Pastor’s Posts

Resurrection Sunday April 17, 2022

Easter Sunday April 17, 2022

Year C. of COVID/VACCINE/UKRAINE/INSURRECTION

Jesus Christ is risen! Hallelujah!

And because He Lives, we gather today giving praise and thanksgiving.

I was listening to Pastor Charles Stanley and I like what he preached. He preached the consequences Because Jesus Lives!

The Bible tells us today and all during this holy season of Easter that the women and then the guys found the tomb empty.

The Bible tells us that for many days after, some of them encountered the living Jesus, touched him and ate with him. That he breathed on them (without a mask), that he showed them the wounds of his crucifixion (without gloves), that he commissioned them and sent them and because they saw with the eyes of faith, believed in their heart, and confessed with their lips, you and I are here today.

Billions of Catholics Strong: Haitian, Latino, Nigerian, Filipino, Ukrainian and Russian, Whites and Blacks, young and younger; out of many we are one body of Christ, in mission and communion participating in the life of God!

Because Jesus Lives.

All that you and I have done over the past year we do because He lives.

The spiritual fruit of the baptisms, first communions and confirmations of last night, of last month and of next month, are because He lives!

Not only that, but you are the weaponized fruit of faith, hope, love and joy; weaponized against the effects of COVID, war, insurrections and inflation because He lives.

Yes church you can face all kinds of tomorrows because He lives. You have a peace that the world of drugs, money, control and online friends cannot give because Jesus lives.

No amount of friends with whom you chat and follow, will lead you to the peace of Jesus resurrected.

Because He lives and you believe in your heart and confess with your lips, you are a Godly influencer in the lives of others.

Matthew 5:13-16 tells us “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. Your light must shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify [not you], but your heavenly Father.”

For this reason, the St. Vincent de Paul ministry shared with our neighbors hundreds of bags of food. For this reason, you visited nursing homes. For this reason you ministered to the bereaved. For this reason you taught our children at Assumption and St. Nicholas churches. Because you believe that Jesus lives, you give recklessly of the fruit of your labor to refugees, widows and orphans, building the Camden Diocese House of Charity.

Because Mary’s baby boy lives, we become this day and every Sunday, participants in the mission of Jesus Christ who is victorious over greed, violence, stupidity, sickness, gossip and President Putin.

You experience the effects of the Holy Spirit breathed upon you and through you and from you. That Spirit that seals and strengthens and weaponizes your love, your faith, your hope and your joy because, Jesus lives.

We get a second chance to be the glory of God fully alive.

Paul to the Romans tells us, “If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved” 10: 9-10.

When you say, “Amen” as you receive the bread of life you confess with your mouth and take into your heart Jesus resurrected. You see who you are and you become who you see. Hallelujah! He is risen! And we are saved!

From among the fallen, you rise. From your hurts, you are healers. From your rejection you become hope. Crushed and broken by life, you become “sacred bread, on God’s sacred table for God’s sacred feast!”

So sing your song, dance your dance, beat your drums in the glory of God victorious,

Because He lives!

Fr. Gerard

4th Sunday of Lent 2022

Fourth Sunday Lent. 2022.

COVID/ VACCINE/Ukraine/Insurrection

Joshua 5:9a, 10-12

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

Entrusted to us is the message of reconciliation.

Meaning of ‘prodigal’ Workbook p.95-96 “extravagant wastefulness.”

—————————————————————————-

Adam blamed his wife Eve. Eve blamed their creator, God.

Cain Killed his brother Abel.

Sarah exiled Hagar the African with Abram’s first son, Ishmael.

Jacob stole the blessing from Esau his older brother.

Leah was less pretty than Rachel her younger sister.

Rachel cried.

Judah trafficked his brother Joseph into slavery,

David killed the husband of Bathsheba.

Martha was annoyed with her sister Mary.

But to each of us is entrusted the message of reconciliation.

We are “ambassadors of Christ, as If God were appealing through us.”

President Putin has visited war on the world by

his violence against his neighbor Ukraine.

Organically this kind of destruction is rising up in us -the United States- because enough Republicans and enough Democrats resist reconciliation.

Citizens and refugees are unreconciled.

War is arising within US because Law and order is unreconciled with history and justice;

Because some people of Assumption church and some people of St. Nicholas church resist reconciliation;

Because Fr. Dimitri and Fr. Gerard are unreconciled war grows within US.

But to each of us, Baptized and Confirmed, the message of reconciliation has been entrusted.

We are ambassadors of Christ. God appeals through us. “We carry in the body the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed” in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:10) as it is being revealed in Ukraine. .

