Monday, May 2, 2011

First Holy Communion Homily - May 1, 2011 -- Repost from Marriage Blog

Holy Communion Mass
St. Margaret Mary, Winter Park, FL
Homily by Fr. Richard Walsh

Today we attended First Communion Mass for my nephew Dominic. The pastor, Fr. Walsh, gave an excellent homily. I wanted to video tape it but at Fr. Walsh's request I decided to just sit and listen. Now I wish I had a better view and continued to record. His homily was so inspiring not only to the kids making their First Communion today but also to some of the adults who were there. I can only try to retell what I remember from his Homily.

I found the video above to best retell the story that Fr. Walsh used in his Homily today. Various variations of the story can also be found online. The story involves famous pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The part that touched me about his homily was not the story but how he related it to our faith and relationship with Jesus Christ.

In his homily, Fr. Walsh compared each of the Communicants to the little boy on stage. Each one goes up to receive Communion for the first time with very limited knowledge about faith but Jesus reaches around from the left and from the right to embrace them with his love to make them complete. The realization is that Jesus does not just do this for the little ones with little knowledge of the faith but for all of us. Some days we are weak and our faith is lacking. Jesus reaches around each one of us and makes us each complete. He reminds us that we cannot do this alone. We each only play one instrument while He plays the rest to make it sound like a symphony. Some days we are strong and he harmonizes as to complement our piece.

Jesus is the one who completes our faith. We trust that He has already begun a good work in us and with His help we can finish the task we are set out to do.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Feast of the Holy Family and Happy birthday my love -- repost from marriage blog

Today as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, we also celebrate my husband's birthday. I was so happy to attend Mass together with my husband not only on his birthday but also on a great feast day as well. We went to Mass at The Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg.

Readings for Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

First reading: Sirach 3: 2-6, 12-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 128: 1-2, 3, 4-5
Second Reading: Colossians 3: 12-21
Gospel: Matthew 2: 13-15, 19-23

Each reading today looked at the role of each member of the family with a lot of emphasis on the Father. We are given the qualities it takes to be a good family and good member of that family.

We both look to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as our prime example of what it means to be a family and the importance of a family. We know that not only do we possess the things we need to be the wife, mother, daughter, sister, husband, father, brother, and son that we are meant to be but we also know that God's grace is sufficient enough to be all these things.

I ask and pray as a blessing on my darling husband on this day of his birth that he may someday be the father that the Lord intended him to be. I ask St. Joseph to intercede for him. I pray that he may have the humble heart of St. Joseph to lead and his family and the Lord commands him.

Happy birthday to my amazing and wonderful husband!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Solemnity of Christ the King -- Last Sunday of Liturgical year

November 21, 2010

The Solemnity of Christ the King
Last Sunday of the Liturgical Year

Incarnation Catholic Church
Priest: Father Mike

First reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-3 “Here we are, your bone and your flesh.”
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5 “I rejoiced when I heard them say, ‘Let us go unto the house of the Lord.’ ”
Second reading: Colossians 1: 12-22 “Give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.”
Gospel: Luke 23:35-43 “ ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied to him, ‘Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’ “


Theme: A closer look into today’s second reading Colossians 1: 12-22

Today’s second reading talks about the affects of Christ.

In St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he states that ALL things are created in Him – “whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.”

We know that Christ is pervasive. There is nothing that is untouched by Him.

All will be presented before Christ at the end whether as Savior or as judge.

Christ as King

Requirements to be King:

Kingdom/Land: Christ’s Kingdom = Everything
Authority or Power over people: Christ’s power = offered freely, never forced
Inheritance: Christ’s inheritance = supernatural life

In the second reading, it states “in him were created all things in heaven and on earth.”
Worldly kings impose their power over all their people. Christ did not impose His power over us but offers it to us freely. He knocks but we have to be the ones to open the door and let Him in.
Christ gives us the ability to handle our struggles that we face in life. We can overcome anything that comes our way through Christ Jesus.

We are often deceived by the evil one and chase rainbows that are empty. All our material goods and wealth will not satisfy us.

Christ has everything that we need and more.

The second reading states, “in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell.”

Let the love and mercy of Christ the King be our comfort.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Summary from the Mission at St. Joseph Catholic Church

St. Joseph Catholic Church
Bradenton, FL

October 25-27, 2010

Mission theme: Stewardship is what I do after I say "I believe"... (A Disciple's Response)

Presenter: Fr. Joseph Creedon, Pastor of Christ the King Parish in Kingston, RI Diocese of Providence, member of the board of directors of the International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSG)


St. Joseph Catholic Church Mission Statement:

St. Joseph Parish is a vital Christ-centered family where members are encouraged to participate actively in the liturgical life and ministries of the Parish according to their God-given talents and treasures.

We are committed to promoting a deeper understanding of our Catholic family and to humbly serve in God's name. We invite everyone to share in this mission in the spirit of our patron, St. Joseph.

