The joys and challenges of modern life are echoes of the struggles and consolations found in the Scripture. It is the task of the preacher to use the Bible to shed light on whatever issues may be facing those gathered for worship whether it be on the personal level stress, unemployment, family life, etc. With confidence that the Scriptures are a sure guide to life in the twenty-first century, the homilist seeks to help the congregation see how the word proclaimed throughout the millenia applies to the choices we make today.
Stories, whether they be taken from the lives of the saints or from the newspaper, are a useful means of accomplishing this purpose. However, they are not necessarily the only way. The assembly can be challenged to think about how to apply the gospel to their daily lives by proposing a series of questions What does it mean to love? What are we doing when we love someone? The important thing is not always how the homily illustrates a point, but that whatever means one chooses leaves the members of the assembly with the challenge of taking to their homes, schools and places of business the word they heard proclaimed in the liturgy.
It was common before the Second Vatican Council that the preacher would use the occasion of the homily to instruct the assembly on matters of faith and morals. Many times, the preacher would offer a series of reflections over several Sundays on the gifts of the Holy Spirit or the beatitudes whether they related to the readings of the day or not. The problem with such an approach, however, was that it divorced the homily from the rest of the liturgy.
Rather than an organic part of the worship service rooted in the themes of the Scriptures which had just been proclaimed, the sermon appeared to be grafted crudely onto the rest of the liturgy. It served to create the suspicion that, if the preacher had to look outside the readings of the day for something to say, then those readings must not have any meaning to our life today.
Over the past forty years, the emphasis has shifted to understanding the homily as an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word and using it to bring out the themes and subjects proposed by the Scriptural and liturgical texts of the day.
However, we must take our cue from the readings of the day. The Lectionary is a textbook for the Church guiding our reflection throughout the liturgical seasons. It ensures that the central truths of the faith — the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, Pentecost, etc. And so, one of the central purposes of the homily must be to instruct the faithful on the truths of our Catholic faith.
The word of God is meant not only to be heard but to be acted on. When the Scriptures are proclaimed effectively, it elicits a response from the hearer whether it be the desire to amend ones life or to make an even deeper commitment to Christ and his Church. Therefore, one of the central purposes of the homily is to invite the congregation to conversion. It is natural for us as human beings to want to celebrate life-changing decisions and commitments.
The same is true for the spiritual dimension of our lives. The scriptures steer us toward the sacraments. And so, the purpose of the homily is not only to invite our hearers to conversion, but to invite them also to celebrate that conversion through the sacraments, most especially the sacrament of the Eucharist.
For socks put on patience. In the fairy tales, they lived happily ever after. When you get up tomorrow morning, what clothes will you put on? Paul says to put on compassion, generosity, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and love. In Jesus, God and humankind are married. In the book of Revelation we read, "The marriage of the Lamb has come, and the bride has made herself ready", the Lamb is referring to Jesus, the bride is referring to the church.
Heaven is wedded to earth in Jesus. In our first reading we heard of the the man and the woman becoming one. God and humankind became one in Jesus, the greatest marriage of all time. Your wedding lasts only today, but your marriage is for the rest of your lives. Today you both go back to school again, the school of marriage.
Today you begin to learn again, to learn to love each other in a deeper way. You are joining yourselves to each other today to become one, without, of course, losing your individuality. It is something that you will learn and become better at as you share your married life together. Becoming one means loving each other, sharing your lives with each other, taking each other into consideration always.
Becoming one means getting rid of all selfishness out of your lives because there is no room for selfishness in marriage. If selfishness is not rooted out or creeps in later on, its sure to cause problems. If God blesses your marriage with children, then you will also take your children into consideration in all that you do.
Marriage is a school of love. Maturing in Love during Marriage Rom Not only does God love us but God has to teach us how to love him. There is a sense in which it takes a long time to learn the true meaning of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Just look at the disciples in the Gospels. How long it took them to learn.
There is a sense in which it takes a long time to learn the true meaning of the first commandment, to have no strange gods in our life. Something similar could possibly be said about the love of two people united in the sacrament of marriage. Sometimes it may be necessary to learn to love in a new way in marriage. The one whom you love in marriage may sometimes have to teach you how to love properly. Love matures in marriage. Love grows in marriage. Maturing in love and being taught to love by the one whom you love is surely what the second reading from St.
Paul to the Romans intends, that you chose for this wedding Mass:. Rom Human Weaknesses and Healing in Marriage Col N and N, you are both human and you bring with you to your marriage normal human weaknesses. You will probably discover weaknesses in the other which you do not now know.
