Archive | February, 2014

what does it mean for you to be road salt?

9 Feb

road salt

“You are the salt for the road.”

Not exactly what Jesus said then, but he night say it now.

He said then to his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

Given what we have been through these last days, and what you drove through and walked through this morning on the way to Mass, salt thrown out and trampled underfoot and which gives traction to our tires is good for a lot!

Jesus might say to us now, “You are road salt.”

What does it mean for us to be road salt?

Road salt is in short supply these days. Road salt, if it is kept bagged up and stored in the garage, does not stop being road salt. It does not lose its purpose. It is still road salt and it still has a purpose. It has just never been put to its proper use. It is not good for anything, except to take up room in the garage.

We believers who are baptized do not stop being baptized if we bag up our faith and our witness, if we never put our baptism to its untended use. We remain baptized; we cannot ever be anything but baptized. We just remain unproductive.

So, today Jesus says to us believers, “You are the salt for the road.” What does that mean for you? Given your role in your family, given your situation in life, given you are a citizen of the world, what does it mean for you to be salt for the road. What does it mean for you to be road salt?

Hear Jesus speak one last time: “You are the salt for the road. If road salt remains bagged up and stored away, if it is not thrown out to be trampled underfoot, it is no longer good for anything, except for taking up room in the garage.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

to help, care and show

1 Feb


Homily at Catholic Schools Week all-school Mass

If I were to ask your teachers how many reasons they have for why they like teaching at this school, I bet they would say, “Let me see. How many students do I have?”

Mrs. Sackrider, how many students do you have?

Each of you is a reason why your teachers like teaching at this school. You are the reasons.

Mrs. Sackrider, how many reasons do you have for why you like teaching at this school?

Where are the seventh graders? Your teachers are going to help you get to the 8th grade.

Fourth graders, your teachers are going to help you get to the 5th grade.

First graders, your teachers are going to help you get to the … ?

Eighth grade, we don’t have any more grades in our school, so your teachers are going to help you get to …?

Kindergartners, this is hardest one. Your teachers are going to help you get to …?

But your teachers are not only going to help you get to your next grade. Your teachers are going to help all of you get to the same place. Your teachers are going to help you all of you get to …?

You’re right. Your teachers are going to help you all of you get to heaven! Because they care not just about your mind and your body. They care about your souls. They teach about the saints, so that you will want to be a saint. And they will help you to be a saint, not just by teaching you about saints, but, most importantly, by showing you how to be a saint.

To help you get to heaven, to care about your soul, to show you how to be a saint – that’s Father Cordier’s job, that’s my job, that’s Mr. Devolve’s job, that’s Mr. Grieco and Mrs. Ducheny’s job, that’s Mrs. Reed and Mrs. Clayton’s job, that’s your teacher’s job, and, yes, that is the job of the maintenance men: to help you get to heaven, to care about your soul and to show you how to be a saint.

Isn’t it wonderful having a Catholic school?

I have homework and a question for the teachers. Teachers are usually the ones giving homework and asking questions. Now, they get the homework and are asked the question.

The homework? Pray for every one of your students, individually, by name, before you fall asleep tonight. You would probably be surprised by how often your students pray for you before they fall asleep. Mr. Estes, Mrs. Mascolino, Mr. Powers and Mr. Eskra, you’re going to have to start right after supper!

The question? Have you ever taken a list of your students with you to Mass on Sunday to pray for each of them by name? Maybe this Sunday.

to Francis from Beit Jala

1 Feb

Shomali and Pope Francis

Pope Francis receives message from Beit Jala Christians

VATICAN – In an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Father Ibrahim Shomali, parish priest of Beit Jala, delivered a message from the people of the city to the Holy Father relating the current suffering of Christian families in the town of Beit Jala.

Fr. Shomali emphasized to the Holy Father the extent of the Israeli oppression regarding the people of Beit Jala, through its expropriation of private lands to open roads and build settlements, including the Wall of Separation, and, more recently, the seizure of lands belonging to the Convent of Cremisan.

Fr. Shomali’s message focused on the fact that the “Palestinian people” strongly adhere to its national homeland and its fight to stay on it. However, the conservation of lands requires concrete measures to thwart any takeover attempt, and to enable the Palestinian people to live with dignity in a free State.

It is worth recalling here that an Israeli Court in Tel Aviv last April adopted a decision reaffirming the course of the Separation Wall, around Cremisan, especially between the Convents of the Salesian Fathers and the Salesian Sisters, as well as the annexation of private properties belonging to 58 Palestinian families of Beit Jala to the settlement of Gilo, south of Jerusalem.

The Heads of the Catholics Churches in the Holy Land, at the time, called for the realignment of the course of the Wall, in accordance with internaitonal law, pointing out to the Israeli decision-makers that the seizure of lands in no way serves the cause of peace, nor  does it  bolster the position of the moderates who, in this objective, opt for non-violence.