Happy feast of Easter! Easter is the prototype of all Christian feasts. It is such a great event that one day ofcelebration does not suffice. We needed eight days of liturgical celebrations. Yes, today we conclude theOctave of Easter.
On this 2nd Sunday of Easter, every year, we have the same gospel reading, though the other two readings vary.The gospel passage of today begins with the narration of the first appearance of the Risen Lord to his apostleson the day of Easter, it goes on then to narrate the appearance of the Risen Lord to Thomas who was absent onthe day of the Easter. The latter incident takes place on the eighth day of Easter (like today). Thus the gospeltext of today from John (20:19-31) really links the Easter Sunday to the Octave. A very apt reading indeed toconclude the Octave of Easter!READ MORE
We cannot live Easter without entering into the mystery. It is not something intellectual, something we only know or read about… It is more, much more! "To enter into the mystery" means the ability to wonder, to contemplate; the ability to listen to the silence and to hear the tiny whisper amid great silence by which God speaks to us ( 1 Kings 19:12).READ MORE
Today the Church is celebrating the Palm Sunday which is also known as Passion Sunday to commemorate thebeginning of Holy Week and Jesus’ final agonizing journey to the cross. The word passion comes from a Latin wordPassio meaning “to suffer,” and we meditatively go with the sufferings of Jesus. Here we have the rejoicing with thecoming of Jesus and at the same time a reminder of his suffering that is to come in a short time. In the liturgicalcalendar Holy Week begins with the Sixth Sunday in Lent. Palm Sunday reminds the faithful of the glorious andtriumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. As Jesus entered into Jerusalem the crowds greeted him with shouts of joyand proclaimed him as the messianic king. They spread their cloaks on the ground and placed the palm branches onthe street and shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”.READ MORE
We are just one week away from the Holy Week and away from our celebration of God’s love shown in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. For us Christians this season of Lent is a time of special grace in which we experience the presence of a personal God who cares and loves us. Our response is to transform ourselves and live according to his will. We want to do something new and come to him in obedience and freedom. We ought to change our lives during Lent and come closer to him. Therefore the Church calls this season as a joyful time, because it is our preparation for the future joy of Easter that approaches us bringing his blessings, mercy and forgiveness. As we approach to the end of our Lenten season, we are reminded of our last opportunity to cooperate with God’s graces and his benevolent love.READ MORE
On this fourth Sunday of Lent, when the Church already rejoices in the coming feast of Easter, singing "Laetare Jerusalem", "Rejoice, O Jerusalem", it is the Gospel of the return of the prodigal son that is proposed to us as today's reading. And this is indeed a Gospel of joy and peace, for it concerns a truly profound and lasting conversion: that of a son who returns to his father and throws himself at his feet, asking for his forgiveness for having squandered his entire inheritance. Here we are called upon to renew ourselves and experience the loving invitation of our Lord.READ MORE
The liturgy of the Third Sunday of Lent begins by acknowledging God´s holiness and his claim on us that we belong to him. It recognizes that we are his own people, and must live in a way that reflects his holiness. God offers us the gift of faith as our path towards holiness. At the same time we all want and desire to live a peaceful life. We all want to make sense of our existence. We all desire to live a life where we can make a positive contribution to ourselves, to our families and to those around us. Challenges are always with us, difficulties surround us. However the more we long, desire and develop a personal and ultimate relationship with Jesus Christ as our best friend, there is absolutely nothing that we cannot face and overcome. Indeed we become the "power and the wisdom of God".READ MORE
We are now into the great season of Lent. It is important for us to realize that our life is a journey, a movement towards God and to prepare ourselves to receive him fully. That we are pilgrims on the journey is what Lent is all about.