God the Father is prodigal- that is “wastefully extravagant” to be reconciled with you and with me, with Russia and Ukraine, and with our fifty states, possessions and territories.

Without shame of divinity God humbles God’s greatness, to be born in human flesh from a Woman (Philippians 2:6-8).

God is misrepresented, denied, blamed, rejected, betrayed, impeached, arrested and found guilty.

God in Jesus Is incarcerated and beaten like a runaway slave. Is condemned by Church folk and executed by the state but from the seat of his execution prays: They know not what they are doing. “Abba, forgive them.”

If you know by experience the forgiveness of Jesus from the cross; if your eyes see, your ears hear, your heart is pierced, then entrusted to you is the message of reconciliation.

You are an ambassador of Christ and through you God makes an appeal.

Fr. Gerard

3rd Sunday C. 2022

3rd Sunday C. 2022

COVID VACCINE

Day of Prayer for the legal protection of unborn children. Jan. 22nd

Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6,8-10

Psalm: “Your Words. Lord are Spirit and Life.”

1Corinthians: 12:12-30

Luke. 1:1-4, 4:14-21

The Spirit of God upon Jesus that day in Nazareth, is upon you and me today.

The Spirit of God that decided St. Luke to “compile his narrative of the events” then, decided you to attend mass today.

The Spirit of the Lord God that fulfilled the text read by Jesus then, continues to fulfill the sacred text proclaimed and heard today.

Poured upon you in the waters of your baptism, confirmed by oils blessed on Holy Tuesday of Holy Week, confirmed a priest, a prophet a royal person, you the people of the Catholic Church, are baptized into one Spirit, one Body.

Whether born or in-utero, whether Black lives or billionaire rich, whether unmasked unvaccinated or masked and vaccinated we

were all given to drink of the one Spirit, making of us one body in Jesus Christ lynched and resurrected.

Each of us has a part to play, a gift unique to share, a trial to endure and a testimony to give.

Gifts we have been given: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, holiness, and submission to the will of

God.

But the fallen Systems of the World have injected the many parts of the One Body with viruses: stupidity in place of wisdom,

confusion in place of understanding, conspiracies in place of counsel, CYA instead of fortitude, willful ignorance instead of

knowledge, pornography instead of holiness, and self-will run riot instead of submission to the will of God.

Against these viruses each of us is anointed to do our part to bring about abundant life in the Spirit, to the glory of God and the

salvation of souls.

Our church proclaims life.

Not just biological life but life in the Spirit of God. Not just economic life, but life in the Spirit of God. Not just the life of the rich

and famous but life in the Spirit of God!

We testify that all human life is sacred. That testimony should not divide but rather should unite the Body of Christ.

From conception to natural death, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly” says Yeshua son of Mary.

The Gospel of St. Luke is unconditionally pro-life. “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into the one body, whether Jews or

Greeks, slaves, or free persons, we drink of the same Spirit. Who are those people in 2022 U.S.A.?

Mixing water into wine and wine into his precious blood we drink of the life divine of Jesus who is Son of God, lynched and

resurrected!

Four Gospels testify to the flourishing of human life before and after birth – and every issue that is a threat to life is a virus

turning the Body against itself!

Bishops and members of the Catholic Church proclaimed by protest the sacredness of life in the political heart of the nation on Friday (January 21).

The State of NJ’s so called Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, is a virus against the sacredness -the holiness of life. It is

submission to the will of the Devil, and death will be its poisonous fruit.

But this act is not the only virus against the sacredness holiness of all human life. Let us also proclaim by protest in the political

heart of each state and the nation, those acts that seek to abort the birth of a multicultural, multiracial democracy in this nation!

Only since the Acts of 1965 have all Americans had the protection of free and fair elections, but that protection is no more, and

violent death will be its poisonous fruit.

The Spirit of God upon Jesus that day in Nazareth, is upon you and me today.

The Spirit of God that decided St. Luke to “compile his narrative of the events” then, decided you to attend mass today.

The Spirit of the Lord God that fulfilled the text read by Jesus then, continues to fulfill the sacred text proclaimed and heard today.

Breaking -Good- news to the poor!

Liberty to captives! Sight to the blind!

Emancipation of the oppressed!

A year of jubilee!

Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing!

And because it is fulfilled there will be blood.

Because Jesus dared to speak, people will be angry.

Because Jesus is un-conditionally pro-life, his life will be offered up, broken, crushed, poured out, and received by you and me

today!

Now run and tell that!

2nd Sunday Advent C. 2021

Advent 2nd Sunday C. 2021

In the year two thousand and twenty-one, the Word of God comes to you and to me. With Andrés Manuel López Obrador president of the United Mexican States, and Phil Murphy is governor of New Jersey and Francis is Pope of the Catholic Church, the Word of God comes to you and to me.

