News and Homilies Blog

There is a way out of envy

If you look up the word ‘envy’ in the dictionary, it means ‘A feeling of resentment aroused by a desire for the possessions or qualities of another.’ If envy goes unchecked, it can destroy everything we love and care for.

The Olympics date back to the Greek games held on the plains of Olympus in 776 BC. Ancient towns often honored the victorious with statues. One day an envious loser rocked the statue of his opponent until it fell. The problem was, the statue fell the wrong way and crushed him to death.

There are times when we can feel envious of a new car, new kitchen, a better promotion and these feelings can overwhelm us. Envy is a grave sin and thus leads you into a self-absorbed obsession that blocks out reality and the true dignity of another person.

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by Father Cioppi

Just have Faith!

The images of healing presented in today’s Gospel remind us of the power of God’s love to restore us to life when sickness and death surround us. Our celebrations of Christmas and Easter underline our belief that makes us uniquely Catholic, that God made the human person in ‘the image of his own nature.’ It is precisely in this relationship that the human person is elevated from merely human to the divine.

Both the hemorrhaging woman and the synagogue official encounter the same Christ that we do. They rightly turn themselves and their difficulties over to Him, surrendering what they cannot control in their lives, to Christ.

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by Father Cioppi

Christ has always been the ‘stone rejected’

What we celebrate during these Easter weeks is our new life in Christ. Saint John says:” See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.” And yet he warns us that the world will never know us because it will never recognize Him.

We forget that the Church will never belong totally to the world and that the world will never fully accept the Church. In fact, if we find we ourselves becoming accepted by the world, we know we have become too complacent. The Church flourishes when it suffers, like Jesus on the Cross.

So, we need to be careful if we are to lead this new life, we need to be watchful that the seeds of this world are not nourished but rather are rooted out by our vigilance in prayer and in the reception of the sacraments.

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by Father Cioppi

Look for Him in the Church

Already it is the Fifth Sunday in Lent. Soon the Church will enter its holiest week as She re-enacts the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. We hear Jesus speaking with his disciples in the Gospel: “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father save me from this hour?’ It was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” (John 12:20-33)

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by Father Cioppi

“God is rich in mercy”

 

The opening words of the second reading, sets the tone for our reflection on this Laetare Sunday. “God…is rich in mercy.” God gives us time to repent and believe, always one more chance to surrender to His Will. God is indeed rich in mercy.

But, we have also learned that He can be just. He can get angry. Look at the first reading from Chronicles. Priests and people had polluted the temple in Jerusalem with infidelity. When the Lord showed them mercy, they mocked, despised and scoffed Him. And even then, God gave them another chance through Cyrus of Persia, a person we least expect.

Jesus spoke to Nicodemus,” For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” God is rich in mercy and to remind us at every turn, His Son dwells among us, here on this Altar, among you His Holy People and out there among the marginalized and the lost.

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by Father Cioppi

Recite the Ten Commandments by ‘heart!’

As we continue by our sacrifices to open our hearts, to convert those parts of our lives which are not of God, we find ourselves in the desert with our ancestors in faith. We find ourselves at the foot of Mount Sinai, here at the foot of the Altar. We listen as they once did to the Words of God, spoken to us from human lips. We open our ears so these words can enter our heart.

But now, we listen with hearts that are Christian and with the mark of our Baptism, we find our hearts turning to Jesus in the Church. Paul says, “Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” We need not be anxious now because Christ has conquered all that seeks to darken our souls. Our fears come from a deception that is false.

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by Father Cioppi

Jesus Christ is the Truth!

I WATCH TOO MUCH NEWS! It drives me crazy when I hear someone say something about ‘their own truth,’ or ‘I’ve made my own ‘conscience’ decision, therefore I am right and you must believe it’ What they don’t seem to understand is that making a decision with an ill formed conscience always leads to making bad decisions because they are never rooted in Christ.

Conscience is not an isolated, personal or individual thing. Consciences are formed by experience, by authority, by what is human, and by what is divine. They involve the soul, our most human element which seeks after the truth in all things.

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by Father Cioppi

The Gospel presents a plan for Lent

When we look at the Gospel today, it is short but lays out the plan for our Lenten retreat.Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God” ‘This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.’”

And so, we begin our Lenten journey here with this proclamation and we work backwards. We begin where Jesus began; by going into the desert for forty days. The desert of the Gospel is symbolic of the three practices, given to us by the Church, for the Lenten season: Prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

We are warned by John that as we journey through this desert time we will be tempted by satan; that we will be among wild beasts of those who reject God. But, we also hear that angels will minster to us as we go.

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by Father Cioppi

“I do will it, be made clean!”

There was no disease regarded with more terror and disgust than leprosy. Not only did a leper have to deal with physical pain but also self-loathing. They were given no social or emorional supports; he was completely alienated from the human touch.

Each of us has had moments when we have felt alienated or a loss of emotional or spiritual comfort. We worry about our social position and what our so-called friends can do to us if we don’t fit in.

Jesus, moved with pity, stretched out His hand and touched the leper. He tore out the consequences of prejudice, hatred and fear and restored to the leper as He does us, our human dignity. He touched the man and thus his humanity was transformed into a life of true humility.

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by Father Cioppi

What is your story?

If Jesus’ words had amazed the people in the synagogue, his deeds would leave them awestruck.

The miracles Jesus performed tell us something about three people: Himself, the disciples, and Peter’s mother-in-law. The Gospel reveals to us that Jesus was rather shy, introverted man. He did not need to make himself the center of attention. He did not need to make great incantations or gestures to dispel demons.

Jesus simply needed to speak with authority. He had confidence that His relationship with His Father was such that whatever He asked, would be granted.

A miracle for Jesus was not a means of increasing His prestige; it was not something He loathed to do. Jesus performed miracles because He was usually, ‘moved with pity,’ keenly interested in the lives of the people He touched.

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by Father Cioppi