Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Father Shawn J. Hughes


Homilies are never the creative act of one person.  Thus, in posting these homilies on St. Mary’s Cathedral’s website I would like to state first and foremost that there will be little original in the following. My homilies are a result of my prayer, reading and study as it pertains to the particular gospel of the week. Thus, I beg, borrow and steal from the wisdom of those who have gone before me and together with the Holy Spirit acting in my own prayer considering the needs of our particular parish community here at St. Mary’s, a homily appears by the weekend. If there is something that edifies you I can take no credit for it: ‘tis the result of the work of the Holy Spirit and those from whom I have gleaned wisdom over time. If there is something that you might wish to discuss I am always available and would welcome any opportunity to speak about the Scriptures and/or the Spiritual Life.

God bless you.

Father Shawn

In today’s second reading, taken from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians we heard one of the greatest verses in the entire Bible.

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”  (Galatians 6:14).

It expresses the heart of the Christian faith in such a few words…reminding us that the cross is at the heart of the Christian message.  If we are tempted to boast in our wealth or intelligence or accomplishments or position or talents…If we are tempted even to boast in moral or religious superiority, we are pursuing a path that leads nowhere.  The cross destroys all such worldly boasting and focuses our eyes upon Jesus, whose self-sacrificial loving  discloses the foundational truth of the Scriptures; the truth of God’s Love for us. As St. John’s Gospel so eloquently states:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  (John 3:16)  In his letter to the Romans St. Paul says God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.”( Romans 5:8.)  Thus, St. Ignatius of Loyola could start all his prayers with the affirmation:  “I am a sinner.”  Followed immediately by a second affirmation: “ But, I am a loved sinner.”  And it is said that tears would start to run down his face in the realization of the depth of God’s love for him.

Ultimately that is what each of us need to come to realize.  Each one of us needs to come to the core realisation that if  I were the only person on the face of the earth, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity would have been sent by the Father to become Man so that he could suffer and die for me.  Thus, we can join St. Paul in saying “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”  (Galatians 6:14).

Intelligence, wealth, accomplishments, power, position, talents…at their core are all gifts,  something we have been given not something we can take credit for…and therefore something that produces gratitude and duty…not self-centred boasting.

Boasting in the cross of Jesus Christ is really not boasting at all.  In this context boasting becomes worship.  Boasting becomes praise. Those who looked at the Crucified One in Ancient times saw a human who suffered the most excruciating form of torturous execution to which anyone could possibly be subjected.  We look at the Cross and we see Love.

As we focus our attention on the cross, we give true honour to our Crucified Lord only by becoming conformed to him, only by entering self sacrificially into our relationships with others.  Sacrificing our egos and intentionally being more patient with others, more forgiving, less judgmental,…self sacrificially loving.  Truly to boast in the cross is to put our own lives on the line in acts of service…self sacrificial love… expecting nothing in return.  Such thoughts, words and actions declare truly that we boast in the cross,  we boast in the revelation of God’s love.

A very simple homily this weekend…the foundational truths are very simple…and usually the most difficult to live…Also, a very simple homework assignment…Take a few prayerful moments some time this week and hold or gaze upon a crucifix and prayerfully reflect…This is how much God loves me…And let gratitude well up in your heart and then pray…“Oh Jesus.  May my heart become like yours.”

“May I never boast except in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”  






The Chief medical Health Officer of Kingston has ordered that Masks must be worn at all places we gather indoors. That includes us here at the cathedral. We can’t supply everyone with a mask so please come with one. We would have a limited supply available for a loonie at the entrance of the cathedral.
Please read and observe the six key principles outlined below.

1) The key principle is that we come to Mass to worship God. Out of justice and exercising the virtue of religion we must give God what is God’s due. That quite simply is worship, adoration and praise. Thus, the absolute essentials of Mass will be included so that the Sacramental praise of God will take place and we will be exposed to one another for as brief a time as possible.

2) The second key principle is that the health and safety of parishioners, staff and clergy here at St. Mary’s are essential and require our utmost concern and attention. Therefore, the dispensation from the obligation to come to Sunday Mass by Archbishop Mulhall continues to be in effect. Those who are sick, elderly or have other critical health concerns should not come at this time. However, that is left to your discretion. Should you make the choice to come, knowing the risks, you are most welcome.

3) The underlying principle of all of our restrictions in isolating, physically distancing, wearing masks etc. is the common good as we live out the Lord’s commission to “love one another.” We are to care for each other and at this time we are called to be as prudent and careful as we can to protect the health of everyone else and ourselves.
4) The principle for the next few weeks will be brevity. The received scientific wisdom is that the virus spreads within groups who spend a prolonged period of time together. Therefore, we will be reducing the Mass to the bare essentials.
5) Singing is considered more dangerous than speaking so you are asked to please not sing at all throughout the Mass. I will not be singing either.
6) If you have any sickness, are elderly or have a critical illness you should remain at home. The dispensation from the obligation to come to Mass continues through this time of 30% capacity. Of course, if you choose to come you will not be turned away. We will continue to live- stream the Masses until we are back to a more normal arrangement.

The Chief medical Health Officer has ordered that Masks must be worn at all places we gather indoors. That includes us here at the cathedral. We can’t supply everyone with a mask so please come with one. We would have a limited supply available for a loonie at the entrance of the cathedral.
We will pray a shorter Penitential Rite.
The Gloria will be said not sung. There is to be no singing by the congregation during the Mass. Only by a cantor or as we have today a physically distanced choir in the choir loft…3 metres apart.
We will only have one reading followed by the Psalm
The second reading will be omitted.
The choir will sing the Alleluia on Sundays. During the week it will be omitted. Please do not join in.
The Gospel.
A very brief (3-4 minute) homily will follow.
The Creed will not be prayed.
There will be no petitions. Please prepare your own petitions and offer them in your heart during the Mass.
There will be no procession of the gifts.
There will be no regular collections at this time in the Masses. It will happen later. Ushers will be at the doors to receive your offering as you leave.
The Eucharistic Prayer will be prayed. This is the Most Important Part of the Mass.
The Our Father
Sign of Peace. This is a time when we won’t shake hands. Please do not wave to each other or give the two finger sign of peace. Neither of these reflect what is the intention here…You are recognizing the presence of God in the other person and praying they know God’s peace. The most appropriate gesture is a slight bow or nod of the head to the other person. You have seen me do this at the sign of peace to all of you at every Sunday Liturgy.
Please be seated.
Then the ushers will direct you to the place where you will receive Holy Communion. Please do not leave your pew until an usher has indicated you should do so.
Another usher will be close to the Communion Station to receive your Sunday Offering.
When it is your turn to receive Holy Communion. You will stand 6 feet away on the red line. The person distributing Holy Communion will say “The Body of Christ”. You will say “Amen”. Then move forward within arms length and receive the Host. Once you have received go straight out the nearest exit and make your Thanksgiving on your way home.
Aisles 1 & 5 will come forward to receive Holy Communion and leave by the side doors.
Aisles 2, 3 & 4 will go to the back to receive Holy Communion.
Aisle 2 will exit by the exit closest to the rectory.
Aisle 3 will exit out the centre door which you came in
Aisle 4 will exit out the door by the washrooms.
You are strongly encouraged to receive Holy Communion in the hand. Receiving on the tongue endangers the person giving Holy Communion and yourself, the person receiving Holy Communion. If you wish to insist on receiving on the tongue please wait until the very end as the person giving Holy Communion should sanitize their hands after each communicant. The usher will pass you by and will come back to you after everyone else has received. Please don’t leave your pew until that has taken place.