Merry Christmas

12-25-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Chauncey Winkler

Dear Parish Family,

Baby Jesus has come to you. He had you in mind when he created the world and when he made a promise to Abraham, Jacob, Moses and David. He was born for you and carried his cross for you. He prepared a way for you on the day of his resurrection and on the day of his ascension. He prepared a place for you on the day he entrusted the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter and the Apostles, and also on the day of Pentecost, the birthday of his Church. All of this from the beginning of time until today is for you. Jesus is born for you.

This is an important truth that can be easily lost. While Jesus surely came to save the whole human family, he also came for your own family. In our own human limitations, we often find ourselves anonymous in a large crowd, and we can get used to this kind of thinking. But, none of us is anonymous to God. He knows you intimately and completely as if you were the only family in the world. God’s attention is not distracted away from us by other people. He sees and knows and loves us for who we are, and he came to love us into the family that he intended from the beginning.

My prayer for your family this Christmas is that Jesus, who is born for you, will live in your home, talk with you, eat with you, work with you, and rest with you. I pray that you let him be born into your hearts without hesitation. I pray that he truly dwells in your home so that you may one day dwell in his home forever.

Merry Christmas,
Father Chauncey

Reflection for the 4th Sunday of Advent

12-22-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Julius Kundi

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Advent and few days from now we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Christ, the Nativity. The liturgy invites us to bow in reverence to that great event, worshipping God who was made flesh to bring us to glory. Yes, today's liturgy is all about God with us, the Emmanuel and this takes us to the moment of the celebration of God’s presence within the human family.

Nothing can be said about this more than the fact that the Emmanuel of Advent-Christmas, the God who is with us, witnesses our social life from within the community, so that God is not far away but is actually among us as we become part of each others lives. In all of these, Mary remains the center of attraction. We all get deeply captivated by what she was subjected to go through in order for God to achieve this and her courage to respond positively and with deep faith and trust in the same God that has designed everything for her.


Gaudete in Domino

12-15-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Julius Kundi

We remind ourselves again that Advent marks the four-week celebration before Christmas. We have also come to know that traditionally it is a season of penance and preparation before Christmas. The official Church liturgical color is purple, a symbol of penitence. As part of expressing our contrition, weddings used to be forbidden during this season – as also during Lent.

However the Third Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin word for "rejoice." The central message is comfort and joy (gaudete means rejoice), and the readings are always carefully selected to give reason for our rejoicing. Before on this day, everyone took a break from the penitential theme and pink vestments, altar cloths, and candles were allowed in the Church for a little celebration to establish the fact that God is about to fulfill his promise.


Reflection for First Sunday of Advent - Year A

12-01-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Julius Kundi

It is Advent Season! In the next four weeks we look forward, waiting in hope. We try within these weeks to understand what actually to wait and hope for.

To get the meaning of this season correctly, we must ask these relevant and important questions: what are we preparing for? What are we looking or hoping for? Are we looking for a miracle? If we are waiting for Christ to be born, Christ was already born more than two thousand years ago. He is our Savior and our brother too. If we are waiting for the Holy Spirit to dwell among us, He is already in us but we do not recognize His presence and role in our lives. If we are waiting for the Church to be born, the Church is already in our midst. If we are waiting for the faith, God gives everything to us. What are we waiting for then?


Reflection for the Feast of Christ the King

11-24-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Julius Kundi

The lamb who was slain is worthy to receive strength and divinity, wisdom and power and honor: to him be glory and power forever and ever. Indeed Christ is the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega. Who was, who is and who is to come. We began the liturgical year with Him and today we end it with this special Feast of His: Christ the King. Next Sunday we begin a new one with the first Sunday of Advent.

Most of the feasts of the liturgical year celebrate EVENTS in the life of Christ. This feast however celebrates an IDEA: Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The book of Revelation 1: 5,6 revealed that He is ‘The Ruler of the Kings of the earth’ but then added that we too share in His Kingship for he has made us ‘ a line of kings, priests to serve His God and Father’. Yes, Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and today we celebrate that kingship.


Judgment is Coming

11-17-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Julius Kundi

Last Sunday, our readings began this reflection about the after-life and urged us to entrust ourselves into God’s hands, for He is the God of the living. Today again the liturgy wants to call our attention to the fact that the end of all things will come and then there will be judgment. That this world, with its beauty will all come to an end. Some how the liturgy paints a frightening picture of this end, with statements like "nation shall rise against nation, plagues and famines, fearful omens and great signs, persecutions and trials" will all take place. Understanding these statements about the end time has distracted humanity all through history. Many sects and groups have arisen to claim to know the exact date of the Lord’s coming, and the failure of previous predictions never seems to discourage them from settling on another date for Armageddon. This continues to confuse and distract many Christians from the actual message about how to prepare for the Day of the Lord. But how should we understand and interpret the message of Jesus about the end of time?


