mass instituted by Christ, the center and core of this ancient church He founded. For His Bride shall be found without spot or wrinkle. This is accomplished daily, as the Mass and Sacramental Life continually washes, nourishes and heals a wounded church through Christ, her Bridegroom.
  • After Jesus explained in John 6; …That He will nourish His followers with His Body and Blood (Gift of the Mass and Holy Eucharist).

Jesus then asked the apostles; “Are you going to leave me as well?”

          – St. Peter responded; “Lord, where shall we go, You hold the words to eternal Life.”

Shall we run away as well? or shall we stand and be a voice for the innocent, and live bold Christian Lives as a witness to our Bishops and to the world of this ancient and Holy Faith founded upon a suffering, but ultimately triumphant Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jeff Cavins – “There are problems in the Church today, we all know that. But through all of it, Jesus manages to feed us. Why? Because he’s the Shepherd and we rely on his ability to feed us, not on the cleverness of men; not on the ingenuity of men or the verbal eloquence of men.” (Both quotes are from his talk titled, I’m not being fed…)

Amen!  Fr. Vic

Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time

I love this quote from Cardinal Sarah…
“There is never any more authentic relation with God than in an encounter with the poor.”
I love the time spent with the working poor and those struggling to make ends meet. They allow for Christ’s love to become concrete and visible in this world.

This 22nd Sunday of ordinary time our readings are focused on the Commandments.
“Jesus founded the Church to be his bride. It’s from Jesus that we get the great commandments of love of God and neighbor. It is Jesus who instituted the Sacraments. Jesus who taught us how to pray. Jesus who, especially in the Blessed Sacrament, inspires holiness in our own day.”

Although the law is bound in love of God and neighbor, Jesus Himself said He did not come to replace the law and commandments, but to fulfill them. A thought based on my homily today. Ask a child if they have the freedom to play the violin or any instrument. If they say yes, then give them the instrument and ask them to play. If they have never learned the rules and laws to play beautifully the chosen musical instrument, then the notes will come out as incoherent and rambling. Life is that way. Jesus teaches us the law and commandments so we can live freely and with abundance as we share our lives, gifts and virtues with our family, friends, and society at large. When we interact and engage with the world with an act of self gift, we become free and began to find fulfillment and happiness.

With that said – An anonymous family has donated to Sacred Heart Parish a new Book of the Gospels. The book was purchased IN MEMORY OF DEACON SIR KNIGHT VINCENT TRAINER. When I raise the Book before proclaiming the Word of God, may this intention be honored.

Our Lady’s Guild donated the Angels protecting the Tabernacle, and a dear friend dedicated our new Thurible and Incense Stand in honor of her husband.

These people are truly living free as they offer us gifts for liturgical use to enhance the beauty of our Liturgical Worship.
Pax – Fr. Vic

Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time

Friends, I have a very simple quote for this week…

“Nothing is more tragic to an individual who once was wise than to lose his memory, and nothing is more tragic to a civilization than the loss of its tradition.” Venerable Fulton J. Sheen in Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Roadmap to Eternity Instead of giving a critique like I normally do, I would like us to just reflect on the beauty of our traditions—not only the timeless traditions that founded our nation—but those family traditions that link us to each other; thus, leading us to a deeper faith and to God. In Christ I remain… Fr. Vic

“Dear young people, the happiness you are seeking, the happiness you have a right to enjoy has a name and a face: it is Jesus of Nazareth, hidden in the Eucharist. Only He gives the fullness of life to humanity!” …Benedict

***Also don’t forget the Parish Pilgrimages to Medjugorje, October 2018, and The Holy Land, Spring 2019 with more information to come. ***

Statement from Bishop Zarama in Response to the Extensive Report of Clergy Abuse

08-17-2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Over the past few weeks we have been presented with a series of sad and shameful revelations about the conduct of some priests and their leadership in the Catholic Church. In the name of the Church, we ask for forgiveness that those entrusted with the pastoral care of others betrayed that trust and abused their positions and, in doing so, stole the dignity and faith of others.

As one of my fellow Bishops, Most Reverend Robert P. Deeley, J.C.D., of the Diocese of Portland said recently in response to the reprehensible acts brought to light, “The vast majority of Catholic priests are men of integrity who are dedicated to unwavering good works and spreading the Good News of Jesus, but these past criminal and sinful acts diminish us all.”