This will be an opportunity to love the other, heal the other, forgive the other. There will be times when like at the wedding at Cana it will seem as if the wine really has run out, times when you will forgive each other and make a fresh start. As St. Paul said in the reading which you chose: "Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins" Col Marriage is also a school of forgiveness.
Wedding in Rome - difficulties in marriage. In our second reading today we heard Paul advising the Romans not to give up when difficulties come but to keep praying Rom This is very good advice for people of all times, and obviously for N and N entering marriage.
The Lord will be with you but yet difficulties will come. It is part of our human condition, or sometimes things happen to us that we have no control over. The Lord forgives you so you must do the same. We could think of St.
Peter putting love and forgiveness into practice here in Rome, and St. Paul and many others when they were martyred here in 67 AD when the emperor Nero wishing to rebuild parts of the city had it burned and blamed on the Christians.
If you are standing in front of St. Peter was crucified upside down. He was buried in the nearest cemetery, on top of Vatican hill, so near in fact that it was under what is now St. His tomb was always believed to be under the main altar of St.
Paul martyred during the same persecution is believed to be buried beneath the main altar of the Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls. So as you get married here in Rome there are many reminders all around you of what it is to love and forgive like Christ. Your Faith opens you to the grace of this Sacrament.
To receive every sacrament fruitfully one needs faith, faith in Jesus Christ. Even if we did everything at the altar here today beautifully or indeed perfectly but you had no faith, the sacramental grace would not have an effect in your life. Today, N and N, it is your faith in Jesus Christ which which will open your souls to the power of this sacrament, faith in the fact that Jesus unites and binds himself to you today. What is a sacrament? We usually describe a sacrament as an outward sign of an inner reality.
The inner reality in every sacrament is that God comes to us in the sacrament and blesses us and so to help us there is a symbol of God coming to us in every sacrament. In the sacrament of baptism the symbols are obvious; washing with water symbolizing God washing away original sin, clothing with a white garment symbolizing the purity of the child. In the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, Holy Orders and the sacrament of the sick there is anointing with oil symbolizing receiving the help of God for future life.
In the Sacrament of the Eucharist the outward signs of bread and wine symbolize the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist who nourishes us. It is not just that we say our prayers to please God or because we find praying helps us. It is much more, God really wants to be intimate with each of us and your marriage is a symbol of this desire of God to be intimate with each of us.
In this sacrament N. In a sacrament we receive grace that is not just for now but which lasts for life. Every time we receive a sacrament, it is a meeting with God, symbolized by some sign, which brings us grace for the rest of our life. How much grace? That is partly up to you; that is why I said the sacrament is received today but will have an ongoing effect on your lives.
That is why the Church teaches that your marriage as a sacrament is indissoluble, until death do you part, and so it is up to you to live the sacrament of your marriage in that way. Your marriage begins here today before the altar of God and from today on it will be up to you to complete it in the sense of making it as good a sign as possible of the desire of God to be intimate with each of us.
Love and joy and peace and harmony will be the signs that your marriage is sacramental. Because we are all different to each other you will naturally from time to time have to listen to what the other is really saying, your will have to hear the other and know the other. In those times when you accept and forgive each other, the grace of God will be at work, the grace you receive in the sacrament of marriage.
Your Home Col Your marriage is also a sacrament because you are undertaking today not just to make your house a home, but to make it a home of Christian family life, to make it a Catholic home. Paul said in the second reading which you chose: "Let the message of Christ in all its richness, find a home with you" Col You are undertaking today to bring up the children God may send you with a strong faith in Jesus.
Marriage Symbolizes the Faithfulness of God to us Eph Because your marriage is a sacrament, it has lasting value; your promise to each other is until death, to be faithful to each other always. The Old Testament compares marriage to the covenant that existed between God and his people.
The New Testament compares marriage to the relationship that exists between Christ and the Church. Your fidelity to each other symbolizes and reflects the faithfulness of God to us his people, the faithfulness of Christ to his church. God is always faithful to us his people, Christ is always faithful to his church and today your promise to be always faithful to each other until death symbolizes and reflects the love of God for his people and the love of Christ for his church.
Your Marriage is a Covenant, not a contract, just as God continues to love us because of his Covenant with us. The Gospel you chose for your wedding is Jesus talking about love John He commands to love as he has loved. How did Jesus love?
He loved until it cost him. He loved all the way to the cross and death. That is love. If he had stopped loving before Calvary then it would not have been love at all. It would have been only for what he could get out of it. But love, in the sense that Jesus means, is loving even when it means undergoing suffering for the sake of the other. That is real love, loving for the good of the other. That is precisely how Jesus explains his love in the next line of the Gospel you chose.
Jesus said,. John Again and again we gave God all sorts of reasons to turn his back on us but he kept on loving us because he made a covenant with us, not a contract. You can use all sorts of legal means to wiggle your way out of a contract but a covenant is irrevocable.
That is precisely the love of God we see for us in his covenant with us. As I said, there are many ideas of marriage in the world today but your marriage here today is a sacrament you receive in the Lord; you will be joined to each other in the Lord. Therefore it is a covenant, not a contract. In fact we should really say there are three of you joined today, Rachel, James and God, because the source of life for a sacramental marriage is God.
Turn to Christ to sustain your love for each other because Christ blesses your marriage today. Although there are many ideas about marriage in the secular world today we could say that your sacramental marriage today, with all that it entails, purifies the secular view of marriage today and teaches the secular view of marriage what God intends. N and N, your marriage is something very human, fulfilling the desire in the hearts of all of us to share our lives with another, but your marriage is also a sacrament of God.
N and N, may God bless you both and keep you faithful to each other and to Him all the days of you lives. Not just Marriage but Marriage in the Lord Gen 1. Today N. It is not just a meeting in marriage but a meeting in the Sacrament of Marriage.
I make the distinction because there are many ideas of marriage in the world today but your marriage here today is a sacrament you receive in the Lord; you will be joined to each other in the Lord. God created man in his image, male and female he created them, asking them to multiply and fill the earth. There is so much love in God - God is full of love - that this love expands and is shared and reflected in the love of husband and wife in marriage.
So the love of husband and wife for each other reflects the love of God. Wedding in Rome - Your Marriage is a Sacrament. Getting married in Rome is getting married close to so many precious reminders of our Catholic faith. No matter where one gets married in the Catholic Church, it is a sacrament. A sacrament is one of the ways that the couple meets Christ. A sacramental marriage means you, N and N, have the blessing of Christ, the promise of Christ to be with you, and the assurance that you are joining yourselves to each other today in a way that is holy and pleasing to God.
How do we know this? We could begin with the first reading you chose today from the first book of the Bible, Genesis. There we see that it is God himself who made our nature in such a way that one man and one woman join themselves to each other in marriage. Jesus attended the wedding at Cana and his very presence there was obviously a blessing John In other words, Jesus taught them that marriage is indissoluble, until death.
Finally in the Letter to the Ephesians we read that the love of husband and wife for each other is a reflection of the very love of God himself. When you want to know something about the love of God, look at the love of husband and wife; that is what the letter to the Ephesians tells us Eph So in many different parts of the Bible God has given us many pointers to sacramental marriage.
This reminds us that the Truth is not something that is decided by a vote or majority opinion. Instead the one source of Truth is God. There is a reminder of that very near us here. Inside St. This reliquary contains the chair or cathedra on which it is believed St. Peter sat while preaching. N and N today you give your word to each other to take each other "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health" all the days of your lives.
This word you are giving to each other is not just any word, but a solemn promise, a vow before God. This is a huge step to take into the unknown. The reason you take this step with confidence after much careful consideration is because it is not just any word you are giving each other, but, as I said a solemn vow before God, in other words it is a covenant between the two of yourselves and God.
That is why we describe marriage in the Catholic Church as a sacrament. Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous, etc. A couple does not begin marriage with this perfect love. The couple grows in loving and grows by loving. Love is hard work. Sometimes love will mean you will have to suffer, if not the love is a disguised form of selfishness.
But just as the Church is strengthened through suffering, your relationship will grow in the valleys. There is more growth in the valleys than on the mountain-tops. We hear the word love used so often today and it has so many different meanings depending on its context.
But when Jesus said to love God and love our neighbor Matt , in the language of the Scriptures, he spoke about a very special kind of love, a godly love, unselfish and self-sacrificing love. True love is not just a feeling or emotion that changes. True love is a commitment, a sacrifice of oneself for the other.
Therefore what a beautiful and godly thing Christian marriage is, a promise of lifelong fidelity and self-sacrifice. During your marriage, Mary and Chris, you will indeed be constantly offering yourselves to God and to each other in so many ways, that we can indeed say you will be offering your bodies to God and each other as a living sacrifice. One of the ways in which we sacrifice is to live as true followers of Christ especially when this is counter-cultural.
