This weeks theme should be entitled “All About Genesis.” The weeks 1st readings are all from Genesis and the story of creation. Finally, now that I have a thorough understanding of Theology of the Body, I can actually apply what I’ve learned to these readings and get much more out of it.
Speaking of TOB, this past week I presented, along with our transitional Deacon, a Theology of the Body/Chastity talk to our 8th Grade PSR students. Happy to report it went over very well! And the fact that we spoke for an hour and a half to 13/14 year olds and kept their attention is a feat in itself. They had excellent and thoughtful questions after it ranging from gender issues to gay marriage to co-habitation and vocations. Very smart kids these days!
Back to the Daily Mass Project…
This week: St Paschal Baylon in Highland Heights, St. Noel in Willoughby Hills, and St. Francis of Assisi in Gates Mills. Read on!
St. St. Pashcal Baylon – Thursday February 8th – 9am
Celebrant: Fr. John Thomas Lane, Pastor
1st Reading: GN 2:18-25
Gospel: MK 7:24-30
Homily Reflections: My favorite line in all of scripture is in the first reading one that Fr. focused on during the homily:
“When he brought her to the man, the man said:
“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called ‘woman,’
for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”
I just adore this passage. I told the 8th graders: “Adam looks at her with awe and wonder and exclaims those words, At last! He can see that they were made for one another. That their parts…fit.” If that’s not the most simplest definition of how and why we were made male and female, I don’t know what is.
Father also spoke about the mutual support a husband and wife give one another in partnership. He mentioned the healing power of the Eucharist and how we are all called to receive this healing as we receive the body and blood of Christ in communion.
Holy Moments: The older man sitting behind me received a hug from a woman before mass. She said she was sorry for the loss of a woman named Trudy. I assume it was his wife but didn’t want to be nosy. I thought of him during the homily and wondered if he was thinking of this Trudy woman while Fr. spoke about Eve and the creation of woman, and the spousal relationship. I thought the next best thing I could do was to just pray for Trudy’s soul when the priest mentioned all the faithful departed. I always tend to picture all my relatives who have died and their faces quickly pass through my mind as he says those words. But if I don’t have a face to go with the name, in this case, I just focus on the name itself. So Trudy, whoever she is, got some extra prayers this day.
St. Noel – Friday February 10th – 12:00pm – Chapel Mass
I just had to take pictures of this place. Such a unique and interesting design!
Celebrant: Fr. George Smiga, Pastor
1st Reading: Genesis 3:1-8
Gospel: Mark 7:31-37
Homily Reflection: Short and sweet. Glad to hear the priest focused so much on the 1st reading about the serpent and evil entering the world. He made a point to mention that God is not responsible for evil. He has made a good world. The presence of evil is a mystery. But we know in the kingdom of heaven, evil will be destroyed. As we are here on earth, we must oppose evil in all its forms and trust in God’s promise of eternal life and and end to all evil.
Holy Moments: The entire mass was a holy moment – From the time I walked in to this little “cave-like” chapel, I felt like this was a special place. I watched an older man escort his handicapped wife to the front row of chairs. I watched two women in the corner whisper the rosary before the mass began. And as the Eucharistic prayer began, the priest invited us all to gather around the altar. Since it was such a small chapel, we could do this easily. I had the vantage point of being behind and over the left shoulder of the priest as he began the liturgy. Probably not a position I would ever be in ever again. And when it came time for the Our Father, we joined hands. Something I’ve grown to actually like instead of shy away from.
St. Francis of Assisi – Saturday February 11th – 8:15AM
Celebrant: Fr. Steve Flynn, Pastor
1st Reading: Genesis 3:9-24
Gospel: Mark 8:1-10
Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes
Homily Reflection: Theme was “Grasping vs Receiving.” Couldn’t help but smile as again, this was something we discussed with the 8th graders when teaching them about Lust Vs. Love. Lust always grasps. But Love Gifts, Love Receives. Fr. asked us to think about the posture of Adam and Even in the garden. What did they do? They stole what was not theirs. Since today was an optional memorial for Our Lady, Father reflected on her as being the model of receptivity. She openly received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
While we’ll never be exactly like Mary, we can still rest assured that whenever we grasp, (sin) God doesn’t give up on us. Father concluded with a prayer to Jesus we can say when we are in “grasping” mode: “Help me to receive what you desire to give me.”
Holy Moments: Got a piece of the big host. Second time in one week. I think that means I’m pretty special.
Or just pretty crazy about Jesus.
Next week hasn’t been planned yet – Might be time for a quick breather and blog about the March for Life in D.C. Stay tuned!