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October 3, 2009

October 4th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 5 Period I.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for October 4th are Luminous.


   

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Fr. Joe's Cycle C

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4th Sunday Advent

 

Micah 5: 1-4

But you (Bethlehem) Ephrathah,
the least of the clans of Judah,
from you will come for me
a future ruler of Israel
whose origins go back to the distant past,
to the days of old.
Hence Yahweh will abandon them
only until she who is in labour gives birth,
and then those who survive of his race
will be reunited to the Israelites.
He will take his stand
    and he will shepherd them
with the power of Yahweh,
with the majesty of the name of his God,
and they will be secure,
    for his greatness will extend
henceforth to the most distant parts
    of the country.

He himself will be peace!

 

Hebrews 10: 5-10

You wanted no sacrifice or cereal offering,
but you gave me a body.
You took no pleasure in burnt offering'
   or sacrifice for sin;
then I said, 'Here I am, I am coming,'
in the scroll of the book it is written of me,
to do your will, God.

He says first You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the cereal offerings, the burnt offerings and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to do your will. He is abolishing the first sort to establish the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ made once and for all.

    

Luke 1: 39-45  

Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could into the hill country to a town in Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now it happened that as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? Look, the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’ Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

  

December 24, 2006 

INTRODUCTION

The capital of Assyria was in what is today, northern Iraq.  The Assyrian army was powerful and was famous for its savagery.  They had destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel and did considerable damage to the southern kingdom.  They surrounded Jerusalem and were calling for its surrender.  Naturally the citizens of Jerusalem were terrified.  We hear in today’s first reading words of hope spoken to God's people by the prophet Micah.  The book of the prophet Micah is very short and this is the only time in three years we hear from him.  He promises salvation would come out of an unimportant little village about seven miles south of Jerusalem, the birthplace of King David: Bethlehem.  This savior would rescue God's people and lead them to peace. 

HOMILY

Soon we will begin our celebration of the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.  The liturgy today invites us to set aside for an hour from all our busyness and to experience with Mary the wonder of God's coming to us. 

Today’s gospel of the visitation is preceded by the story of the annunciation.  The angel Gabriel who asked Mary if she would be the mother of our Savior also informed her that her aged cousin Elizabeth, after years of wanting to have a child, was finally going to have one.  “In haste” Mary left Nazareth and made the trip of about 65 or 70 miles (probably a four day trip for her) to the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah near Jerusalem.  No doubt the youthful Mary was a big help to her cousin in the three months she stayed with her.   

To any observer, here was a young girl coming to help out her relative who was six months pregnant.  But the Holy Spirit revealed to Elizabeth what was unable to be seen: Mary was carrying within herself the long awaited savior of God's people.  God comes to us in simple, ordinary ways, ways our eyes cannot see but in ways that can be seen through faith and the Holy Spirit.  Elizabeth wonders how she should be so honored with a visit from Mary and Jesus.  We must ask the same question.  How is it we should be so honored that Christ has come into our lives, that he speaks to us through the Scriptures, that he feeds us with his own flesh and blood in the Eucharist, that he hears us when we pray (even if he doesn’t always do what we want), that the touches us through the kindness of another.   

Sometimes I hear the argument from those who support abortion that we don’t know when the human soul comes into a fetus.  Jesus could have been only a few days old, for the gospel tells us Mary went to Elizabeth “with haste” after the annunciation.  John the Baptist, still unborn, and Elizabeth recognized Mary was carrying within herself something infinitely more than just a blob of tissue.  They recognized the wonderful presence of the Son of God and they were filled with joy.  

The whole passage is bursting with joy.  Elizabeth was excited by Mary’s visit.  John the Baptist, three months from being born was jumping for joy.  The Church has taught that at that moment John was set free from original sin and filled with God's grace.  Christ came to him before he was born, he was as it were, baptized or christened. Generally the Church celebrates the feast day of a saint only on their date of death, because that’s the day they are born into eternal life. But there are only three holy people whose birthday the Church celebrates, Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist, because they were already in God's grace when they were born.  But as Christ came to John before his birth, Christ came to each of us on the day we were reborn through the sacrament of baptism.  That should cause all of us to jump for joy, knowing that Christ has come to us, that he has given us his grace and has chosen us to be children of God.  

