Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Parishioners,


This coming Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together with family and loved ones and reflect about everything for which we are thankful.

We can all think back to people who have been important to us, along with special events that have taken place. As we do this, we can recognize so much for which we are thankful. When we gather around the table, we can share with one another something for which we are particularly thankful.

Mass will be celebrated here at St. Joseph’s Church at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. As we look back throughout this past year as well as our entire life, we can come to Mass and thank God for the many gifts He has given us.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our parishioners and your families!


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Giving From the Heart

Dear Parishioners,

One night years ago, a cloudburst stranded a newlywed couple on a remote country road. Unable to go any farther, they got out of their car and set out on foot toward a dimly lit farmhouse.

When they reached the farmhouse, an elderly couple carrying a kerosene lamp met them at the door. Explaining their predicament, the young man asked, “Could you put us up until morning? A place on the floor or a few easy chairs would be fine.”

Just then a few grains of rice slipped from the young lady’s hair and fell to the floor. The elderly couple glanced down at it and exchanged a knowing glance. “Why surely, children,” said the elderly woman. “We just happen to have a spare bedroom. You get your things from the car while my husband and I freshen it up a bit.”

The next morning the newlyweds got up early and prepared to leave without disturbing the elderly couple. They dressed quietly, put a ten dollar bill on the dresser, and tiptoed down the stairs. When they opened the door to the living room, they found the old couple asleep in chairs. They’d given the newlyweds their only bedroom.

This story is a modern illustration of the beautiful story of the widow in today’s gospel. Like the widow in the gospel, the elderly couple didn’t give from their surplus and what they could spare. Rather, they gave from their own meager resources. In both cases they have not only generously but also joyfully and from the heart.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Words into Deeds

Dear Parishioners,

Dr. Tom Dooley excited the imagination of the world in the 1950s. He was a young navy doctor fresh out of medical school. One afternoon, Tom’s ship picked up a thousand injured men and women.

Tom was the only doctor on board, so he began the backbreaking job of helping these people. Soon an excitement grew inside him. He saw how a simple cast soothed a broken arm. He saw how a simple lancing relieved a swollen hand. He saw how the simplest medical treatment brought smiles to pain-filled faces.

Tom saw something else. He saw that helping these people made him happier than he had ever been in his entire life. When Tom’s time in the navy was over, he went back to Asia to work among the poor.

In the gospel today, Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The next is to love your neighbor as yourself.

Dr. Tom Dooley put these words onto practice with every patient he cared for and with every smile he put on a patient’s face. We can all do the same thing, through our love for God and our love for one another.

 

                                              Sincerely in Christ,

                                           Father Dominick

 

Helping? Or hurting?

Dear Parishioners,

God put each of us on earth to do good and bring joy to one another. It’s important that we keep these words in mind, especially after hearing a gospel like the one we heard today.

Today’s gospel says that when the blind man who was begging called out to Jesus, “Son of David, have pity on me,” many people yelled at him and told him to keep quiet. In other words, instead of taking the blind man by the hand and leading him to Jesus, they shoved him farther away from Jesus.

Only one person came to his aid and that was Jesus, Himself. When Jesus heard the people shouting at the blind man, He stopped and asked that the blind man be brought to Him. Only then did the people change. Only then did they help this unfortunate man.

This gospel prompts us to ask ourselves, “How many blind beggars are there in the world today? How many of these blind beggars are trying to reach out to Jesus? How many of them are being treated the way the people treated the blind beggar in today’s gospel?”

After hearing today’s gospel, let’s remember that it’s important to keep these words in mind: God put each of us on earth to do good and bring joy to one another.


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Ransom

Dear Parishioners,

There was a boy who consistently came home late from school. There was no good reason for his tardiness and no amount of discussion from his parents seemed to help. Finally, in desperation, the boy’s father sat him down and said, “The next time you come home late from school you are going to be given bread and water for your supper – and nothing else. Is that perfectly clear, son?”

The boy looked straight into his father’s eyes and nodded. He understood perfectly. A few days later the boy came home even later than usual. His parents didn’t say anything to him, but that night at supper, the boy’s heart sank down to his feet.

His parents’ plates were filled with food but his plate contained only one piece of bread. Next to his plate was a lonely glass of water. This was the punishment his parents had warned him about. To make matters worse, this night he was starving.

The father waited for the full impact to sink in, then, quietly took the boy’s plate and placed it in front of himself. He took his own plate and put it in front of his son. The boy understood what his father was doing. The father was taking his son’s punishment upon himself.

This story illustrates perfectly what Jesus meant when He said in today’s gospel, “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus came into the world to do for us what the father did for his son. He came to pay the price for our sinfulness. The price He paid was His own death on the cross. By taking our sins upon Himself, Jesus gained for us forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Ten Times Better

Dear Parishioners,

Years ago, a young door-to-door book salesman was assigned a rural area. One day he came upon a farmer seated in a rocking chair on his front porch. The young man went up to the farmer enthusiastically and said, “Sir, I have a book here that will tell you how to farm ten times better than you are doing now.”

The farmer didn’t bother to look up. He simply kept on rocking. Finally, after a few minutes, he glanced up at the young salesman and said, “Young man, I don’t need your book. I already know how to farm ten times better than I’m doing right now.”

This story is a good example of what Jesus is talking about in today’s gospel. The farmer was capable of farming better but he lacked the commitment to do so. The rich man was also capable of doing more than just keeping the commandments but he, too, lacked the commitment to do so.

Today’s gospel makes it clear that there is more to our faith than just keeping the commandments. There’s an old adage that says, “If we walk toward God with one step, He’ll run toward us ten steps.”

Our faith teaches us to take the first step towards God. We can do this by reaching out to help another person. We can help the person in need, even if it’s only in some small way. Once we take the first step, God will come running towards us ten steps. He will support us and show us the way from there.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Picnic "Thank Yous"

Dear Parishioners,

Last Sunday was the Parish Picnic here at St. Joseph Church. Many of you came out to enjoy good food and to spend time as a parish community.

I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the picnic; those who organized it, prepared for it, assisted, did the cooking and who helped clean up. I would also like to thank all of you who attended so we could enjoy a beautiful day together.

The day was a wonderful opportunity for all of us to socialize. It was an enjoyable event, and there will be many more to come.

With the summer ending, there are many activities we look forward to in the upcoming year. This will give us more opportunity to come together and grow as a parish family.

 

                                              Sincerely in Christ,

                                           Father Dominick

The Journey

Dear Parishioners,

Each of us is making his or her own journey. It might be toward graduation from school. It might be toward marriage or toward a new career. It might be toward improved health, toward retirement or just a matter of trying to survive the stresses of each day.

Whatever it is, time is moving us along. We are unable to stand still in life. If we try, we’ll eventually discover that we’re going backwards. We know from everyday experience that if it is a better place we’re moving toward, we need to adequately prepare ourselves for it.

In our journey through life, there is an event for which we definitely need to prepare. That is the day we are going to meet the Lord. On that day, we will meet the Lord not just in prayer or in the sacraments but in a visible, unmistakable way at the end of life’s journey.

The Lord warns us to prepare for that day. He warns us because He loves us and wants us to share in all the blessings He has for us. Being prepared is not something we can make happen at the last second. It’s the way we live our lives in faith and love. It’s the way we live our lives every day the way Jesus taught us.


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick