Archives for February 2010

From the Pastor – February 28, 2010

While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” (Lk 9:34-36a) What a difference a week has made. Last weekend we heard of Christ going into the desert to be tempted by the devil. And this weekend, Christ has gone from the desolation of the desert to the glory of the Transfiguration on the mountaintop where God announces Jesus as being His beloved Son. But why do we go from one dramatic place to another during this first week of Lent? Most of the Church Fathers saw the Transfiguration as a glimpse of the glory of Christ given to his disciples so that they might be strengthened to witness the scandal of the Cross.  And this is … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 21, 2010

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. (Lk 4:1-2a) That little verse above is the reason behind the holy Season of Lent. And all I can say is thank God for Lent! I always look forward to Lent. And this year is no exception. Christmas ran into New Year's, and then weekly victories by the Saints kept the emotional level of the city high until the Mardi Gras season started. Then we won the Super Bowl, which was followed by the biggest parade the city has ever seen! And if we hadn't had enough excitement, it's still before Mardi Gras weekend and four days of parades in front of the church! Now that Lent is here, I'm happy to create my own little desert of calm by the Lenten … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 14, 2010

Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. (Lk 6:20-23) It's hard to argue with the joy that we've experienced over the last week. I still have a hard time saying it without laughing: The Saints Won the Super Bowl!! It seems that since Katrina, we have needed a symbol for the “renaissance” of our city. It could have come from the outpouring of support we received from people living outside of the state, or even from the revamping of our own city government. It could have come from the outside businessmen, … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 13, 2010

Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:19) Although I rarely listen to music around the rectory or in the car, when I go to my family farm in Alabama, I listen to a lot of country music. It started many years ago when it was the only thing I could pick up on the radio in my beat-up 1980 Suburban. And now I listen to country because it seems to go well with riding around in the woods. Although I generally enjoy the melodies of country songs, what I particularly like are the lyrics. They're easy to understand in country music, and they usually have some kind of good, wholesome message. I mention this because one song in particular reminds me of the Scriptural quote above from this … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 7, 2010

After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 6, 2010

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. (Mt. 5:14-16) Just last week we celebrated a beautiful school Mass in St. Stephen Church celebrating the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord. It's a Mass traditionally called “Candlemass” because it commemorates the presentation of Jesus in the temple when Simeon declared Him the “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” One of the things that made the Mass special was that our school children from St. Stephen Catholic School were … [Read more...]