I am preaching at all the Masses this weekend to let the whole parish know about something important, but before I get into that, I wanted to say a few words about today’s readings.
In the Gospel of John chapter 12, just before the verses from today, a large crowd had come to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Upon hearing Jesus was on his way into the city, they took Palm branches and went to him and cried out “Hosanna, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the king of Israel”. And Jesus then came into the great capital city riding on a donkey, which as we know fulfills the prophet Zechariah writing.READ MORE
My brothers and sisters in Christ, as I was praying over and thinking about these readings, I was inspired to share with you the immense joy that comes in being real with Christ.
Our 2nd reading begins, “God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ”. But in order to know the God who is rich in mercy and love, we must know the consequences of our sins. The book of Romans tells us that ‘the consequence of sin is death’. The consequence of sin is death, every sin, no matter how big or small, is against God, and anything that is against God is not worthy of God. Because of Adam’s sin, and in turn, because of each of our individual sins, we are not worthy to share in God’s life- that is we deserve death. And so, as our 2nd reading says, we are dead in our transgressions. And there was nothing we could have done about it, no amount of good we could ever do could make up for just one sin. There was nothing we could have done to make us be happy and have life in us.READ MORE
This Sunday we are about half way through Lent. On this 3rd Sunday, the Church gives us such powerful readings from our Lord in order to intentionally focus our hearts on what this season of Lent is all about. The focus of Lent should be to root sin out of our lives. By reflecting on and applying our readings today we can do just that.READ MORE
These 3 readings are probably somewhat familiar to many of you, for they are well known stories by themselves, but the Church gives us these 3 readings today, on this 2nd Sunday of Lent, for a reason. This season of Lent calls us to grow closer to God, to grow in trust and dependence on God, and to grow in love for our neighbor. And these readings we are given today help us to do just that. So let us look into and relate our lives with our 1st reading in order to help us understand the reason for our 2nd reading and Gospel.READ MORE
Sometimes it is really helpful in our Spiritual lives to reflect on the Scriptures in a little different way than perhaps we usually do. So instead of reading and reflecting on what was said in the Scriptures, sometimes it is helpful to use our imaginations and place ourselves in the story being told, and allow the Holy Spirit to inspire us just as the people in the stories might have been inspired. Today, I encourage you to use your imaginations and place yourself as one of the people in our readings. You may close your eyes if you’d like, as long as you don’t fall asleep. And together, let us take a moment now to ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand what the people were thinking and feeling, and ask that the Holy Spirit to foster conversion in us just as the people in our readings.READ MORE
In our Gospel today we hear about Jesus’ call of Andrew, Simon, James, and John to become His Disciple and follow him, just as he calls you and I as well. And although it most likely is a story familiar to all of us, if we take time to ponder it, there is a lot we can learn. Each time we hear it, it should convict us to a radical lifestyle change- just as it did for the disciples Andrew, Simon, James, and John. However, in order to understand the full weight of the ‘calling’ which we hear in today’s Gospel from Mark, we need to remind ourselves of the Gospel last week from John.READ MORE
Today we celebrate the fact that Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River and God is revealed as the Trinity, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The question has been asked, if Jesus is the Son of God and is without sin, then why was he baptized? I am sure you have thought about this…. I know I used to. The Early Church Fathers answered that question by saying that Jesus was not made holy by the baptismal waters but rather Jesus made the waters of baptism holy. Jesus was baptized in order to make every baptism thereafter effective. When we think about the effects of baptism we most likely think first of the forgiveness of sin and the second thing that comes to mind is becoming a child of God as a member of the Body of Christ.READ MORE
Today is the last Sunday of the Christmas season. Next week we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord which is fitting as it is the beginning of Ordinary Time, I say it is fitting because the Sacrament of baptism is the start of our life in Christ.
Today’s celebration is the Epiphany of the Lord. Epiphany means manifestation. We celebrate the amazing gift of God who reveals himself, or manifests himself in Jesus Christ. God, who becomes human, is manifested to all the nations.READ MORE
Fittingly, the Sunday after the Son of God is born into the world, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family- Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. It is fitting because Jesus Christ, the Son of God who became human in order to save his people- is born into a family with a father and a mother. For truly, as the Church teaches, the family is the foundation of society- as the family goes, so goes society. And there is no secret that the major problems in society today are due to a breakdown of the family. Therefore, it is necessary for us to truly understand who the family is, and is meant to be. Today I want to reflect on the Holy Family- Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and what exactly makes a family holy. For truly, every family is meant to be a model of the Holy Family- every family is meant to be holy.READ MORE
I bring you good news of great joy. Today we celebrate the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ into our world. What an exciting time this is. From the beginning of time, ever since sin entered the world through the pride and disobedience of our first parents, God has put a plan of salvation in place. God continued this plan of salvation through Abraham the father of faith, and then Moses, David, and through all the prophets. And now in Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation has come to fulfillment. The Savior which every person has longed for, the One that was promised to come has arrived. God’s presence lit up the sky with a bright guiding star. He was proclaimed by the angels and witnessed by the shepherds and wise men. Jesus is the messiah who came for you and me.READ MORE
Today in our Gospel, this time from the Apostle John, we get to know John the Baptist a little better. Let us look more closely at who he is, try to learn from him, and even become like John the Baptist.READ MORE