Father Cioppi’s Easter Vigil Homily

“On this night in which Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church calls upon us to come together to watch and pray.  If we keep this living Memorial of the Paschal Mystery in this way, listening to His Word and celebrating the Sacraments, then we will have sure hope of sharing also his triumph over death and living with Him in God.”

And so, in these early hours before Dawn, we accompany the women to the Tomb.  There has not been time to provide the burial services for the body and so the women, who had attended Jesus through His Public Ministry come to the place where then had laid Him.

When they reached the Tomb, the stone was rolled away, and in it there was a messenger who gave them the unbelievable news that Jesus had risen from the dead.

The women were left stunned, as we are in this moment, Jesus has risen from the dead.  how can this be true?  Nevertheless, if it were not true, we would never have heard of Him, history would never have remembered Him.

The women had come to bury their Teacher; the Apostles’ attitude was one of defeat and of ultimate tragedy.

Be we know Him of Whom they speak! After two thousand years, the words are still freshly spoken, “Do not be amazed!  You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.  He has been raised; He is not here.”

We know that what the messenger said is true because now, we are witnessing the unbelievable event And, there are others who have come to believe, who seek a new Way of Life in the Risen Lord!  Continue reading

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by Susan Dugary

Holy Week at MDP

We hope you will come and pray among us!

“We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.”

  • Confessions:  M, Tu, W @ 7pm in Church
  • 3/29 Holy Thursday: (Mass of the Last Supper) 7:30pm in Church
  • 3/30 Good Friday: 3:00pm in Church
  • 3/31 Easter Vigil: 8:00pm in Church
  • 4/1 Easter Sunday: 7:30, 9:30, 11:30am in Church

For the curious… the “big three” liturgies of Holy Week are Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil.  These are the “Triduum,” or the three holiest days of the year.  If you are able, we invite you to pray all three of these liturgies with us.  We begin in the “upper room” as Jesus celebrates the Passover with His Apostles.  (This is the most family-friendly of the three liturgies, and has a beautiful Eucharistic procession at the end.)  Jesus then goes out to the Garden of Gethsemane, and we go with him, watching and waiting.  (The Church is open for prayer all night long.)  On Good Friday, as we fast and abstain from meat, the passion and death of the Lord is never far from our minds.  At the 3:00pm service marking the death of the Lord on the cross, we mourn for this Lord and Savior who has loved us at the price of His own life.  We then wait in silence… the Lord is in the tomb.  There is no Mass on Saturday morning.  (There is 8:00am Morning Prayer and blessing of Easter food.)  After our long silence, we come together in the dark for the Easter Vigil, “watching and waiting” for the Resurrection of the Lord.  This service begins outside in the dark, and we enter the inky-black Church led only by the light of the Easter Candle.  Throughout the Vigil, the light grows and climaxes at the baptism of our new Catholics and the reception of Holy Communion.  Amen, Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

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by Lauren Joyce

Father Cioppi’s Palm Sunday Homily

Today marks the beginning of a holy week of remembrance.  Through Scripture, Song and Sacred Ritual, we commemorate Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.  Our Parish Lenten journey leads us now to the gates of Jerusalem where “Jesus emptied Himself and accepted death on a cross.’ We come to this time and place, open to the wonders of Christ’s death; a power that brings new life to those who have lost hope, a home to the confused, and healing to those who suffer.

It is on Calvary we find our noblest aspiration as human persons.  Tertullian wrote:  “The flesh is the hinge of salvation.”  We believe in God Who made Himself human in order to redeem us by the very flesh He gave us.

Jesus, the Son of God, freely suffered death for us in complete and free submission to Divine Providence.  He asks nothing less from us.  “By His death he has conquered death, and so opened the possibility of salvation for all of us (CCC, 1019).”

If we can identify with the Centurion of the Gospel, and stand with him beneath the Cross and say with him:  “Truly this man was the Son of God,” then we will enter more deeply these sacred moments and ponder the great mystery of God’s love for us.

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by Susan Dugary

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

Happening @ MDP: Living Stations of the Cross!

Our PREP / CCD children led us in prayerful Stations of the Cross last night… we are grateful for their efforts!  It was a beautiful addition to the parish Lenten Season.

 

All are welcome to our remaining Stations of the Cross this Lent:

- Friday 3/16 @ 7pm in Church

- Wednesday 3/21 @ 2pm in Church

- Friday 3/23 @ 7pm in Church (MTC Living Stations of the Cross)

- Wednesday 3/28 @ 2pm in Church (MTC Living Stations of the Cross)

 

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by Lauren Joyce

“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

The Parish Offices are closed today, March 7th, due to the current weather conditions.

Please stay home and be safe.  God bless you.

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by Susan Dugary

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