Archive

Archive for the ‘Mass homily’ Category

Ash Wednesday POLL … take it!

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I know today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of 40 days of penitence and reflection, called Lent, to cleanse our soul by making atonement for the wrong things we have done and growing our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Since I’ve been in seminary the last 2 Ash Wednesday, I’m a little ignorant when I ask this, but … “Why are there so many people at Mass today?!?” Standing room only at the 6pm Mass I went to. Some churches even have 3 to 4+ different Mass times throughout the day.

Don’t get me wrong … it’s awesome to witness, but today isn’t even a holiday day of obligation. Why do so many Catholics feel the need to “get the ashes” today … what draws them today. Today, I even got a record number of 578 hits on this blog, with keywords like lent, fast, ashes, abstinence, & penance.

I’ve been debating possible reasons, from the supernatural movements of the soul toward God to practical whys.  Here is poll (in the sidebar of this page) with some possibilities that I hope people will be honest about.  — Please add more in comments.

What is the background on Ash Wednesday (in case you didn’t know)?

The ashes are made by burning the blessed palm fronds used on last year’s Palm Sunday and christened with Holy Water.

The marking of the forehead with a cross made of ashes reminds each of us that:

  1. Death comes to everyone
  2. We should be sad for their sins
  3. We must change ourselves for the better
  4. God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God, human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes.
  5. It’s also a reminder of the mark of the cross made at baptism
  6. The cross of ashes may symbolize the way Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as atonement for sin replaces the Old Testament tradition of making burnt offerings to atone for sin.

When marking the sign of the cross on each believer’s forehead, the celebrant says, “Remember, man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” or “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” When leaving the observance, we carry the cross out into the world.

During Lent, each Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. It invites us to undertake spiritual discipline, deliberate abstinence from indulgent behavior involving food or luxuries, or finding ways to be of service to society.

Advertisements

CCD hs: Confirmation Commitment Mass (with Fr Whyte) (day 6)

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, our high school Confirmation class had a Mass in celebration of their Confirmation Commitment this year.  At one point during Mass, the teens presented Fr Whyte (pastor) with a contract involving their understanding and responsibilities in preparing this year for the sacrament of Confirmation.  It was signed & presented by both teen and parents.

In preparing for Confirmation, I will …

  • attend Mass on Sundays & holy days
  • attend & participate in class
  • pray regularly
  • –assume more responsibility for my own faith
  • –be involved & journal my Christian service
  • –attend any additional activities
  • ask for help from the Blessed Trinity, my family, my sponsor and my friends

Brooklyn Bishop at St Mark’s Parish

090830-1207_Brooklyn-Auxiliary-Bishop-Octavio-Cisneros-at-St-Mark-ParishMASS — today at St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church (in Southwest Ranches, FL), a visiting friend of Fr Whyte presided the Mass.  Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros of the Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated Mass.  Even though the Deacon did a good homily, I wish the Bishop shared his wisdom over the readings.  There was also a long announcement encouraging involvement in ministries, especially Religious Education.  The Bishop supplemented both talks with great insight into tapping into our Baptism to be instruments of the Holy Spirit evangelizing wherever we can.  Catechesis is a critical part of our faith that we should all be involved in … whether on the receiving end to grow in our intimacy of our faith or the giving end as catechists to our own families or to others.  He also shared gratitude for the parish to having the weekly tradition of families taking home a Vocation Cup to pray for the response to God call in all our lives, whether it be priesthood, the religious life, or marriage.  He’s a very personable and holy man.

don’t be a loser … commit

February 6, 2009 Leave a comment

090206_sjvcs-mass-fr-santosMASS – (Fr Santos) — Gospel about the beheading of John the Baptist.

There are 3 kinds of people in this world: (1) Runners avoid their problems, (2) Watchers sit on the fence; both avoid pain, hurt and becoming vulnerable when dealing with difficulties of life.  They lose out on triumph, victory and joy that (3) Those that Commit have as their reward.

spiritual awareness + God alone suffices

February 4, 2009 Leave a comment

090124_sjvcs-fr-vallee-preachingMASS – (Fr Vallee) — No prophet is accepted in his home … Fr Omar laugh … Spirituality is about awarenessstay awake!

HOLY HOUR – (Fr Michael) — “God alone suffices”

So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ (Jesus) will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever. Amen.  — 1Peter 5:6-11

Our Lady of Lebanon Church + Maronite Rite, Miami

February 1, 2009 1 comment

090201_lebanon-maronite-011Today we had Mass at Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Church in Miami, of the Maronite Rite.  The liturgy was structured a bit differently.  My favorite part is the prayer of consecration said in the original Aramaic (that Jesus spoke) and Communion is distributed under both species, the Body dipped into the Blood and given on the tongue.

After Mass, we were warmly welcomed by the parishoners in their hall with lots to eat.  As visiting was a Rector of a seminary in Lebanon.  Since priest of the Maronite Rite can be married, we discussed some of the pros and cons with married vs celibate priests and dating in the seminary … among other things.
090201_lebanon-maronite-04 090201_lebanon-maronite-05 090201_lebanon-maronite-09 090201_lebanon-maronite-15 090201_lebanon-maronite-11 090201_lebanon-maronite-16 090201_lebanon-maronite-17 090201_lebanon-maronite-18 090201_lebanon-maronite-20 090201_lebanon-maronite-22

new semester Mass

We just got back to seminary yesterday afternoon.  Today is a the first day of classes for the Spring Semester.  A great Mass with most of the seminary priests.
090105_sjvcs-mass-new-term-1 090105_sjvcs-mass-new-term-2