Fr. Tomy Homily, October 27 2019

The first reading explains,“the prayer of the lowly, pierces the clouds to reach the unseen throne of God.”  Such prayers are heard because they come from the hearts of people who know how much they need God.  Although God has no favorites and answers the prayers of all, the oppressed, the orphans, the widows, and those who can least help themselves are His special concern.  The best prayer is humble and selfless service. In the second reading, Paul humbly acknowledges, his work as accomplished by the grace of God, and he thanks God for enabling him to fight a good battle — to run a good race while keeping his Faith intact and proclaiming it. In today’s Gospel parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector, Jesus reminds us that God hears the prayers those who approach Him in humility with a repentant heart. God did not hear the prayer of this Pharisee because he exalted himself. His prayer was a prayer of thanksgiving that he was not as evil as other people. He announced to God his freedom from sin and detailed his fidelity in observing the prescribed fast and in giving tithes. The tax collector’s prayer, “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner,” was heard because he humbled himself, acknowledging his sins and requesting God’s mercy.

The parable has a two-fold meaning, giving us i) a warning against pride and contempt for others, and ii) an admonition to approach God with a humble and repentant heart. The parable was mainly intended to convict the Pharisees who, on the one hand, proudly claimed they obeyed all the rules and regulations of the Jewish Law, while on the other hand, they ignored the Mosaic precepts of mercy and compassion.  The Pharisees were looked upon as devout, law-abiding citizens and models of righteousness.  But they were proud and self-righteous.  The tax collectors, on the other hand, were the most-hated group in Israel because they collected taxes for a foreign empire. Hence, they were considered by their fellow-Jews to be traitors, unclean and sinful.  The parable shows that both men were sinners:  the difference was that the publican realized that he was, but the Pharisee did not.

The Pharisee got what he asked for, which was nothing, while the sinner got what he asked for, which was everything. Two things especially make our prayers void and of no effect: a proud sense of our own righteousness, and a contempt for others.

We become the proud Pharisee when we brag about our achievements giving no credit to God, when we seek praise and recognition from others for our accomplishments, and when we degrade others with insensitive comments, hurting their feelings. In today’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us to imitate the humble publican (tax collector) by acknowledging our total dependence on God and His grace for all our achievements and blessings; by confessing to God daily our sinfulness and asking for His pardon and forgiveness; by praying for God’s continued daily support through His grace; by asking God for strengthening through the daily anointing of His Holy Spirit living within us; and by becoming more sensitive to the needs and feelings of others, serving Jesus in them as best as we can.

If we are truly humble, we will find grace, mercy and peace.  There must be a space in our lives   for grace to enter and work its miracle.  One lesson of the parable for us is that we must keep our focus entirely on God and our relationship with Him, recognizing that we are constantly in need of His mercy and forgiveness.

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, October 27, 2019

Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,

Thank you for your prayers for the Confirmation retreat this past week.  We had 45 kids there from around the vicariate.  Our own Jen Loar helped with a lot of the planning in conjunction with other DRE’s from the other parishes.  Thank you, Jen!

We had the Mass Explained at Sacred Heart last week and this week we are offering it at St. Mary’s.  In the process of getting ready for the Mass Explained, I was struck by how much is present in the Mass and how much I couldn’t talk about due to time.  There is a great richness in the Mass that we can easily miss if we don’t know what is there.  To fill out more of what I know is lacking from what I presented, I want to mention some more resources.

Behold the Mystery: A Deeper Understanding of the Catholic Mass 

https://www.amazon.com/Behold-Mystery-Deeper-Understanding-Catholic/dp/1593252285

As Catholics, the Mass should be a mountaintop experience for us. Often, though, we go through the motions at Mass without an appreciation for what has really happened. Popular speaker and author Mark Hart helps Catholics move beyond the repetition and ritual to see the Mass for what it really is: a heavenly banquet, a wedding feast, in which heaven and earth meet. In his engaging style, Hart guides readers toward a deeper understanding of the Mass, its roots in the Jewish Sabbath, its sacrificial character, and its signs and symbols. As we are told to go in peace, he inspires us to see the Mass as a place to be nourished so that we can further Christ’s mission in the world.

