We are in an age when family life is threatened by conflicts, violence, exploitation, humiliation, disrespect, indifference, hatred, abuse and above all, when members of the family think only about themselves, hurt others and marital vows are grossly disregarded, husband and wife tend to forget that they are one flesh and that their children are flesh of their flesh.
The answer to family questions lies in the family of Nazareth, when mothers could learn from Mary's affection for the Infant Jesus and respect for her spouse Joseph; fathers could learn from Joseph's unwavering support and protection for the Infant Jesus and his wife, even in difficult moments.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
Baby Jesus has come to you. He had you in mind when he created the world and when he made a promise to Abraham, Jacob, Moses and David. He was born for you and carried his cross for you. He prepared a way for you on the day of his resurrection and on the day of his ascension. He prepared a place for you on the day he entrusted the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter and the Apostles, and also on the day of Pentecost, the birthday of his Church. All of this from the beginning of time until today is for you. Jesus is born for you.READ MORE
We are very close to Christmas and tonight we begin the celebration of the mystery of the incarnation of Christ among us. As we can see, the attention shifts from John the Baptist to Mary the Mother of God. It is good to point out that this story is only found in Luke's gospel. Hence, we reflect upon Mary's example of faith and obedience to God which permitted her to receive the angel's message that God's son would be born as a human person like one of us. She is to be mother of Christ.READ MORE
“There is one ... coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” Untying sandalstraps was no prestigious job. In the days of John the Baptist, those straps would have been especially unpleasant to deal with. Besides the usual odors that accompany sockless leather footwear, there would have been the grime and dirt from the sandy roads and paths that swirledaround the people who went everywhere on foot. Taking off someone’s shoes upon their arrival wasthe task of the lowly servants. So when John says he’s unworthy of doing this task for the “one whois coming after me,” he is putting himself in a very humble position. And rightly so.READ MORE
Day by day, Day by day, Oh Dear Lord, Three things I pray: To see thee more clearly - Love thee more dearly - Follow thee more nearly -Day by day!
Today is the second Sunday of Advent. It is easy for the world to skip over Advent with its "Buy, Buy, Buy" materialism. It is easy to forget about prayer and repentance.
In many 'quit smoking' campaigns, the emphasis is on quitting something.....and too often people have to quit many times before they finally quit for good. Once they realize that they can breathe better, have more energy, and food actually has a taste, they see the benefits of their journey of quitting smoking. They have replaced smoking with a healthier life and better breathing to be sure.READ MORE
What do you do when someone you love very dearly and miss very much has been gone a verylong time but promises to return soon? How do you prepare to welcome him/her? Naturally, we anticipate the return with great excitement getting ready with all we can to ensure that on his arrival we are seen in a very good situation. We would be glad that this person finds us happy, joyful and looking good. This is what the season of Advent is all about, getting ready to welcomethe Lord at Christmas with joy, happiness and excitement. The joy and excitement that is rooted inthe word of God that should inspire our every act.READ MORE
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Todaywe celebrate the feast of an unusual kind of king. Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe,does not run his kingdom in the standard fashion. Instead of insisting upon the pomp and circumstance that usually surrounds earthly royalty, Jesus has a different focus. He thinks not ofhimself, but of those he loves. And in today’s Gospel, his interest is especially focused on the poorand suffering in our midst.READ MORE
Proverbs gives us the example of a very industrious woman and also reminds us that so much ofwhat we think is important passes away with time. The reading uses the example of a woman, butit just as easily applies to men: Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears theLord is to be praised.
St. Paul tells us that the master will come unexpectedly; life is serious and we should not wastetime. We are all call to exercise a ministry within our community.READ MORE
In the first reading, we are given a description of what we are to do with Wisdom. So, what does the word Wisdom mean to you and I? Is it like a profound form of knowledge? Is it something that automatically comes with age? They say "With age comes wisdom." How does wisdom benefit us? What is the true source of Wisdom? What does Wisdom, in a biblical setting, refer to? These arequestions we must find answers to because our relationship with God depends on it!READ MORE
Who doesn't desire the praise and respect of others? Who doesn't like to be recognized or to be praised? We want others to see us at our best with all of our strengths and achievements, rather than at our worst with all of our faults and shortcomings.