Elizabeth said to Mary “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”  The Greek word used here for “blessed” also means “happy.”  Mary was happy because she truly believed what the Lord had spoken to her and if you get out your bibles and read what follows today’s gospel passage, you will see how truly happy she was.  She sang a beautiful hymn of praise to God, a hymn known as the Magnificat.  It is this song of praise that we will use for our offertory hymn.  Do we really want to be happy?  This is the key, do not doubt God, do not doubt his love, do not doubt his presence, do not doubt his teachings.  He doesn’t always do things the way we think he should, and we don’t always know what he thinking.  That’s why we just have to trust him.  Mary didn’t always know either what he was up to, but she trusted him always and was always ready to say as her son would in his own life “Behold, I come to do your will, O God.” 

In a short time we will celebrate the birth of Mary’s son.  May we always feel the joy that his birth can give us, the assurance that in Jesus God is with us and God loves us. Amen.  

 

 

Christmas

Isaiah 9: 1-6

 

The people that walked in darkness 
    have seen a great light; 
on the inhabitants of a country 
    in shadow dark as death 
        light has blazed forth. 
You have enlarged the nation, 
    you have increased its joy; 
they rejoice before you 
    as people rejoice at harvest time, 
as they exult 
    when they are dividing the spoils. 

For the yoke that weighed on it, 
    the bar across its shoulders, 
the rod of its oppressor, 
these you have broken 
    as on the day of Midian. 

For all the footgear 
    clanking over the ground 
and all the clothing rolled in blood, 
will be burnt, will be food for the flames. 

For a son has been born for us, 
a son has been given to us, 
and dominion has been laid 
    on his shoulders; 
and this is the name he has been given, 
‘Wonder–Counsellor, Mighty–God, 
Eternal–Father, Prince–of–Peace’ 
to extend his dominion 
    in boundless peace, 
over the throne of David 
    and over his kingdom 
to make it secure and sustain it 
in fair judgement and integrity. 
From this time onwards and for ever, 
the jealous love of Yahweh Sabaoth 
    will do this.

 

Titus 2: 11-14

    You see, God's grace has been revealed to save the whole human race; it has taught us that we should give up everything contrary to true religion and all our worldly passions; we must be self-restrained and live upright and religious lives in this present world, waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Christ Jesus. He offered himself for us in order to ransom us from all our faults and to purify a people to be his very own and eager to do good

 

Luke 2: 1-14

Now it happened that at this time Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be made of the whole inhabited world. This census—the first—took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee for Judaea, to David’s town called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. Now it happened that, while they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first–born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the living–space. In the countryside close by there were shepherds out in the fields keeping guard over their sheep during the watches of the night. An angel of the Lord stood over them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ And all at once with the angel there was a great throng of the hosts of heaven, praising God with the words: 

    Glory to God in the highest heaven, 
    and on earth peace for those he favours. 

  
December 25, 2006

Christmas touches what is most beautiful in our lives and in our faith.  Christmas shows us that God wants to be close to us and wants us to be close to him.  Christmas tells us God loves us enough that he is willing to share in our poverty and in our suffering.  The place where he was born, Bethlehem, which means house of bread, and the manger in which he lay, which was a food trough for animals, reveal to us that he came to be our food, to nourish us with his truth and his light and his love.  His birth shows us he came for all people, from the lowly shepherds who were practically the most unimportant people in society to the wise men who came from far away.  Every child who is conceived is a sign of hope both to its parents and to the world – who knows what each little life might accomplish.  Jesus’ coming into our world brings with it the greatest hope of all, hope that we shall live forever in his kingdom. 

