Responsibilities (and what's really important)

Dear Parishioners,

A high school basketball team had just celebrated mass in preparation for playing in the state tournament. During the homily, the priest said that ten years from now the important thing about their basketball season will not be whether they become state champs or not. The important thing will be what they become on the process of trying to win the title.

Did they become better human beings?

Did they become more loving?

Did they become more loyal to one another?

Did they become more committed?

Did they grow as a team and as an individual?

If we make Jesus a part of our daily life, we can answer yes to each of these questions. We get caught up in our responsibilities and our activities every day. By remembering to talk to Jesus in prayer and ask for His help, we can follow through with our responsibilities while growing in our relationship with Jesus.

In today’s gospel, Martha is very concerned with the household chores. Mary will also help with the chores, but she is making time for Jesus. She has the opportunity to be with Jesus, and we hear Him say, “Mary has chosen the better part.”

Let’s keep this in mind as we get caught up in our busy lives. We can make Jesus part of our day and still follow through with our responsibilities. This is how we build our relationship with the Lord and, like Mary, choose the better part.


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Destroying Our Enemies

Dear Parishioners,

A woman was shocked when she heard Abraham Lincoln speak kindly of the Confederate soldiers. She challenged him, saying, “I think we’d be better advised to focus on destroying our enemies rather than befriending them.” Lincoln replied, “Madam, we destroy our enemies when we befriend them.”

We receive this same teaching from Jesus. He teaches us forgiveness of one another rather than having to get even. By forgiving one another, we come together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

In today’s gospel, Jesus tells the parable of The Good Samaritan. The man who was beaten and left on the ground was a Jew, on his way to Jerusalem. The Priest and the Levite didn’t stop to help him, but the Samaritan did.

The Jews and Samaritans were great enemies. They did not associate with each other. In this parable, Jesus is teaching us forgiveness. When we hear the message Jesus teaches us in this parable, we remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, “We destroy our enemies when we befriend them.”

Sincerely in Christ,

                                       Father Dominick 


Mary and Billy

Dear Parishioners,

There was a young high school teacher named Mary. She wanted so much to succeed as a teacher. But a student named Billy was turning her into a nervous wreck and turning her class into a three-ring circus.

One morning, before school began, Mary was sitting at her desk writing something in shorthand. Suddenly Billy appeared at the door. “What are you writing?” he asked her as he approached her desk. “I’m writing a prayer to God,” she said. “Can God read shorthand?” he joked. “He can do anything,” said Mary, “even answer this prayer.” Then she tucked the prayer inside her bible and turned to write on the chalkboard. As she did, Billy slipped the prayer from her bible into his notebook.

Twenty years later, Billy was going through a box of old things his mother had stored in her attic. He found his old notebook and the prayer his teacher had written was inside of it. Billy brought the prayer to his secretary and asked her to decipher the shorthand. After doing this, she typed the prayer out for Billy. It said: “Dear God, don’t let me fail at this job. I can’t handle my class with Billy upsetting it. Touch his heart. He can become very good.”

Billy took this prayer and put it in his wallet. During the next week, he took the prayer out several times and read it. He began to use this prayer as a basis for any decision that he made. Weeks later, Billy located his former teacher and told her that her prayer had changed his life.

Prayer has enormous power. To experience the power of prayer, we must persevere in praying. We can’t expect immediate results. That will come in God’s own way and in God’s own time.

Sincerely in Christ,

                                       Father Dominick 


Focus, Follow Through, and Succeed!

Dear Parishioners,

Winston Churchill was such a bad student that his father feared he would never be able to support himself as an adult. Thomas Edison was so slow in school that his father was convinced he was a dunce.

Churchill would become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom two different periods of time for a total of nine years. Edison – one of the most famous residents of West Orange – became an inventor of many devices that influenced life around the world and is best known for his invention of the light bulb.

