On the last Sunday of the year, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. This feast celebrates the family unit and the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. On this day we offer our own families and all the members of our community on the altar for God's blessing from the Holy Family.
The feast of the Holy Family reminds us that as the basic unit of the universal Church, each family is called to holiness. The Holy Family tells us about the Divine Son of God Jesus, his mother Mary, and his foster father Joseph. We know very little about the life of the Holy Family through the Scriptures. They speak of the early years of the Holy Family, including the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, the finding of Jesus in the temple and their life at Nazareth.READ MORE
Today's Gospel tells us the touching story of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth and the recognition of the baby Mary was carrying in her womb as the long awaited savior. This visitation serves to bring together the two annunciation strands of Luke's infancy narrative. Here the two pregnant women of faith meet, even though Elizabeth is clearly subordinate to Mary. Both children in the womb will be great, but Mary's child will be the son of the Most High. With the greeting of Elizabeth, the child in her womb John leaps for joy. Elizabeth takes this opportunity to call Mary as the blessed one. What does it mean to be blessed in the context of Mary is the question we would always ask.READ MORE
On this third Sunday of Advent the church invites us to rejoice and prepare ourselves for the coming of the Savior. The first word of the Antiphon is Gaudete, meaning rejoice and the entire texts of the Mass are filled with the expressions of joy and jubilation. Even the vestment color is changed from the original purple to rose or pink. The entrance antiphon starts with the word: "Rejoice in the Lord always." The First Reading from the prophet Zephaniah tells the faithful to shout for joy, and to rejoice and exult with all their hearts. The Lord will renew them with his love and will be present among them. The responsorial psalm tell us to sing and shout for joy for the Holy One of Israel is in their midst. In the Second Reading, St Paul invites the Christians of Philippi to be happy in the Lord and to remain always in that happiness. The reason for this is that the Lord id near in their proximity. The Gospel brings the people to the awareness of the expectancy of the coming of the Savior and the need for the immediate preparation for the coming of the King who will remain among us. Here we have John the Baptist surrounded by anxious and waiting group of people. They are worried and are unsure about the future. John is there to guide them, to advise them of practical ways and baptize them. Soon Jesus will come to change everything and fill them with Joy. That is what we celebrate today.READ MORE
This season of Advent heralds the coming of Emmanuel, "God with us". It is the time we realize when our God comes to earth to take on human form and live on earth just as we live. He does it as he shares his life and love with us. When God shares his love with us he invites us to share our love with Him and with others. Advent is the time of waiting as we prepare ourselves to welcome the God who became man and who by example showed us how we too should be able to live like him for others. Advent means waiting. We wait for someone we love and we long to meet that person.READ MORE
Today we begin the season of Advent and with this we begin the new liturgical year. On this day the church invites us to be ready and prepared to receive the Lord. Advent means waiting and we wait eagerly for someone we love, we care and we are ready to invest our time on him. In the liturgical calendar, the season of Advent means a joyful waiting, a waiting for someone with love. Here we wait for Jesus and there is the eagerness within us to receive him as we look forward to this great event of God becoming man. During this season we anticipate and await the coming of our Jesus.READ MORE
On the last Sunday of the liturgical year the church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King. This feast expresses the all-embracing authority of Christ as King and Lord of the Universe. This feast helps us to look towards our future and our ultimate future is when Jesus will return in glory for the final judgment and award reward or punishment. This Solemnity is a newer feast in the Catholic Church. The feast of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and is observed on the Last Sunday of the liturgical year as it helps us to meditate on Christ the King and Lord and also on the Second and Final Coming of Christ, the last Judgment, and the end of the world.READ MORE
Today is the second last Sunday of the Church liturgical year. Next Sunday we will celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. As the church brings its liturgical year to an end, it traditionally presents the knowledge of the end times. This gives us the message that Jesus is the beginning and end of all things, all things exist in and through him. He is the Alpha and the Omega and he is the source of all things.READ MORE
When the books of Old Testament refer to the poor they often list three categories of people: the stranger, the orphan and the widow (Deut 14:29). The Hebrew Scriptures constantly invite people to be sensitive to the needs of these three types of vulnerable people: the stranger, the orphan and the widow (Ps 94:6; Jer 7:11). In the first reading a prophet offers life to a poor widow and her son. The woman only has to respond in faith and God will take care of her needs. She generously and willingly gave to the prophet what little she had and God blessed her abundantly.READ MORE
In the first reading taken from the Book of Deuteronomy we hear of Moses who having received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai, set about teaching them to the Israelites, God’s chosen people. He promised them temporal rewards if they remained loyal to their God who was one and only God and would prove their loyalty by observing his commandments. He told them that these rules, the Decalogue, are essential to be in communion with God. To secure a perfect communion with God, Moses began his discourse by telling the people to fear the Lord God. Therefore fear, that involves discipline, is part of the sanctifying process of the soul. When the believer has reached a higher level of holiness, the fear fades away, and is being replaced with true love in God.READ MORE
Congratulations to our students who will be getting confirmed this Sunday at Holy Family Catholic Church in Arcadia. Please pray for these students.
Alexander Jacob Brown - Saint Christopher
Emma Leigh Pronschinske – Saint Catherine of Bologna
Caitlyn Marie Speltz – Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Barbara Irene Dittrich – Saint Francis of Assisi
Chase Alexander Kamrowski – Saint Alexander of Jerusalem
Morgan Lynn Stolz - Saint Catherine of Siena
All the three readings of today touch the theme of suffering. In the first reading of today we hear God praising a loyal Servant. Through his sufferings and death he has won healing for many. This suffering servant will offer his life in atonement. In the second reading Jesus is presented to us as a High Priest who becomes the mediator between God and man restoring all things to the Father. Since he experienced struggles of life on earth, he can sympathize with us weak human beings. He can feel for us in our weakness. In the Gospel Jesus teaches James and John and the other disciples that the real pathway to glory and honor is service and becoming a servant. The Son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Our Christian life can be summarized as a call to serve.READ MORE
Word of God of this Sunday – the 28th Sunday in ordinary time – invites us to examine our attitude towards money and wealth. In the first reading, King Solomon, who is acclaimed as the author of the book of Wisdom, sings:
"I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her," (Wis 7:7-8).
Today's readings tell us of the sacredness of married life. In the first reading God blesses man and woman whom he created. In their love for each other in marriage the two become one. In the Gospel we have the teaching of Jesus about divorce and remarriage. He blesses the little children with the message that they symbolize those fit to enter the kingdom of God. In the second reading we hear that the Son of God came to the earth and identified with us. We are his brothers and sisters. He suffered and died for us so that we may be saved.READ MORE