Jesus was tempted by the evil one. Demons begged Jesus to leave them alone as they knew their time of torturing and enslaving a person was finished when He saw them. Jesus gave His Church the tools to be free of demons and their enticements to sin and, instead, grow in holiness. These tools are the Seven Sacraments. The Church has identified seven deadly sins so we can be aware of their danger: pride, greed, sloth, lust, anger, gluttony and envy. These sins can destroy a person and their sacramental marriage.READ MORE
This time of year we are so focused on our Blessed Mother! We celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and of course, I am still remembering the beautiful procession and the faith-filled mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Monday, we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God; this year it is not a day of obligation, but how can we not celebrate Mary's motherhood since she is our patroness.READ MORE
On this Feast of the Holy Family, Mary and Joseph show us how to obey. They don't ask for exceptions to the rules, they simply obey.
At the Temple, Mary and Joseph hear the prophetic words of Simeon and Anna about their beloved baby boy. First, Simeon describes seeing the "salvation" God has sent His people in this little Child. Simeon's words "amazed" Mary and Joseph. As parents, we dream of great things for our children. We want to see happiness in their future. We would not want to hear what Mary and Joseph heard next from Simeon: "this Child is destined...to be a sign that will be contradicted." They heard how the sword would pierce Mary's heart as her Child did the work God sent Him to do. Even God's own Son, born into the best possible loving, devout family, did not escape suffering in this world. Still, Joseph and Mary trusted in God's good plan.READ MORE
St. Paul instructed us how to live as faithful, married Christians when he wrote, "Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ" (Eph. 5:21). Christ so loved His Bride, the Church, He died for her. This is the kind of love a husband is to have for his wife. A husband is to love his wife so completely that he displays the depth of that love by dying to his own body, selfish desires and independence: his very life he gives to her. A wife is to love her husband completely, knowing he will do nothing to hurt her: her very life she gives to him. They are of one mind, heart, flesh and spirit. Both are to help each other grow in holiness as they proceed on their combined mission of sanctification through love, service and prayer.READ MORE
Advent Greetings and Merry Christmas,
As we celebrate the Incarnation, the gift of our God coming among us, it is important to remember the many gifts we have received from our God. I know, our secular society wants us to concentrate on what we do not have and what we want, but as Catholics we are a Eucharistic people, and the Greek word "eucharist" means thanksgiving. In the season of Christmas, let us truly be a Eucharistic, a thanksgiving people.READ MORE
Christ said He came, "To serve not be served" (Mt.20:28). The Gospel accounts are full of all the times He served each person who came to Him. Jesus Christ, who is God, walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead and fed thousands of people. Yet, He humbly knelt before a tax collector and simple fishermen to wash dirty, smelly feet like a common slave. Jesus was always showing us through humble service how to love by serving. Self-love always stands in the way of extending our self when we feel justified due to being too tired or too busy to stop what we want to do and serve our spouse. Love is sacrificial service, not affection and fun. Doing what we want does not help our personal sanctification process as does placing the needs of our spouse before ourselves.READ MORE
Next weekend is a little confusing so let me explain it. Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Advent so the Saturday evening vigil Masses and Sunday Masses until 4:00pm are not Christmas, they are Advent Masses. Since Christmas falls on Monday, Christmas Eve masses cannot begin before 4:00pm; our first Christmas Eve Mass will be at 5:00pm as usual. It is important to attend both the 4th Sunday of Advent and to attend Christmas Mass; parents please do not teach your children that mass is optional or when it is convenient.READ MORE
Rejoice! No matter how dark this world bec omes it can never overcome the Light of Christ within us!
As a child, I was both terrified of the dark, and ashamed of my fear. I would awaken my younger sister to go with me to the bathroom and make her promise not to tell anyone. My good sister never shared my secret. She was the light that kept fear and shame from stealing my joy.