Prophet Malachi in the first reading of today calls the attention of priests who prefer the praise and respect of people rather than giving glory to God. He says "If you do not listen, if you do not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name; says the Lord of hosts. I will send a curse upon you and your blessing I will make a curse." Prophet Malachi condemns the attitude of priests who have abandoned true worship and service of God for self-praise and fame. In the days of the Prophet Malachi, many priests had lost the true meaning in the worship of God.READ MORE
'To love God and love your neighbor' – this is one of the most attractive of the sayings of Jesus. It is an encouragement to live fully, with what brings the greatest joy in life – true love of God and the neighbor. It is at the heart of good religion, and what attracts many to Jesus. Jesus' life was to propose good religion and to live by it.
We admire those who give energy in love and service. We are proud of people we know whose lives make a great and good difference to others. We know that our family and neighborhood, parish and school, workplace and leisure time have been enriched by the self-sacrificing love of many people, young and old. He gave all he got – we say that at the end of a match of a good player. May we give all we have in our lives, giving in love, knowing that all we give, is itself a gift from God, the giver of all good gifts. Christ affirms the truth of the prophets: to love God and neighbor.READ MORE
Rendering anything to Caesar gave him some degree of homage. This is one reason many pharisees objected to paying the census tax. Since it was such a sticky issue, they wanted to get Jesus trapped into taking a side on it. Despite Jesus' very straightforward answer, people still get sticky over it today.
Jesus answers his challengers with his own challenge. The pharisees were looking for an "either or" answer, Jesus made clear that a "both and" answer is required. "Render to God whatever belongs to God". The Roman coin bore Caesar's image and inscription. But, we human beings bear the image of God. We must, therefore render ourselves to Him. But how?READ MORE
The banquet is the symbol of the happiness and joy present in the kingdom of God. The first reading tells us of a promise; while the gospel tells us of its actualization. If the banquet has already begun with the coming of the Messiah, why do we still have so much hatred, so many wars and deaths all over the world? Yes, the feast has begun, but the kingdom is still awaiting its full attainment.
The second reading is connected with this theme. We are given the example of the community at Philippi where there is authentic love and where a completely new life has really begun; the help and the gifts sent to Paul are proof of this. The prophet Isaiah would say: this banquet is a type of the heavenly banquet and of the Eucharist by which one is nourished with the Body and Blood of Christ.READ MORE
The readings today are about the vineyard of the Lord. In the first reading we hear about the vineyard being planted with the "choicest vines", the best vines, but when it came time to harvest, to pick the crop of grapes, it yielded wild grapes, bad fruit. The Prophet Isaiah is pointing out to Israel that they are the wild grapes, the bad fruit. Israel has not been true to her calling to witness to the nations of the One true God.
In the gospel reading the owner of the vineyard leases his vineyard to tenants. When it is time for harvest, time for the owner to collect his produce, he sends his servants to collect, and the tenants, the workers in the vineyard, beat, kill, and stone the servants. This happened twice. Finally, he sent his son, and they killed him.READ MORE
Ezekiel’s prophesy in the first reading teaches us the possibility of pardon through repentance forone’s accumulated evils. God glories in forgiving those who turn back to him, and he ardently desires the salvation of all, but also the risk of losing all the good one has done by returning to doing evil. In the second reading, Paul writing to Philippians encouraged them to be united andshow their love for each other through humility and service. Christ, who is divine, became man inorder to suffer and die for our salvation. No act of humility on our part can ever rival the humiliation of Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross. Christ willingly took on the role of a servant and allowed himself to be crucified for our sake even though he was innocent of any sin. Then in the gospel of Matthew, the parable teaches us that promises can never take the place ofperformance, and fine words are never a substitute for fine deeds.READ MORE