From the Pastor – February 18, 2018

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. (Mk. 1-12)I always look forward to Lent. And this year is no exception. Now that Lent is here, I’m happy to create my own little desert of calm by the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It’s the perfect remedy for the last two weeks of noise, feasting and excess.One of the good disciplines of Lent is “giving something up.” When I was in seminary, I remember my rector publicly acknowledging that he gave up cigars during Lent. And then one Friday in Lent, I walked by his room and smelled cigar smoke. The next day I asked him about it, and he said that he decided to do something different that year because he felt like everyone knew he gave up cigars. He felt … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 11, 2018

Brothers and sisters, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.  (1 Cor. 10:31)Over the next three days, many of us are going to do a fair amount of eating and drinking!  And that’s not a bad thing.  Fat Tuesday is meant to be a time of feasting in preparation for the fasting and austerity of Lent.But that doesn’t mean that Lent is a “holy” season and Mardi Gras is a “pagan” season.  As St. Paul tells us above, everything should be done for the glory of God.A recent article in the Times Picayune had a question asked the question:  “What vices are you giving up for Lent?”  And then it listed a long list of “vices,” including among them “meat” and “alcohol.”  Now it’s certain that excessive drinking and obesity are unhealthy, but can we … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 4, 2018

Job spoke, saying: Is not man's life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of hirelings? He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me.  (Job 7:4)Most of us know the story of Job.  He was faithful to God, but God let the devil take away all of Job’s possessions, kill all of his children and ruin his health.  And despite his misfortunes, Job does not curse God.  But that doesn’t stop him from bemoaning his situation.  The passage above reflects his poor attitude, but it speaks to a truth.  The world often imposes on us many miseries.  We get tired and frustrated with work.  We get in arguments with family members and friends.  We get sick, we can’t pay the bills, … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 28, 2018

I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kindred, and will put my words into the mouth of the prophet; the prophet shall tell them all that I command. Whoever will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name, I myself will make him answer for it.  (Dt. 18:18-19)In the Acts of the Apostles, both St. Peter (3:22) and, St. Stephen (7:37) quote the above passage as referring to Jesus.  Jesus is the prophet who came to teach us (in word and deed) how to live according to God’s plan and attain the Kingdom of Heaven.  And when the time came, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles to guide them and us through the Holy Catholic Church.  But Jesus foretold that some would not listen to His words, and He warned us that we would be persecuted for following … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 21, 2018

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”  (Mk. 1:14-15)The words above are the first words spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of Mark.  How are we to interpret them?  Clearly the words evidence the reality that occurred when God was incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ.  If God is incarnate, then “this is the time of fulfillment”; all of the prophecies have been fulfilled.  And if Jesus is present, then the Kingdom of God is present, since the Kingdom is present where the King is present.  But what about the middle part “repent and believe in the Gospel”?There are different ways to understand the words “repent and believe in the Gospel.  They … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – December 31, 2017

 “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 )Although the Feast of the Holy Family fell last Friday, 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 … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 24, 2017

“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 )Although the Feast of the Holy Family fell last Friday, 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 – January 17, 2017

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 – December 10, 2017

[John the Baptist said:] “One mightier than I is coming after me.  I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of His sandals. I have baptized you with water; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mk. 1:7-8)One of my favorite books by Archbishop Fulton Sheen is called “Life of Christ.”  It’s a book that explores the life of Jesus using a great deal of reason and human history.  As a seminarian I recall being taken in by the first words:History is full of men who have claimed that they came from God, or that they were gods, or that they bore messages from God - -Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Christ, Lao-tze, and thousands of others, right down to the person who founded a new religion this very day. Each of them has a right to be heard and considered. But as a yardstick … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – October 29, 2017

“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 “love” … [Read more...]