Today I would like you to use your imagination.  Picture what might happen if the statues in our crib were to come alive.  What they might say.  What they might do.  What would Mary tell us?  Would she complain of the long trip to Bethlehem bouncing along on the back of a donkey or the inconvenience of not finding a place to stay for the night?  Or is it possible that none of that would matter because of the joy she felt at the birth of Jesus.  Not only was he her precious child but the angel had told her be would be called holy, Son of God and king forever?  Would she, in her love, be covering his little face with her kisses?  And Joseph?  He really cared about Mary and Jesus.  Would he worry about them having to spend the night in a stable?  But he was trusting, too, and he may have felt very peaceful knowing he did all he could and God would take care of the rest.  What might the shepherds have to tell us?  Were they amazed that God chose to tell them, as unimportant as they were, this exciting news that their Messiah and Lord had just been born and he was only a few steps away from them?  Did the wise men already see the star and start getting their bags packed so they could go to meet this newly arrived king?  The animals, if they could talk, would probably ask, “What’s going on with all these people coming and going?”  Could they sense the excitement around them and know that they were looking upon their God and Creator?  I wonder what Jesus might have said if he could have talked, but he didn’t know how to talk yet.  He was just born.  The divine side of him might have been thinking why did I ever do this.  Or his divine side, filled with divine joy from all eternity, might have been feeling joy now as a human infant, ready to bring life and light, healing and salvation to all who would be receptive to his great love.  It’s interesting to speculate what each person in the stable might have been thinking, feeling, doing, or what they might say to us if they were to come alive. 

I want to carry that thought just a little further.  If these lifeless statues that remind us of the glorious event of Jesus’ birth were to come alive, that would be a stupendous miracle.  It’s not in the nature of things that a lifeless object suddenly springs to life, and living things that have life do not suddenly take on a higher form of life.  Seeds might turn into flowers and tadpoles might turn into frogs, but flowers don’t turn into cats and frogs don’t turn into whales.  Trees do not become squirrels, goldfish do not become horses and rabbits do not become human.  I have no quarrel with the idea of evolution if God decided to create higher and more complex forms of life from lower forms of life over thousands of years, but there is considerable consistency and stability in creation.  And here is where part of the miracle of Christmas lies.  The Son of God came down to us to lift us up, to give us a higher form of life, to make us humans divine.  We do not stop being human, but we become much more, we become God’s sons and daughters.  But we have to open our hearts to him for this to happen.  That’s why we celebrate Christmas.   It’s not that the Son of God became bored up in heaven and decided he wanted something different to do, so he decided to come and visit this planet.  No!  He came to us because he wanted to share with us all the joy and love and life he shared with his Father and with the Holy Spirit from all eternity. 

If Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were to say anything to us they would tell us to trust Jesus, to open our hearts to him and to follow his way of love, to love God with our whole selves and to love our neighbor as ourselves.  If we do that, everything else will fall into place and we will enjoy eternal happiness.  Amen

 

 

Feast of the Holy Family

 

Sirach 3: 2-6, 12-14

for the Lord honours the father above his children
   and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.
Whoever respects a father expiates sins,
   whoever honours a mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
Whoever respects a father will in turn be happy with children,
   the day he prays for help, he will be heard.
Long life comes to anyone who honours a father,
   whoever obeys the Lord makes a mother happy.

My child, support your father in his old age, 
    do not grieve him during his life. 
Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy, 
    do not despise him in your health and strength; 
for kindness to a father will not be forgotten 
    but will serve as reparation for your sins.

    

Colossians 3: 12-21

    As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, put on love, the perfect bond. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together in one body. Always be thankful.

    Let the Word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him.

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as you should in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be sharp with them. Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord. Parents, do not irritate your children or they will lose heart.

     

Luke 2: 41-52

Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When the days of the feast were over and they set off home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was somewhere in the party, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere. 

    It happened that, three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’ He replied, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he meant.

He went down with them then and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and with people.

