From the Pastor – June 30, 2019

Brothers and sisters:  For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. (Gal 5:1)As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day next week, we might reflect a little bit about what it means to be “free.”  In the context of the Fourth of July holiday, freedom means being separated from the political control of a king as had been the case prior to the American revolution.  But “freedom” means many things.  Webster’s Dictionary has a very lengthy definition of freedom.  In part it reads: “a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action  b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous.”In all of these … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – June 23, 2019

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 16, 2019

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 9, 2019

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 – June 2, 2019

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 air travel, I guess Jesus’ flight got postponed for three … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – May 26, 2019

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. (Jn 14:27-31)How do we define peace? Politically, it can be defined as an “absence of conflict.” If we are busy at work, it might mean “no interruptions.” Some parents might equate peace with their kids being asleep or at their grandparents for the night. Peace happens to some people when their cell phone finally runs out of batteries or when a power outage knocks out the internet and the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – May 19, 2019

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 12, 2019

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...]

From the Pastor – May 5, 2019

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” (Jn 21:15-17)Simon Peter is one the most intriguing characters in the New Testament. Unlike people like John the Baptist, Mary … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – April 21, 2019

We are witnesses of all that He did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.  They put Him to death by hanging him on a tree.  This man God raised on the third day and granted that He be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead.  (Acts 10-39-41)I told this story before, but one year when I was living in Rome, my parents came to visit me in the weeks before Easter.  Since my Dad was a permanent deacon, he sat next to me on the altar when we went to celebrate Mass at the beautiful church of St. Alphonsus near St. Mary Major where the original image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is enshrined.  As it came time to read the Gospel, my Dad asked for the blessing, and then began to … [Read more...]