This Weekend at IHM
Please join us this weekend for the
Wake of Fr. James Plough tomorrow from 3 - 8 PM
and to say farewell to our beloved
Fr. Timothy Okeahialam on Sunday from 11AM - 2 PM.
3:00 - 7:00 PM
Evening prayer with Bishop Berg:
7:00 - 8:00 PM
Social distancing and masks are requested. We hope that many people will come and prayerfully pay their respects, but we ask our fellow mourners to be mindful of others as we are still limited to 175 in the building at one time. Judging by the Celebration of Life we had for him we could exceed 500 people easily. He was loved by so many!
The funeral is scheduled for
August 22 at 10:00 AM at IHM
with Bishop Berg.
Due to the need to self-quarantine prior to beginning his work in Trinidad, Father Timothy's departure has unfortunately been moved up to
Father Timothy will be celebrating all of the masses this weekend, and
will be available after each to say farewell
main Farewell Reception
after the 10 AM mass until 2:00 PM
Please enjoy his homily for this weekend:
12th Sunday of Ordinary Time Yr. A – 06/21/2020.
Withstanding the challenges of witnessing for God
From the time of creation, being faithful to God or witnessing for Him has never been an all rosy affair. It often goes with different challenges and obstacles. These could come from those very close to us (as Joseph experienced from his brothers and from Potiphar’s wife – Gen.37:12-28 & 39:7-20) or from our places of work (as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego experienced in Babylon – Dan.2, 3 & 6). In the midst of these, God does not abandon us (as we can see from the readings of today). He remains in us, for us and around us. He only wants us to have faith and confidence in Him (eschewing fears of what mortal man can do to us). How do we do these?
The first thing we have to do is to have strong faith in God and to express it always in all situations. That is why Jesus tells His disciples and all of us (in the gospel of today) not to fear anyone – detractors, enemies & those who oppose the truth. We are to fear only God and the loss of our souls. He said, ‘Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both the soul & body in hell’ (Mtt.10:28). By talking about ‘those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul’, Jesus wants us to understand that He is aware of the sufferings, pain and sometime deaths we meet in this world in our desire to witness to His truth, holiness, love and to express our faith. He uses Jeremiah as an example for us (1st reading). In doing the work God gave him to do, Jeremiah was not immune to negative human experiences as evil plots, rejection and intimidation. Even some of those he took as his friends were involved in these ugly things. Normally, such experiences could be discouraging. They could tempt us to abdicate from our sincere witnessing for God (his truth, justice, charity, etc.) or to take the decision to fight for ourselves, especially when we see many people who seem to be distant from God having ‘easy’ lives. We must not fall to such temptations. Remember what Sirach said; ‘Trust in God and He will help you. Walk straight in His ways and put your hope in him…Do not turn away from Him or you will fall…trust Him and you will certainly be rewarded’ (Sir.2:6-8).
Secondly, we need to understand and accept that we are very precious to God. Jesus emphasizes this in the gospel of today with the quality of care given to the Sparrow by God (Mtt.10:29-31). This explains why the prophet Jeremiah remained confident in God despite all the evil plans against him. He believed in God’s protection and equally left vengeance for Him with the words; ‘But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior…let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause’ (Jer.20:11-13). This teaches us that no matter the situation or pressure, we are more secure when we rely on God’s protection, deliverance & leave all vengeance for Him. As the Psalmist says today, He will always answer us in His great love.
Thirdly, we must be open and sincere with God and with people around us (whom God may use to protect, deliver or assist us). Thus, Jesus reminds us, ‘there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known’ (Mtt.10:26). The examples of Cain & Abel (Gen.4:1-12), King David & Bathsheba (2Sam.11:2-chpt.12:13), Peter & Ananias and Sapphira (Acts.5:1-11) are eloquent enough. The truth we have to bear in mind always (which we often forget) is that our God who will judge us at the end of our lives knows everything about us – good, bad & ugly. Also the people who live with us, work with us or relate with us know certain things about us which have not been said yet. The reality of life shows that many have been called to answer questions later in life about things that happened many years before which they thought no one knew or that their ‘trusted friends/partners’ will not reveal. These have made it difficult for many to experience the loving protection of God or made people around them who would have given their help to walk away. We have to learn from these.
Dear friends, Jesus wants us know that the sacrifices and challenges we go through witnessing for Him will not be in vain. He himself will bear witness for us before the Father (Mtt.10:30-31). He does not want us to lose faith in Him or be discouraged in life because of the evil/sin that go on around us and in our world of today. The grace of God that comes to us through Christ, as St. Paul tells us in the 2nd reading, are stronger than all these negativities which the sin of Adam brought to us. This is our strength and encouragement. Hold unto it!
on Thursday, June 18 at 6:32PM