So Paul went on to write,. This idea of self-sacrifice in marriage is expressed very clearly in another New Testament text, in the Letter to the Ephesians:. How did Christ love the Church? The text gives the answer, he handed himself over for her. He loved the Church so much that he gave his life for her, to the very last drop of his blood on Calvary.
So husbands are to love their wives by sacrificing themselves for their wives to the very end just as Christ gave his life for the Church. Your Marriage is a Covenant between You and God. On TV we see people getting married in all sorts of places, jumping out of airplanes or getting married in Las Vegas with Elvis himself as the chief celebrant. But you have decided to get married here in this church because you understand your marriage as a sacrament.
You understand your marriage as something not just between the two of you, but between the two of you and God. That is why we say that the sacrament of marriage is a covenant; it is covenant between the two of you and God. That calls to mind the words of St. John Chrysostom, that famous theologian from the early Church,. Let them have Christ in their midst. I like very much the Scripture readings you chose for your wedding today. They express beautifully this divine dimension of your marriage today.
The Psalm expresses very beautifully the divine element of your marriage and indeed of anyone who lives as a child of God,. The Lord looks on those who revere him, On those who hope in his love… Our soul is waiting for the Lord The Lord is our help and our shield In him do our hearts find joy, We trust in his holy name. Ps Indeed the only way to find true happiness in this life is to live as a child of God.
As the Psalm said,. From all that I have said we can see that the Sacrament of Marriage is to help make you holy. The sacraments are ways in which we meet Christ and become more holy. That is why the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:. Notice that it says the grace of the sacrament is to perfect your love and strengthen your indissoluble unity and you are to help each other to become holy. Marriage is holy. Mary you are to help Chris become holy and Chris you are to help Mary become holy.
Marriage is too big a commitment to leave it only in your own human hands.
From the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 1 Corinthians a we hear St. Paul paint this beautiful picture of what it means to love:. So, grow in love! Finally, in the Gospel reading you chose John , we learn to base our love for each other on the model that Christ taught us. So, you need to be willing to:. So, what does this look like in practical terms? How can we best model Christ in our married lives?
I think we can do it with song. I have been playing with lyrics for a song. The song begins with the groom, standing nervously at the foot of the altar, awaiting the arrival of his bride. The groom looks up and is overwhelmed by what he sees. He sings:. Who is this woman, this beauty so fair, who glides down the aisle, as if walking on air? With tears in her eyes, and a smile on her face, my heart skips a beat for this vision of grace.
As she begins her walk, she looks up and sees her future husband eagerly waiting and sings:. There, see that man standing so proud and tall. Hold on to me, Daddy, but then let me go. You have captured my heart. You have settled my soul.
I will love you for as long as I breathe. And, that is what your family and friends, gathered here today, wish and pray for both of you; that this love you celebrate for each other today will continue to grow — to overflow in a Christ-centered marriage. We talked about this many times as you prepared for this day: A marriage is not just about the wedding day. A marriage is more than a day. Very shortly you will state your intentions to love and honor each other for the rest of your lives.
We pray that Christ, as the center of your married life, will bring you great peace, and abundant joy. Dear friends, we are united with you today in sorrow at the death of N. The reality of death, with all its pain and sense of loss, confronts us at this moment. But as we are united in sorrow, we are also united by something else… our Faith. Confronted with the reality of death, we must allow ourselves to be confronted with the reality of our Faith. Our Faith opens our minds to the whole picture about life, death, and what happens after death.
Only in the light of our Faith can we begin to understand what has happened to N. When in our Faith we speak about heaven, and resurrection, and the next life, we do not speak about these things primarily because they give us consolation and strength. They certainly do that, but the primary reason we speak of these things is because they are true.
Death is not from God; death is from turning away from God. He sent Christ, who died and rose again and conquered death. God has spoken to the world through Christ, and told us that He wants to give us victory over death in and through Jesus Christ.
Because of this, Christians are not silent in the face of death. Many people, on coming to a wake or funeral, do not know what to say. Death seems to have the last word. But we who believe are not silent. We speak. Christ is risen. Death has been conquered. Death is not the last period after the last sentence of the last chapter of the human story. The end of the story is Resurrection and life that has no end.
The farewell that we give to N. The ceremony today contains many reminders of this, and it points us to the fact that N. We sprinkled the casket with holy water at the beginning of the ceremony… This recalls the waters of baptism that were once poured on N.
The white funeral pall is a reminder of the white garment placed on the newly-baptized… a sign of the new life of Christ given to the Christian. This candle is the Easter candle; it is present at every baptism, and symbolizes the Risen Christ.
