A Wedding Homily – 2017

Welcome, we are all here to witness something awesome!  We have come to witness two unique individuals come forward, and with God’s grace,  become one.  We are about to witness the power of their love for each other, and the power of God’s love, made present here before us; and that should fill us all with awe!
For that is one of the objectives that a celebration of a sacrament is suppose to accomplish.  It is an opportunity to encounter the Divine; through the ordinary objects that our God has created: water, olive oil, bread and wine,..a ring.  A sacrament is also a means by which God transforms the individual or individuals who are receiving the sacrament.  Through the waters of Baptism, we are cleansed of sin, and become born again as a child of God.  Through the anointing with holy oil, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  When we receive consecrated bread and wine, we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, and become one with Christ.  And in the exchange of rings, which symbolizes the pledge, in love, of a man and a woman to each other, to their union.  And it also symbolizes God’s pledge to you both; that He will be with you always.

For God is the source of all life, and of all love.  And through His Spirit, that love can fill your hearts, your souls, all the way down into the very depths of your being.  The power of God’s Presence within you, the power of His love; will help you experience the joyful times more intensely; will help you through the trying times with more hope.  Remember always the description of love we have just heard from the writings of St. Paul:

“It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.”                  (1 Corinthians)

Love will never fail, if we continually open our hearts, and be present to God, the Father.  A Dutch priest and author, had a personal revelation; reflecting on when God addressed Jesus, as He was coming up out of the waters of the Jordan River, as His “Beloved.”  And He also calls you, me,  all of us here, “Beloved.”  Whether we have been good or bad; whether we have ignored Him or not; whether we believe in Him or not; He still calls each one of us”Beloved.”

It is by the power of that love; by the gift of His Spirit, that you both have been drawn to this place, to this sacred moment of time.  And we have all been drawn here to witness something awesome.

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Weekend Coffee Share – 10/16/2016

img_0073Over a cup of coffee, I would share with you that my wife and I were in Kennebunkport, ME, the past couple of days.  We, along with her family, were celebrating the marriage of one of her nephews to a beautiful Romanian bride.  The wedding ceremony took place in a Catholic parish church in Kennebunk (a different town).  One the bride’s siblings, a Catholic priest from Romania, concelebrated, at the wedding Mass.


It is in celebrating sacraments, such as Marriage, such as Baptism,  such as the Eucharist; that I always tell people we are witnessing something “awesome!”  The power of God’s love is being manifested before us; and the transformative power of that love.  With eyes of faith, is something to behold.  With a heart that is open, it is something wondrous to experience.

After the wedding came the reception, where a good time was had by all. (Oh yeah!!)


Over a cup of coffee, I would tell you how concerned I am getting over this coming presidential election.  There have some nasty elections in our past; going back to the founding of the Republic.  But amount of anger, the bad blood that is being shown between the two major candidates, and their factions; heightened by the social media.  It makes one fearful that the country may not come back together after a winner is declared.  All one do, I guess, is to get out there, vote, and pray that the Father of Nations will watch over us; and summon the “better angels of our nature,” and bring healing and hope to us all.

Well, the paper cup is empty; I am in a hotel lobby, typing this up on an IPhone.  (I really wish I had better coordinated thumbs for this!). See you next time over a cup of coffee.

A Wedding Homily

St. Margaret

St. Margaret of Scotland Church

Last Saturday, April 23rd, at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Beverly; I had the privilege and honor to officiate at the wedding of a very nice couple.  It was my first wedding ceremony as a deacon, and to say I was a little nervous, would be putting it mildly.  So I put everything in the hands of the Lord, and stepped out into the sanctuary and greeted the handsome groom and beautiful bride.  The ceremony was both simple and powerful.  A single violin provided the music; and the old church never looked better.  The following is the homily I delivered, although I did change it a little as I preached:

 

My friends, we are a gathered here today, to witness something awesome!  We have two unique individuals, Jaclyn and Michael, who soon will become one.  They have been brought together by the power of love; they will be joined together by the power of love.  We are to about to witness, we are about to celebrate a sacrament, the sacrament of marriage.  A sacrament, instituted by Jesus Christ, when it is celebrated, reveals and makes present the divine reality they signify, a visible sign of the God’s grace at work within us.  And we will soon witness the grace of the Father’s love at work within Jaclyn and Michael.  And they are going to be changed down to the core of their being by the grace of God, transformed, and forever changed.  They will be a new creation.

