Pastor's Message - January 21, 2018
“Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths,
guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.” ~Psalm 25
Dear Parishioners and Friends;
In last weekend’s first reading, we learned all about young Samuel and the instructions he received from his teacher and prophet Eli to respond to the call of God by saying, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Young Samuel does respond to God when he hears his name being spoken by God and thus his beginning conversation takes him in a new direction. This was all part of God’s plan. Years later, God would guide the prophet Samuel in choosing, apart from his brothers, a young shepherd boy named David to be anointed as King. David became a great King and eventually also the father of the wise and legendary King Solomon. Although both had human shortcomings and sins that eventually proved quite serious, God would have his only son Jesus, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the little city of David called Bethlehem.
The Gospel writer Matthew would list the genealogy of Jesus incarnation through Mary as being of the “house” or “lineage” of David.
Turning to the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark, we read how Jesus passed by the Sea of Galilee and called Simon and his brother Andrew to follow him. They abandoned their nets and boats to follow Jesus. They hear and respond to the voice of Jesus and thus their life direction is forever changed. Even James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, hear this voice from Jesus and through his invitation, left their boats, nets and father Zebedee to follow Jesus.
Some questions for reflection:
- Who are the voices we most listen to in life?
- Do we let popular opinion, fad or beliefs dictate what we believe, or do we seek to listen for God’s voice
- in regular prayer, attendance at mass, and in the teachings of our Catholic faith?
- Where do we find our own voice on these matters?
- Would we ever consider encouraging a call from God to the priesthood within our own family, with our own son?
- Would we ever support a daughter in choosing a vocation to the Religious life?
- Would we ever trust God in that possibility?
George Washington Carver once said, "Be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak . . . someday in life you will have been all of these.”
May God bless you!
Pastor's Message - January 14, 2018
“At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet. The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” ~1 Samuel 2
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
January is regarded as “Respect Life Month” and is the time when we pray for the grace and mercy of God to bring about a conversion of hearts and minds especially towards the helpless unborn child and the infirm elderly.
The origin of Human life is from God. One day all people, regardless of their wealth, political affinities or beliefs, will have to render an accounting of how they, and we, have spent our lives in relationship towards one another.
Most recently, Pope Francis dedicated his Christmas masses for the needs of migrant persons who have had to flee their country, homes and livelihood because of violence and the threats of violence. There is no valid justification for devaluing human life. When Jesus was asked to summarize the two greatest commandments he did so by saying that we must love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus then went on to demonstrate his tremendous love for all people by giving of his life on the cross. This is the opposite of what we would expect a powerful or influential person to do.
This is why Jesus, and only Jesus is our hope and our salvation.
May God bless you this week!
Pastor's Message - January 7, 2018
“When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” ~Matthew 2
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. "Epiphany" means "revelation."
God gives us the very greatest gift we could ever receive. His only son Jesus.
In the Eastern Catholic Tradition, the Feast of the Epiphany is the traditional time gifts are exchanged with loved ones, not at Christmas time. The entire focus then becomes focused on the birth of Jesus.
There is a bit of mystery about the Magi, three of whom bore the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Traveling from afar, they were knowledgeable about astronomy and knew Jewish tradition and understood the ancient predictions and prophesies that a messiah would be born in Bethlehem, a messiah who would change the world for the better.
God would come to dwell among us, Jesus Incarnate, God in human flesh. We would come to know of the saving action of God through Jesus his Son. Part of the beauty in the story of the Magi is that they, and us, are forever changed because we are in the presence of Jesus.
As we enter into the New Year, let us, for a moment, kneel with the wise Magi and open our hearts to receive God’s most precious gift. May we allow God space and room in our lives so that God’s plan may come to fruition in our own life and that we might offer the gentle love of Jesus through our own actions and words to our family and to each other.
Finally, I wish to thank everyone who sent get-well cards to Fr. Shatzel through these past few weeks before his passing. Although his illness prevented him from sending a reply, just know that your kind thoughts and prayers meant a lot to him and thank you for the Christmas cards and well wishes you sent to me.
May God bless you this week!
Pastor's Message - December 24, 2017
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Dear Parishioners and Friends:
This weekend we light the fourth and final candle of our Advent Wreath and later on Sunday afternoon Christmas Eve will begin!
My gratitude to everyone who has helped get us ready for Christmas, from Scout Troup 163, to our parishioners assembling the Nativity scenes and numerous flower arrangements and to our Choirs for preparing music for this blessed time of year.
Many, many thanks to everyone who went to the stores to purchase the countless fine toys and clothing for the needy children and adults in our area. Everything was carefully sorted, matched and distributed to the needs of the children and adults being served by various charitable agencies. Another example of your generosity!
For everyone returning home to visit family and friends, welcome!
May this Christmas and Season be one of hope for you and your family.
In the Gospel of Luke we read about the shepherds who are the first to witness the angels announcing and glorifying Jesus’ birth. One would expect persons of influence or royalty to be the first to learn of this news, not the lowly shepherds. But in fact, God's plan would be vastly different than human expectations. This new infant King would also, one day, come to describe himself as the eternal Good Shepherd who would bring about our salvation.
Let us draw near and offer ourselves to Jesus. Let us not ignore his tender invitation to receive him in the Holy Eucharist and to guide our children to do the same.
As we celebrate Christ's birth, let us rejoice, for Jesus dwells with us!
May God bless you! Merry Christmas!
Pastor's Message - December 17, 2017
Here is an explanation about the mass schedule next weekend. Please note the changes!
Next weekend Catholics are obliged to attend two masses:
One for the Fourth Sunday of Advent AND One mass for Christmas
In the United States, there is no dispensation to choose only one mass for the entire weekend.
For the Fourth Sunday of Advent you may choose one of these Masses:
Saturday, December 23 at 5:00pm
Sunday, December 24 at 7:30am
Sunday, December 24 at 9:00am
Then for Christmas you may choose one of these Masses:
Sunday, December 24 at 3:00pm
Sunday, December 24 at 5:00pm
Sunday, December 24 at 10:00pm (Choir starts at 9:30pm)
Monday, December 25 at 9:00am
Monday, December 25 at 10:30am