Shepherds of Christ  
       Daily Writing        

June 6, 2008

June 7th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 5 Period I.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for June 7th are Sorrowful.


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Homilies from Fr. Joe, Rita's brother


Isaiah 25: 6-10a  

On this mountain, for all peoples, 
Yahweh Sabaoth is preparing 
a banquet of rich food, 
    a banquet of fine wines, 
of succulent food, of well–strained wines. 
On this mountain, he has destroyed 
the veil which used to veil all peoples, 
the pall enveloping all nations; 
he has destroyed death for ever. 
Lord Yahweh has wiped away the tears 
    from every cheek; 
he has taken his people’s shame away 
    everywhere on earth, 
for Yahweh has spoken. 

And on that day, it will be said, 
‘Look, this is our God, 
in him we put our hope 
    that he should save us, 
this is Yahweh, we put our hope in him. 
Let us exult and rejoice 
    since he has saved us.’ 
For Yahweh’s hand will rest 
    on this mountain, 


Matthew 22: 1-14

Jesus began to speak to them in parables once again, ‘The kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants with the words, "Tell those who have been invited: Look, my banquet is all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding." But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, "The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the main crossroads and invite everyone you can find to come to the wedding." So these servants went out onto the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, "How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?" And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, "Bind him hand and foot and throw him into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth." For many are invited but not all are chosen.’


28th Sunday Ordinary Time
October 9, 2005

INTRODUCTION: (Isaiah 25, 6-10a; Matthew 22, 1-14) If we were raised in the old school we’re used to associating God’s will with something we don’t like. We just grit our teeth and say: “It’s God's will. We just have to accept it!” Well God doesn’t always make life easy for us, but today’s first reading gives us a fuller picture of what it is we’re praying for when we say “thy will be done.” God's will is for our complete and eternal happiness.

In our second reading St. Paul is making reference to a donation he had just received from the Philippians to help support him and his ministry. He is writing to thank them and in his comments he describes some of the ups and downs of being an apostle.

HOMILY: In today’s gospel, Jesus compares heaven to the wedding celebration of a prince. It would have been the social event of a lifetime. In that culture, when someone celebrated any wedding, the celebration went on for a few days, not just a few hours like ours do. But for a prince, it would have been lavish beyond belief.

In the story the king sent out servants to inform all of the guests, who had been previously invited, that everything was ready. It’s the servants I want to talk about today. I am one of those servants. Today is vocation awareness Sunday. All parishes have been asked to promote vocations and one of the ways I thought I could promote them is to say something personal about my own vocation.

I never had an angel or a vision to tell me to be a priest. It’s just an idea that grew in me from the time I made my first Communion at St. Patrick’s. But as I grew, I discovered girls and I decided being a priest was something I didn’t want to do. But the idea of being a priest wouldn’t go away. I reasoned if this really was something God wanted me to do, I better give it a fair try. I knew deep down I would find my greatest happiness only if I did what God wanted me to do. So I went to the seminary intending to stay only one year and to see how it went. I managed to survive for five years that way, always full of doubts about whether that’s what God wanted me to do with my life. After five years of that, one evening while I was praying in chapel, all of a sudden, all my questions and doubts disappeared. It was a real gift to me that that happened because in the early years when I was a priest, a lot of priests I admired and respected were quitting, but that experience in the chapel in the seminary helped me know that God wanted me to be where I was.

In the gospel the servants were treated badly. I’ve never been treated badly, physically, but I’ve taken some verbal beatings and when I invite people to respond more to God’s invitation, I been ignored many a time. But the good far outweighs the challenges. The happiest part of being a priest is to know that somehow some people’s lives are better because I have influenced them for the better. I can truthfully say I have enjoyed almost all of the things I do as a priest (except trying to raise money). The only drawback is that sometimes all of these enjoyable things I do, counseling, praying with people, teaching, visiting the sick, saying Mass, etc. get to be too many enjoyable things and then it can become burdensome. We can have too much of a good thing. But that’s part of anybody’s life, I’m sure, so I can’t complain. As a priest, the opportunities to pray and to grow in knowing and loving God are numerous and most rewarding. One thing that touches me most deeply is confession. It is very humbling and inspiring to me when I hear someone’s confession, especially someone who has been away from Church for a while or who is inwardly troubled and I can bring them peace. It is a privilege and a joy like no other.

Everywhere I’ve been, my ministry has been different, rewarding and challenging. Northside is a lot different than Loveland is for example. But I want to say that my last fourteen years here (and they’re not over yet) have been exceptionally rewarding. I love being here, I love the people here. I just wish we had a few more people coming to Mass. In being a priest one gives up family, but I have inherited a larger family and wonderful friends as a priest.

We do not have a lot of young people here unfortunately, so I’m probably not going to get any one to join the seminary or religious life from what I say today. But, a lot of you are grandparents. If your grandchild mentions giving themselves to God in the religious life, support them. It’s a good life, as good as any life can be. I recommend it.






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