Archives for January 2010

From the Pastor – January 31, 2010

And all spoke highly of Jesus and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Isn't this the son of Joseph?” When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. (Lk 4:22 & Lk 4:28-30) What happened here? These are two different parts of the 4th chapter of Luke's Gospel separated by only 5 verses. In the first section, the people are rapt by the beautiful words of Jesus, and in the second they are so angered as to want to kill Him. What provoked that? What caused their attitude to change? Actually, it was a strong statement of Jesus about what had happened with prophets that had come … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 24, 2010

“ 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.' Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Lk. 4:16-21) Imagine being present in the synagogue when this dramatic scene took place. All the eyes are on Jesus and He reads this dramatic reading from Isaiah 61, and then succinctly explains that the passage refers to Him. There are three important Greek words in this passage to help us to understand the drama. The … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 17, 2010

“There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ”˜They have no wine.'  And Jesus said to her, ”˜Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to the servers, ”˜Do whatever he tells you.'” (Jn. 2:1-5) The Gospel this Sunday is the very first Gospel that I preached about as a newly ordained deacon in October of 1998. The Mass took place in a very small chapel called the Clementine Chapel, which is located under the main altar of the Basilica of St. Peter at the Vatican. It's the closest altar to the Tomb of St. Peter the Apostle. I had decided that I wanted the Mass to be a Votive Mass for the Blessed Virgin … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 10, 2010

“After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ”˜You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'” (Lk. 3:21-22) Last week we celebrated “Epiphany Sunday” – the visit of the magi to the infant Jesus. But the Church Father's saw much more in the “epiphany.” The Greek word for Epiphany (ἐπιφάνεια) mean “appearance” or “manifestation.” The point is that the identity of Jesus was “made known” on certain occasions. One of the earliest “manifestations” of Jesus as the King of Kings occurred when He was given homage by the magi, who recognized His glory. But there were other “epiphanies.” Obviously, the Blessed Virgin … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 3, 2010

“And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage.” (Mt. 2:9-11) Why were the “wise men” wise? Were they wise because they knew the movements of the stars in the sky? Perhaps. Were they wise because they understood the seasons of the year or the mysteries of nature? Maybe. Or were they wise because they knew how to navigate according to a star. All of that might be true. But the underlying truth is that they were wise because they were searching for God. Their desire for Him meant that they could detect his coming appearance on earth in the appearance of … [Read more...]