Deacon Kevin 1-19-20

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A – “Behold the Lamb of God”

Behold the Lamb of God. You may have noticed that phrase on the wall along Hughes Road as you came to Mass this morning, right next to the statue of our patron, Saint John the Baptist.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And thank God for that! For we need a Savior, because we all sin. If history proves anything it is that man is a sinner, and in dire need of a remedy. The Lamb of God, Jesus, is that remedy. Recall that the Israelites were to offer a lamb as atonement for their sins. Each family was to bring a male lamb, spotless and without blemish to the temple to be slaughtered as an annual offering in commemoration of the Passover, when God led them out of slavery in Egypt through the Red Sea. On the eve of that journey they were to slaughter a lamb and sprinkle its blood on the doorposts of their dwellings so that the Spirit would “pass over” them as it took the lives of the first-born throughou…

Deacon Greg 1-19-20

We were well represented at the March for Life in Birmingham by our Knights of Columbus and other parishioners, and we will be well represented at this week’s March for Life in Washington DC, as our High School Youth will walk for each of us, as we all seek to protect the precious lives of the unborn. Tomorrow we begin the International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and Monday is Martin Luther King Day. I invite you to keep all that these represent close to your heart as we reflect on today’s Word… There’s a quote on the Montgomery Civil Rights Memorial that quotes the Prophet Amos saying, “Until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” As Christian communities we gather to become aware of our unity, joining our common concerns, making a common response, all as evidence of our faith. This, our U.S. Bishops say, "is the spirit of unity, faith and patience of a people who long for God’s promise."

Our gathering as Church, our listening to…

Deacon Greg 12-29-19

Jesuit Priest and Author, Fr. John Kavanaugh offers this wonderful statement as to what this season is all about: “The heart of Christianity is a transformation of the ordinary, not a flight from it.”

Understanding the Feast of the Holy Family begins with a knowledge that our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Moses and the prophets, chose to enter space and time, because deeply concerned about and profoundly moved by our condition. He promised us generations as countless as the stars, a land to call our own, and a blessing on all the nations of the earth. He freed us from our bondage, and guided us to a place to call home, no longer slaves, so that we would be free to live together as a people, a nation, a community and a family!

This continues in the Christmas narratives, as ordinary people like shepherds and travelers are the messengers of God, not just angels, and certainly not the power-brokers of nations... Elizabeth found God in her cousin, Mary, and in her old age gave birth to a…

Deacon Dan 12-29-19

The other night I watched a 2019 version of the Classic Dickens story “The Christmas Carol”. It opened with a monologue delivered by Scrooge looking out his frosted window. He ponders out loud why all this merriment he sees, why all the good cheers he hears is concentrated on this one day. He observes that for the rest of the year these same people, are not merry, not cheerful. He poses the conundrum, rather than one day filed with benevolence, tranquility and delightand 364 days filled with malice, jealousy and unhappiness would the world not be better if it was the opposite? Scrooge’s question is our question!

Or to put it another way.

How do we effect what Jesus’ birth intended?The transformation of humanity from its underlying bestiality that Ebenezer saw to its sacredness that God intended. From where does he call us out of our self-centeredness? From where we learn our interdependence with one another.

That place is none other than the family. It is in, through and with the fam…

Deacon Kevin 12-29-19

The Holy Family, Cycle A – “Family Time”

Today we celebrate the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. When we think about the Holy Family, I think it is only natural for us to think about our own families. I especially love the timing of this feast, coming during the holidays, when families are often drawn together. Younger kids are out of school, college students are on break, and many of us workers take time off from our jobs to enjoy our family time. It is a special time at our house as we welcome our son home, on his first leave from the Navy. Our family, like yours, I suspect, is in constant motion. And so, it’s always good to celebrate family time whenever we can.

The Christmas Nativity Scene also reminds us of this family time, with the shepherds and the Magi arriving. They are kind of like our own extended families, with uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, in-laws, and friends gathering together to exchange gifts. There are, however, a few very important differences. First, t…

Deacon Kevin 12-15-19

3rd Sunday in Advent, Cycle A – “Joyful Expectation”
Joyful Expectation – that is how Advent seems to me. Perhaps nowhere is this better exemplified than in the life of our patron, Saint John the Baptist. Even from his infancy, his father Zechariah says of him “you my child shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.” And this is what we see as John’s life unfolds, and he takes up his place in the dessert, by the River Jordan, boldly preaching, and baptizing those who repent of their sins.

One of the most profound experiences of Joyful Expectation that I have encountered is in the Sacrament of Baptism. Earlier this year I had the privilege to baptize a child of about seven, and this Joyful Expectation was evident on his face as he climbed up the step-stool and put his head over the baptismal font. It is also the same joy I see on the parents and godparen…

Deacon Dan 12-15-19

On this Third Sunday of Advent we illuminate the rose-colored candle. Tradition deems it to be
Gaudete Sunday, Gaudete is the Latin imperative to Rejoice. Note it is not a noun, but it is a call to action. Pope Francis says, ‘” Thereis no prayer in which Jesus does not inspire us to do something/ Our faith in Jesus is seen in strong action.”

Out of the hubbub of the season with all its anxious moments of secular preparation we are asked to stop and proclaim our joy.

So perhaps we need to take the time to consider the true meaning of joy because joy is often misunderstood. Many think that joy is reducible to a pleasurable feeling or a delight. Joy, wetake delight in all sorts of things, dark chocolate and a full-bodied Bordeaux brings me joy through my senses
However, joy is not simply delight.

Joy, true joy is caused by love, especially when we are in the presence of the person that we love. Far greater than the presents we exchange at Christmas is the presence of the ones we love.