Susan Dugary's Blog

THE ULTIMATE REALITY

Deacon Greg Maskarinec’s Homily

PALM SUNDAY

We are obsessed with reality TV…shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, and the like.  There’s another series known as “Undercover Boss”. It features a company’s founder or senior executive who temporarily gives up his or her power and authority to become an entry-level employee at the bottom rung of the ladder.  The “boss” goes “undercover” to investigate what’s really going on in their company so that they can improve the business and reward hard-working employees. They are not tyrants…they’re sincerely interested in the welfare of their business and their workers.   They’re on the road away from home and spend time agonizing about how to solve the problems of the companies.   At some point the undercover boss returns to the workforce and reveals their identity.  The exceptional workers are rewarded for their efforts and are given the financial means to help make their dreams come true.

On this Palm Sunday, the beginning of the week we call “Holy”, the readings speak to us of a somewhat similar figure, but one who offers us infinitely more than any reality TV show or personality. Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017 is the official start of Lent.  According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops the theme for Lent in 2017 is “Give Up, Take Up, Lift Up!”

They continue…”During Lent, take inspiration from the words of Saint Paul (2 Cor 8:9) and contemplate his invitation to live a life of evangelical poverty.  Embrace the Lord’s call to being the blessed poor by “giving up” material things, including food, superfluous to your basic needs; “taking up” charitable habits directed to helping and caring for others; and “lifting up” those in need through giving alms, through praying for them, and by participating in devotional practices.”

Ashes will be distributed during the 8:00 AM Mass, 12:05 PM Mass and the 7:30 PM Mass at Mother of Divine Providence Church.

Please remember to check last week’s bulletin (available here online) and keep the Lenten calendar handy in your home so that you and your family may participate in as many Lenten events as possible.     Let’s be sure to make this a very good Lent!

 

 

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by Susan Dugary

LET US LOVE AS GOD LOVES

DEACON GREG MASKARINEC’S HOMILY

7TH SUNDAY ON ORDINARY TIME


One of my favorite movies is Miracle, the true story about the US men’s ice hockey team in 1980 that was put together to do the impossible:  to win an Olympic gold medal.  The coach told his players, “You think you can win on talent alone?  Gentlemen, you don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone.”  in addition to talent, two other ingredients were necessary to bring home the gold medal:  personal sacrifice and teamwork.  And so the coach put his players through a grueling conditioning program that made them better physically fit than any of their opponents.  If you’ve seen the movie you probably remember the coach calling his players back on the ice after a lackluster effort in an exhibition game where he had them do wind sprints on the ice…”again”, “again”, “again”. He also developed an unselfish cooperation among a bunch of testosterone-filled young men, many of whom had been college rivals and didn’t like each other.  The players thought the coach was unrealistic, obsessed, and even crazy.  In the end, the US men’s ice hockey team achieved the goal for which the team was created.   They beat the Soviets and then Finland to clinch the Olympic gold medal. Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

This Week @ MDP: Catechist Receives 40-Year Award!

Many congratulations to Vic Limongelli on his 40th year serving as a CCD/PREP Catechist (teacher)!  Catechist awards were conferred by His Excellency Archbishop Chaput in January at the Cathedral.

Here at MDP, we teach God’s truth to our children!

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by Susan Dugary

Ordinary Time – How Extraordinary!

Deacon Greg Maskarinec’s Homily – Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Christmas has come and gone.  The parties are over, the shopping is behind us, the decorations have been taken down, and all the cookies have been eaten…I’m living proof of that!  And today we find ourselves at the beginning of what the Church calls “Ordinary Time”.  Ordinary usually means mundane or commonplace.   But if this is our expectation of Ordinary Time then we are in for  a surprise.  You see, there is nothing mundane or commonplace about Ordinary Time.

Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

What Would It Take for God to Win Over Your Heart?

Homily by Deacon Greg Maskarinec from Christmas Day 2016

On this Christmas morning as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, I’d like to pose a question:  What would it take for God to win over your heart?  I mean really win over your heart, so much so that he becomes the center of your life?  Allow me to tell a story that you may already be familiar with about a king and how he won over the heart of His queen. Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

Resources to Build Strong Families

Support, encouragement, and advice for marriage and parenting at every age and stage.  Solid Catholic content sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:  http://www.foryourmarriage.org

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by Susan Dugary

Sacramental Grace…the Key to Perserverance

Homily of Deacon Gregory Maskarinec – 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 19:5-19

In today’s Gospel, Jesus spoke about the coming destruction of the temple which was the center of the world for the first century Jews.  He also spoke about the coming of ward, uprisings, earthquakes, famines, and plaques.  Being seized and persecuted, handed over by family, relatives, and friends.  Being hated, imprisoned, and put to death…all because of Him, the Lord.  At the end of the Gospel I proclaimed, “The Gospel of the Lord.”  As you probably know, the word “Gospel” means “good news.”     In ancient times the “good news” was generally a message proclaimed by the King to his people, usually in connection with a military victory, promising the citizens good times and prosperity.  What we just heard was a proclamation of the “good news of the Lord.”   You must have agreed because you responded, “Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ.”  In other words, praise to You, Lord for that good news!  If that’s the good news, we might be afraid to hear the bad!

You may be wondering, just what is the good news in today’s readings?  As we approach the end of the liturgical year the readings focus on the End Times.   Both the prophet Malichi and the Psalmist assert that when the time comes the Lord will rule the world with justice. Justice is the state of living in a right relationship with God and others.  The harmony of original justice whereby man lived in peace with God in the garden was lost through sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve.  The good news is that at the end of time the Lord will come and re-establish the harmony that existed in the beginning between God and humanity.

And while the Gospel might sound bleak there are rays of light that serve as sources of hope.  First, during difficult times the Lord promises to strengthen us and to be a source of wisdom.  We must trust in the Lord, which as you will know, can be difficult.  I have to admit that as I prepare a homily and am stricken with writer’s block, which is nearly every time I preach, trusting that the Lord will give me the right words can be very challenging. Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

by Susan Dugary

Responding to God’s Mercy

Homily by Deacon Greg Maskarinec – 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

My reflection on the readings for this Sunday coincided with the sudden death of a dear friend and spiritual confidant Sister Anne Joseph Palmer, Religious of the Assumption.  Sister Anne loved children, so much so that she studied to be a Montessori school teacher and co-founded a Montessori school in West Philadelphia.  She taught the underprivileged there for over 30 years.  Sister Anne also taught art classes for many years at John F. Kennedy Behavioral Heath Center in Philadelphia and organized art shows for her students.  She taught English as a Second Language to immigrants.  Sister Anne’s life was a work of mercy in which she ministered to the spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual needs of others.  Reflecting upon the readings for this week I couldn’t help but think how Sister Anne had lived her life in conformity with the command to be merciful, just as the Father is merciful.

Today’s Gospel reading of “Zacchaeus the Tax Collector” illustrates some important points about mercy.  First, there are two types of mercy.  One type of mercy is shown by one human being to another.  It is the mercy that Jesus, who is fully human, displayed in his initial encounter with Zacchaeus the tax collector.  Tax collectors were known to collect more tax than they paid out to the Roman authorities.  It’s likely that Zacchaeus obtained his wealth be cheating his fellow Jews and as a result didn’t have many friends.  When Jesus initiated a dialogue with Zacchaeus and expressed his desire to stay with him, it may have been the first time in a very long time that Zacchaeus was treated, not as an outcast, but as someone whose company was desirable by another human being.  By his words, Jesus mercifully reached out to Zachaeus and reconnected him with humanity. Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary