Deacon's Corner


Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of September 24th, 2017- 

   In today's parable of the generous employer we can empathize with both the earlier hired workers and with some extra thought maybe the generous employer. Only if we place ourselves in the shoes of those late hired workers do we really see the full picture.


As a late hired day laborer you would still worry that you will not

earn enough to meet the daily needs of you and your family but still a little something may help get you by with the promise of a better tomorrow. Unexpectedly you are blessed and yet you are made to feel like you and the generous employer have somehow done something wrong when in fact the right thing was done. This is a parents dilemma when they respond generously to a child in need only to have their other children demand that they be given "special treatment" without a special need forgetting that parental love is dispensed situationally and not by demand for equality.

This demand often forgets when they themselves were the beneficiary of a parent's special care. We must therefore force ourselves from a wants to a needs based analysis of others good fortune and others generous response if we are to see as God sees.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue


Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of September 17th, 2017- 

   Last week we heard Jesus talk about fraternal correction and this week limitless mercy as he continues his instructions on community building. In Jesus teaching and by his example we are to love the sinner but not the sin. In today's confused world we are all under intense pressure and ongoing indoctrination by the media to love the sinner and celebrate the sin that hurts both the person we love and the community of true love Jesus instructed us to build. In our home all are invited into our home and to our table with a place to stay but if you are a couple who are not married you are assigned separate beds which puts us under some ridicule. Are we being old fashioned or Christ minded? WWJD?
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of September 10th, 2017- 

   Today and next Sunday our Gospel reading is drawn from the fourth of the five discourses that create the framework of Matthew's Gospel. This fourth discourse provides instruction on the Church community and can be divided into two sections and the audience of the instruction is the disciples, which includes you and me. The first section, which we do not hear these weekends, deals with personal status and sense of importance suggesting our need to be childlike (humble) and to care for the marginalized.

Today we hear how to correct a community member who has gone astray (sinned) and hopefully bring them back into full communion. The focus here being on helping them see the error of their sinful behavior and the value of living back in community. Contrast this instruction of Christ with the social norms of the day in the Roman Culture in which all things are okay even if they disagree with the laws of God and strengthening of community.
It would appear that Jesus instructions to community are as relevant today as 2000 years ago!
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of September 3rd, 2017- 

   Do you have a conversational relationship with God? I think most of us do but it is one sided and only when we wish to gripe to or ask God for something. We simply do not take the time to stop and listen. In today's first reading, the great prophet Jeremiah who is sometimes referred to as the "crying prophet", is gripping to God about the difficulty of working for Him. Discipleship, in this case as spokesperson for God, is not a cushy but rather difficult job. For we see as we wish to see and not how God sees precisely because we do not take the time to discern the signs God provides to communicate to us. As we see in our Gospel reading today, God is a full disclosure friend who sometimes needs to use tough love to shake us out of our own thinking.

I love the story of St Teresa of Avila, who had a great conversational relationship with God, telling God after a minor mishap of falling in mud that "no wonder you have so few friends!" In one version of this story I read that Teresa griped first and then God responded"Theresa, whom the Lord loves he chastise. This is how I treat all my friends" to reach she offered the comeback of few friends. Wouldn't it be great to have this type of deep personal relationship, if only we can bear the necessary chastisements.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of August 27th, 2017- 

   A couple weeks ago we learned how fear overtook Peter’s faith resulting in Jesus offering Peter a stiff correction in front of the other disciples. Today that same Peter, who was courageous enough to step off the boat and out in faith to walk on water, again steps forward and takes a risk to answer Jesus question: “But who do you say I am?” It is those qualities of stepping forward, taking risks, picking oneself up after failure and accepting corrective feedback to build community that Jesus rewards with even greater responsibility. If you truly believe and trust in Jesus how far are you willing to go and at what cost to help build our church community? The harvest is great but the laborers are few. If you are ready to step forward and step out to see how your time and talent can be further used to Build the Kingdom call the Office and one of the staff will connect you up to a new ministerial responsibility.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of August 20th, 2017- 

   Last Sunday Jesus rebukes Peter, his disciples informal leader, for lack of a deep and consistent faith. And Jesus does so in front of the other disciples. Today he applauds a stranger, a woman and an enemy of the Chosen People for her persistent faith. And Jesus does so again in front of Peter and the disciples. There appears to be a lesson or lessons Jesus wishes to convey to his disciples in these situations, First, Jesus saves in both situations and strengthens faith by removing fear. Second, faith is strengthened by trial if we work through it with Christ. Third, mercy is ours for the asking if our ask is sincere and sincerity is found in our desire to grow closer in our relationship to Jesus. Finally, Jesus love has no bounds and remains unbounded when we share it without prejudice.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue