Fr. Fedor's Homily Notes

Passion Sunday – April 5, 2020

Isaiah 50: 4-7 – Philipppians 2: 6-11 – Matthew 26: 14 – 27: 66

 

The dynamics of Passion or Palm Sunday change dramatically. The celebration begins with the joyous shouts of “Hosanna” as Jesus comes to Jerusalem with his followers to celebrate the Jewish Feast of the Passover. But the mood of the liturgy quickly changes. The central focus of the Liturgy is then the recalling of the passion and death of Jesus, this year as presented by Saint Matthew.

 

In his account of the betrayal, suffering and death of Jesus, Saint Matthew is addressing the community of believers who made up the early Christian church. Like Matthew, most of these individuals had their roots in Judaism and were particularly familiar with the Scriptures of the Old Covenant. With this in mind, we can appreciate the emphases found in Matthew’s gospel.

 

On the one hand, the Passion of Jesus was a fulfillment of the Old Covenant writings and teachings. What Jesus underwent in his passion and death was understood as part of what the Suffering Servant of Isaiah would reveal concerning the loving relationship that was established between God and humanity.

 

On the other hand, while Jesus had foreknowledge of what was to happen to him, he freely embraced the suffering he was to endure. In this manner, Jesus was in command of what he experienced as it was the culmination of the effort to restore the loving relationship between mankind and God.

 

Unbelievers could hear this account and find it to be a story of a man being abandoned by his followers and even betrayed by one who had been close to him. These same unbelievers would see this account as another example of how the supposed religious leaders of Jesus’ own people condemned him and turned him over to the civil authorities to be executed.

 

But to those who put their faith in the person Matthew was describing, this was the moment. Jesus Christ,, of his own decision and will – even though struggling in his humanity with this choice – seized upon the suffering and death on the cross as the means to redeem us, to reconcile us, to empower us to rise above sinful distancing from God. In so doing Jesus offered to us the loving salvation that had been promised through the words and actions of rte Old Covenant. Thus were those promises fulfilled. Thus was revealed the depth of love offered to us by our good and gracious God.

St Mel Parish

LITANY OF SUPPLICATION

Used at the special Urbi et Orbi blessing
presided over by Pope Francis
March 26, 2020

WE ADORE YOU, O LORD

True God and true man, truly present in this holy Sacrament.
We adore you, O Lord
Our Savior, God with us, faithful and rich in mercy
We adore you, O Lord
King and Lord of creation and of history
We adore you, O Lord
Conqueror of sin and death
We adore you, O Lord
Friend of humankind, the Risen One, theLiving One who sits at the righthand of the Father.
We adore you, O Lord
(more…)

Fr. Fedor's Homily Notes

Fifth Sunday of Lent – March 29, 2020

Ezechiel 37: 12-14 – Romans 8: 8-11 – John 11: 3-7, 17,20-27, 33b-45

 

Over this Season of Lent, I have suggests that we consider different examples, put before us in the Scriptures, of reminders to us of how God reaches out to us to be reconciled. The story of the raising of Lazarus which we have heard today represents, in my thinking, the effect of the restoration of a union with God as well as the difference this restoration makes in our lives and in the lives of others.

 

Consider the somewhat dramatic account of this event given to us by John. First, there is the matter of the delay. This ought immediately to alert us that there is special meaning to this event. Then, there is the decision to go, which is also confusing to the followers of Jesus. This is then followed by the meeting with Martha, the sister of Lazarus. Although she is disappointed in the delay, she expressed faith in Jesus. He could have done something if he had been there.

 

Jesus wanted to show to those who were willing to believe that he was more than a miracle-worker. Not only “I can give life,” but “I am Life.” He is the source of all renewal, the source of all re-creation. He is the one who can and will do away with whatever are the effects of sin now, and as they happen again. Thus he asks: “Do you believe this?” Martha’s response was that she believed in life after death. Jesus says “I am Life” now.

 

Jesus is not talking about some blissful existence in the future. He is saying that Life, as he intends it, is possible now. Hatred, injustice, prejudice, pride, self-centeredness, deceit, violence, back-biting, hurt, abuse – verbal, physical, sexual – all of these things which are effects of sin can be eradicated now in our lives and not just in some future existence It is the restored, resurrected, Life that can be lived now as Lazarus, who has been restored to life by Christ, will live now.

 

The Spirit of God spoken of by Ezechiel and the Spirit of Christ mentioned by St. Paul, is present and available now. It can directly affect our lives and the manner that we live with others, if we are willing to allow it to do so.

 

The celebration of Easter which is, after all, the end-point and reason for our Lenten thoughts and practices (however that celebration will take place this year), is the celebration of a firm re-commitment of faith. As we have recalled during this Lent how a loving God reaches out to us, we are to consider how we respond ,in truth, that we believe. Like Martha, are we willing to recognize that Jesus is our Life now and in the future? In our words, in the actions of our lives, truly alive in Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life, we are to renew our efforts to reflect a response of genuine faith in our good and gracious God.