   

December 31, 2006

HOMILY:
Psychologists have isolated about a dozen or so characteristics that happy and successful families share, while most unhappy families are unhappy or dysfunctional in their own unique and individual way. I want to talk about only one quality that helps marriages and families to be successful and happy and that is holiness since this is the feast of the Holy Family. This does not mean that holy families are isolated from the ordinary problems of daily life. Holy people have as many problems to deal with in daily life as anyone else, but they have a good support system to fall back on: God, who helps them deal with difficulties. The holy family had their share of problems. If you read the early chapters of St. Matthew and St. Luke’s gospels you might get the impression their lives were full of problems. Today’s gospel is the only gospel that tells us anything about Jesus as he was growing up. What panic Joseph and Mary must have felt not being able to find him for three days. Every family has good and bad times.

The holy family was holy because God’s will was first in their lives. And St. Luke wants us to know this. He pointed out many instances where Mary and Joseph always did what God wanted of them, whether through the message of an angel or by their fidelity to the Jewish law. For example, Luke tells us in today’s gospel the holy family would go to the Temple every year to celebrate the feast of Passover. That trip from >Galilee to Jerusalem was not like taking a drive to Daytonor Lexington on a Sunday afternoon. Even though Jerusalem was only about 70 miles from Galilee, it would have taken a few days; most people had to travel on foot because they didn’t have any other means of transportation and they had to travel in groups too, because travel was dangerous. They could have met robbers or wild animals along the way.

This willingness to do what God wants brings with it the development of many values such as honesty, fidelity, responsibility, and virtues such as Paul mentions in today’s second reading: heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiving one another and putting up with one another and above all love which binds them all together and makes them perfect. These values and virtues help people have good relationships. When I say if we are a holy family our family will more likely be happy and successful, I’m not just making up things or proposing theories that I believe are good ideas. A number of statistical studies have shown that regular church goers live happier and more successful lives and have happier and more successful marriages. A few years ago the rate of divorce, for example, was twice as high among non-church goers as it was among church goers.

As we speak of families, I want to say a word about our parish family. Here I use the word family analogously. But I thought I would make some connection with family and parish because this Friday was the 15th anniversary of our merger with St. Patrick’s and the 15th anniversary of my appointment to St. Boniface as pastor. Archdiocesan policy is that if a priest is over 65 years of age, he can stay where he is as long as he has the health and energy to do the job. I told the Archbishop I would like to stay here. I won’t beat Monsignor Schwartz’ record, but, God willing and with good health, I should be good until I’m 75 which will be another six years, then I’ll see whether I should stay longer or whether I should retire. My hope is that someone else will step forward to take St. Joseph’s Church at the end of June. It’s been really hard trying to take care of two parishes. St. Boniface resembles a family in several ways. I feel like a father to so many, having supported and guided many people through hard times throughout the years. Now that I have two parishes, I miss having as much time as I used to have for personal contact with our parishioners here. I enjoy praying at Mass with our parishioners and it pains me when I know people who should be here every week and who seldom are. I would like to hear more people praying and singing. St. Paul tells us, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” That’s one thing I have to say about St. Joseph’s Church. Their responses and singing are spirited. As “father” here in this family I am grateful for all the support I get, moral support, support when we need volunteers, and financial support. Just two weeks ago, for example, I put something in the bulletin about needing to do some repairs on the organ. I made no special pitch or appeal and already we received almost $9,000. One of the things I find most refreshing here is that the people treat me as if I know something. Not that everyone thinks I’m always right, but in other places I’ve been it felt as if the people thought I didn’t know anything and I was there not to be their spiritual leader, but to do whatever they wanted me to do. The only problem with that was everyone had conflicting ideas about what they wanted or what would be helpful to them. As your father, as your pastor, as your spiritual leader, I want to say I’m glad to be part of this spiritual family where I see genuine holiness and love.

Going back to my main theme of family, do you want to be a healthy family? If you can keep two rules uppermost in your family relationships (keep God first and love one another), you have most of the battle won.