Reflection for 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

11-03-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Julius Kundi

Last week the focus was on the evil of pride and the need for true humility which was exemplified by the Tax collector in the Temple. This week the readings continue almost on the same topic to show us another fruit of humility produced by a single action of overcoming pride by another Tax collector, who encountered Jesus the Christ.

Zacchaeus was a rich man that had everything he needed materially in life. According to some commentators he had own all the 4Ps, Power, Pleasure, Pride and even Problems but one thing was lacking. He was not happy. He is lonely because nobody would like to befriend him. He chooses the way that makes him an outcast. Everyone hated tax collectors. His greatest joy was the news making the rounds that Jesus welcomes tax collectors and sinners. Then he want to see Jesus.


A Humbled Heart

10-27-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Julius Kundi

A news reporter once asked St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) if she had ever been tempted to be proud. Mother Theresa retorted with a smile, “Proud about what?” The reporter replied, “Why, about the wonderful things you have been doing for the poorest of the poor!” Then came her answer, “I never knew I had done anything, because it was God who worked in and through my Sisters and volunteers.”

Today's readings teach us that true humility and repentance for our sins must be the hallmark of our prayers. However, the central focus is on the evil of pride, the need for true humility and the role of God’s grace in our salvation.

Sirach helps us understand why the prayer of the tax collector in our Gospel resulted in his justification, while the Pharisee left the Temple unchanged: “The Lord is a God of justice, Who knows no favorites.” Although the religious man had much about which to brag, it was the tax collector’s heartfelt cry for mercy that was heard in Heaven.


God's Arm Will Help You

10-20-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Julius Kundi

Most of us have experienced drowsiness when we try to pray. This can happen when we are dealing with distressing situations and God seems to delay attending to our intentions. The human side of us manifests, and often times ends in frustration and giving up praying completely. Moses, in today's first reading gets fatigued . He grew exceedingly weary holding up his arm in order to give Joshua victory over his enemies. He had to appeal to superior power for help in order to defeat the Amalekites.

Like the Israelites of the time of Moses we too are today in a mortal struggle with dangerous enemies that threaten to kill us. Our modern enemies include among many, deprivation, oppression, alienation, and aggression. To stay safe, we must do what God’s people did in the desert. We must engage in battle with the enemy, throwing the best of our forces into the struggle, and never given up until total victory is achieved. Imitating Moses, we must hold up our hands in prayer to the God who is our source of power and will give us strength.


Living Gratefully

10-13-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Julius Kundi

We all know how satisfying it is to receive a sincere “Thank you” for a service truly appreciated. The contrary also holds, of course: how hurtful it is to be consistently taken for granted, without ever a word of appreciation.

The central theme of today’s readings is gratitude – in particular, the expression of gratitude God expects from us as exemplified by today's main characters, Naaman, the Syrian General and the Samaritan.. We also have on the other hand the story of ‘the forgetful lepers’ which reveals God's disappointment and pain at our ingratitude.

Indeed, the readings encourage us to learn from Naaman and the Samaritan on how to live in gratitude to God for we too have been the greatest recipients of His choicest blessings. Their acts of thanksgiving as recorded in the Scriptures deserve some special reflection. The two cured both returned glorifying God. To understand this from a theological point of view , giving praise to God is much more than saying thanks. It’s an act of worship! Saying thanks to a good deed could be just an act of courtesy and not worship; theirs was much deeper. They both were converted and developed faith to worship God. They saw their healing as a privileged experience and that led them to conversion and giving glory to God.


Lord Increase Our Faith

10-06-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Julius Kundi

Today the church takes us back to the topic on "Faith” and how it works in our lives. What comes to mind when talking about faith is Thomas Aquinas's great statement as he was quoted to have said: "To one who has Faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without Faith, no explanation is possible.” This statement cannot be less true because Faith is the nucleus of all the entire being of every Christian, and more so as it appeals more to the intellect, according to Vatican II Fathers.

In today's readings we get three dimensions of Faith. The theological virtue of Faith enables us to believe something to be true and therefore worthy of trust simply because it has been revealed to us by God. In his instructions to Timothy, Paul, who elsewhere defined Faith as, “the assurance of the things hoped for,” shows Faith operating as a believing, trusting, loving relationship with Christ. Thus, Faith is our acceptance of Jesus as the fulfillment of the promises of God. He goes further to stress the need for a living Faith in, and loyalty to, Christ’s teachings handed down to us by the Church. Finally, Christian Faith is that trusting Faith in God in action, expressed by steadfast loyalty, fidelity and total commitment to Him, resulting in our offering ourselves to Him in those we encounter, through our humble, loving service.