Fr. Fedor's Homily Notes

Fourth Sunday of Lent – March 22, 2020

1 Samuel 16: 1b, 6-7, 20-23 – Ephesians 5: 8-14 – John 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

 

On our journey through Lent this year, we have heard of different ways in which our loving God reaches out to us in order to be reconciled with us. Today, we have placed before us, the ultimate effort of God that is found in the person of Jesus Christ, the instrument of that reconciliation. In the account of the cure of the man who was born blind, there is not only the report of his receiving the ability to see but also the progressive process of achieving this end. This account illustrates well the growth needed in responding to God’s effort and in the living out of third response by each of us.

 

As it is recorded, the cure of the blind man was not direct or instantaneous. It involved a process that demonstrates the creative redeeming and saving presence of God. It illustrates what we can experience in our own lives. It is also this creative, redeeming and saving process that we are to continue as the living Body of Christ in our world. The creative process in the story is illustrated by Jesus anointing the man’s eye with mud, recalling the Genesis story of man being formed from the ground of the Earth. The redeeming process reflects the washing of baptism we have received and which we renew at Easter, as evidence by Jesus bathing the man’s eyes. The saving process is depicted in how the blind man now sees. He had searched for Jesus, he found Jesus and then acknowledges that his sight, the recreation of his ability yo see, was given to him by Jesus Christ in whom he now professes belief.

 

The restored relationship with God, the object of any efforts that we are making during Lent, is accomplished by us through the active presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. It is not just a thought or a wish or a hope. It is a reality we can achieve. The blind man did think or wish or hope that he could see. It was a reality in his life, as he declared “I can see.” So our faith is to believed in us.

 

It is this restored relationship with God that leads us to holiness. It achieves for us a peace in our lives, a wholeness of our lives that values God, all others and ourselves. It is firmly demonstrated by our union with one another in the Body of Christ. It is sacramentally nourished by the Eucharist that we share. It is this union with Jesus Christ that binds us with all who share the same Jesus Christ.

 

Through creative, redeeming, saving process that we experience here and now that we are able to live our daily lives in ways that proclaims genuine faith and trust in our good & gracious God

St Mel Parish

Livestreamed, taped, television and radio broadcasts of Masses are available

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Mass will be livestreamed from the Cathedral. These can be found at the diocesan website: www.dioceseofcleveland.org

 

This message copy and pasted from the Diocese of Cleveland Website.  Please also check their website for updated information.

 

As efforts continue to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is following guidelines established by public health and Church officials.

On March 16, the Catholic Conference of Ohio, which consists of Catholic bishops from throughout the state, amplified its March 12 announcement of a dispensation from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass for the weekends of March 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29. The bishops said no publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies are to be celebrated through Holy Week/Easter.

A video from Father Don Oleksiak, diocesan administrator, about the Mass dispensation can be viewed here. (more…)

Fr. Fedor's Homily Notes

Third Sunday of Lent – March 15, 2020

Exodus 17: 3-7 – Romans 5:1-2, 5-8 – John 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

 

I have suggested over the last couple of weeks that we consider, during this Season of Lent, the efforts that God makes toward us. That is a clear lesson to us in God’s word to us today.

 

We heard first about how God acted on behalf of the Israelites in the desert. Through Moses God had led them out of Egypt, delivering them from slavery. By an act of God the waters of the sea had been parted and they were rescued from the pursuing Egyptians. God responded to complaints about hunger, providing them with quail and manna. Still, they were not satisfied. Even worse, they appeared not to trust God after all that had happened for them. Once again, they grumbled. They were like spoiled children. Our human reaction would most probably been to call them ungrateful and simply forget them. But, once again, God reaches out. From the very unlikely source of a rock, God provided water. It is a sign of God’s limitless, overflowing love.

 

The Gospel account goes even further in illustrating God’s efforts. In our contemporary era, with current values, we may not appreciate all that we are told in this incident. In the encounter with the woman, Jesus acts contrary to many human norms of his society. For example, speaking with a Samaritan, one regarded as a heretic, was to be shunned because Jesus was interacting with someone not of his own people. Even more difficult to understand was the fact that he was publicly speaking with a woman. No rabbi, no teacher, would ever do something like this. Jesus asks for a drink, an needs to make use of the woman’s utensil to do so. This was contrary to the dietary laws of his tradition. What we are to understand, from the Gospel-writer John’s recoding the details of this event, is that it demonstrates how the ministry of Jesus reflects the efforts of God. Jesus reaches far beyond human limitations to make evident God’s desire to reach out to us, to be joined with us.

 

Saint Paul had come to an understanding of the actions of God in his life and in his ministry. He declares, as we have hard, that an abundance has been provided to those who are faithfully I union with God. It is the abundance of the great force of love that is poured into us through the action of the Spirit of God, most especially through the waters of baptism. It is the abundance of God’s desire to be reconciled with us that is to motivate and encourage us in whatever efforts we make this Lent.

 

The generous goodness of God is evident in the efforts God makes toward us. Our response is to live and to act with the same generosity of mind, heart and spirit in our lives. It is in this way that we are to reflect and reveal the nature and the presence of our loving union with our good and gracious God.