In the years of a worldwide sickness, and the rise of anti-democratic senators and citizens, when some lives matter less than other lives, the Word of God comes to you and to me.

In a time when everyone with a phone is a Tik Tok star and snap chat famous and they must be followed, the Word of God comes to you and to me.

The Word of God connects the dis-connected and makes friends of the un-friended.

The Word of God remembers the forgotten, hears the voiceless and silences the loud and the boastful.

Today the Word of God comes to you and to me and with you and with me the Word of God does things great and wonderful.

Let us stand in the Holy Spirit of God!

Let us dress in the glory of God! Let us walk in the triumph of God. Let us rejoice in the victory of God! Let us act in the truth of God!

For Today the Word of God comes to you and to me.

See who you are. Become who you see!

2nd Domingo Adviento C. 2021

En el año dos mil veinti uno, la Palabra de Dios llega a ti y a mí. Con Andrés Manuel López Obrador presidente de la

Estados Unidos Mexicanos, y Phil Murphy es gobernador de Nueva Jersey y Francisco es Papa de la Iglesia Católica, la Palabra de Dios viene a ti y a mí. En los años de una enfermedad mundial, y el surgimiento de senadores y ciudadanos antidemocráticos, cuando algunas vidas importan menos que otras, la Palabra de Dios viene a ustedes ya mí. En una época en la que todos los que tienen un teléfono son estrellas de tik tok y famosos en el chat instantáneo; y deben ser seguidas, la Palabra de Dios viene a ti ya mí.

La Palabra de Dios conecta a los desconectados y hace amigos a los que no tienen amigos.

La Palabra de Dios recuerda a los olvidados, escucha a los que no tienen voz y silencia a los ruidosos y jactanciosos.

Hoy la Palabra de Dios viene a ti y a mí, y contigo y conmigo la Palabra de Dios hace cosas grandes y maravillosas. ¡Estemos en el Espíritu Santo de Dios!

¡Vistámonos de la gloria de Dios! Caminemos en el triunfo de Dios. ¡Regocijémonos en la victoria de Dios! ¡Actuemos en la verdad de Dios!

Porque hoy la Palabra de Dios viene a ti y a mí. Vea quien es usted. ¡Conviértete en quien ves!

First Sunday of Advent C. 2021

ADVENT FIRST SUNDAY C.

COVID VACCINE 2021

Power to stand, resisting the winds of fade and fashion.

Strength to stand, head held high in the fires of opinion and lies.

Courage to stand, awake and vigilant ruthless for the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven!

Brothers and Sisters may God increase the strength of your connection in love and expand the holiness of God’s life in you for we struggle with corporations and bureaucracies, social media and peer pressure.

Now is the time of the triumph of the world rulers of this present darkness (Ephs. 6:10-17).

Now the confederacy of evil and the tactics of the devil are in ascendency. They are judged not guilty.

Escape from tribulations is failure to give testimony and bare witness.

Blown by the winds of fad and fashion.

Cast into the furnace of opinion and lies.

Anxious for the wine, the money, and the friends of social media,

Connect yourselves sisters and brothers to the cross of Christ crucified, your redemption is at hand!

Everyone is being assaulted: Marriage and family, Church and State, friends and enemies so pray for the strength to stand erect.

Pray for the power to raise your head. Pray for the courage to testify.

To the wind, to the fire, to the flood, to Caesar testify like a brother on trial for being.

Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight his paths. The victory and salvation of God comes in the cloud!

Remove your robe of mourning and misery. Put on the splendor of the glory of God forever and stand.

Now is the time of the triumph of the world rulers of this present darkness. Now the confederacy of evil and the tactics of the devil are in ascendency. They are judged not guilty.

Who indeed is on trial in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse?

In the trial of Greg and Travis McMichael who is on trial?

What curtain has been lifted? What face has been revealed, What spirit breathes behind the mask of the great and powerful Oz?

Let those with eyes to see, see.

Smash and grab that glittering fallen star, all that diamond dust made red with blood; on earth nations dismayed and in disarray.

How should we conduct ourselves to please our God? (1 Thes. 4:2).

Do not be deceived but know the truth.

Testify to the Truth, when you are called.

Do not prepare your defense beforehand.

You will be handed over and hated for the name of Jesus.

By your stance, you will secure eternal life (Lk.).

We struggle with governments and social media, with corporate rulers of this present darkness, with cultures fallen, evil and unclean.

Be vigilant and awake brothers and sisters. Fast and pray. May God increase the strength of your connection in love and expand the holiness of God’s life in you.