When N. At baptism, God rescued N. Christ said to N. You belong to me. A Christian does not merely die. A Christian dies in Christ. We belong to Him by baptism, and we live in Him by a life of prayer, obedience to His teachings, and faithfulness to the sacraments of the Church. If we live in Christ and die in Christ, we will rise in Christ.
In the midst of all this, should we grieve? Yes, sisters and brothers, it is OK to grieve; it is natural, because we love N. Yes, we as Christians grieve. But we grieve with hope. It is OK to be sad today that we do not see N. It is OK to grieve, but it is wrong to despair. Christ is alive. We pray today for N. You belong to Christ, and so do we. Brothers and sisters, we are united with you in this moment of sorrow at the death of N. Christ our Lord has something to say to us today; let us listen again to His words.
The Gospel tells how Jesus went to a wake. Notice what Martha says to Him. And in this case, Martha was right. Christ does have power over life and death. Bring my brother back from the dead. We too, as Christians, proclaim that on the last day God will raise the dead.
Why is this true? Where were we? Where was N.? Could we have brought ourselves into existence? Did N. Why and how did we come into the world at all? Why, then, are we here? The only answer, ultimately, is that God loves us. It is His love, His choice, that brought us and N. He loves us, and so we exist. But now that N. Did God change His mind? No, sisters and brothers.
I am the Love and Life of God, and if you believe in Me, you can start sharing the life of the Resurrection now. He is here. He is speaking to us. He is offering us His victory over death. The whole point of our religion is to put us into contact with Christ so that He can share His life with us — a life that conquers death and lasts forever. He is the Resurrection and the Life. God will bring us to heaven when we die, but only if we take hold of heaven while we live.
That is the whole purpose of our life, and of our Church. In this way eternal life is ours. What Christ asked Martha, He asks us today. He called his name. I did not create you for the grave, but for myself. You have accepted me by faith while on earth.
Come, now, and share my life… forever. Last Monday morning began as a typical day in the life of Patricia Ryan. Then, after a hug from her husband, she packed everything, including her children, into the car. She gave a kiss and a hug to Sheila at the kindergarten and a kiss and then dropped off Jim and Vincent at their school. Only then, with her mothering tasks completed, did she drive off to her job.
She had been going through this routine five days a week for many years. She was a well-organized and confident woman. Her day always started with dispensing the love and care of a wife and mother. She seemed scarcely aware of how much she was giving of herself.
It was all part of her calling as a mother, a wife, and a wage earner. Anyone would have expected that Patricia had another good forty years ahead of her; that she would live to see her dreams and ambitions for her family fulfilled. Naturally, she wanted to see her children through school and college, to see them happily married, and in due time to enjoy spoiling the grandchildren with love and affection, while in retirement with her husband, Jack. But last Monday, Patricia was on her way to work when tragedy struck.
Every time we enter the speeding traffic in the early morning rush hours, an accident is possible. Events on the road are often beyond our control, regardless of our own care when driving. We live in a world of speeding steel, overshadowed by the danger of mechanical failure and human error. Bad road conditions, poor maintenance, tired drivers — it can be one of many causes.
The cost was heavy, in terms of grief and loss. Three children lost an adored mother; a young husband lost his darling wife; her parents suffered the loss of their only daughter. Free will and the eventualities of life are allowed by God to exert their force and consequences, to follow the laws of cause and effect. Accidents are not positively willed by God, but play their part according to the laws of nature.
Death, at whatever time it may come, plays its part in the unfolding drama of our lives. And yet, St. Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, while waiting for Jesus to come from Perea, the country beyond the Jordan, experienced four days of sadness and grief. Christ had a higher purpose, unknown to Martha, Mary, and his followers. He wanted them to have unshakable proof of his power over death. By death we gain our heavenly Father and an everlasting home.
He comforts us with the assurance that through him, we too will have a personal resurrection and eternal life. Many Christians have been sustained by this faith, in times of bereavement. That brave woman, Rose Kennedy, endured more than the normal amount of grief and pain with the deaths of her four children. The mother of the former U.
And I have always believed that, no matter what, God wants us to be happy. Birds sing after a storm. May the angels lead the soul of Patricia, a faithful Christian wife and mother, into paradise. May the soul of Patricia Ryan and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Welcome to our Church, as we receive the remains of our dear young friend, Peter Nolan. A sad, sad occasion when we consider Peter was such a young man, only 36 years old.