In the last part of the book, Hart provides pithy answers to frequently asked questions, such as: “Why can’t I leave right after Communion?” or “Why did the words change?” Finally, Hart offers ten things we can do to get more out of Mass.

 

Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers 

https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Mass-100-Questions-Answers/dp/0867169494/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+catholic+mass+100+questions&qid=1571769831&s=books&sr=1-1

The Mass may seem routine, and it may be the common property of millions of Catholics, but much lies beneath. Mike Aquilina not only answers practical questions about this central act of Catholic worship, but also walks you through the Mass, explaining the meaning behind the prayers and practices. Find answers to such questions as:

  • What is the Real Presence?
  • What are the Jewish roots of the Mass?
  • Why is the Mass a sacrifice?
  • Why do some people receive Communion on the tongue and others in the hand?

 

You may be surprised by how much you’ve missed in your understanding of the Mass.

 

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, October 27, 2019

11 REASONS TO ATTEND THE SHS GALA AND MONEY RAFFLE

All proceeds benefit Sacred Heart School

  1. Hilarious Comedian Sal Dimilio is Coming to Hudson!!
  2. The Church Hall will be Beautiful.
  3. Pumpkin Pudding in a Caramel Sauce and Chocolate Trifle
  4. Roasted Meatballs over polenta; Chicken & Bacon Roulade
  5. Father Todd’s Farm Tour
  6. Chance to Win Large Sums of Money
  7. Diamond Earrings, Whiskey Basket, Lazy Boy Recliner, Yeti/Coffee Basket, Leather purses, String of Pearls, Meat and Cheese Basket, and much more….
  8. Everyone Receives 5 Luxury Raffle Tickets at the door.
  9. Over 100 Door Prizes
  10. Wall of Wine and Craft Beer
  11. Live Auction: Dinner at the rectory, tickets to see The Grinch at the Fox Theatre, Wine Tour, Movie with the School Counselor for Your Class.

Tickets are $100 apiece, Table Packages are available.

Call the school for tickets and or to reserve a table package. 517-448-6405.

Deacon’s Corner, October 7, 2019

 

Why do we have music at Mass? Music is as much a part of the Mass as the prayers and Scripture readings.  According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (the GIRM), which tells us how to celebrate the Mass, singing is of “great importance” and should be part of the Mass whenever possible, especially during Sundays and Holy Days.

Music at Mass helps us come together as one. It encourages everyone to participate in expressing our joy and love of God. Our Catechism teaches that the music and song of the Mass “participate in the purpose of the liturgical words and actions: the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful” (1157). That’s a lot of words, but it tells us that the Mass, in itself, is a song.  Music at Mass has its roots in our Jewish heritage. Jesus would have sung Psalms in the synagogues and temple with His family, friends, and the Apostles as a way of giving glory and praise to God. The Gospel tells us Jesus sang at the Last Supper when He instituted the Holy Eucharist (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26). So, we should not be surprised that for almost 2,000 years, we have had music and singing during Mass. Music helps us express spiritual union, show gladness in our heart, and creates a feeling of unity as we gather in sharing the Eucharist together. The GIRM encourages all of us to sing along as part of the dialogue of prayers with the priest so we do not lose the beauty and joy of praying through music as our ancestors did.  St. Paul said, “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” (Colossians 3:16). Singing is the sign of the heart’s joy (Acts 2:46). As we join together today at Mass, let’s remember that music and singing are part of our deep, Catholic roots. Those roots are the identity of our Church we must work to preserve for generations to come.

Deacon John

 

Mass Explained by Fr. Todd, October 20, 2019

On Sunday, October 20th, at the 11am Mass at Sacred Heart, we experience Mass Explained. We will celebrate Mass but as I go through each part, I will be taking time to explain the meaning of each step.   The following week, on the 27th, I will do the same thing at St. Mary on the Lake at the 9:30 Mass.  (Brunch will follow there as well.)

