Pastor’s Corner
Fr. Dave

2nd Sunday of Easter – April 8, 2018

I am writing this on Easter Monday, a day of snow! Amazing.
 

It has been a wonderful Triduum here at St. Jerome. I had the unusual experience of participating in

most of it from a pew. The only service at which I presided was the 9:30am on Easter Sunday. So, Fr.

Rojin did two Triduum services, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil, and Fr. Mike did Holy Thursday.
 

The highlight of Holy Thursday was watching family/friend groups come up for the washing of the feet.

If you were observing and knew the cast of characters, your heart would have been deeply moved. On

Good Friday, the same experience happened as I watched people coming up to venerate the Cross.

Participation at both services was as good or better than last year.
 

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Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018

I am writing this on Palm Sunday but thinking of Easter. Christmas, of course, has many stories, but it is hard to find Easter equivalents. So, I am eagerly awaiting a package from Amazon that will hold a book of Easter short stories. I am hopeful. While I wait, let me turn not to stories, but to poetry. Poetry has the ability to help us look carefully and deeply at life, searching for deeper meanings. One of my favorites is a poem by Cardinal John Henry Newman, called LEAD KINDLY LIGHT. The context is that as a newly ordained priest, Newman is taken ill and must stay in Italy for three weeks. He is deeply saddened because he cannot do his priestly ministry in England. Finally, he gets on a boat and becomes becalmed for two weeks. Then inspiration comes, and he writes the poem. The poem is about getting home to England. He talks of a help in darkness. “The night is dark, and I am far from home. Lead thou me on.” Later he speaks says, “And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.”


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Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion is upon us. This year, cycle B, we hear the dramatic Passion story from Mark. Mark is the first one to tell the story, and it is one of bravery, great suffering, and loneliness. Throughout the Gospel, Jesus fights Satan, sin, and death for us. He is misunderstood, abandoned, and the original ending has Easter Sunday arrive with the announcement that he is Risen, with angels and an empty tomb but without any resurrection appearances. The only person who properly identifies him as the Son Of God, is a pagan soldier that witnesses the death. It is a story of a tragic hero who never gives up even when he says on the Cross, “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?” By the way, those words are from psalm 22 that goes on to be psalm of thanksgiving even in the midst of great suffering.

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3rd Sunday of Lent – March 4, 2018

This is the third Sunday of Lent and the gospel is fascinating. The cleansing of the temple is a scene found in all four Gospels, that itself tells us how important the event is. In the synoptic Gospels- Mark, Matthew, and Luke- it comes at the end of the story during Holy Week. Because Jesus attacks the corrupt system for funding the High priest and his family, they decide to kill him.

In John’s Gospel, the event happens early in the public ministry, right after the miracle at the wedding feast at Cana. John has independent sources unavailable to the synoptic, and his Gospel is written later than the others allowing it to be more theological.


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2nd Sunday of Lent – February 25, 2018

You will be reading this on the Second Sunday of Lent, the Feast of the Transfiguration. Our parish pilgrims to Israel had the gift of being able to attend Mass at the top of that mountain. For them this Gospel will never be the same.

For those of us who did not get there (me included), let me try and make the Gospel real. Jesus has left behind the beauty and safety of Galilee to go to Jerusalem, where he knows he will die. He has just predicted that he will suffer, die, and be raised on the third day. His disciples just don’t get it. Remember that only one Jewish group of the time believed in the Resurrection of the dead. Jesus goes up the mountain with Peter, James, and John. Moses and Elijah appear to them, and Jesus is transformed before their eyes. It is a promise and foreshadowing of the Resurrection to come. It is also a powerful spiritual experience for them.


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1st Sunday of Lent – February 18, 2018

I am writing this on Ash Wednesday, but you will not see it until the First Sunday of Lent. As I write it, there is talk of snow on Sunday, so maybe you won’t be reading it! Lent is always one of my favorite times of the liturgical year since it gives me the motivation to practice some discipline and pay attention to what is most important in life: listening for the promptings of God deep within my heart.


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6th Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 11, 2018

I am writing this on Monday, February 5th, just having returned to the rectory after my accident in

Israel. It is quite a story. Since I am confined to a wheelchair for the next four weeks and have

lots of time, and since I love stories, let me tell you what happened. By the way, after knowing me

for 24 years, you probably realize that if I can have an accident, I will, and if I can get lost, I will.

It all started on the Feast of St. Paul, January 25th, at midnight in a hotel in Tiberias on the Sea of

Galilee. By the way, never again will I suggest that I find St. Paul difficult and the last person with

whom I would want to share a sarsaparilla.

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4th Sunday of Advent/Christmas Eve – December 24, 2017

 
Amazing, the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve Day!
 
Anyone who has heard me preach at a funeral knows that one of my favorite themes is that life is filled with mystery. Any number of times, I have done a funeral for a World War II veteran who was lucky, or rather blessed, to make it out alive. Had they not, the four generations present at the particular funeral would not exist. Now that speaks to the mystery present in all our lives.
 

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1st Sunday in Advent December 3, 2017

Here we go, Advent is here and the Fourth Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve day.
 

I must admit the thought strikes me with terror. These past two months have been astonishingly

busy. Five weddings in October, two funerals a week, many weekends with four

baptisms, as the song says, “ Stop the World, I Want To Get Off.” Yes, let’s admit the

truth, I am getting older and can no longer keep multiple balls in the air. Now comes a

shortened Advent, and Christmas is looming.

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – November 19. 2017

Thanksgiving is upon us! Remember that we have two Masses for that holiday. On Thanksgiving eve, Fr. Mike will preside at the vigil Mass at 7pm. That celebration will feature a talk on thankfulness given by Sr. MaryAnn Powers, the provincial of the C.N.D. order. On Thursday, Mass will be at 9am and I will preside. Thankfulness is the most basic virtue, when you have it, everything else, including faith, hope, and love fall into place. Have you ever met a thankful person who was mean or selfish? I think not.

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