Fr. Fedor's Homily Notes

Sixth Sunday of the Year – February 16, 2020

Sirach 15: 15-20 1 Corinthians 2: 6-10 Matthew 5: 20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a

 

However we might happen to appreciate it, we all possess the freedom to make choices. This ability is based on the “free will” that has been given to us by our Creator God. It is among the greatest gifts we receive in life.

 

A central thought found in the communication God makes to us today is this matter of making choices. Which way do we want to go? How do we want to act? What do we want to be? What do we want to become as we go through our daily lives? These are some of the significant choices we can make.

 

In this communication from our God, we heard first from the wise man, Sirach. Trusting God, he tells us, is a choice that we can make in guiding our lives. We can choose what will enhance life or what will brings death. We can choose what will be for our good, or what will lead to evil for ourselves and for others. God did not give us life so that we can act unjustly and harm the relationships we experience. At the same time, however, it is our decision how we make this choice to make even if it is not what God wants for us. A relationship with God can guide us but God does not force us in the choiceS we might make.

 

We then heard Saint Paul speak of the result of making a choice that is based on a relationship with God. It is the beginning of true wisdom. Wisdom is not just knowledge or understanding, rather, it is insight and perception and appreciation of the whole of God’s loving plan. Paul calls it a mystery, but not in the sense of something that is hidden. It is a mystery such as love is a mystery that cannot be fully explained but is both experienced by us and appreciated.

 

In the Gospel passage we heard from St. Matthew, Jesus talks about the ways of behaving that his listeners have been taught. In doing so he also offers a challenge to us to strengthen the relationship between God and ourselves. What he is seeking for us to understand is that we can choose to be, we can choose to do, more in our lives because we are loved by God. We can do more because we have been given capabilities by God that are part of our very nature as human being.

 

We can choose to abuse and manipulate others for our own purposes or choose to respect and to honor one another because in different way each of us can reflect the goodness of God. We can choose to use others for our own pleasure, whether sexual or otherwise, or choose to respect and honor the qualities that each of us possess in being images of the goodness of God. We can choose to deceive and to lie to others for our own gains, or choose to honor and to respect others with truthfulness and honesty because of the dignity we all possess as creatures of God and shared in humanity with the God-man, Jesus Christ.

 

These are choices that we can make because of the way we have been created by our loving God. These are choices we can make day after day in the way we live based on a faith we have been give, a faith that has been handed on to us.

 

It is this faith that allows us to speak and to live the true wisdom described by Saint Paul. It is a wisdom that reflects a knowledge and understanding of God and of God’s presence in our lives. It is a wisdom that appreciates the depth of God’s love for us. It is a wisdom made known to us by Jesus Christ and lived by us in response to our good and gracious God.

St Mel Parish

Welcome!

Welcome to the website for Saint Mel Parish, Cleveland, Ohio. It is a pleasure to have you visit our site and it would be a blessing to us if you could join us in worship and prayer.

Founded in a developing part of the west side of Cleveland following the Second World War and serving growing families as they were established in the area, Saint Mel parish is centrally located in the West Park area of the city of Cleveland. As this dynamic area has changed over the years, the community of Saint Mel parish now consists of primarily older adults and smaller families.

After a proud tradition of Catholic education spanning sixty years, Saint Mel school closed in 2009.

Wherever you may happen to be, please join with the Saint Mel parish family in giving thanks and praise to God for the blessings which continue to be bestowed on its members, families and graduates.


Fr. Fedor's Homily Notes

Third Sunday of the Year – January 26, 2020

Isaiah 8:23- 9:3 1 Corinthians 1: 10-13, 17 Matthew 4: 12-23

 

Being able to communicate is one of the essentials of life. In speaking, listening, signing, absorbing what is being communicated and reaching out in response – all of these are so much a part of life. This is not only the case among humans. Those who study various species of animals tell us that, in various different ways, they communicate as well.

 

We have been called upon this weekend by Pope Francis, to spend these moments of worship today with a sense of gratitude as well as reflection and prayer for the fact that our loving God is not distant and remote, but truly intimate in relationship to us. Our loving God seeks to communicate with us. Communication, indeed, was basic to the effort of Jesus as he sought to reveal our God to us. That revelation of God is found in the Scriptures, what is known as the Word of God.”

