Consider this…

Consider this…

Consider this… Repent and Follow.

This past Monday, we remembered Dr. Martin Luther King, an advocate for social justice. Dr. Martin Luther King in a speech in 1963 said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Dr. King wanted people and the world to change.

The word repent means turning our life around, acknowledging wrong and doing something different. When was the last time we repented properly? When was the last time we recognized some wrongdoing, acknowledged it, felt bad and then changed our actions for the good? So often we seem to recognize the bad or sin, acknowledge it but we don’t change anything to prevent it in the future.

You and I are invited in a special way this week to repent. Repent from the escalated political tensions dividing our country. Repent from actions that fail to protect the life God gives us, particularly the unborn. Repent from mistrust. Repent from individualism claimed as a right to belittle or disrespect others. Repent from all of the negativity that we may post or engage in via social media. Repent from hate in all forms and follow love.

The first disciples repented and followed true light and love. It means that we are going to have to leave some things behind, and hopefully what we choose to leave behind are the things that we acknowledge feed the darkness of our world.

Have you ever met a positive person that drives you nuts? I know of several and I look up to them often, because they choose to be light. They choose to bring positivity. They choose to be a disciple. Remember being a disciple means that we are to be children of light and love. We should be bringing the light and love of Christ wherever we go.

It’s time for us to drive out darkness and hatred. It’s time to be light and love. It’s time to respond to the invitation… ‘Follow me’. The only thing holding us back, is what we refuse to repent from. This week let’s take the invitation seriously, bring light and love into three places our world needs it most.

 

Keep smiling:-) 

Fr. Bryan 

Consider this…

Consider this…

Consider this… bringing others to Jesus.

How often do we invite others along in our lives? Maybe a little less with the COVID pandemic, but I bet we still  invite people to join us for dinner, join us going out, to the mall, to a movie, etc. We invite others to spend time with us because we enjoy their company. This is a good thing! The question placed before us this weekend, is how often do we invite others to join Jesus? In the Gospel this weekend we see how John the Baptist points out who Jesus is, and immediately John’s disciples follow Jesus. This is something for us to consider. If we are Jesus’ disciples by the gift of our baptism, are we pointing others to Jesus? The better question is, why would we?

If you’re like me, to recommend something or introduce friends to one another I have to have had a great experience or relationship with the people involved or the encounter experienced. I don’t recommend restaurants that are mediocre, just as I don’t introduce people to one another that aren’t important in my life. For any of us to point out who Jesus is to others, we need to encounter him and have a great relationship with him ourselves first.

As we move into Ordinary Time, it is an opportunity to find the hope Jesus is offering to us through his call and ministry. Jesus wants us to encounter him and experience a great relationship with him. He also desires that we introduce others into that great relationship. As you notice from the Gospel, we point others to Jesus, he will do the rest inviting them to ‘come and see’ what he is all about. Our witness helps this to happen. It requires us to respond, and to find him in our daily lives. Hopefully we see Jesus in our day to day living and praying, and when we do, we introduce  others to Jesus himself.

If your relationship with Jesus isn’t what you think it should be, consider this your invitation to come and see all that Jesus offers. If you believe your relationship is good, consider introducing someone else to Jesus. Our lives as disciples are always about growing and leading others to Jesus.

 

Keep Smiling :_)

Fr. Bryan

St. Mary’s Church Swormville

6919 Transit Road
Swormville, NY 14051
(716) 688-9380

Parish Events Calendar

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Thu 28

Snow Me The Money- St. Mary School HSA Cash Raffle!

December 1, 2020 - January 29, 2021
Thu 28

Niagara Candy Online Chocolate Sale

January 18 - February 5
Sat 30

SNOW ME THE MONEY RAFFLE DRAWING

January 30 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Sun 31

Consider this…what are we preparing for?

Consider this…what are we preparing for?

 

John the Baptist had a very clear purpose, to prepare people for the coming of Jesus. He accomplished this by his austere lifestyle, the call to repentance and by baptizing for the forgiveness of sins. All that John did, his entire life was about preparing for someone else to succeed him. What is our life preparing for?

As we are now beyond the busy part of Christmas and New Year celebrations, we linger in a prolonged celebration of what the incarnation is all about. This is a great time to think, is my life’s purpose only about me? My happiness? My satisfaction? My well-being? If John the Baptist’s life was all about preparing for Jesus, what is the core purpose of my life really about?