He had lived life to the full and only took ill at Christmas. Even with the best medical care and always hoping for a return to health, sadly he died on Sunday last, with his family at his bedside. Why did God let it happen? But maybe an image can help. If you go down to Dollymount Strand, stand and look out to sea, our human eyesight can only see as far as the horizon.
But I know and you know that beyond that line of the horizon lies a vast area of sea and land, stretching around the globe. In a way I feel life is like that. Now while we are here on earth we can only see in a limited way but I believe the Good Lord has a much wider vision and sees life in a much wider context. So this evening we ask the Lord to take Peter safely home to be a peace for ever. It is appropriate that his remains stay here in our church for a night, before his burial.
As a young boy Peter often came here to be with his grandfather Denis Fitzpatrick, who was a Knight of the Shrine all through his adult life. We extend our deepest sympathy to his parents Pat and Tom, his brother Garry and Keith and the extended family and friends. We pray that the Lord will console them and give them strength to bear their heavy loss. Peter may your good soul rest in peace.. The artist was trying to convey a message that is relevant to all of us gathered here this morning for the funeral Mass for Peter.
The picture shows Our Lady being led up the steps of a house on the arm of a young man, obviously St John. Mary, the broken hearted mother is facing toward the left, yet all the other faces in the picture, St. John and three or 4 others, are looking back to the right, where on a hill one can see three crosses, starkly in the background. The expression on their faces is one of horror.
Jesus after all he had done for his people — why did he have to die? The artist seems to capture in Mary a particular sense of faith, that somehow in all of this death, pain and loss, God is taking care of things. As we heard in the Gospel Jesus did rise from the dead on Easter Sunday and promised to share his new life with his followers.
That is our faith, in death we believe life is changed not ended. We will share his life for ever. Today we come to say our farewell to Peter, to thank the Lord for his life and the many hours of enjoyment he gave to people through his work as a sound engineer over the years at the Abbey, the Peacock and other theatres.
It is an opportunity as well to say thanks for his love of life and the friendship he gave to so many people, in so many places. Yes in the spirit of the first Reading Book of Wisdom a person like Peter who lives life to the full and dies before his time will indeed find rest. It is with confidence that we ask the Lord to take him safely home to be a peace. And we extend our sympathy to his father and mother Pat and Tom, his brother and all the extended family and friends.
We pray that the Lord will give them the strength to bear their great loss. May the road rise with you, May the wind be always at your back May the sun shine warm on your face. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand. We come to remember her and to say thanks to God for her 52 years of life as a loving wife and mother.
Philomena was only 52, she was born in the middle year of the 20th century. The question may rightly be asked, Why did she have to die so young? But there is an image that may help us come to terms with her parting, is that of the horizon. Life is like that. While we are here on earth our vision is limited, and maybe it is just as well. But we know that God can see all that vast area of sea and land, for the whole world is in His hands. We know that our God is a loving God, a caring God , all we can do is leave Philomena in his care, knowing that with God she is safe.
Even so, her parting is a great loss, a great sorrow, and she will be sadly missed. Missed by the family, by her brothers Seamus and Richard, Auntie Breege and all the extended family. Tonight as we gather here I believe she would want us to remember her, with gladness rather than sorrow. Let us see this as an opportunity to share our memories of Philomena.
Even the last few weeks in hospital she was hosting visitors, yes Philomena was hospitable until the end.. I think that she would want me to say to all gathered here in her own home that she is at peace. Now she has no more pain and she was ready to meet the Lord. Our sympathy to Noel and all the family on their loss Philomena in her own way will be looking after you in death as she looked after you all in life.
May she rest in peace. Anyone coming to this church, as Kate did over the years, will notice the two large statutes at the back, of St. Augustine and his mother St. Those statutes can help to remind us why in fact we are gathered here this morning. When Augustine and his brother, with their mother Monica, were in the seaport town of Ostia, near Rome, waiting for a ship to take them back home to North Africa, Monica fell seriously ill.
Augustine later records in his Confessions how upset both he and his brother were to see that she was clearly dying. All I ask is that you will remember me whenever you are at the Table of the Lord. We thank God for her 84 full years of life, for all the good she did, for her family, friends and customers.
A devoted wife and mother a much loved lady, she ran her business in Meath Street for nearly 50 years. She was a fine business woman who took good care of her customers, and a woman of faith who came to Mass here over all the years. As we give thanks for her life, we ask God now to forgive any faults she may have had and to take her home to be reunited again with husband Jack and all the family friends who have gone before her.
We extend our sympathy as well to her son Jack, daughter Pauline, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and those relatives and friends who will miss here most. May she rest in peace Amen. We thank God for her long life; Marianne would have been 83 next birthday.