I had the great pleasure of hearing Fr. Joe speak at St. Joseph's Catholic Church for our mission for the last 3 days. I was expecting 3 days worth of talks lasting at least 3 hours total but instead Fr. Joe spoke for less than 45 minutes each night with about 15 minutes of prayer and/or review of the previous night and 30 minutes on the topic for the night. You ask what can you get out of just an hour and half of spiritual talks? I am here to tell you it was more motivation than you could possibly need to fire up a Church for a great ministry of stewardship.

Fr. Paul (the Pastor at St. Joseph's) spoke to us tonight before Fr. Joe as to why we were having a Church mission now before Advent and not during Lent. He informed us that we will be having a Church mission during Lent as well but St. Joseph's is about to undergo some changes in their ministry and this was they way to inspire the parishioners to be stewards of our faith. He wanted to try and inspire the parishioners to have the heart of a steward with a spiritual mentality. I would say that Fr. Joe was certainly a great choice to do so.

Here are the highlights from our Church mission.

Goal: To capture the hearts of TWO parishioners who then each capture the hearts of TWO more parishioners who then those FOUR capture the hearts of EIGHT more parishioners who then capture the hearts of SIXTEEN more parishioners... (Growth is exponential)

Fr. Joe spoke about the Sacraments of the Church and the necessity to study each Sacrament and return each one to their original understanding. In looking at three of of the Sacraments, he was able to relate each to the role they play in our stewardship. The three Sacraments he spoke about were Baptism (Monday), Eucharist (Tuesday), and Reconciliation (Wednesday).


Monday, October 25, 2010


Baptism is a sacrament of rebirth. We are reborn in the waters of baptism.
At Baptism, we enter into the order of the faithful.
We need to remember what actually happened at our Baptism and not just the importance of the day/event.
All ministries of the Church are designed to serve the order of the faithful.
We are given our mission and ministry by God himself at our Baptism.
God has a specific task designed for each one of us.
We are not called to be volunteers meaning we are not called to give only when inclined and when we have time but to be stewards.
We do not have to find Jesus. Jesus finds us.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


We must understand the signs in front of us.
We must understand the meaning of Passover and understand why Jesus is the Lamb.
In the Old Testament, the blood of the lamb saved the Israelites just as Jesus (blood of the Lamb) came to save us.
Eucharist is our thanksgiving for God's gifts to us.
At Mass and celebration of the Eucharist, we gather together as a community to give thanks.
The Liturgy should be full, active, and conscious participation.
Two reasons for lack of attendance at Mass -- 1) loss of attitude of gratitude and 2) belief that we are not worthy.
We need to develop an attitude of gratitude and realize that no one is worthy to receive Eucharist but it is given to us as a gift.
We need to remember that what we have is not by our own doing but rather a gift from God.
We did not earn it but it was given to us as a gift.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Reconciliation is the most confused (and confusing) Sacrament.
It is the most misunderstood.
It has gone by different names -- Confession, Penance, and Reconciliation.
Confession and Penance are part of the sacrament while Reconciliation is the effect of the sacrament.
When our words do not match-up with our actions, then we are in need of the grace of God's healing.
We need to let go of the idea/notion that we are not worthy to receive communion during Mass.
There are at least 25 times during Mass that we are forgiven for some of our sins (venial sins)
Jesus' ministry -- "I do not care where you have been. I do not care what you have done. I love you. I forgive you. I have set you free."
It is not failing or sinning that is the issue but getting up that is important.
We need to be able to get up and say to our God "I am sorry" and hear him say, "I do not care where you have been. I do not care what you have done. I love you. I forgive you. I have set you free."

**Note that if you are not baptized Catholic or in state of MORTAL sin then you cannot receive communion as you are disconnected from the Church and our beliefs**
It is through a better understanding of each of the Sacraments that we will be able to better see our task as stewards of faith. We must remember that as persons (from the Latin root meaning to sound through) God sounds different through each one of us. We must do what we are called to do by God. It is our mission as members of the order of the faithful.

Kris and I just registered as parishioners at St. Joseph's Church and we are already active in a few of the ministries there. We are both excited to get in on the ground level of St. Joseph's Stewardship program. As young adults, we know that we will be the core of the Church in the future. We are excited as a young married couple to get our family involved in Church stewardship from the very start even before children. Ten to twenty years from now I want our entire family active and excited about being stewards of our faith and Church.

I am excited to be a member of this Parish family and I look forward to the role that our new family will play in the mission of our Church.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Love Song

Third Day -- Love Song lyrics

I've heard it said that a man would climb a mountain
Just to be with the one he loves
How many times has he broken that promise
It has never been done.
I've never climbed the highest mountain
But I walked the hill of Calvary

Just to be with you, I'd do anything
There's no price I would not pay
Just to be with you, I'd give anything
I would give my life away.

