From the Pastor – January 10, 2021

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 manifestation of Jesus as Messiah and Son of God. The baptism of the Lord is the acceptance and inauguration of Christ’s mission as God's suffering Servant. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners, and he becomes “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – Jan 3, 2020

“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? Were they wise because they understood the seasons of the year or the movements of nature?  What made them wise? The word for “wise men” is a Greek word that we transliterate as “magi.” The magi were interested in trying to understand the created world, but they searched for more. The magi might have been smart because of all of their knowledge of the physical world, but wisdom is … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – December 20, 2020

“Behold, 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) A few years back I was praying the Rosary with our small group at 11:00 am in front of the abortion clinic on St. Charles Avenue near Louisiana (before it closed), and I got yelled at by a Fundamentalist. Although I’m used to experiencing taunting while I’m praying in front of abortion clinics, I’m not used to being yelled at by a fellow “Christian” because I’m praying the Rosary. One would think we could take a moment to set aside our differences in a mutual effort to pray for an end to abortion! The point of the man’s rant was that I was “glorifying” Mary by saying the “Hail Mary.” He was yelling at us “Mary is dead. Why … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – December 13, 2020

I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul;for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels. (Is. 61:10) The coming of the Messiah was something eagerly anticipated by the Jewish people.  His coming was to be a time of great rejoicing (Gaudete!)  It represented the intervention of God into the affairs of men.  No longer would they be hungry or thirsty or oppressed or crippled.  They would be delivered from the difficulties of this life and live in a new reality without fear.  God would be with them, according to the promises of His Covenant. However, the appearance of the Messiah was disputed.  Would he be a great king, like David?  Would he be a … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 29, 2020

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” (Mt. 13:33) One might hope that Jesus would announce His Second Coming simultaneously through a text message, Twitter, Facebook, a Google News Alert, PSA’s on all of the broadcast and cable television and radio stations simultaneously!  Because if that were the case, He’d be bound to reach 90% of the world population who are immersed in technology through tv, radio, the internet and cell phones. But I don’t think that’s the “watching” that Jesus is calling us to engage in.  In fact, I don’t really think He’s talking about our using our “eyes” at all.  Jesus does say “watch!” as the last word in this Sunday’s Gospel.  And that word comes from the Greek word ?????????? (gregoreite) really has … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 22, 2020

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thess. 4:13-15) 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 there to enrage the Jewish Sanhedrin?  Or is it part … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 15, 2020

Jesus told his disciples this parable:  “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one – to each according to his ability. Then he went away.” (Mt. 25:14-15) When I was a child, I remember having a picture book outlining today’s parable of the talents.  And in the book, the word “talent” was translated “bag of gold.”  And that’s  precisely what Jesus is talking about here.  In the original Greek, the word used is ???????? (talenton), which is a unit of measurement.  It was the amount of a precious metal that would fill an amphora, which was approximately one cubic foot.   The weight (and value) would depend upon the type of metal.  While certainly a “liberal” translation, the term “bag … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – November 8, 2020

“'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!' But he said in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.' Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”  (Mt. 25:11-13) What does it mean to “fear the Lord”?  Fear seems to be something negative.  We associate it with threats and negative consequences.   So what does the Psalmist mean today when he says that those who “fear the Lord” are blessed? Perhaps surprisingly, “fear of the Lord” is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, along with Wisdom Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge and Piety. Fear of the Lord is more closely related to “awe,” and allows us to be aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 25, 2020

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Mt. 22:36-40) In English we use the word “love” in a lot of ways.  We might use it to describe our favorite restaurant, “I love La Petite Grocery.”  We might use it to describe our favorite tech device, “I love my iPhone.”  Or we might use it to describe bigger things, like “I love New Orleans.”  And in all of these usages, it’s used primarily as a superlative of the word “like.” When it comes to people, the usage of the word … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 18, 2020

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen.  For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.” (1 Thes. 1:2-5)  A number of years ago, I remember the Archbishop calling all priests to a Holy Hour of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament at St. Louis Cathedral.  And the way he did it was so succinctly Trinitarian.  He asked us to “come let us pray with Our Lord Jesus to the Father that He will send the Holy Spirit down upon us.”  I remember hearing it and having a new and different … [Read more...]