Archives for November 2013

From the Pastor – November 24, 2013

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.” Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.” Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.” (Lk 23:35-38) How many times have we gazed at a crucifix and seen that inscription: “I.N.R.I.” We know it means something about Jesus being “King of the Jews,” even if we don’t remember that it comes from the first letters of the Latin inscription meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum. The key is understanding what’s behind that inscription. Is it just a “mocking” inscription provided by Pontius Pilate? Was it placed … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 17, 2013

“They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony.” (Lk 21:12-13) What does it mean when Christ tells us that “they will persecute you”? We can easily look at the history of the Church, and see persecution. The first persecutions began in 1st century Rome, and were conducted by the Emperor Nero. Those early persecutions led to the Great Persecution of the 3rd century by the Roman Empire, which didn’t end until Christianity was legalized in 313 A.D. We can look at the persecutions of Christians by Moslem invasion in North Africa, which led to the Christians Crusades to reclaim the Holy Land. Skipping ahead, we recall the French … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 10, 2013

“That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord,’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” (Lk 20:37-38) By tradition, the Church dedicates November to prayer for the Poor Souls in Purgatory, those faithful Christians who have died and gone before us but who still must atone for their sins. The time they spend in Purgatory cleanses them so that they may enter Heaven free from the effects of the sin they might have committed in life. Church doctrine on purgatory is based on the Old Testament reading in 2 Maccabees 12:40-46, where prayers were offered for those who had died in battle. Praying for the dead has been a constant practice of … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 3, 2013

“Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Lk 19:9-10) I love the story of Zacchaeus. It reminds me of two things. When I was little, it reminded me a little of Mardi Gras. In the parable, it sounded like a parade was rolling by, and Zacchaeus wanted to see it! But instead of Rex, it was the King of Kings! As a young, small boy, I remember not being able to see Mardi Gras parades because of the crowd. Often, I resolved myself to looking for spare doubloons. The second thing that the story reminds me of was a visit I made to Rome in 1994, before I entered seminary. I was fortunate to be able to attend a Papal Audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall. As the audience was ending, … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 27, 2013

“God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.” (Lk 18:11) I recently heard a quote to the effect that “there are only two types of people in the world: saints who think they are sinners and sinners who think they are saints.” That pretty much sums up the two characters in today’s Gospel. The Pharisee has justified his life, and the Publican has condemned his own. In truth, each of these men was a sinner in some way. As the Evangelist John said: If we say that we have not sinned, then we make God a liar, and His word has no place in our hearts (1 Jn 1:10). So what separates the two men? Simply one fact. One acknowledged the reality of his life and the reality of his sin, and one didn’t. And having recognized the reality … [Read more...]