It is love, perfected by God’s grace, which binds them together.  And we need to understand that the love I am speaking about not the sentimental love one sees in Hallmark cards.  It is the type of love that St. Paul describes in his letter to the Corinthians. 

“Love is patient, love is kind…It does not seek its own interests.  It is not quick tempered….It bears all things… believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  (1st Cor ). 

This is what love should be for all of us, in all of our relationships, but especially in a marital relationship.  But I will tell you now, after 27 years of being with the love of my life, with all the joys and happiness, there can still be challenges, there can be some struggles, because we can never know what curve balls life will toss at us.  Even the day to day of living together will bring happy surprises, but also some challenges.  But I can also testify to the fact that you will each have some new discoveries about the other; the majority of which will bring joy and happiness in your life, but some that may drive you up the wall.  It is love that will keep you both on an even keel; it is love that will see you both through.  It is love that will keep the joy alive for both of you.  And as St. Paul says, “Love never fails.”

For love to work though, our hearts, our souls, must be continually open to its source; open to God’s grace through Jesus Christ the Son.  Jesus Christ, who is the prime example of what it means to love, who emptied Himself for love of us all.  We encounter Him in Word and Sacrament , we encounter Him in quiet moments.  And in that encounter, we are refreshed.

It is appropriate that we celebrate this wedding here in this church, named for St. Margaret of Scotland.  She is one of our rare laywoman saints.  She is an example of what a Catholic marriage is all about.  Born in England, she would become Queen of Scotland, after marrying King Malcolm III of Scotland in 1070.  It is said that they had a very affectionate relationship, which was rare for royal marriages of those times.  Together, they had eight children.  She is said to have had a civilizing effect on the Scottish court.  She had a strong spiritual life, and she was known charitable works, supported by her husband.  A true marriage is life enriching for both husband and wife.  And a true Catholic marriage is life giving, by having children, or reaching out to others in need. 

The wonder, the joy of the love of God is made manifest in many ways.  One of them is by this sacrament we are about to celebrate, in what this couple is about to celebrate.  Let us join together, praying for Jaclyn and Michael, for their joy and happiness.  And let us witness something awesome!

#Weekendcoffeeshare First Timer

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this is the first time I am writing a post for this.  I would also share with that this is first post I have written in over a month!  There was a time that I was posting at least monthly.  That I really got into the Blogging U. courses.  That I now am having a hard time coming up with anything to write about; to share an opinion about, or have the energy to sit myself at the keyboard.  That there was a time that I had high hopes for my blog, but now I wonder if all the reading, the posting was worth it.

If we were having coffee, I would let you know that I am an ordained Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church.  I would tell you that last Sunday, I baptized three beautiful little babies (Two boys, and a girl), and welcomed them into the Church, into the Body of Christ.  How I invited the parents, the godparents, and guests to open their hearts to the miracle that was happening before them; and be aware of the love of God they were witnessing.

If we were having coffee, I would tell that I need to get through this writer’s block soon, because next weekend, I am officiating at a wedding.  I will be preaching a homily, and I need to write it this week.  I will tell that I turning to the Holy Spirit, and asking her to blow hard and breakdown the roadblocks I have in my head and soul.

As I drain my coffee mug, I would tell you that I am typing this on one of the computers in the parish office.  I have a desktop at home and an inherited laptop; both have had long service, and are kinda cranky in their old age.  Anyway, I have go back to the church soon, to prepare for the next celebration of Mass.

I hope to be here next weekend, with another cup of coffee.