Feast of the Holy Family

12-29-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The feast of the Holy Family is the natural continuation of the Christmas Season. All the scripture readings of today reflect on aspects of family including the duties and blessings that come about as a result of the faithful living of family life. In the creation narrative of the Bible we read that God created man in his image and likeness and placed him in a family. To understand what a family is we must come to know the life of God in the Trinity which is a family. On this feast day the Church presents the Holy Family to us as a model for our own family life. Joseph was the head of the Holy Family and provided for Mary and Jesus with the work of his hands. He was obedient to the angel who told him to take Mary as his wife, what name the child should be given and again he was told to flee to Egypt with the family when there was a threat on their life.


Fourth Week of Advent

12-22-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

Today, while celebrating the last Sunday of Advent prior to the Feast of Christmas Day, we can associate with the greatest joy of the Blessed Virgin Mary who awaited the coming of Baby Jesus into the world. Anticipation and preparedness are the watchwords for this Sunday of Advent. Anticipation of the celebration of the birth of our Lord some 2000 years ago and the festivities, gifts, parties and family get-togethers which accompany that celebration. This long awaited king is born in modest circumstances with no earthly power or show. Yet our faith tells us to prepare ourselves for him.


Third Week of Advent

12-15-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

In the liturgical year, we are in the third Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time of waiting. It is a season ofwaiting for the coming of the Lord. Coming of the Lord could be understood at least in three ways: The Lordcame in the form of a human baby two thousand years ago; The Lord comes even today in the Word andSacrament; The Lord will come at the end of times. In the season of Advent, the church invites us to becomeaware of the fact that as pilgrims on the face of the earth we are all waiting!


The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: December 9, 2019

12-08-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

Since December 8, 2019, is the Second Sunday of Advent, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is transferred to Monday, December 9, 2019. The obligation to attend Mass, however, does NOT transfer. The Optional Memorial of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, December 9, is omitted this year. (From the USCCB)

On the 8th of December the Church celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. In teaching that Mary was immaculately conceived, the Catholic Church teaches us that from the very moment of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from all stain of original sin. This simply means that from the very beginning, Mary was in a state of grace, sharing in God's own life, and hence she was free from the sinful inclinations which have beset human nature after the fall.


First Sunday of Advent

12-01-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

In our lives we encounter different types of preparation because we are waiting for someone to come or something to happen into our lives. We spend a lot of money and energy for these preparations. For example, preparing a party, a preparation for our own career or for our own wedding and for the birth of a baby. Another one is preparation for moving into another house or for building a new home or for retirement and many more. We are so very excited about these to come or to happen.


The Feast of Christ the King

11-24-2019Weekly Reflection

On the last Sunday of the liturgical year the church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King. This feast is observed on this Sunday as it helps us to meditate on Christ the King and Lord and at the same time reflect on the Second and Final Coming of Christ, the last Judgment, and the end of the world. The Solemnity of Christ the King is a newer feast in the Catholic Church. In 1925, Pope Pius XI introduced the feast of Christ the King as a warning against the totalitarian leaders that were cropping up in the early part of the 20th century. It was a statement against the situation of Europe between the two World Wars. Today, the feast invites us to do a soul-searching of our own leadership style.


Persevere and Look Forward in Hope

11-17-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

As we reach the end of the liturgical year (next week will be the last Sunday in the liturgical calendar when we will celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, and the following Sunday will be the First Sunday in Advent) and as we conclude the Lukan account of the public ministry of Jesus, the Word of God today speaks to us about "the end". On this second last Sunday of the Church's liturgical year, we are called upon to reflect on the Day of Judgment and the end times and the importance of the endurance.


Our God is the God of life

11-10-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

The liturgy of the word on this Sunday, even as we near the end of the liturgical year, invites us to contemplate on the mystery of God in relation to human death and life! Jesus assures us that there is life after death because our God is the God of life.

My reflection will have two major parts. In the first part I would like to situate the gospel text of today (Lk 20:27-38) within the larger context of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. Then I would like to explore the idea of our God being the God of life. And this will take us to the question of "So what?" – reflecting on the implication of this belief for our lives today. I see our belief in the resurrection providing a foundation to the purpose even of this life.


The story of Zacchaeus (Lk 19:1-10)

11-03-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

The thirst: Zacchaeus was anxious to see Jesus (Lk 19:3)

Why did Zacchaeus want to see Jesus? It was perhaps a mere curiosity. But could this eagerness be an indication of something deeper – a thirst, a desire? And where does that desire come from? I think the source of that thirst is God Himself. The thirst arises from the truth that we are created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Since we all bear the image of God – being in the nature of God – we want to reach our origin. As every river on the face of the earth, small and large, strives towards the great ocean, we all strive towards God. He is the alpha and the omega. St Augustine encapsulated this in his powerful statement: "Thou hast prompted man, that he should delight to praise thee, for thou hast made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee" (Confessions, 1,1; trans. Outler).


World Mission Sunday

10-20-2019Weekly Reflection+Bishop William Patrick Callahan

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

May the Lord give you peace.

This year, Oct. 20th marks a very special World Mission Sunday: our annual, worldwide, Eucharistic celebration of our shared call to mission. It takes place during an Extraordinary Missionary Month, called for by Pope Francis in honor of the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's apostolic letter Maximum Illud, which emphasizes our missionary call to proclaim the Gospel.

During October, Pope Francis invites us – all baptized Christians – to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ through prayer, meditation on the word of God and pilgrimage. Pope Francis reminds us that we are each "Baptized and Sent"; "Church of Christ on Mission in the World."


A closer look at gratitude

10-13-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

During the Ordinary Time of the year, for Sunday liturgy we normally listen to a particular Gospel. This year we are listening to the Gospel of Luke. The first reading is selected from the Old Testament in such a way as to correspond to the gospel text, while the 2nd reading from the Epistles follows its own sequence. Today, the first reading and the gospel text have extraordinary similarities. Both are stories about lepers being healed; in both stories there are expressions of gratitude; and both are about outsiders!

Let us begin by looking at some of the interesting details in the gospel text of today so as to appreciate the context of the story, and then we can reflect a little deeper on the theme of gratitude.


The Spirituality of Daily life

10-06-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

The Liturgy of the Word on this 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time invites us to reflect on the sacredness ofour daily lives. It calls us to find God in our faithfulness to daily duties. The readings invite us to live by faith.

The first reading is from Prophet Habakkuk (1:2-3; 2:2-4). This book was written during a very difficulttime in the history of Israel(7th Cent BC), just before the Babylonian Exile (598 BC). One of the central themesin this book of Habakkuk can be summarized in the lines that we heard read in the first reading of today: “Theupright man (the just) will live by his faithfulness” (Hab 2:4). And in the gospel today, Jesus suggests that wecan merit the Kingdom of God by the fulfillment of our ordinary, daily duties done with a little faith, even if thatfaith is only as big as a mustard seed. It is faith that converts ordinary things of daily life into extraordinarysigns of the Kingdom of God. Jesus says, “When you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We aremerely servants: we have done no more than our duty” (Lk 17:10).