 

               

 

 

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20"

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18"

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18"

$300  
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18"

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18"

$300  
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18"

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18" $300  
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12"

$200  

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11"

$150  

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 18"

$250  
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$8.00
 


 

Nursing Home Mass CD

$8.00
 

Holy Spirit Novena DVD

$10.00 

Divine Mercy Chaplet DVD

$10.00 

plus shipping
   

 

Call Kathleen

1-888-211-3041
1-812-273-8405
1-888-321-7671

 

God’s Blue Books

God’s Blue Book 1
Teachings to Lift You Up

    $10.00


God’s Blue Book 4
The Love of the Hearts of
Jesus and Mary

$5.00
 


God’s Blue Book 2
The Fire of His Love

$10.00
 

God’s Blue Book 5
So Deep Is the Love of His Heart

$5.00


God’s Blue Book 3
Love God, Love One Another

(Fr. Carter's favorite)
$10.00
 


God’s Blue Book 6
He Calls Us to Action

$10.00
 

  

 

Rosary Books
 


Rosaries from the
Hearts of Jesus and Mary

$10.00
 

Rosaries from the
Hearts of Jesus and Mary

$12.00

Rosary Meditations for
Parents and Children's

$10.00


Mysteries of Light 1

$5.00
 

Mysteries of Light 2

$5.00


Little People & Elderly Rosary Book

$10.00

Coloring Book
$5.00 each


Coloring Book
$5.00 each

 

Coloring Book
$5.00 each

Coloring Book
$5.00 each

Coloring Book
$5.00 each


Coloring Book
$5.00 each

 

 

 

 

 

   

Available for $10.00 each plus postage

1-888-211-3041

Call Kathleen

   

We are trying to get

Response to God's Love

and the Mass Book out.
 

Anybody who wants to help us

with a donation to get these 2 books

out in the Priestly/hierarchy mailing —

Please call Kathleen 1-888-211-3041

   

 

 

Prayer Cards

size 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
$1.00 plus postage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Card  4" x 6"

.50 each plus postage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

Holy Cards available

2" x 3"

     
Holy Spirit Prayer Act of Consecration to
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Act of Consecration to
Sacred Heart of Jesus
Prayer for Priests

 

Prayer before the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
 

Prayer for Union with Jesus

Available for .25 each plus postage

Call Kathleen

1-888-211-3041

  

     

 

We are trying to get

Response to God's Love

and the Mass Book out.
 

Anybody who wants to help us

with a donation to get these 2 books

out in the Priestly/hierarchy mailing —

Please call Kathleen 1-888-211-3041

 

 

July 31, 1994

Words of Jesus to Members of
Shepherds of Christ Associates:

"My beloved priest-companion, I intend to use the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, and the movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates, in a powerful way for the renewal of My Church and the world.

"I will use the newsletter and the chapters of Shepherds of Christ Associates as a powerful instrument for spreading devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart.

"I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."

- Message from Jesus to Father Edward J. Carter, S.J., Founder, as given on July 31, 1994,
feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)

 

  

 

  


 

The China Church is over 140 years old

and we pray in there 24 hours a day.

It needs stucco and so does

the community building.

Can you please help us?

Call Kathleen 1-888-211-3041

 

Likewise the priest house

is 150 years old.

Jesus told us to repair it

which we have been doing.

We need $13,000.00 for this work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can help put the Blue Book V

in the hands of 1,000 people

we need $1,200 postage for this

It is ready to go

Call Kathleen

1-888-211-3041

  

You can help put Fr. Joe's homily

book in the hands of

1,000 priests — it costs $1,100

This can help 1,000 parish priests

talk about Covenant for Lent 

Please help us

It is ready to go

Call Kathleen  1-888-211-3041

1-888-321-7671
1-727-725-9312

 

Crucifix — hand carved by Felix

   

Available for $750.00

 

 

 

Brand New Internet Store

 

 

Click picture

   

 


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