Church of the

7580 Clinton Street
Elma, New York 14059


November 19, 2017

33 Sunday Ordinary

We are likely to misunderstand the word “talent.” For us it means: “I’ve Got Talent” – artistic or athletic ability displayed in performance and competition. Originally “talent” was a weight to measure copper, silver or gold coins. In the parable of Jesus, a man going on a journey entrusts “talents” i.e. his wealth to three servants “each according to his ability.” The master expects that the servants will make an increase through their investment or industry. Two servants double their master’s investment in them. One servant, out of fear for the master for being a tough man, buries the treasure and then returns it with no gain. He loses everything. We must understand the parable in context. What is the point Jesus is making? In his preaching Jesus is announcing the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. Some are receptive to the precious gift of God’s Reign and some are not. It is a critical time for all who are listening. They will be judged on how they decide and what they do with the time given to them. St. Paul writes to the Church at Thessalonica concerning “times and season.” He uses the Greek words “chronos” and “kairos.” “Chronos” denotes quantity or successive moments of time. “Kairos” refers to a decisive moment or quality time.

Fear can be both positive and negative. Out of fear one servant squanders the precious gift and time given to him. A “worthy wife” in our first reading, the Book of Proverbs, “fears the Lord” and her value is beyond pearls; her husband entrusts his heart to her; she brings him goodness; she uses her hands with crafts; she reaches out her hands to the poor and extends her arms to the needy. Fear or dread of God can cause anxiety and loss of zest for life. Fear as awe and wonder of God can enhance our living with generosity, gratitude, compassion and forgiveness. How will we receive the Kingdom of Heaven announced and inaugurated by Jesus? What will we do with the time given to us?  

More Homilies

November 12, 2017

32nd Sunday Ordinary

The parable of the 10 virgins (5 wise and 5 foolish) waiting for the bridegroom seems strange to our contemporary ears but understanding wedding customs at the time of Jesus can give us a better appreciation of the story. The archeological excavation of Simon “Peter’s house” in Capernaum gives us an insight into the family unit. Jonah and his wife, his sons Simon Pet...


November 05, 2017

31st Sunday Ordinary

When I served on the Southern Tier people in the community, apart from parishioners, would call me “pastor”.  It was a term of respect and, for some, it enable the person addressing me to avoid using the title: “Father”.  I took no offense. Jesus in the Gospel according to Matthew says to his disciples and the crowd: “Call no one on earth your father; y...


October 29, 2017

30th Sunday Ordinary

It was a remarkable turn out on Wednesday for the funeral service, procession and burial of Craig Lehner. Many, who did not know Craig, became emotionally attached to him because of the circumstances of his death and the telling of his story. We will always remember his special bond with “Shield” his canine partner. In our Gospel today, when Jesus is asked to identify ...


October 15, 2017

28th Sunday Ordinary

I am not a “birdwatcher” but I do slow down at times to observe and listen to the birds. I have noticed a gathering of sparrows in the maple tree, evergreens and bushes next to Langley Hall. It is a bird sanctuary. The birds stop chirping when I quietly walk by as if I am stalking them. Birdwatchers note a scout sparrow arrives first, then more sparrows, finches and do... READ MORE

October 08, 2017

27th Sunday Ordinary

Our first reading is from the prophet Isaiah. It is ballad or song. Listening to the original Hebrew lyrics we can detect the rhyme and word association. It moves from joy to sadness like a Country Western song. The harvest is near with joyful anticipation of plentiful grapes for wine. Isaiah sings of the owner of the vineyard as his friend who has cleared the fertile hill... READ MORE

October 01, 2017

26th Sunday Ordinary

This past week we heard a scientific word: “optics” (the study of light and vision) used in a political context. President Trump said he didn’t like the “optics” of cabinet members using costly charter jets to travel. Again, an administration official calls the federal response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico a “good news story” when we are seeing a... READ MORE

September 24, 2017

25th Sunday Ordinary

“God is always present, but not always apparent.” St. Paul writes to the Church at Philippi: “Christ will be magnified in my body.” Paul is being pulled. He longs to be with Christ departing this life but for the sake of the Philippians (and other churches he loves) Paul is content to continue serving and glorifying God in the present moment of his imprisonment. Fo... READ MORE

September 17, 2017

24th Sunday Ordinary

Recently, a parishioner sent me a number of Family Circus comics on prayer, going to church, trying to baptize the cat, etc. One cartoon had Billy (or Jeffy) praying: “Our Father who art in heaven how did you know my name?” Billy messes up the opening of the Our Father but in so doing expresses a core belief: God knows us, cares for us and call us by name. We are calle... READ MORE

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