From the Pastor – January 2, 2022

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) This weekend we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. For centuries, Christians have celebrated the season of Christmas as twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany.  The season ends with our celebration of the Lord's Baptism. The public life of Jesus begins with his baptism by John in the Jordan.  John hesitates, but Jesus insists. Then the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes upon Jesus and a voice from heaven proclaims, “This is my beloved Son.”  Similarly to the visitation of the magi, this is an “epiphany” – a … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 2, 2022

“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 … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – December 26, 2021

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Col. 3:16 ) The Feast of the Holy Family falls on this Sunday, and I think that this season is a good time to reflect upon our family lives, and to examine whether we’re being good family members.  When we contemplate the Holy Family, we note the fact that when Jesus became man – when the Word became flesh – He became flesh as a little child within a family. That was a divine choice; because Jesus could have chosen any way he wanted to manifest Himself.  He could have arrived on earth as a 33 year old adult or an 80 year old man. But Jesus was conceived and began his existence in Mary’s womb, and was born … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – December 19, 2021

Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel. (Is. 7:14)  Behold [Mary], you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1:31-32a) In William Shakespeare’s play, “Romeo and Juliet,” the two lovers have a dialogue about their own names.  It begins with Romeo hearing Juliet call his name:  “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?”  Later in the dialogue, Romeo responds:  “It is my soul that calls upon my name:  How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night, Like softest music to attending ears!” This quote has been paraphrased to something like:  “there’s nothing so sweet as the sound of one’s own name.”  And … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – December 12, 2021

“Brothers and sisters: Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again:  rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.” (Phil. 4:4-5 ) This third Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete Sunday” from the Latin St. Paul uses when he tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always”: gaudete in Domino semper!  The spirit of the Liturgy in Advent is one of expectation and preparation for Christmas and the Second Coming of Christ, but our penitential attitude is suspended on Gaudete Sunday so that we might focus on the joy of our Redemption, which should never be far from our hearts. To highlight the importance of Gaudete Sunday, the priest wears rose vestments and lights a rose candle on the Advent wreath. Why do we mark this day by focusing particularly on joy?  It’s because the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – December 5, 2021

John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, a voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” (Luke 3:3-4) In the ancient world, there were no interstates.  Roads were little more than worn down paths that were constantly being affected by traffic or weather.  One of the hallmarks of the Roman army is that they built roads wherever they went.  But when there was a battle, roads and bridges would be destroyed in order to stop the advance of the enemy.  But one thing was certain: when word came that someone important was coming, the people would do their best to fix the roads or build new ones so that the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 28, 2021

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Lk 21:36) This Sunday we begin the Holy Season of Advent, a time when we prepare to celebrate the first coming of Christ in the manger at Christmas while looking with expectation toward His second coming in glory.  It’s a time when we’re called to be “vigilant,” meaning to “keep watch” for danger.  And what is that “danger”?  In the Gospel today, Jesus mentions that “there will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.”  In one sense, this is really our experience in the present world that has so much access to information technology.  We hear about … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 21, 2021

Pilate said to Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?" Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." How many times have we gazed at a crucifix and seen that inscription: “I.N.R.I.”  … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 14, 2021

“Brothers and sisters: Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God.” (Heb. 10:11-12) Every Sunday, something important happens in our parish.  The event is centered on the “Paschal Mystery.” What is the Paschal Mystery?  Simply put, the Paschal Mystery is the suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.  When the Jews were slaves in Egypt, God told them to slaughter a lamb in the evening twilight and to place its blood on the two posts and the lintels of their houses.  Seeing the blood, the Lord would “pass over” their homes in striking down the first-born of the Egyptians, and they would be released … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 7, 2021

“Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf.  Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice.” (Heb. 9:24-26) Every Sunday, something important happens in our parish.  The event is centered on the “Paschal Mystery.” What is the Paschal Mystery?  Simply put, the Paschal Mystery is the suffering, death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ.  When the Jews were slaves in Egypt, God told them to slaughter a lamb in … [Read more...]