Dear Parish Family,
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, he was loving Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and us. When Jesus called his disciples to a new life, he was loving them. When Jesus asked his disciples, "How long must I remain with you of little faith?" he was loving them. When Jesus spoke harshly to the Pharisees to challenge them, he was loving them. When Jesus said, "Blessed are you poor" he was loving them. When Jesus made a whip to overturn the tables of the moneychangers and drive them out of the temple, he was loving both his Father and the moneychangers. When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilot he was loving him.READ MORE
The Book of Exodus tells us what sacrifices are acceptable to God coupled with an invitation to purify our religion of cults that have nothing to do with love of God and the neighbors. St. Paul, inhis first letter to the Corinthians, tells us that we must stop reasoning like the ‘Jews’ and the‘Greeks’, rather, we should preach Christ crucified and a stumbling block to unbelievers! The Gospel recounts the story of the purification of the temple, or rather, the replacement of the old temple with the new one. We are the new temple but, like the old, we also often need purificationfrom all that hinders our offering to God’s acceptable sacrifices.READ MORE
Today is the second Sunday of Lent, it is a season of grace, prayer, penance, and almsgiving that equips us get closer to God. The Lenten observances and practices are meaningful if they are carried out in loving obedience and faith to God. Lent, as a season of grace, is a time we leave behind those things that distract us from developing a deeper relationship with God. In today's liturgy, we are called upon to have absolute faith in God irrespective of the challenges and trials that confront us every day. Such challenges can lead to loss of faith in God but from the example of Abraham in the first reading and Paul's injunction in the second we are encouraged to remain firm and steadfast.READ MORE
Why do we always go to the desert? We see this example in Scripture time and time again. The Israelites wandered in the desert. King David and prophets were driven into the wilderness. And now Jesus is in the same place. Lent after Lent, we too are invited into a barren, desolate place. Why do we always go to the desert?
Throughout Scripture, the desert is a place of testing. It's also a place of hiding and withdrawal. In the Old Testament, David fled into the wilderness to hide from Saul, Elijah from Jezebel, and Jonah from God! In other words, the desert is a place of "retreat."READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I just want to share some national statistics with you that our Bishop Olmsted had gathered. "Since AD 2000, 14 million Catholics have left the faith, parish religious education of children has dropped by 24%, Catholic school attendance has dropped by 19%, infant baptism has dropped by 28%, adult baptism has dropped by 31%, and sacramental Catholic marriages have dropped by 41%." As our bishop has said about this: "This is a serious breach, a gaping hole in Christ's battle lines."READ MORE
Today, being the Fourth Sunday in the Church's liturgical year, the readings outline that the promised Messiah is one whose Word is authoritative and rightly to be obeyed.
St. Paul emphasizes that holiness remains the yardstick of serving God and worshiping Him with undivided attention whether we are priests, religious, married or unmarried persons. He also presents an example of the "New Doctrine": the new value attributed to virginity which is lived for the love of and at the serving of our brothers and sisters.READ MORE
One remarkable feature we encounter in the Gospel of Mark is that the first time ever we hear Jesus speak, his words were "This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel." This is to show that Jesus came to reconcile us with the father and be at peace with him. We can achieve this reconciliation and peace, IF and only IF, we repent of our own sins and believe in Jesus who has come to save us.READ MORE
In today's First Reading we see God trying to call out to Samuel, but Samuel does not realize that it is God calling to him. Yet this does not deter God, nor get him upset and annoyed because we then see God try to call to reach out to Samuel two more times with no response from Samuel. But Samuel is lucky because in the midst of all this he has help. His father Eli is with him. Eli has a strong personal relationship with God because Eli has accepted God's gift of faith and knows that it is God reaching out to his son Samuel.READ MORE
"Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."
What a wonderful example the Magi give us in their visit to the infant Jesus. First of all, they demonstrate profound faith in God's word, spoken through the prophet Micah: "And you, Bethlehem ... from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel" (cf. 5:2). Embarking on a long and difficult journey, they trust that they will find this newborn king of the Jews in Bethlehem as the prophecy announced.READ MORE