This can be a challenging question. To answer this, I would like to suggest we look at our own baptism, and what the baptismal rite invites us into. When we were brought to the church for baptism, parents share the name of their child being baptized, and their request for baptism. To that the church’s response is;

In asking for Baptism for your child, you are undertaking the responsibility of raising them in the faith, so that, keeping God’s commandments, they may love the Lord and their neighbor as Christ has taught us. 

Then a very important question is asked of parents and Godparents;

Do you clearly understand this responsibility?

Our purpose then is defined by our baptism. As parents we raise our children in the faith, teaching them to love as Jesus loved, both God and neighbor. When we get older our purpose is then to assume that responsibility on ourselves, and the Sacrament of Confirmation reminds us of this and confirms this purpose in our own lives. Our purpose as a Disciple then is to live for God and others. How often are we doing that? When we work out, is it solely for our own benefit, good looks, in shape body? Or is it so that we are healthy to praise God and help others? When we work, is it to accrue money for ourselves to live in luxury? Or are we invited to care for ourselves responsibly and share our resources appropriately with others?

Our perspective in how we approach life has a big impact on our purpose. A simple change in perspective can give a much deeper meaning and sense of purpose. This weekend is a great time to look at our perspective on life and ask ourselves if it aligns with what our faith is all about. John the Baptist had great purpose and meaning in his life. Jesus had great purpose and meaning in his life, and invited us to choose that in our lives too. Do we?

 

Keep smiling, 

Fr. Bryan

PS – Our first annual State of the Parish will take place on Friday, February 5 beginning at 6pm in the new church. All are welcome to attend, and this will be livestreamed. More details will follow.

TIME TO TALK w/ Father Bryan- Every Monday LIVE on Facebook!

TIME TO TALK w/ Father Bryan- Every Monday LIVE on Facebook!

TIME TO TALK w/ Father Bryan- Every Monday LIVE on Facebook!

Join Fr. Bryan every Monday at NOON- LIVE ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
for updates on the St. Mary’s Faith Community!
Tune in, and use the comment feature to ask a question, or send in any questions you have no later than Sunday evening to: dlesinski@stmaryswormville.org

And a special thank you…

 
SPECIAL THANKS to Tim Nettina, a St. Mary’s parishioner and Parish Council Youth Representative for creating this fabulous logo for Fr. Bryan and his TIME TO TALK SERIES!

Consider this…Resolutions!

Consider this…Resolutions!

 

                                          Happy New Year!

 

We have finally made it, out with the old and in with the new. New year, new hope, new life, new opportunities and some sense of relief that 2020 is behind us. As we begin this New Year on the Feast of the Epiphany, it is a reminder for us that new beginnings are possible when we search for Jesus in our lives. The beautiful thing about our celebration is that      tradition tells us that the wisemen searched for the newborn King. Their search revealed to them a child who was innocent, holy and part of a  human family. Their search caused their very lives to be changed.

As we begin a new year, especially with the trials of 2020 that we endured, maybe we need to consider how searching for Jesus in our lives is meant to change our lives too. New Year’s is often a time for resolutions. Maybe we should consider how we are going to search and find Jesus more in our own lives this year as one of our resolutions? How are we going to look for Christ? Are we going to encounter Christ more in the Sacraments, in prayer? Will we see Christ in the poor and marginalized, the alien, the orphan, the outcast of our own society? The greater question is, will the encounters with Christ that we have transform our own life?

At St. Mary’s as we begin this new year, we too need to make some resolutions.

1.   We need to grow in holiness. Our prayer, our encounters with one another and our celebration of the Sacraments need to draw us closer to Christ.

2.   We need to make disciples! Certainly all of us who are baptized are disciples, but we need to work at sharing our faith and  making more by evangelizing. We can’t be afraid to talk about how Jesus transforms our life.

3.    We need to support the work of St. Mary’s. We know that the past couple of years have been challenging for everyone, and that certainly includes our parish. Our contributions have not kept pace with our expenses, and the ability for St. Mary’s to thrive is in real jeopardy. In early February there will be a ‘state of the parish’ address to clearly lay out our finances and the dire situation St. Mary’s is in. This will be an opportunity for everyone to see and hear the state of St. Mary’s. I am also asking all of us as part of our New Year’s resolutions to consider if their contributions reflect what St. Mary’s is providing and if you could reflect your love of this parish in the support you give. Please help us in 2021.

I hope that you take advantage of the home blessing found on the cover of this weekend’s bulletin. Incense and chalk are available in church for your use. May God Bless our New Year, and may we continue to search for and encounter Jesus so that 2021 can be the new start  everyone is looking for.

Keep Smiling,

Fr. Bryan