A woman who dedicated her life to the family, she will be remembered as a loving wife and mother and in the latter years, grandmother. Marianne had a kind word, a remark for everybody. A woman with a mind of her own and had the courage and conviction to express her thoughts and ideas. Yes she will be sadly missed by her family, friends and neighbours. We extend our deepest sympathy to her children E. We pray that they may they find comfort in their loss knowing that she is now at peace, returned to God, along with her husband Michael and all her departed relations and friends.
Eternal rest grant to her O Lord and Let perpetual light shine on her for ever. In a unique way, today Christmas Eve is the appropriate day for this Mass as we come to thank God for the long life, 83 next February, of Marianne.. Her outlook and attitude to life is caught for me in the incident of the young boy who was playing the part of the inn-keeper in the school Nativity play. Come on in. You are heartily welcome. She had a policy of open house, perhaps not always appreciated by the rest of the family.
For her, there was always space for drop-outs and for anyone in need. Marianne was a woman with strong social consciince. In her earlier years she was involved in the Sancta Maria Hostel, finding ways to help young women find a better life than walking the streets of the city. In the later years she was involved both politically and in the Evergreen active retirement groups, willing to serve on committees and be involved, yes to be of service to the neighbour.
Like Mary in the Gospel today going to Elizabeth at her time of need, Marianne found that this is what the faith is all about, taking care of those in need. Marianne was also a woman who enjoyed life and was always fun to be with. She loved ballroom dancing and was a great jazz fan. She recalled with a smile in her eye, that she was in the choir with John McCormack as they sang for the Eucharistic Congress of With her late husband Michael she was involved of course in her local church here in T.
She also was a great supporter of the Foreign Missions, and did a lot of work over the years for the Holy Ghost and Redemptorist Missionaries. Today we thank God for her dedication and commitment as a follower of the Lord. And I have no doubt that Jesus had a message for the family in calling her home at this time, coming up to Christmas.
It can serve to remind her family and indeed all of us who knew Marianne that Christmas means being alert to the needs of those around us. Yes in her dying at this time she gave here her final word to her children and her grandchildren. We come as well today to ask the Lord to take her safely home. In the spirit of the first reading today we believe the Lord will indeed take those who have lived life well into a live of eternal peace. We pray too for her children E , F, and A,, her extended family and friends and especially her grandchildren, and extend to them our sympathy on their loss.
May their grief and sorrow in her passing be consoled by the promise of the Lord that he indeed is the shepherd who takes care of his flock. Marianne was indeed one of his own. A woman who had total trust in the Lord. When I was very young a neighbour whom I knew fairly well committed suicide. I remember vividly, as if it were yesterday, being very frightened. By their hushed tones and their whispering, the grown ups made it clear that this was not something to be spoken of in front of children.
For them it was a terrible thing to happen in the locality. Since then attitudes have changed. People now accept that suicide is much more common than they were willing to admit in the past and people are more understanding. And rightly so. Suicide in most cases is the result of a psychological illness, a disease that is no more sinful than cancer, high blood pressure and heart attacks. We are creatures of body and spirit — either can break down. Some die from cancer, high blood pressure and heart attacks; others die from emotional cancer, emotional high blood pressure and emotional heart attacks.
In both cases the death is not freely chosen. In both cases there is no despair. Most suicide victims are trapped persons, caught up in a private emotional hell which is an illness and not a sin.. Their suicide is a desperate attempt to end unendurable pain like a man whose clothing has caught fire might throw himself through a window. They are not met by our human judgements on the other side, but by a God whose understanding and compassion is beyond our present imaginings.
Those left behind do tend to anxiously ask themselves over and over again what they might have done differently. Why was I absent just that morning? Certainly it is not for us to judge, much less condemn. Yet it is not a course of action that one would ever encourage. Apart from anything else it nearly always leaves behind devastated family and friends, a trauma from which they never fully recover. Also, remember help is available in the shape of groups like the Samaritans to bring them through the dark night of the soul.
It is based on the belief, as we read in the book of Maccabees, that it is good to pray for the dead, that they may be freed from their sins. This Mass is also meant to bring comfort to those who have been left behind. My mother has died. It is at times like these we need our memories and our faith.
Hold on to your memories of Jessica and what you did together when you were small and when you were growing up. These were a real part of your life and the always will be. Our faith, too, tells us that in death, life is changed not ended; and that God has prepared a place for us that is better than this where we now are.