I've heard it said that a man would swim the ocean
Just to be with the one he loves
How may times has he broken that promise
It can never be done
I've never swam the deepest ocean
But I walked upon the raging sea

Repeat chorus

I know that you don't understand
the fullness of My love
How I died upon the cross for your sins
And I know that you don't realize
how much that I gave you
But I promise, I would do it all again.

Just to be with you, I've done everything
There's no price I did not pay
Just to be with you, I gave everything
Yes, I gave my life away.

More love than I can ever imagine. More love than I need. More love than I deserve. 


I remember when I first heard this song at a Third Day concert. I heard the words. I knew what it meant but I do not think I realized what a true love song it was. It was not like your typical pop song love song. There was no romance. There were no flowers. There were no sweet nothings whispered. I did not see what kind of love song and love story this told. 


Now I know that this is the BEST love song I have ever heard. This tells the love story that someone did not just for me but for EVERYONE. He walked the hill of Calvery for us. He walked upon the raging sea for us. Yet we did not see how much he loved us. Then he gave his life for us on a cross. He did and gave everything for us. There was no price that he did not pay and would not do again for us. 

This truly was and is a love story.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Today while I was at prayer group I had a compelling feeling I needed to share some words that came to me. But due to my own fears and my own inadequacies I did not feel strong enough to share what I had received. As I listened more and more to others share their messages,  I became more and more anxious to share what I had received as everything confirmed what I had written. But as I got more anxious, I also got more hesitant. I could feel my heart pounding. I could feel my pulse racing. I wanted to share but there was something holding me back. Mike and Rita kept asking if others had more to share. I kept silent even after I heard more words encouraging to share. I kept the words and the message to myself.

After prayer group I was approached by Maria. I do not know her well. I see her every week at group. In the few short weeks that I have seen her, I have seen a change in her that is amazing. I have seen her grow and become more bold in her faith. It as somewhere I knew she was not just a few weeks before. During group Maria had shared a word that I knew was speaking directly to me. I knew that these words were meant for me to hear. But still my own fear and my own human nature would not let me share the words I had written on my paper. When she approached me, she asked me directly what was the message I had to share. I was not sure exactly sure what she was referring to but in a small I knew. I knew the words she shared were meant for me to hear so I could be more bold and stronger in my faith. I showed her the words and message I had received during group. She asked me why I did not share during group. I told her of my fears and inadequacies and she reminded me that it is not about what I think I need to share but what God wants me to share.

I know now that I need to be more bold in my faith. More bold than I already am. More bold to share the truth that I know. More bold so those who do not believe can believe. I worry that others will see me and think that I am not sincere or genuine. Others will see my youthful appearance and think that I do not have the knowledge or experience to be able to share the word of truth. But Maria reminded me that it does not matter what others think. I should not worry that others do not believe me or in my sincerity. God has given me this faith and this fire and it is up to me to share. It is up to me to get the word out there for others to hear.

I am reminded of the lessons we learned tonight. I need to let the light inside of me burn bright. I need to let His light shine brighter. I need to go forth and witness.

Lord help me to shine-radiate-emit.

The message I wanted to share:

Radiate my love.
Let my love emit from your whole being.
Shine for me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time -- Respect Life Sunday

October 3, 2010

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time -- Respect Life Sunday
Church of the Incarnation, Sarasota, FL
Priest: Father Mike

First reading: Habakkuk 1: 2-3, 2: 2-4 "The rash on has no integrity; but the just one, because of his faith, shall live."
Psalm 95: "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."
Second reading: 2 Timothy 1: 6-8, 13-14
Gospel: Luke 17: 5-10 "Increase your faith" "When you have done all you have been commanded say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.' "

Notes from Homily (Respect Life Sunday)

We can use the life of Christ as our example for respecting life.

Annunciation (Luke 1:31-35) This shows us the very beginning of life. From the very moment of conception, there is life within the mother's womb.

Visitation (Luke 1:41-44) This shows that even in the womb at the earliest stages of pregnancy there is life growing within the mother's womb.

Presentation at the temple (Luke 2:25-32, 36-38) Through Simeon and Anna's interactions with the infant Jesus we see a respect and dignity for the elderly and those who are advanced in years.

The Samaritan woman at the well (John 4: 1-42) It is through Christ's interaction with the woman at the well that we see a respect for all life regardless of gender but especially in the dignity of woman.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18: 12-14) It is through this parable that we learn a respect for those who are lost and seeking to return home again including the homeless and those who have no one to pray for them.

Jesus' interaction with the lepers. It is through this that we have a respect for those who are considered outcasts in our communities.

Jesus' interaction with the poor, downtrodden, and vulnerable. It is through this interaction that we see a respect for the sick and dying.

As we follow and look at the life of Jesus, we see and learn a respect for all life in all stages, backgrounds, status, and situations in life.