By Father John P. Cush, STD On this Divine Mercy Sunday, perhaps we might wish to reflect on what mercy is and what it is not. The late John Cardinal O’Connor of New York chose as his episcopal motto, “There can be no love without justice.” Justice might be considered by some as an interesting […]
The Gospel proclaimed this Easter Sunday, taken from the Evangelist Saint John, places the focus on Saint Mary Magdalene. Liturgically, the Magdalene was raised to the level of a feast day in 2016, with her own proper preface to the Eucharistic Prayer of Mass.
As a young priest, I was blessed to be assigned to Saint Helen’s Parish in Howard Beach. It was a wonderful parish, led by an exemplary pastor, Msgr. Joseph Pfeiffer. Although the parish was established in 1960, the parish church itself was not built until 1979. When it was built, it was decided that on the wall of the sanctuary, there would be a large bronze Risen Christ in lieu of a crucifix (today that Risen Christ is placed on the outside wall of Saint Helen’s Church).
Call me old-fashioned, but when I sit down to write something important, I don’t turn on the computer. First, I write it out with pen on paper. Call me doubly old-fashioned, because I use a fountain pen to do it, not the cheap fountain pens we were taught to use in third grade — the ones that left blue stains on our uniform shirt pockets — but the kind that fills from an ink bottle.
I didn’t get a driver’s license until after my ordination. Growing up in New York City, I never really needed one! On top of that, I couldn’t afford a car, whether new or “(less than) gently used.” I finally wound up with my own wheels when I was given the keys to a 1974 Volkswagen Beetle that its previous owner had abandoned.
Are you an extrovert or an introvert? I proudly admit that I’m an introvert to my very core. Isn’t a priest supposed to be a people person? Yes, and the seminary did what it could to unleash my inner extrovert with classes on public speaking and homiletics.
How good are you at keeping a secret? As Peter, James and John came down the mountain with Jesus after witnessing his transfiguration in this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Let’s be clear about one thing: Serpents don’t talk. They never have, and they never will. The inspired storytellers who were responsible for crafting the Genesis narrative that is Sunday’s first reading knew full well that serpents don’t talk, and the earliest hearers and readers of those words didn’t imagine that they could.
When I was growing up, many of my friends would tell me all the time that being a Christian is easy. Because I went to public school, many of my classmates were intrigued by the fact that my family and I were practicing Catholics. My friends didn’t understand why I took my faith so seriously, especially when I was a teenager.
by Father Alonzo Cox
I am blessed at my parish to have the Missionaries of Charity living in the convent next to the rectory.