During Advent, each week the light of our candles gets brighter and brighter. No matter how much darkness we experience, we can bring the Light of Christ to others who are bound by fear and shame, freeing them to rejoice. As we light the rose candle, let us pause to remember, with Mary, that Christ has already come into the world and his light has been growing in the Church and by the work of his Holy Spirit, in the world How are we bringing his Light to others? Our Savior is near! Rejoice!READ MORE
Next Tuesday we will celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of our diocese and the Queen of the Americas. This is not just a Hispanic feast, Our Lady of Guadalupe is the first great appearance of our Blessed Mother and the only one where she left her actual image. This image is not a painting, but a miraculous image on fiber that should have disintegrated after about 20 years.
We will conclude our Novena on Monday evening at 6pm at our Capilla on 55th Avenue. After the novena, about 7pm, we will process our image of Our Lady of Guadalupe through the neighborhood. If you have never walked in this procession you have missed a wonderful devotion, not just for those who walk, but for those who come out of their home to greet our Blessed Mother.READ MORE
Advent is about preparing for the coming of Jesus into our lives. According to the prophet Isaiah, we should "Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!" What is this wasteland if not the barren places of our souls? They are those places we have not yet received God's love for us. Do we have valleys in our hearts? Empty places where love and kindness are missing? We can fill in those valleys by being loving and kind to a family member who is especially difficult. What about the mountains or hills, the high places of pride that make us feel we're better than others? We can flatten those by choosing the hidden, humble tasks with joy. Are there rocky places of temptation that cause us to stumble or fall? We can remove them by confessing our sins. Then our souls will be ready to welcome our Lord when he comes. When we let Isaiah help us to "prepare the way of the LORD" in Advent, we will be "gathered into His arms and carried in His bosom."READ MORE
Christ condensed the Ten Commandments into two: "Love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind. This is the greatest commandment and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mt 22:37-39). Your first and most important neighbor is your spouse. Do you love your spouse as much as you love yourself? Our world would change for the better if every Catholic married couple lived these two commandments and taught them to their children through words as well as actions. Children would then live in a home in which parents spoke of God as the real, living, loving head of their home. Parents would speak with love and gratitude for God, His great commandments of love, the holy Catholic Church, the sacraments, the love they share, their marriage and the great gift of children as the most important blessings in their lives. Children would be given peace of mind and soul knowing how secure they were in the love of God as well as the love of their parents. It is this kind of stability that allows children to flourish.READ MORE
The prophet Isaiah describes what we are like when we forget God. Does his description make us uncomfortable? We are, he says, sinful, unclean, withered like leaves, guilty. Even our good deeds, Isaiah warns, are like polluted rags without God. Then he prays, "Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are clay, you are the potter." This shift of focus from the guilt of our sin to pliable docility in the hands of a loving Father is what Advent is all about. Our hearts ought to cry with the Psalmist throughout this season, "Lord make us turn to you." The second reading brings another shift. In Christ is grace, peace, knowledge, and every spiritual gift. God is Faithful – He will keep us firm to the end!READ MORE
Many of us have probably had the experience of being in a very dark place, maybe a room, or even outside away from the city lights. If it is really dark, we look for some little light to guide our way. When we see the light, we move towards it, because it will show us the way we need to go.
As we begin the holy season of Advent, we begin looking for that light to guide our way. Life can sometimes seem dark and despairing, but St. John the Baptist and our Blessed Mother will guide us to the light, Jesus Christ. This is the Advent experience.READ MORE
"If the Lord does not build the house the work of the builders is useless; if the Lord does not protect the city, it does no good for the sentries to stand guard" (Ps 127). Allow God to build and guard your house by living and keeping the priorities in the right relationship for a strong, healthy, Catholic marriage. Rebuilding your life and marriage means replacing self-love with love for God and spouse. Remember, Jesus is present in your marriage and it is His divine love that binds you together in your chosen vocation and sacrament. Increased personal and couple prayer along with serving your spouse are core aspect to having Jesus build and guard your marriage. The evil one does not want you loving God, having a happy, holy marriage, going to reconciliation, praying as a couple and desiring personal holiness. Expect these changes to be difficult. Your vocation is your sacramental marriage and is for your sanctification. This is not an easy process, but it is necessary as God wills each of us to be sanctified in order to be with Him in heaven for eternity.READ MORE