“The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light” (Isa. 9:1). And that light must be you and us.

21st Sunday B. August 22, 2021

21st SUNDAY COVID VACCINE

August 22, 2021

Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b

Ephesians 5:21-32

John 6:60-69

`Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,’
Said then the lost archangel, `this the seat
That we must change for heav’n, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who now is sovran can dispose and bid
What shall be right: furthest from him is best
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell happy fields
Where joy for ever dwells: hail horrors, hail
Infernal world, and thou profoundest hell
Receive thy new possessor: one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder bath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.

From Paradise Lost, John Milton.

You and I today have decided to serve the Lord.

Your presence as church this evening tells the world it is better to serve in heaven, than to rule in hell.

Perhaps it was not easy for you to get here today. There may have been obstacles, distractions and temptations tempting you to stay away.

But you are here and being here says, “As for me, I will serve the Lord.”

Catholic worship can be boring and hard. It can be hard to worship God as a Catholic particularly if you are young or old, Black or White, man or woman, gay or straight, working class or white collar, traditional or Vatican II.

Because many of His disciples found the sayings of Jesus hard, the Bible says, they “returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.”

I am sure some of you know such people. They may be family or friends of yours; they have found the sayings of Jesus hard as interpreted through the Catholic church.

It might be said that when we celebrate the sacraments we are wasting time with the Lord. When time is money and there is no money to be gained by going to mass, or confession, or first communion or Confirmation, or holy matrimony, then what is the point?

The disciples who remained with Jesus said, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the holy one of God.”

They said this before Jesus went up to Jerusalem; before he was arrested and found guilty. Before he was sentenced to death to die like a criminal hung from a manmade tree.

Sitting, perhaps uncomfortably in the pew as time is passing, you testify that in the Catholic Church you have found that Jesus has the words of eternal life and that you are coming to believe that Jesus is the Holy One of God.

Some of us have gone all the way to Golgotha for this testimony and some of us are just now starting the journey.

When you have been to Golgotha – the place of the skulls- worship is not wasting time, worship is fulfilling time.

You know church, an atheist can feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned. But only the believer will worship God.

Sacramental worship is justice to God and only the person who knows how God is saving them every day can eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man.

Knowing -experiencing how God is saving you every day- all you can do is cry all of your tears, laugh all of your laughter, beat your drum, sing your song and dance your dance.

Joshua’s tribe remembered what the Lord had done for them: Brought them out of Egypt, out of a state of slavery, protected them on their entire journey.

When you are in touch with what the Lord has done and is now doing for you, you will serve in heaven.

When what the Lord has done for you you feel in your body, You will experience the Words of eternal life and

when you are subordinate to the Church as the Church is subordinate to Christ then

You will eat the living bread that has come down from heaven.

Part II.

Joshua’s address to all the people is addressed to U.S. today. In this year of COVID and cold civil war where Abel seeks to kill Cain. Where Rachel envies Lea. Where Hagar’s son is rejected for Sarah’s son, where right and left are become left and right and where masks are symbols of who you serve, Joshua says, “If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve, the gods beyond the river”, the gods of science, technology and social media.

The Satan of Paradise Lost makes it clear that rather than serve and honor dust even star dust formed in the image and likeness of God – Jesus the Christ- Satan would rather rule in Hell; make heaven into hell, than be subordinate to the Son of Man.

Jesus is the Son of Man and Satan will not submit It’s will to the will of God. Hell It prefers and all hell on earth will It create.

With gangster swagger Jesus says, “I am the living bread that has come down from heaven and the bread that I will give to eat, is my flesh for the life of the world”.

Does this shock you?

It did.

It does.

And so there was murmuring and grumbling and arguing and dissension and finally “many of his disciples returned to their [comfortable] ways of life and no longer accompanied Jesus”.

The people said, “This saying is hard. Who can accept it?”

Many people cannot accept the hard sayings of Jesus who says, the first will be last; let the dead bury the dead; who is my mother, my family; sell all that you have and follow me; cursed be you scribes and Pharisees clean on the outside and corrupted dead men’s bones on the inside; forgive seventy times seven times; love your enemies, I have come to set the world on fire.

Many Christians cannot accept the hard sayings of Jesus and therefore they cannot recognize and do not eat the flesh and drink the blood of He who is the Bread of Life.

We are living in the apocalypse; a time when the veil is being lifted and we are revealed to ourselves and to each other.

On the spiritual level we reveal who we serve, we reveal what we eat, we reveal the kingdom of God or Satan’s city of Pandemonium

Now what do you believe?

