The Pastor's Blog

Sunday, April 19, 2009

posted Apr 22, 2009, 11:58 AM by pastor@ihmbrooklyn.org

 Dear Parishioners,

 

 The famous image of the disciples filled with excitement gathered in the Upper Room announcing to Thomas the Good News, “Jesus is Risen!” is clear. What disappointment they must have felt when Thomas did not believe.  Thomas longed to experience the Risen Lord for himself.  Looking back at moments in our own lives, there are times when we have felt the disappointment of the disciples and yet at other times, Thomas’ doubt is very real for us.  Jesus offers each of us great hope in his greeting of, “Peace.”  “Peace be with you.”  We, too, are offered that same Peace.  Thomas is given a second chance to believe, to hope, to live. 

 

It’s the first day of the week and something new is happening.  The Resurrection has happened!  Our God has given us a new start—a new day!  An invitation to put our disappointments behind us.  And just as Thomas, we are surrounded by a believing community, a family, the IHM family.  This family of believers is fortunate to have grown with the excitement and enthusiasm of those on fire with the Risen Lord, our newly initiated.  Linda Hoff, fully initiated at last week’s Easter Vigil, shared on “In the Arena”, a Diocesan television program hosted by Jane Hanson, “Immaculate Heart of Mary parish community is a joy filled, welcoming community where I feel ‘at home!’”  How many other’s will come to be believer by our own faith and joy?

 

Today, Luke describes the early Church.  “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.”  Next week we will be given an opportunity to celebrate our parish and ministry in the “Faith in Action Expo.”  Perhaps we should think about Luke’s description of the early Church and look not at possessions but gifts.  What gifts and talents have you been given by our loving God?  Imagine if these were held as your very own but never shared.  Would that wonderful gift continue to grow?  Would that gift be used to its fullest?  Is that what God would desire—to hide our gifts?  Come!  Share some time at the Faith in Action Expo—with your IHM Family—our community of believers—and discover the joy of sharing what we have been given in this New Day that God has given us!

In the Good Shepherd,

 

Fr. Robert

 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

posted Apr 22, 2009, 11:51 AM by pastor@ihmbrooklyn.org   [ updated Apr 22, 2009, 12:07 PM ]

Dear Parishioners,

Who will stand as witness to the Resurrection?  Who will bear the “Good News” to the next generation?  Are we ready to be that witness; to spread the word that Jesus is Risen and is present here—in Immaculate Heart of Mary?  The empty tomb was the first witness of the Resurrection.  The women ran with joy to the disciples to announce that, “Jesus was Risen!”  Peter came, saw, and believed.  Will you be witness to the Resurrection?

In this Easter Season, fifty days, I ask everyone to pray and discern just how you can and will be a witness—to be “Alleluia” people.  On April 26th we will have our “Faith in Action Expo.”  This is an opportunity to see how Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish is a witness to the Resurrection through the myriad of ministries and outreach to the community.  Come to see where and how you can put your “Faith in Action.”  As we hear in today’s gospel, no one place or person is enough to bear witness to the Resurrection of our Lord.  You can make a real difference in the life of our parish. 

Each Friday now until Pentecost, we will have Eucharistic Adoration at 7:30 p.m. in the Church.  This is an opportunity to spend time with the Lord in thanksgiving for all the blessings in your life as well as lifting your cares and concerns.   During the Triduum, we hear Jesus ask the disciples to stay with him—won’t you spend some time.

Congratulations to the newest members of our parish family:  Stephen Ali, Ellen Donegan, Trae High, Linda Hoff, Andreya Laguerre, and Frankie Rivera who were baptized, confirmed and received Eucharist for the first time; and to Valerie Geoffroy, Minina Gomez, Antonio Gonzalez, Helen Gonzalez, and Joseph Wold who were confirmed and received Eucharist for the first time at the Easter Vigil.   May they stand in joyful witness to the Resurrection of our Lord in their lives.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  This “Holy Week” was made prayerful, reverent, and inspiring by the many, many people who share their gifts and talents over and over again.  To the Liturgy/Environment Committee, Liturgical Ministers, “Station” families, all volunteers during our services and most importantly each of you that gathered in prayer.  We are witnesses to the Resurrection!

In the Good Shepherd,

Fr. Robert

Sunday, April 5th 2009 (Palm Sunday)

posted Apr 10, 2009, 3:57 PM by pastor@ihmbrooklyn.org

Dear Parishioners,

Ever been to a parade? Ever been to a ticker-tape parade? There is lots of excitement as the parade comes down the street or as the champions pass the crowds, hearing the cheers form the people lining the streets. Jesus' parade is different from that of other heroes. In his passion story, the big celebration comes before the main event. Who knows what is going on? The crowd thinks it does. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! (Psalm 118:26). Would you want to be on the road, waving palms? We hope we would not be found in the crowd that appeared later in the week, the one yelling to crucify him.

Did the crowd cheer to soon? Later they thought so. What changed? These folks knew what sort of messiah they wanted, and the didn't get him. When the final scenes unfolded, that was no victor who stood in court. Messiahs are supposed to win. This one did not. Anyone siding with him will be trampled too.

So those few women who stayed around for him, who watched everything that happened, and who did not leave him, even at the end - what did they think was going on? Had they been waving palms earlier? What made them stay at the end? I invite you to stay with the Lord throughout the week - join us for the Triduum - the holiest days of our church year.

In the Good Shepherd,
Fr. Robert

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