From the Pastor – August 18, 2019

Jesus said to his disciples: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division.  (Lk 12:49-51).A few years ago, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI reflected on the Gospel passage we hear this Sunday.  He said:There’s a passion of ours that must grow from faith, which must be transformed into the fire of charity. Jesus said: I came to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled. Origen has conveyed us a word of the Lord: “Whoever is near me is near the fire.” The Christian must not be lukewarm. The Book of Revelation tells us that this is the … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 4, 2019

“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 – August 11, 2019

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 21, 2019

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken fromher.” (Lk 10:25-27)There’s a tendency to take this Sunday’s Gospel as an encouragement of laziness. We hear that Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus doing nothing, and Martha is doing all of the work. Yet, when Martha complains, Jesus reassures the two that Mary has “chosen the better part.” So doing nothing but listening to Jesus is better than helping out around the house? Sounds like a quick way our of household chores! “Need me to mow the lawn? Sorry, but I’ve chosen the “better portion”; I’m heading to the Adoration Chapel to pray!That’s not really what’s going on here. What Jesus is referring to is not the literal … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 14, 2019

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?  How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Lk 10:25-27)If you could ask God one question, what would it be? Would you ask about the future?  Would you ask for the next Powerball number? Next year’s Superbowl Champion? Or perhaps you’d want to know about something from the past. Why did Katrina hit us?  Why did my loved one have to die? Perhaps you’d want to know the answer to something current. Why do bad things happen to good people? What is the cure for cancer or … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 7, 2019

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. … Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.' (Lk 10:1, 7-9)The mission of the 72 disciples of Jesus has been spoken about by the Fathers of the Church in several ways. St. Augustine thought the 72 to be the first priests of the Church working in concert with the 12 Apostles (bishops). Other saints, such as St. Cyril, saw the 72 as the first worshipping community of Christians sent out to teach. Either way, the 72 brought the Gospel (Good News) of Christ to those whom had never received it. Theirs was the work of “evangelization,” from the Latin word … [Read more...]

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...]