From the Pastor – August 21, 2022

Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”  (Lk 13:23-24). What does it mean to be “saved”?  We use the word all of the time.  We might save money by buying something on sale.  We might save electricity by turning down the thermostat.  We might save for a vacation or save our breath when in an argument against someone stubborn.  We might want to save the whales, save the rain forest, save the lake or save the cemeteries, to quote some international or local causes. So what does that “someone” in the verse above mean when he asks Jesus whether “only a few will be saved.”  The Greek word being used is from the root “Swttr” or “Soter,” … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 7, 2022

Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. (Lk 12:39-40). There are two ways by which we will see God face-to-face: upon our death or at the time of the Second Coming.  And the truth is that we really don’t know when either of those events might occur! Several years ago, I was the celebrant at two funeral Masses in a few days that marked a real contrast.  The first funeral was of a young, 18-year-old boy in the beginning of a promising life.  And the second was of a 93-year-old great-grandfather.  Although it’s certain that only God knows the state of their souls at their death, we prayed at both funeral … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 31, 2022

“There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, ‘Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!’” But God said to him, “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?” Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God. (Lk 12:18b-21). A few years ago I spoke to a Catholic group in Baton Rouge. Although my talk was about the Apostolicity of the Church (being founded on the Apostles and the current bishops being their successors), at the end a man asked me a question about clerical celibacy.  “Father, why do priests have to be celibate” was the simple question.  Unfortunately, celibacy is … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 24, 2022

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Lk 11:9-10) per·se·ver·ance?[pur-suh-veer-uhns] –noun 1.steady persistence in a course of action, a pur-pose, a state,etc., esp. in spite of diffic-ulties, obstacles, or discouragement. 2.Theology . continuance in a state of grace  to the end,leading to eternal salvation. Anything that’s worth doing requires perseverance.  The Latin verb “perseverare” is  composed of two words: “per” meaning “through”; and “severare” meaning “to be severe or strict.”  So perseverance means to achieve something through being strict.  And the obvious object of the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – June 19, 2022

Brothers and sisters, I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” (1 Cor. 11:23-26) In terms of a feast in the Catholic Church, today’s Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (“Corpus Christi” in Latin) is a fairly recent one.  We all know that the Body and Blood of Christ are present at each Mass, but the addition of this special feast to … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – June 12, 2022

Jesus said to his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.  He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you." (Jn 16:12-15) Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. In the early days of the Church there was no special day to honor the Holy Trinity, but that changed in the 3rd century when the Church was confronted with one of the first great heresies:  Arianism.  Although this heresy seems strange to … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – June 5, 2022

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts 2:1-4) The word “Pentecost” is actually a Greek word meaning “fiftieth.”  What we commemorate on Pentecost is the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, an event that occurred fifty days (including Easter Sunday) after the Resurrection. Historically and symbolically, Pentecost is related to the Jewish Festival of Weeks, celebrating the day … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – May 29, 2022

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them.  As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven.  They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God. (Lk 24:50-53) Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension, which is the elevation of Christ into heaven by His own power in the presence of His disciples.  In Sacred Scripture, this occurred on the fortieth day after the Resurrection – which was actually last Thursday, traditionally called “Ascension Thursday.”  However, the celebration of the Ascension has been moved to Sunday to encourage a more active participation in the Feast.  In terms of our current state of air travel, I guess Jesus’ flight got postponed for … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – May 15, 2022

My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another.  As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (Jn 13:33a, 34-35) The Gospel of John could be called the “Gospel of Love.”  It condenses the stories about Christ into one succinct passage in the third chapter, the verse seen often on signs at football games:  John 3:16:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”  It gives us the reason and purpose of the first coming of Christ.  He came because God loves us, and He came to give us eternal life in His love. The word “love” that is … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – May 8, 2022

Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.” (Jn 10:27-28) For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Rev. 7:17) This week is the Fourth Sunday in Easter, and it is traditionally known as “Good Shepherd Sunday” because of the Gospel reading today in which Jesus describes Himself as the Good Shepherd. We’re all familiar with the images: Jesus standing, staff in hand, with the lamb across his shoulders.  Or perhaps we think of Jesus sitting under a tree – a little lamb on his lap. These are beautiful images, but they are incomplete. For thousands … [Read more...]