Collie Mathers, Senator Mark Daly and Sean Price
Dermot Tuohy, Senator Mark Daly, Nick Rolf, Brian Dennehy and Tom Cronin
Senator Mark Daly, Maureen O'Sullivan, Brian Dennehy and Cha Connaughton
Last Sunday's first reading prepares us for the gospel. Jeremiah the prophet heard God's call to preach, a job that God warned him would lead to suffering and rejection. Luke in the gospel tells us that Jesus having begun his public ministry of teaching and healing visited his hometown of Nazareth. As a devout person Jesus went to the synagogue, was invited to do a reading from the prophet Isaiah and teach on it. We read this last Sunday. We learnt how his relatives and former neighbors responded to his message-with enthusiasm at first, but it turned into hostility. The people did not consider Jesus anyone special. Jesus was not interested in becoming a politician. He was a prophet who would be faithful to the mission God sent him on, no matter what the consequences were. So as Jeremiah and the other prophets were rejected so was Jesus rejected for his message.
Our second reading from St. Paul is one of the most beautiful passages written by him. It is especially popular at weddings. It may sound romantic but the love Paul talks about does not happen easily or without effort. It demands discipline, unselfishness and self-sacrifice. Paul insists that without love we are nothing. His argument for this statement comes from Chap. 11 of I Corinthians, when he compares the Christian Community to the body of Christ. The body is an integrated organism with all the tissues and organs working in harmony together. If my hand is cut off, it may have the appearance of a hand but literally it is not a hand but only a mass of flesh and bone. It is only a hand when it is connected to the body which gives it life and its ability to function. Without its connection to the body it is nothing. What connects us with one another and makes us one body is love. Without love we are separate individuals, no longer one with our head, which is Christ, and no longer one with each other.
The Greek language in which the New Testament was written is more subtle than English. There are three words in Greek that we translate as 'love'. The first word is eros, which means sexual or erotic love. Eros is not used by the New Testament writers, so they are not talking about erotic love. The second word for love is 'philia' meaning friendship. That is used once in the New Testament. The word for love used most often in the New Testament, and in St. Paul's letters is 'agape'. This agape is the highest expression of love known to humankind. St. John uses it when he tells us that God is love and that love comes from God. It’s used to describe our personal relationship with God and our neighbor. It is a caring love, unselfish, a love of giving which is able to endure insensitivity and hardship and suffering and which finds its fullest expression on the cross: 'No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends' (Jn 15.13).

I heard a little story about love. A lady was telling her friend, "my husband and I had a big argument and we ended up not talking to one another for three days. Finally on the third day he asked where one of his shirts was. I said 'So now you are talking to me’ He looked confused and asked ‘what are you talking about?' I said, haven't you noticed I haven't spoken to you for three days? He said "No, I just thought we were getting along". (From Reader's Digest book, Laughter - the Best Medicine").

John Boal RIP

John was well known in the New York Irish community. Born in Co. Down, he left home at 14, to work in Canada, San Francisco, Alaska, and finally New York in the 1980's. A keen fan of motorcycle racing, especially Joey Dunlop, John returned each year on pilgrimage to his sister Nan's home, which coincided with the yearly Northwest 200 in Portrush, Co. Antrim. John was an active member of the New York Irish Center in Long island city and the Irish American Center in Mineola. John was well known for his 'quick hand' at 25 and was a regular at both Irish Centers for their weekly card games, concerts, and even made an appearance at the odd ceili. On Easter Sunday every year John would attend the Easter Commemoration in Calvary Cemetery, Queens. He was a great supporter of all things Irish. Fordham Radio blasted through his house each Sunday. John passed away in Canada while visiting his good friends, Anna and Paddy O'Neill, for their daughter Aine's 4th birthday. John was a regular visitor to Canada since the O' Neill's moved there in 2009. John was in great spirits during his visit, enjoyed Aine's party and later that night die peacefully in his sleep. John, accompanied was flown back to his beloved County Down, where he was laid to rest by his family. John lived a very full life, and had a lot of friends in the New York and New Jersey who have fond memories of him. May he rest in peace. A memorial Mass has been arranged for John Boal RIP at St. Mary's Church, Woodside on Friday, Feb. 8th at 6.15 pm.

39th Annual St. Patrick’s Parade

The Queens County Parade Committee will hold their 39th Annual St. Patrick's Parade on Saturday March 2nd, 2013, in the Rockaways. This year's parade is special, because as you all know the Rockaways was one of the areas in New York which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The Community though wounded by the big storm and tidal wave is recovering, and the Parade of 2013, enables this proud people to make a statement that they are on the road to recovery.

The Grand Marshal-- 2013 is Mr. John T. Ahern. The Gael of the Year is Mr. Hillary Beirne. The Honorary Grand Marshals-- are Supt. Timothy Fox and Ms Sheila Lynott Hourican.

The Deputy Grand Marshals are Mary Pat. Buckley, Martin Ingram, John Gillespie, Michael McCreesch, Nelson Toebbe, Scott Olexa, Rosemary Gurry, Robert Gates, Anne Marie Acosta, Phil Goldfedder, Assemblyman, Keith Purce, Jonathan O'Leary, and Supervisor Matt Ryan, Sanitation.

The President of the parade is of course Mr. Michael Benn, with John Brennan, Eileen Fagan, John Murphy, Ed Rice, J J Fagan, Pat Nee and Christina Benn, and many other Committee members. Many of these good people suffered heavily as a result of Sandy.

Shannon Gaels

Senator Daly paid tribute to Shannon Gaels GAA NY, as they had turned out in great support on the night, a number of their members hail from the 'Kingdom' county and the young musicians who entertained the crowd make up part of the club's U-16 team, he acknowledged how this under age Gaelic Athletic Association Club has developed in New York in such a short period of time and at that introduced Shannon Gaels GAA Chairman Colin Mathers to say a view words regarding their quest for their own playing field in Queens, Mathers began by welcoming the Senator to New York and being that he is the Senate spokesperson for Overseas Affairs and the representative of the Irish overseas, Mathers invited Senator Daly to come and see the club's new Gaelic Field in Queens. The Senator was delighted to hear of Shannon Gaels success in securing this playing ground from the city and was glad to see that Shannon Gaels is keeping our heritage alive and well stateside. Mathers presented Senator Daly with a Shannon Gaels Jersey and tie, and wished him well with his upcoming gathering.