During the season of Lent, the church invites us to examine our lives, to repent of our sins and do penance. This first Sunday of Lent (03.10.19) is celebrated as Safe Haven Sunday. As your pastor, I am always impressed by the love I see in the families of our parish community and am constantly giving God thanks for your many efforts that truly uphold the dignity of marriage and family life. Thank you!READ MORE
Today we have the continuation of Luke's sermon on the plain giving us some of the teachings from Matthew's Sermon on the Mount. Last Sunday's Gospel told us not to judge or we would be judged ourselves. This does not mean that we are never to criticize other people. 'Criticize' comes from Greek to make a rational judgment. So we speak of a film or drama 'critic' who may indeed tear a production to pieces or, on the other hand, may praise it to the skies giving full credit to it. We have here the three distinctive unrelated sayings of Jesus: blind leading the blind, the splinter in the companion's eye, the good tree and its fruits. What is being forbidden by Jesus is not judgment as such but negative, destructive judgment. There are times when we are expected to give constructive, helpful criticism.READ MORE
The key theme that runs through today's readings is one of love. It is the new commandment that Christ left behind at the last supper, inviting his disciples to love one another just as he loved them. In the first reading David shows how a Christian should respond to the challenge God has given him by not killing the enemy. In the second reading we hear Paul telling the Corinthian community Christ the new Adam is different from the old Adam. He invites his community to grow into the image of the heavenly Father by continuously transforming themselves. Through his committed love he brought new life to people. In the gospel Jesus speaks about loving their enemies and sincerely praying for their persecutors which shows that only a religious motivation could be a root of such a notable behavior. He tells them that the reason for this is the Father in heaven who is caring, loving and merciful. He is kind to those ungrateful and wicked.READ MORE
Today's gospel contains what we call the Eight Beatitudes, or the core Attitudes of a Christian. It contains a recipe for living, and for happiness. It outlines a series of choices, and it gives us a programme for living. Today, and for the next two weeks, our Gospel reading is that teaching of Jesus which, in St. Matthew's Gospel, we know as the Sermon on the Mount. The two evangelists present essentially the same material, but there are some minor differences. Most notable, perhaps, is the setting for the sermon. While St. Matthew tells us that Jesus went up the mountain to teach, St. Luke depicts Jesus descending the mountain after prayer to teach on the level ground. For this reason St. Luke's version of Jesus' teaching is often called the Sermon on the Plain.READ MORE
Today's readings tell us of the experience of divine presence and the human response of the individual. We have here three important persons mentioned in the Bible: Isaiah, Paul and Peter. All the three persons were most grateful to God for having chosen them and they did make a great effort to answer the calling to the best of their capabilities. This is not to say that they were all perfect persons. Prophet Isaiah wished at times that God would have chosen someone else because the people would not listen to him. He viewed himself as a great sinner among sinners, not worthy of being in the presence of Yahweh. St. Paul started on the wrong track by persecuting the Christians.READ MORE
I have been witnessing some very interesting postures and reception of the Holy Eucharist at Communion time and it is quite disturbing.
The Roman Missal is very clear on how we the faithful are to receive our Lord at Holy Communion. The Communion Procession is a profoundly religious action and it tells us something about the way in which we should participate in this procession. "We are the Body of Christ, moving forward to receive the Christ who makes us one with himself and with one another. Our procession should move with dignity; our bearing should be that of those who know they have been redeemed by Christ and are coming to receive their God!" In the United States, the body of Bishops determined that Communion should be received standing, and that a bow is the act of reverence made by those receiving.READ MORE
In today's Gospel prologue, St. Luke mentions many members of the early Church. But he only mentions one by name: Theophilus, for whom St. Luke compiled his Gospel account. So who are the others, and why does he mention them? He mentions them in order to put his account of the Gospel within the context of the Church.
Sometimes you'll hear of Christians calling Christianity a "religion of the book", the "book" in question being the Bible. However, while the Bible lies at the heart of our Christian Faith, Christianity does have a more primary foundation, and that is the Church. Christianity is more truly a "religion of the Church" than "of the Book". To be clear: it's not the Bible, but the Church that is at the heart of the Faith. Jesus founded the Church, but He did not write the New Testament: He left that job to the apostles. The writing of the New Testament was part of the mission that began on the day of Pentecost.READ MORE
Brandon Vogt, a top selling Catholic Author, has come out with a new video series and I believe our young people and you will find it interesting and quite intriguing. For the past five months, Brandon has been secretly working on a brand new, 5-part video series.
The series is titled: "Why it's Time for a Catholic Dumbledore's Army (and Why You Need to Join)"
Brandon informs us that He "sadly, came to realize most Catholics are in the same situation as Harry Potter and friends in the bestselling books:"READ MORE