19th Sunday B. 2021

19th Sunday B. COVID VACCINE 2021

1 Kings 19:4-8

Ephesians 4:30-5:2

John 6:41-51

Stop murmuring and grumbling!

The last two or three Sundays the community has been murmuring and grumbling…

I mean the communities of the Old and New Testament.

In John’s Gospel, the people murmured about Jesus. This tells me that in the community – in the Church community, there will be murmuring and grumbling about Jesus and about the Church of Jesus and about the ministers of the Church of Jesus.

It’s the Gospel!

And when people think they know where you are from and where you are coming from, they may murmur and grumble and argue about what you say, what you do, and what you do not do:

“Do we not know his father and mother? Is this not the son of Joseph? How can he say….?”

How can he tell us anything?

The Bible records that Jesus could not do much good among his own people because of their murmuring, grumbling, and arguing.

Even the prophet Elijah murmured, grumbled, and argued with God, saying “Enough, Lord. Take my life.”

Brothers and sisters, the faith journey, your spiritual journey may be long. You may have to cross rivers, climb, and descend mountains. Even move some mountains.

In your Journey of Faith, many of you have sat in fire and walked through the valley of death.

There have been transfigurations, burning bushes, and demonic visitations. There have been stumbling blocks, thrown stones, stones rejected, and rocks of salvation.

So, get up and eat, ‘caus the journey may be too long.

You may become angry and dis-illusioned. You may become stubborn and stiff-necked.

You may or may not have enough oil in your lamp; your wick may or may not be trimmed and ready. You may be caught sleeping not knowing the hour nor the day, or fully woke.

You may start out first in the journey and wind up last. You may start out last in the journey and end up first. So, eat, else the journey will be too long for you.

You may have been abused by a priest. You may be gay. You may have had an abortion. You may be divorced and remarried. You may be a liberal white man; you may be a conservative black woman. So, get up and eat, else the Journey of Faith and the Way of Salvation may be too long for you.

There may be bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, self-righteous, malice, and reviling. There may be kindness, forgiveness, and compassion. So, eat.

Some will want to sit at His right and some will want to sit at His left and the others will be jealous and envious. Some will be busy about many things. Some will simply sit in His presence.

Some will be recognized, and some will never be recognized. Some will be dressed for the wedding, and some will be thrown out. Some will think that they are known, and some will not be known. Some will be sinners and some will be saints. So get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you.

And what do you eat?

Fast food, gourmet food, cafeteria food, whole food, junk food, organic food, hospital food, comfort food, liquid food, fake food, Frankenfood, Mexican food, Soul food?

Jesus says, “My flesh is real food. My blood, real drink.” Jesus says, “Unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you will not have life” to finish the journey.

Stop your murmuring and grumbling. Get up and eat. The Journey of Faith and the Way of Salvation is long.

Fr. Gerard

July 11, 2021

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11th Sunday B. 2021

Mark: 4:26-34

Jesus speaks about the kingdom of God.

11th Sunday B. 2021

Mark: 4:26-34

Jesus speaks about the Kingdom of God a great deal. He says the Kingdom of Heaven is ‘like…’

Jesus is talking about a time, not a place.

The Kingdom of Heaven is "a time when God’s power for [good, truth, beauty and connection] is fully realized in the world and evil is defeated" (Lector Workbook p.210).

Evil is the intention not to realize good, truth, beauty and connection (union).

Whenever you take action in faith for good, truth, beauty and connection; your action presents in time the Kingdom of Heaven.

The parable tells us that we do not know how the Kingdom grows and spreads. We do not know how the Kingdom brings forth fruit. The parable tells us that the smallest act in faith can become like a great tree in which birds may nest, giving shade to those who shelter beneath its branches.

How is our parish an act of faith that makes present the reign of God?

When we gather in the name of Jesus, when we teach in the name of Jesus, when we sing in the name of Jesus; the reign of God is.

When we suffer, when we rejoice, when we eat, when husband and wife love in the name of Jesus; the reign of God-the Kingdom of Heaven-is.

It is a small thing that becomes a big thing.

It is a hidden thing that becomes an epiphany.

It is a little kindness that changes a life.

The act of the church…our community’s faith is to take a human being who is dedicated to death and dedicate her to life eternal. To take a lost human being and set them on their way.

The act of the church is to guide a man of lies to encounter the man of truth. When the church acts in faith; the reign of Heaven is.

The church only acts, when you act; and through your acts of faith, the Spirit of God breathes.

Your little acts, your small deeds, your hidden charity, your random acts of kindness, and senseless acts of beauty in faith expand the Kingdom of God.

You walk by faith. You are courageous. You are the fruit of the loving labor of our parish. By your actions in faith, God saves the world. One person at a time.

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