Neither Winston Churchill nor Thomas Edison let bad judgments stop them. They never gave up. They followed through and achieved great success.

In today’s gospel, Jesus is telling us not to let anything get in the way of following Him. We’re going to face challenges as we practice our faith, and we’re going to have questions. This is where Jesus tells us not to look back. As we focus on Jesus, follow His teaching and build out relationship with the Lord, we prepare ourselves to one day live with the Lord in His Kingdom.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick


Summer!

Dear Parishioners,

Summer is here! Weather will be getting warmer and we will be planning our vacations. Throughout the year, we often think about the summer and look forward to it, especially during those cold winter months.

During the summer, we see the beauty of nature in many different ways; the green grass, a beautiful garden, the ocean water. As we appreciate nature in its various forms, we recognize the many gifts of God.

Today in the Catholic Church, we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi. This is a celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ, which brought us our salvation. As we prepare for summer and see God’s many gifts, today we celebrate God’s greatest gift, the gift of eternal life.

At the Last Supper, before Jesus died for us, He turned the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. At that first Eucharist, the disciples were able to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Today we can still receive Jesus in the Eucharist. We can receive the saving power of His love.

As summer begins, we will experience the beauty of nature. Let’s be sure to recognize the many gifts of God. As we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, let’s be sure to recognize God’s greatest gift, the gift of eternal life.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Fathers

Dear Parishioners,

I’d like to begin by wishing Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, grandfathers and godfathers. It’s wonderful to have a day where we can acknowledge our fathers and thank them for all they do for us.

This is a time we can show thanks to God. As we celebrate Father’s Day, we can thank God for our fathers and for all they have done for us and our families. We can also ask God to continue to watch over our fathers and give them His Blessing.

As we celebrate Father’s Day, summer is about to begin. We can recognize God in so many ways. By looking out at the ocean, watching the sun shine on the horizon and any way we enjoy the outdoors, we’re making the most of the gifts God has given us.

At this beautiful time of year, we can see how God is present to us. Let’s be sure to thank God for all of His Gifts. In a special way today, let’s ask for God’s Blessing on all of our fathers, grandfathers and godfathers.

Sincerely in Christ,

                                      Father Dominick


Acorns

Dear Parishioners,

There was a young traveler exploring the French Alps. He came across a large stretch of empty land. What surprised him was that in the middle of this wasteland was a bent-over old man. On his back was a sack of acorns.

The man was planting the acorns in the ground. Later the old man told the traveler, “I’ve planted over 100,000 acorns. Perhaps only a tenth of them will grow.” The old man’s wife had died, and this was how he spent his final years. “I want to do something useful,” he said.

Twenty-five years later, the traveler returned to the same desolate spot. He couldn’t believe what he saw. The land was covered with a beautiful forest two miles wide and five miles long. The traveler recalled the desolate area that was once there and looked at the beautiful area that was there now – all because someone cared.

Today we celebrate Pentecost. We are all called to do our part to spread God’s Kingdom on earth. You and I can’t change the whole world but we can change part of it, just like the old man did. We received our sack of acorns in the sacrament of Confirmation. Now it’s up to us to do something with them.

Sincerely in Christ,

                                      Father Dominick


The Courage to Share

Dear Parishioners,

Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. We look forward to the Feast of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit because it reminds us of God’s ongoing gift of His Love for us.

We celebrate the many gifts God has given us. Now is a good time to think about those gifts and ask whether we are using them as fully as we might. Sometimes shyness or fear prevents us from discovering our own talents, and we need the Holy Spirit to give us confidence to both see and use them.

Then there is the gift of God’s presence in all that surrounds us. It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to see God reflected in His Creation, just as it is the same Spirit who helps us to see God’s guiding hand in our daily lives.

The Holy Spirit helps us to overcome obstacles in our lives and leads us to celebrate God in ourselves, our world and everyone we meet.

Sincerely in Christ,

                                      Father Dominick