Deacon Dan 11-15-20

33 0T A 2020 Let me begin by thanking our musicians who have used their talents to enhance our Liturgy. I would also like to thank those scientists and medical professionals who have brought forth a possible vaccine for this virus. While I am at it,thank you to all you mathematicians and rocket scientists who have sent the satellites into space that have transformed how we communicate. I thank the artist who paints magnificent works that bring beauty into the world. I thank the poets and writers for their words of wisdom. The list can go on but let me stop there. I offer these words of gratitude because that is what this gospel has often been used to do. It has been used to encourage people to use their natural gifts. But it has nothing to do with those exhortations or those words of gratitude. Neither is this parable about a sound investment strategy, just as last week's gospel was not about lazy maidens. This gospel and last week's gospel areabout preparing for the Lord to c

Deacon Kevin 11-15-20

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A – “A Just Return” We are deep into the Gospel of Matthew now, with just a few more weeks left in Ordinary Time, before our new liturgical year begins with the Season of Advent. The past couple of Sundays, Matthew has shifted his focus to the end times, with the ‘Parable of the Ten Virgins’ and today’s ‘Parable of the Talents.’ Jesus has begun telling us a few last things before departing, like the Master. After this parable, is the discourse on the ‘Judgement of Nations’and then in the very next chapter, begins the Passion narrative. On the surface, today’s parable is about a wealthy man going on a journey and leaving his three servants with a bit of money to take care of while he is away. But if we probe a little deeper, we see that there is so much more to the story. A couple of observations can be readily made. The first is that each of the servants expects his master to return, of this there is no doubt. The second observation is that each has

Deacon Kevin 9-20-20

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A –  “Thanks be to our Most Generous God!” Thanks be to God for His generous love and mercy. As the Psalm reminds us, “The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness…The LORD is just in all his ways.” Thankfully, the way God judges, is far different than the way we humans judge. We see this in the parable in today’s Gospel, a parable as meaningful in the time of Jesus as it still is today, some 2,000 years later. As you may know, a parable is a type of story that is used to illustrate a truth, or reveal a teaching. The parables that Jesus used so often also have an unexpected twist, a meaning that challenges us in surprising ways. I would also remind you that there are many “senses” of scripture, to include the literal, moral, allegorical, and anagogic sense. The literal sense refers to the basic sense of the words themselves, as intended by the author. In this case, the literal sense refers to a story about a vineyard landown

Deacon Dan 9-20-20

25 OT A 2020 This parable, like all the parables can be understood on several levels. The parable of the vineyard master and the workers who worked varying hours. Today’s gospel parable is perhaps the most irksome parable and it is irksome on different levels. First, behind the Gospel are big ideas. Big ideas like justice and mercy. I find it irksomely difficult because I struggle with these big ideas. I struggle with the competition I see between those concepts. The obvious incompatibility between justice and mercy. I struggle and I say this parable is irksome because the parable engenders a very strong tendency within me to side with those early workers crying out Unfair, unfair.Those are, my very human thoughts and intellectually I believe I can justify them. But then I hear Isaiah say, “His thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not his ways.” Therefore, I am forced to go deeper than my intellect, I am forced to probe the depths of my heart. In the depths of my heart I re

Deacon Kevin 8-30-20

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A – “An Inspiration” This past Monday we had our annual Deanery meeting at Holy Spirit, and I got to meet Bishop Raica for the first time. At the meeting of Priests and Deacons from the churches up here in Northeast Alabama, Bishop Steven posed a question: How important is the parish in your daily Catholic life? It is a question I think he means to askall of us, and it’s one I’ve been reflecting upon this week. There are so many things we take for granted in life, and I think the same holds true for the parish. When this pandemic hit, and we started to shut everything down, it made me realize how important this parish is to me and I know many of you feel the same way. I am so thankful that through it all, we remained open, as a house of prayer. I am thankful the Sacraments were not taken away, the Eucharist, most of all, but also the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Both of these are such a huge blessing to our Catholic way of life. In the last few mont

Deacon Dan 8-30-20

“You duped me, O, lord you duped me, and I let myself be duped.” Those are the powerfullamentable words of Jeremiah. He wanted to dothe will of God but in doing so he was derided and scorned. How many of us have been duped by God? I have. I was duped it was 1978 I had moved into a house I had just bought in Tacoma WA while stationed at Fort Lewis. One day a flyer appeared in my mailbox with an invitation to a “revival” the nearby Assembly of God. I had heard that the church’s head pastor was a powerful preacher orator. So I took up the invitation and went out of curiosity. Uponentering the church building I was escorted to a seat in the balcony. Yes, the balcony. As I looked down toward the sanctuary, I saw a huge organ to the left and another to the right. There was a choir of 50 or more white-robed members along the back wall. At the appointed time the choir joined the organs in a triumphant entry song. From the middle of the floor, the preacherbehind the podium was arising hydraulic

Deacon Greg 8-16-20

Many people have wondered out loud about these recent COVID times. While we know it's a pandemic, some wonder if it was sent by God to teach us a lesson of some sort, like some kind of plague. Others see it for what it is... A virus yet to be controlled, calling upon us to respond in a manner that is best for community and ourselves. The question is: What is best for our community and ourselves? While the debate for answers goes on, no one can doubt that this is indeed a test of sorts. It's a test of patience. It's a test of trust. It's a test of endurance. And pertinent to today's Good News, it's a TEST OF FAITH! Last week, the Gospel offered us the story of the Disciples being tossed about on their boat during a storm at sea. When Jesus came towards them on the water, they said it was a ghost! When Peter knew it was him, he asked him to command that he walk out to the Lord, and with that, Peter began to walk on the water! But when the wind picked up