Second Chances

Dear Parishioners,


When I looked at this week’s gospel, I saw the parable of the fig tree, which tells us how God gives us a second chance. Rather than cutting down the fig tree, the gardener took care of it and gave it another chance to bear fruit.

God gives us a second chance. By repenting for our sins, we receive God’s forgiveness. I’d like to share a poem with you about an old violin that, like us, was given a second chance. It’s another image of God’s love for us.

It was battered and scarred and the auctioneer

thought it scarcely worth his while

to waste much time on the old violin.

But it held up with a smile.

What am I bid, good folks? He cried.

Who’ll start the bidding for me?

A dollar, a dollar, then two, only two?

Two dollars and who’ll make three?

Three dollars once, three dollars twice, and going for three, but no!

From the room far back a gray haired man

came forward and picked up the bow.

Wiping the dust from the old violin

and tightening the loosened strings

He played a melody sure and sweet

such as an angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer

In a voice that was quiet and low

Said, what am I bid for the old violin?

And he held it up with the bow.

A thousand dollars and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand and who’ll make it three?

Three thousand once, three thousand twice and going and gone! said he.

The people cheered and some cried,

We don’t quite understand.

What changed its worth? Quick came the reply:

The touch of the master’s hand.

And many a man with life out of tune

and battered and scarred with sin

Is auctioned off cheap to the crowd,

Much like the old violin.

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,

a game and he travels on.

He’s going once, he’s going twice.

He’s going and almost gone.

But the Master comes

and the foolish crowd

never can quite understand

The worth of the soul

and the change that’s wrought

by the touch of the Master’s hand.


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

     


Making Time

Dear Parishioners,

How easy is it for us to get caught up in our day-to-day activities? Whether it’s work, taking care of the family, studying or even enjoying free time, we tend to think only about what’s happening today . . . today’s events, today’s problems, today’s needs. We may get completely focused on the here and now, with hardly a thought about anything else.

Do we try to make time for God in our life? As we get caught up in our routines, we may put God aside. We can talk to God at any time of the day. We can ask for God’s help, and we can thank Him for His gifts. This is one way we can be sure to make time for God.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus’s disciples made time for God. They went up the mountain with Jesus to pray. Suddenly, on the mountain, they saw Jesus in a glorified state and He was talking with Moses and Elijah. The disciples were moved by this experience, which happened because they gave the Lord time in the course of their day.

Our days are always filled with various responsibilities and activities. Let’s not forget to give time to God. Then, like the disciples, we can be moved by our experience with the Lord. We can come to recognize the loving presence of God in our life.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick


Temptation

Dear Parishioners,

The season of Lent has begun. We use this time to bring ourselves closer to God. During this season we work at turning away from sin and following God’s Will. Then we can continue to live in this way after we celebrate Easter.

Temptation to sin is always going to be present. Part of following God’s Will means resisting temptation. We know this isn’t always easy. This is where we learn about putting God first.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is fasting in the desert and is tempted three times by the devil. Jesus was tired and hungry but He never gave in. He resisted the devil. He put God first!

As we go through the season of Lent, let’s put God first. When we think about where we battle with sin the most, let’s not give into temptation but turn away from that sin. Then we can follow Jesus’s example in the desert and not let anything get in the way of our relationship with God. We can prepare to celebrate Easter, where Jesus gained for us the gift of eternal life!

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Lent

Dear Parishioners,

This coming Wednesday, March 6, will be Ash Wednesday. The season of Lent will begin, recalling the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert.

The ashes we receive on Ash Wednesday acknowledge publicly that we are sinners and we are willing to do penance for our sins. The ashes are made from the burning of the palms from last Palm Sunday. We praised Jesus with palms in the beginning of Holy Week. Now we call to mind that we have sinned since then.

Lent is a time when we turn away from the sinfulness in our life. We are preparing to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Let’s use the season of Lent to recognize what separates us from God, where we fall to sin. Then we can turn away from that sinfulness and grow closer to the Lord. We can prepare to celebrate the gift of eternal life, gained for us by Jesus.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Law of the Echo

Dear Parishioners,

Some of you may have heard of the “law of the echo.” This law says that if you shout into an echo chamber, a shout will return to you. If you curse into an echo chamber, a curse will return to you. If you sing into an echo chamber, a song will come back to you.

The “law of the echo” applies to life. You get back from life exactly what you put into life. Today’s gospel illustrates what is meant by this law. It says, “Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you.” A person gets back from life exactly what the person puts into life. Give unhappiness and you will get unhappiness back. Give love and you will get love back.

I’d like to close with a prayer:

Lord,

when we need to be reminded,

remind us of the “law of the echo.”

Remind us that we get back from life

exactly what we give to life.

If we forgive, we will be forgiven.

If we give, we will receive.

If we love, we will be loved.

If we sing a song to others,

they will sing a song to us.

Lord,

let us never forget the “law of the echo.”

What we sow we shall reap.


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Ready to Help

Dear Parishioners,

Today we’ve heard a message about putting our trust in God. Jesus, in today’s gospel, speaks to the crowd and tells them the Beatitudes.

When we hear Jesus refer to the poor, He’s speaking about those people who had come to realize that they couldn’t depend on the things of this world for happiness. Jesus calls them blessed because they looked to God for their happiness. God meant everything to them, material things meant next to nothing. These people, as Jesus said, were truly blessed.

God is like that. He is always ready to help us. God is especially ready to help us when we are powerless to help ourselves.

St. Augustine expressed the trust we should have in God in these words:

“Trust the past to God’s Mercy,

the present to His Love,

and the future to His Providence.”


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick


God's Call

Dear Parishioners,

 We’re all called by God in a particular way.  We might hear God’s Voice in our prayer or possibly through a dramatic intervention in our life. Most probably, though, most of us hear God’s Voice in the ordinary routine of daily life and work.

In the gospel today, Jesus called Peter during an ordinary day’s work. While Peter was washing his nets, not having much success fishing, Jesus happened to choose Peter’s boat from which to teach His people.

Whether it takes us to the other side of the world or keeps us in our hometown and neighborhood, the encounter with God will always have an effect on us, if we allow it. It can transform us and will be life-giving, as long as we respond with generosity and trust.

God’s Call is never just for us, for our own benefit. It is for a greater purpose. He gives us a task, a mission: to be messengers, to speak words of love and healing to His people; to announce His Salvation to the world; to become fishers of men and women; to invite all people to become part of God’s Kingdom.

 

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

1st Corinthians

Dear Parishioners,

Whenever I celebrate a wedding, the couple getting married has the option to choose the readings. One of the most common readings at a wedding is today’s second reading. It is taken from Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.

It is best known for the words, “Love is patient, love is kind.” This is a beautiful reading about love. It tells us about seeing the best in one another.

Jesus asks all of us to love one another. He taught us to love not only by His words but by the love He showed for all of us. One day we hope to be with the Lord in heaven. We prepare for that day by following Jesus’s teaching of love. I’d like to conclude with this prayer where we ask the Lord to help us to love like He does:

Lord, teach each one of us

that here on earth

You have no hands but ours

to reach out to the needy.

You have no heart but ours

to embrace the lonely.

You have no voice but ours

to share the message

of why you lived, suffered and died for us.

Lord, teach us that here on earth

we are your hands,

we are your voice,

we are your heart.


Sincerely in Christ,

                                      Father Dominick

P.S. Thank you very much to all of our Parishioners who donated to the Christmas collection. We have received $32,464.00 to date.  

P.P.S I would also like to thank everyone who contributed to the Flower Memorials.  The list of donors is available at the church entrances.