The Sunday TV Mass is produced and broadcast weekly by the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls. The goal is to bring the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy to those who are homebound or shut in and unable to join their local community for Mass. The Mass is broadcast all across South Dakota on the local CBS affiliate and many thousands participate each week. The Mass is recorded at the Cathedral of St Joseph, and can also be viewed on this web site each Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday’s at 10:00am CT – 9:00am MT – KELOLAND TV
Watch this weeks Sunday TV Mass OnLine
This Week’s Homily from Bishop Paul J. Swain
As we anticipate the Solemnities of the Ascension and Pentecost the next two week, our readings hint at the glory that was to come upon the early Church which glory remains with us today if we take note.
From the first reading, “Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. With one accord the crowds paid attention to what was said . . . There was great joy in that city.” We all seek such joy in the midst of our chaotic world. We pray that more will pay attention and experience the joy of the Gospel, the joy of Christ.
Peter in the second reading urges us to “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping a clear conscience so that when you are maligned those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.” That is a missionary call to share our faith and to respect the dignity of all persons at conception through natural death. But to do so with charity even when persecuted or when marginalized as so many in the world and in our country are today.
In the Gospel reading, Jesus reminds us of the reason for our hope: His love and mercy. He tells his disciples to live a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you. What is that love? The crucifix so powerfully depicts it. It is a love that is selfless and sacrificial and sees beyond the moment. We can be hopeful because we know that he has overcome the cross and walks with up to lighten the crosses we all bear in some way.
Saint Mother Teresa once remarked that the greatest poverty is loneliness. While we may be alone at times we need never be lonely if Christ is the center of our lives. A doctor visited a children’s ward in a London hospital and noted the children playing together, except for a little girl who sat off to one side alone and clutching a doll. A nurse told him that her mother was dead, her father had visited her only once when he gave her the doll she held onto so tightly. The other children made fun of her because no one visited her, “she didn’t matter” they teased.
The doctor sat down beside her. In a voice loud enough so the others would hear, he said, “I can’t stay long on this visit but I have wanted to see.” For several minutes he talked with the little girl in a quiet almost secretive way. He asked her about the doll and with great drama used his stethoscope to listen to the doll’s heart. As he prepared to leave, his voice rose, “You won’t forget our secret, will you? And mind you, don’t tell anyone.” As he left the room he turned to see the once ignored little girl now the center of attention. Love one another as I have loved you by noticing the lonely and caring.
One test of well do is our use of new technology. Does it isolate us from one another or does it empower us to be the hands of God within our human family? Everywhere we go these days we see almost everyone including me looking down on cellphones and other devices. That is fine as long as we also take time to look around at others in need of sacrificial love and look up to God the Father who is our creator, God the Son who is our friend and God the Holy Spirit who is our guide and consolation.
I am showing my age but I remember when a simple telephone with a party line in every home was a great advancement. One feature of that ancient innovation was what was called “information.” A person could pick up the phone and talk with a live operator without being put on hold or greeted by a computer voice.
One day a young boy was home alone and playing around he hit his finger with a hammer. He cried out in pain but no one was there to hear him. So he climbed on a stool, picked up the phone receiver and asked for information. A friendly voice answered “how can I help you? “I hurt my finger,” he cried out as tears fell. “Isn’t your mother home?” “Nobody’s home but me.” “Are you bleeding?” “No, I hit it with a hammer and it hurts.” “Can you open the icebox?’ “Yes.” “Take a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger. Don’t cry. You’ll be all right.”
After that he felt welcomed and called information for all kinds of things – help with school work, what to feed a chipmunk. One day the family canary died. He called information and told the operator the sad story. “Why is it,” he asked, “that a bird should sing so beautifully and bring joy only to end up as a heap of feathers feet up on the bottom of a cage.” The operator responded gently, “young man, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.”
The boy grew up and moved away. One day on a lark he called his hometown and asked for information. The familiar voice answered. He asked, “Could you tell me please how to spell the word fix.” There was a pause, she recognized his voice and she responded, “I trust that your finger must be healed by now.” He said, “I wonder if you know how much you meant to me as I was growing up.” ”I wonder,” she answered, “if you know how much you meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls. Silly, wasn’t it.” They had never met so he asked if he could visit her when he next returned to this hometown. “Please do so,” she said, ”just ask for Sally.”
He did come home and asked for Sally. A strange voice answered.” Are you a friend?” “Yes, an old friend” and told his name. “I’m sorry to tell you that Sally died a few weeks ago. But she left a message for you. Here it is: tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He’ll know what I mean.”
There are folks who have played that consoling and loving presence for you. Thank them and pray for them. It is also a role you can assume for others as a sign of hope and a messenger of God’s love and mercy.
Because of the selfless and sacrificial love of our Lord extended through His church, amidst the tragedies and wonderment of our day we know that there is another world to sing in if we remain faithful. Share that Good News, especially with the lonely who ache to be noticed, valued and given a sign of hope. “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.”