I am very excited about this opportunity.  The Mass is something at the heart of our faith—a powerful weekly time where we come to encounter Jesus.  It is both a time to give and to receive.  We give something to God: our time, our hearts, and all that is in them.   Then having given, we receive grace from Him.  Something that is astounding is that at Mass we give God simple bread and wine that He takes and then gives back to us, but better and transformed: the very body and blood of His Son.  We are called to surrender all of ourselves and experience that same reality—giving of ourselves and then receiving something back, but better and transformed.  At times, our focus can be solely on what we are receiving, but that is a narrowed vision of what Mass is meant to be.

Because the size of the audio file, there are 2 audio files attached.

 

Mass Explained – PART 1

 

Mass Explained – PART 2

Fr. Tomy Homily, October 13 2019

 

SUNDAY 28TH WEEK YEAR C

The central theme of today’s readings is gratitude – in particular, the expression of gratitude God expects from us. Today’s Gospel story of ‘the forgetful lepers’ presents a God Who desires gratitude from us for the many blessings we receive from Him, and Who feels pain at our ingratitude.

The sincere gratitude of Naaman towards Yahweh and his prophet Elisha brought him a gift far more precious than the healing of his leprosy. He received faith in Yahweh and was determined to serve Him faithfully. Obedience to the prophet healed him and his faith in Yahweh brought him healing of his sins as well. Humility obtained for him the cure of his skin disease. Gratitude to Yahweh obtained for him a far greater grace, faith in the true God. Jesus was pleased to see one of those lepers, the Samaritan, coming back to Him, praising God for the favor received. It pained Him that the other nine had not come back to do the same. He certainly expected them back, not because He wanted to receive their gratitude as to enable Him to complete His work of love, of which their healing was only the first step to bring them to faith.

We must not fail to notice that Jesus did not withdraw His favor from the other nine. They must have happily returned to their village after the priest issued a certificate confirming their cure. But little did they think of the greater blessings they missed on account of their ingratitude. Eucharist means thanksgiving. When we come to take part in the Eucharist we do what Naaman and the Samaritan leper did, we give praise and thanks to God. Let our thanks find joyful expression in this Eucharist. An unreflective heart is an unappreciative heart, an unappreciative heart is an ungrateful heart, and an ungrateful heart is a sick heart. Our ego can become so demanding that it can make endless claims and multiply needs. Hence, it is part of self-discipline to put a check on the demands of our ego and teach it to be reflective, to consider the blessings it has received to enjoy them and to be grateful for them. Thanksgiving has the rare power to refine the person who gives it and to gladden the person who receive it. Ingratitude on the other hand, hardens the former and saddens the latter. Once a son wrote a letter to his mom.

Dear Mama. This morning I cleaned our lawn that will cost you ten dollars. After lunch, I washed the plates and utensils that was worth five dollars. This afternoon, you asked me to buy some items in the grocery, since the sun was hot and the grocery store was far, I would charge you ten dollars. Twenty-five dollars is the total money you owe me. Signed: Your Obedient Son.

The mother wrote back. Dear Son. I carried you in my womb for nine months I charged you nothing. I had a hard time giving birth to you that I almost died I charged you nothing. When you were two years old, you got sick and I was not able to sleep for three days caring for you but I did not charge you anything. Overall, you owe me nothing because I love you. Signed: Your Loving Mother.

Gratitude is the attitude of a sensitive soul appreciative of its gifts. It is the sign of a good heart which, while it enjoys the gifts, is not forgetful of the giver of gifts. The nine ungrateful lepers in today’s gospel were so wrapped up in themselves and engrossed with the blessings they had received that they forgot their benefactor and saddened Him. A grateful heart is a humble heart, a humble heart is a religious heart, a religious heart is a reverential heart, a reverential heart is a liturgical heart, a liturgical is a praising heart, and such a heart cannot but be joyful and healthy.

Our mission consists in leading people to God, in becoming Good Samaritans. Let our celebrations of the Eucharist be done with conviction and let our voice re-echo the Eucharistic prayer Lord we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. Amen.