FATHER GREGG’S MAY 17 HOMILY
In our gospel today Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” (v.15). This is very clear that the reason why we follow the commandments of God is because we love Him. Let us remind ourselves again that our motive is wrong if we follow God’s commandments because we are afraid of hell or because we are expecting something from Him. We go to mass not because we are afraid to commit mortal sin or we help the poor and needy because we are expecting any reward from heaven. We follow Jesus’ commandments, we do good things, and we want to be good because we love Him, we love God.
And what are His commandments?The greatest commandment that Jesus has given us is this: Love the Lord your God with all your mind, heart, and soul, and then love your neighbor. And so Jesus emphasized in our gospel today that we should keep His commandments. And keeping His commandments is not just to remember the words but more importantly to put it into action. We are being invited to make our love concrete and possible in our lives, in daily basis. But we ask, how?
Eric Fromm, a psychologist, in his book entitled The Art of Loving, lists the following virtues of love which can help us the best way to make love concrete and possible.
First, love must have discipline. Discipline means doing something hard because it is right. And we can admit that we are usually not very disciplined creatures. We tend to avoid the difficult, and go for an easier option. We often have a hard time doing what is right because it involves sacrifice. But we must remember that there can be no real love without sacrifice. Love is hard.
Second, love must have patience. Love is not something that comes abruptly. We have to work at it and let it grow. A person who has patience knows how to wait, does not react by anger but by prudence. We must remember to always be patient with ourselves and with others.
Third, love must be reasonable. It must have an intellectual basis and not based purely on emotion or feeling just because feelings change. It is important to always consider the
practical side. As the old expression “our head is at the top of our heart” shows us that our feeling must not dominate our reasoning. We must remember that our feelings and emotions should not govern our lives.
Fourth, love must have humility. The biggest obstacle to love is pride. For the most of us, whether we admit it or not, we have a hard time admitting that we are wrong sometimes and to say, “I’m sorry” is difficult. Let us remember that humility is the foundation of a real love.
Fifth, love must have faith. Faith means that we believe even if we do not have any evidence whatsoever, of our belief. We must remember that the most deadly enemy of love is lack of trust and faith.
Lastly, love must have courage. In many ways, it is the most important of them all because we have to reach out to our brothers and sisters. But how often we put reaching out aside because we are insecure or afraid of rejection? Indeed it takes a lot of courage to love.
Loving is what life is all about. It is who we are: love made flesh. But it takes discipline and patience. It needs faith and trust, humility, and courage in order to make it concrete and possible. And the greatest indicator of how much we love God? It is through how much we love our neighbor. Only then that these words of Jesus will be fulfilled: “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you,” (v. 20).
FATHER VALA’S MOTHER’S DAY MESSAGE
This coming Sunday our nation will celebrate Mother’s Day. I want to take this time to wish all mothers in our parish a blessed day! It has been a struggle for many of our mothers recently, especially those who are caring for young children and maintaining their households. These past several weeks, most likely, have tested your patience, and I pray that God’s blessings and grace bring you some stability and peace in your souls. When the days become routine and monotonous, think about all you do as being done for the Lord. The smallest act made with a love directed to God helps you to live your faith and make God’s Kingdom present to our world, which greatly needs His Kingdom at this time.
May is the month that the Church traditionally honors and emphasizes a greater devotion to Mary. Last weekend we held the crowning of our Blessed Mother Statue in the parish’s prayer garden. The crowning signifies Mary as Queen of Heaven and Mother of God. She was mother to God the Son, Jesus Christ.
We are reminded of how Mary stood by her son during his time of suffering. One can only imagine the emotional pain she experienced as she watched the unjust punishment inflicted on Jesus; a punishment that led to his Crucifixion. However, through it all her love and devotion to her Son remained constant.
For each of us Mary is a model of what it means to pray and ponder over the events that we experience and must sort out. Mary always points us to Jesus, her son, Lord and the source of her strength. May all of us, especially our mothers, go to Mary in this time and unite our struggles with hers. Ask for her intercession to help you through those times of struggle, whether it be the Rosary, the Memorare, or some other form or Marian devotion. The website mycatholicsource.com has a list of the different devotions one can pray. Mary wants to share her love with each of us.
For our mothers who have passed away, let us pray that they are at peace in God’s Kingdom, sharing the heavenly joy with Mary and the saints: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
DURING THE WINTER MONTHS ANNOUNCEMENTS ABOUT CHANGES TO THE MASS SCHEDULE (DAILY OR WEEKEND) ARE MADE VIA FLOCKNOTE MESSAGES AND ON THE WEBSITE. PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING FLOCKNOTE FOR UP TO DATE INFORMATION.
BEWARE OF SCAMMERS
FATHER GREGG ABADILLA
At the May 3 Mass at St. Clement, Father Tom Vala announced that Father Gregg Abadilla has been reassigned to St. Catharine’s/St. Margaret’s Parish in Spring Lake NJ, starting July 1, 2020. While we understand that the bishop makes assignments for the good of the entire Diocese of Trenton, and the assignment is the next step on the priestly journey of Father Gregg, the people of the Parish of St. Clement have come to love Father Gregg and are saddened to see him leave. We wish him all of the best in his new assignment Spring Lake gains a wonderful young priest.
On the weekend of July 2-3, we welcomed Father Gregg Abadilla to our Church of St. Clement family. Bishop David O’Connell appointed Father Abadilla to the position of Parochial Vicar for St. Clement effective July 1, 2016. Father Abadilla was ordained as a priest of the Diocese of Trenton earlier in the year.
Congratulations Father Tom in being named our new pastor!
Mass Intentions – If you are interested in having a mass for a deceased relative, friend or group, please submit your request with your offering to the Parish Office.
All new parents! – Call the Parish Office at 732-566-3616 to register for the next Baptism Preparation class.
The Altar Rosary Society meets on the first Wednesday of each month, with the exception of July and August. We say the Rosary at 7 pm and start our general meeting at 7:30 pm. We meet in the reception center. All ladies are welcome to join.
The Holy Name Society meets the first Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Cry Room of the church. Men of the parish are cordially invited to attend.
The Knight of Columbus meets the second and fourth Monday of each month at 8 p.m. in the Parish Reception Center. Men of the parish are cordially invited to attend.
The Senior Citizens Club meets every Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. in the Reception Center. All seniors, whether members of St. Clement are not, are invited to join. Make new friends, enjoy activities.
Trips to Atlantic City are sponsored by the Senior Citizens Club and are scheduled for the third Monday of every month
RCIA If interested in learning more about the Catholic faith or in receiving the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation, please call Peg Scholer at 732-583-0296.
If you would like to bring up the gifts at Mass, please speak to an Usher before Mass begins.
Ushers are needed at Mass. If you can help, please see one of the ushers. Your help is appreciated.
Additional lectors are needed, especially for our 5 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. masses. Please contact Bruce Quinn at 732-566-1273 if you would like to serve St. Clement’s Church by reading scripture and announcements. It is also a great community service project for high school students. A number of high school students have become lectors.
Check the PREP web page for information regarding our religious education program. See the links page.
No Parking Zone – Please be advised that the entrance to the church is a “no parking zone.” This is to allow fire trucks to enter in case of emergency and also to enable other parishioners to enter the parking lot. Thank you for your cooperation.