 

It is through the “Word of God”, God speaking to us, that we hear, at least weekly, that we learn of God acting on behalf of the “Chosen People” of old. We hear, as well, the call of “God-with-us”, Jesus Christ, to join with him and, in a particular way, to follow him. We also listen as early members of this Body of Christ, the Church, that we also are, struggle and succeed in the effort to achieve what is called for in being followers of Christ, true images of our God.

 

What we heard in the Gospel passage which was read today provides a good example. In St. Matthew’s account Jesus is undertaking his ministry of revealing God. He does this, not in the center of Jewish tradition and practice, Jerusalem, but in Galilee, the land of the Gentile and foreigners, a land of darkness. This is a reminder to us that in whatever the circumstances or darkness, he is the source of light, he enlightens our lives. Then he gathers his followers – ordinary people – who will share his efforts so that we might know that all of us are called to be part of his work. He does not work in isolation, but with and through and in all of us.

 

What we heard today, as we do each week, or each time we read the Scriptures, is a communication of God to us that addresses us and challenges us today. No matter who or what any one of us might be today, we can be touched, we can be affected, we can be enlightened by God’s word to us now. Through the routine of daily life what we are, as the Body of Christ today, is to continue to be a means that seeks to reveal the light of God’s presence with us each day, the light of God’s willingness to lift us up so that we can realize our potential, a light of God’s effort to join us and nourish us when we are here, gathered in worship.

 

If we open ourselves To the full effect of God’s communication with us, to the Word of God spoken to us in the Scriptures and especially in the teachings of Christ, then we learn that the greatest desires of what we want in life are found in our relationship with God our Creator. We learn that the means to achieve the very best of what we want in life is found in our relationship with God who is with us and who speaks to us. We learn that what is requires to achieve this very best is found in our relationship with God and with living from day to day what we are as reflections of our good and gracious God.

Fr. Fedor's Homily Notes

Baptism of the Lord – January 12, 2020

Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-17 Acts 10: 34-38 Matthew 3: 13-17

 

As a Church, we officially close our celebration of the Christmas Season, when were called that God came into our world in the person of Jesus Christ, by hearing an account of what took place at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. In the life of the Church, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is the culmination of what Christmas celebrates because it is the initiation of Jesus’ public work to reveal God to the world.

 

In reality, Christmas and its surrounding events is a preparation for this liturgical feast. In the story of Christmas, the Lord is revealed in different ways. He is proclaimed by angels. He is seen by the faithful poor of Israel, represented by the shepherds. He is revealed to the Gentiles, the non-Jews, in the person of the Magi. The Baptism of the Lord, as Jesus stands before John to be baptized and as he is called “the Beloved Son” by his Heavenly Father, is the beginning of the ministry of Jesus to the world. It is the beginning too of a new adventure in the history of the world. Now all the world is to know that he is the Chosen One, the beloved one of the Father who has come into our world to renew it.

 

What is the ministry of Jesus, then, to be? He is to reveal the Father’s love and to lead us to the Father. In addition, he is calling on us to join in his work, to be part of his ministry. As we listened to the words of Isaiah today, we can easily apply them to Jesus. But what is described, the servant, is also to be us. Jesus began his public work and teaching to lead us to be servants with him.

 

Each of us has been chosen by God. We are beloved sons and daughters of God. Each of us is called to establish the justice that is light to the blind. Each of us is called to free prisoners from the darkness of mind and heart. Each of us is to do this as the servants are described: not shouting out, but in the quiet of our daily lives.

 

The Baptism of the Lord is the beginning of the ministry of Jesus but it is also a call to us to renew our ministry as part of the Body of Christ. Where is his ministry revealed today, but in us? Where is the servant found who brings forth justice, the saving, loving will of the Father, but in us?

 

How is this be carried out? Not by shouting and display, but in the manner in which we live day to day. It is to be found in our prayer, in our example, in our words, in our actions. All of these are to make known, to reveal and reflect the Lord.

 

All of the celebrations of the Christmas Season are directed at showing forth the Lord. What point would there be to these celebrations if this central message is not conveyed? All of us have been given the task of carrying on the mission of Christ that was begun at his baptism and is to be continued through our own baptisms. All of us are called upon to reflect in our lives a living faith and trust in our good and gracious God,