We thank the Lord for her life her example, her dedication, her commitment — as a wife, mother, sister, teacher. This was truly a woman of faith. Of course, in order to grow and develop, such love needs attention and that is the point made by Paul in the 2nd Reading Colossians : Let you be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another forgiving one another. Always be thankful.
That is the way forward. On behalf of all your friends gathered here, let me congratulate you on taking this step. We all wish you well and, as the Gospel promises, you will not be one your own. The Lord will be there to guide you and protect you all the days of your lives together. May God bless you both. A number of years ago while I was teaching a confirmation class of boys and girls of 12 to 13 years of age I put a sign on the blackboard many of will recognise.
Out of the mouth of babes speaks wisdom. Because as most of you know, what looks like an X in Greek is Ch and what looks like a P is R in Greek, the first two letters for the word Christos. What the little girl said was true in this deep sense, that in our relationship with Christ as in any relationship people either grow closer together or they start to drift apart.
Emer and Aaron have come here today with family and friend to publicly declare that they wish their relationship to become permanent for life. The have come as well to ask God to bless their marriage. We have heard in the Scriptures they chose for their ceremony how God has blessed the union of couples from the start; so now we join them in asking our loving God to bless them not only today but throughout the whole of their married lives.
The Gospel tells us how such a union will grow deeper and deeper by their love for one another. And St. Dear friends, that too is our wish for your married love, now and in the future. What happened at the wedding at Cana happens sooner or later in every marriage, namely, the wine runs out. What do we mean by this? Hardly any enterprise creates such high expectations as marriage. The typical marriage starts off with a feast of joy. The couple are surrounded by friends and well-wishers who shower them with gifts.
Full of hopes and dreams, they set off on their honeymoon. The wine is flowing freely. They come back from the honeymoon and the real business begins — setting up a home and learning to live with one another. They are convinced that their love was pre-ordained in heaven and meant to last for eternity. It looks as if their expectations are going to be fulfilled.
The wine is still flowing. But when human beings are close to one another problems inevitably occur. It is said that you fall in love with someone by choosing who you wish they were, but then find out who they really are. Everything is so different from what they expected.
The honeymoon is over. The wine has run out. What are they to do? So, when they have taken all they can from each other, they look elsewhere for more fruit that can be picked and eaten without pain or effort. But what can a couple do? The first thing is not to panic or despair. They must face the fact that the first wine has run out.
The second thing is to beware of looking for false substitutes. They must resist the temptation to abandon the relationship and lose themselves in a career or a hectic social life. The third thing is to work on their relationship.
If they do this, they will grow as persons and discover the real meaning of love. In this way the crisis can become an opportunity. Here is a surprising thing: it is necessary that the first wine should run out. Romantic love is not an aberration. It is a powerful taste of the divine. However, this is not a tragedy. In fact, it is a necessity. It has to wear out so that a new and deeper love can be born.
Love transcends feelings. It consists in putting the other person before ourselves. It means learning to love the real person and not some idealised self-projection. Love is a difficult adventure. To enter marriage is to enter a school of love, a school in which all are slow learners. It requires a lot of effort to go from a desire to receive to a desire to give.
It is impossible to unaided human nature. This is why, like the couple of Cana, we need the presence of Christ. He changed beyond recognition the lives of those who came into contact with him. And he continues to do this for those who believe in him and follow him. He offers us a share in the divine life of God.
He brings a joy which the world cannot give. The new wine is meant not just for married couples but for everyone. The new wine cannot be put into old wineskins. This means we have to change. The Holy Spirit has to touch our hearts so that we can love unselfishly.
A tree planted in an exposed place is at the mercy of every wind that blows. This makes it very vulnerable. If it survives at all, it will be in a stunted form. If you want a tree to grow to its full potential, you must plant it in a more sheltered place. And ideally you should plant some other trees near it.
That is our faith, in harvest there is no room world cannot give. Those who live for themselves. We could point to the a much loved lady, she and roots we put down, and consequences, to follow the. At baptism, God rescued N. This should always be kept modern life are echoes of changed not ended. They have departed for that. Then they have to die. But having opened ourselves to process by which these shoots and bear fruit. Hence, we must not judge. What matters is the good a person has done.the Sacrament of Marriage is to help make you holy. That is why the Catechism of the Catholic Church. BARRY'S BAY, Ontario, February 14, (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic deacon gave an extraordinary wedding homily to a young couple outlining. One biographer wrote that their marriage was "devoid of the usual ups and downs You can find this quote in a book called the Catechism of the Catholic.