Steps were taken in the early 2000s to ensure a safe environment for children and a proper response in the event of an allegation of child abuse by a member of the clergy. This renewed and stronger commitment is reflected in the recent report. I join with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and The Holy Father in encouraging continued additional reform and vigilance at all levels of the Catholic Church, to put ever stronger protection of minors and vulnerable adults in place and to hold accountable predators and anyone who is complicit.

I support the goals recently outlined by the USCCB to investigate, report and resolve recent accounts that have come to light and to do so under criteria that include independence and high­ level involvement of the laity.

Let us continue to pray for all victims of sexual abuse; they are our priority. Victims of Church abuse deserve not only support but thanks for shining a light in darkness. Through their courage, they are helping to ensure an environment for their own healing and for the safety of others.

If you or anyone you know has been harmed by ministry-related sexual abuse, please contact the Director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the Diocese of Raleigh at 1-866-535-7233. Information given to the diocese will also be turned over to civil authorities.

I ask that you join me in praying that our Church will be resolute in next steps and renewed and transformed by the light and love of Christ.

In Christ,

† Luis Rafael Zarama, J.C.L., Bishop of Raleigh

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

What is the connection between minding our own affairs and growth in prayer?

St. Teresa of Avila explains that serious people are likely to be agitated and even shocked at all sorts of things that occur through the typical day. Their inner peace is unsettled, and prayer is hindered.

Another reason is that those who meddle in other people’s concerns are likely to make mistakes in their judgment and even to offer misguiding advice.

Thus, says Teresa, we ought to let God take care of his own. She observes likewise that pain is often enough caused to the one in whose business we are meddling, but the most pointed reason is that people who are minding others’ affairs are not minding their own.

If our mind is free enough to notice what others are doing, it is free enough to carry out what Scripture repeatedly tells us, namely, to keep our eyes always on the Lord, to sing to Him in our hearts always and everywhere.

The saint considers distress over the sins and failings of others in everyday life as a demonic temptation. The devil puts it into people’s heads that their meddling really arises from a desire that God be not offended and be better served. They usually focus on the petty faults of which the world is full. A pervasive concern disturbs peace. All the while meddlers consider that they are being virtuous in their preoccupations.

Teresa’s conclusion is that ‘the safe path for the soul that practices prayer will be not to bother about anything or anyone and to pay attention to itself and to pleasing God.’

May our Lord Bless you—Fr. Vic

Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Sometimes we can make our Christian walk complex when it can be very simple beginning with this quote from a book of “Spiritual Direction of St. Claude de la Colombière” who was canonized by St. John Paul II.

“Jesus is in the midst of us in the Blessed Sacrament. What a consolation to live in the same house where He dwells! Yet does it not seem as though we often ignore this happiness? Do we visit Him often? Do we go to Him with our needs and consult Him in our plans? Do we bring Him our little sorrows instead of talking about them by complaining and murmuring to others?”

I will add…as I spend more time with Jesus both in prayer and Eucharistic Adoration, it is so much easier NOT ONLY TO BRING ALL my needs and concerns to Him, but the wisdom to focus on those most important at a given moment. What follows is more peace and less anxiety. Pax—Fr. Vic.

***Also don’t forget the Parish Pilgrimages to Medjugorje, October 2018, and The Holy Land, Spring 2019 with more information to come. ***

Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

We would not have a gadget in our house five minutes without knowing what it was for; yet some live twenty or sixty years without knowing why they are here or where they are going. When life is meaningless, it is dull; the absence of a goal or purpose begets worries, anxieties, psychoses, and neuroses. What is the use of living unless we know the purpose of living?” Fulton J. Sheen from “Life Is Worth Living”

I love this quote from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. We are wired to know our creator and origins, just as a child desires to know their biological parents. The devil wants to create a climate where we become so busy and enamored with the material world that we cease to contemplate the bigger and deeper questions of life—the questions that lead us to God, Happiness, and Fulfillment.             Pax-Fr. Vic

***Also don’t forget the Parish Pilgrimages to Medjugorje, October 2018, and The Holy Land, Spring 2019 with more information to come. ***