Homily - Deacon William Gallerizzo - St Pius X Catholic Church - S. Yarmouth, MA Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 306 Reading 1 It was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. Instead, someone has testified somewhere: What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, subjecting all things under his feet. In "subjecting" all things to him, he left nothing not "subject to him." Yet at present we do not see "all things subject to him," but we do see Jesus "crowned with glory and honor" because he suffered death, he who "for a little while" was made "lower than the angels," that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them "brothers" saying: I will proclaim your name to my brethren, in the midst of the assembly I will praise you. Responsorial Psalm R. (see 7) You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands. O LORD, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth! What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands. You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet. R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands. All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas. R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands. Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. Receive the word of God, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God. R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!" The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, "What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him." His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee. Homily - Deacon William Gallerizzo I had my first professional engagement as a guitarist 50 years ago this month. I have branched out to other instruments and played many kinds of genres and styles all during that time. As a musician, I’ve had encounters with some absolutely amazing musicians including The Who, Sting, Les Paul, John Denver, Mike Auldridge, Carlos Montoya, and Eric Clapton. Dick Dale autographed the electric guitar I built. In high school, I played on the parish level with Carey Landry for over two years, and had a good friendship with Tommy Makem, twice opening St. Patrick’s Day for him while he closed it. Ten years ago on 24 January, I encountered the most amazing guitarist who left me with the greatest appreciation for the instrument and totally in awe. On that day, some of my diaconate classmates and I were assisting with the Pro-Life Mass at the Verizon Centre in Washington, DC. We vested downstairs and as we walked through the tunnel to the arena, I heard the most astoundingly beautiful rendition of Ave Maria on an acoustic guitar that brought tears to my eyes from its beautiful phrasing. As my gaze was drawn to the stage, I saw a man sitting in a chair with a guitar on the floor in front of him. He had no arms, and he was doing things with his feet on the guitar that I could only dream about on my best days. This was Tony Melendez: a name many would not know, but who has played by invitation for Pope John-Paul, and he was on that stage right there as we came out of the tunnel. A victim of Thalidomide, he was born with no arms and a club foot. He was amazing, not because he played with his feet. He was amazing because he played with such passion and sensitivity that I could only hope to muster. He rivalled the best I have known anywhere, any place, and anytime. He is truly a reflection of the strength and power of God. Proclaiming God's message is not an act of the loudest or the seemingly mightiest, the biggest, the most costly, or the most elaborate. It isn't even about being the most or the least eloquent. It is about speaking the truth, God's truth with consistency to God. It is about the fact that we are created in God's image, not to be the people others think we are, but to be the people God made us to be. That means doing well what we do with the abilities and resources that God has blessed us with. It seems that a strange kind of fiducial but empty superiority is the measure of worldly success. But real accomplishment comes in using well what God has given us, even if it seems small and insignificant. If something is determined by God to happen, in His will it will happen. That is the power of God, that even when one seems to be overpowered, God can supersede all obstacles, and it is more profound when the probability of occurrence seems low. When Paul talks of being strongest when he is weak, this is what he is talking about. In God is true strength. In the sacraments comes the true strength of God to openly accomplish all things good which greatly surpass all that evil can vainly desire. The goals of evil are always of this world and are accomplished solely by physical resources which are flawed at best. But the goals of goodness, God's goals, may utilize this worlds resources for a higher good. Like the multiplication of loaves and fish, the small things of this world are made greater through God than the greatest the world can offer on its own. The purpose and end result of God's goals is always to bring us closer to Him for an eternity, which is far more reliable and holds more genuine promise than the world on its own can ever hope to offer.