The rose bush is a beautiful bush. Its' flower is a symbol love, romance and joy. This is the most popular flower for Valentines day. It can tell someone "I love you" and it can tell someone "I'm sorry." It is often sent to someone who is sick to show caring and this bush can also be an image of God's plan of salvation for us.READ MORE
There is something comforting about knowing that we are in someone’s care. Children can feel thismost easily when surrounded by the embrace of a mother or father. All is well. Jesus is the GoodShepherd. We don’t have to figure out all of the complexities of life. All we need to do is allow Jesus to be the true shepherd of our lives: to point us in the right direction, lead us to the best pasture, and keep us safe from harm. So many things in the world can hurt us, and we can quicklyfind that we are on the road to despair. Keeping focused on Jesus, remaining close to him, allowsus to develop the gifts and talents God has given us and discover the key to true happiness. Jesus welcomes me with all of my doubts and fears, limitations and sins.
Today's Gospel occurs in the middle of Jesus' ministry. At first, Jesus' words seem to be about the value of self-sacrifice in a leader. "I am the Good Shepherd … I will lay down my life for the sheep." The Apostles likely would have accepted these words easily enough. But then comes something more strange. "I lay down my life in order to take it up again … I have power to lay it down and power to take it up again." Only later, when Jesus opened the Scriptures to them after his resurrection, would the Apostles understand his words. Only then would they understand why such an act was necessary for the salvation of the world.READ MORE
Today's liturgy invites us to appreciate lovingly the riches of the Paschal mystery which is the sum total of the work of creation and redemption, of all the reality of humanity and of all the revelation of God. For us, every Eucharistic celebration renews the presence of Christ who died and rose again.
Jesus comes into the midst of our assembly for the Eucharistic celebration and through the Eucharist He makes us touch His Body, His Blood and His real presence. Christ is also present and communicates through the Scriptures and through His witnesses who are sent to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, His Apostles who are today His Priests.READ MORE
Do you know the joy of the resurrection? The Risen Lord Jesus revealed the glory of his resurrection to his disciples gradually and over a period of time. Even after the apostles saw the empty tomb and heard the reports of Jesus' appearance to the women, they were still weak in faith and fearful of being arrested by the Jewish authorities.
When Jesus appeared to them he offered proof of his resurrection by showing them the different wounds of his passion, his pierced hands and side. He then calmed their fears and brought them peace. The peace which reconciles sinners and makes us friends of God.READ MORE
This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad (Psalm 118:24). Today we can again sing "Hallelujah" that we have not sung all through Lent. Today we begin again to sing Glory be to God in the highest because the Lord has indeed risen. Our faith as Christians is based on the Resurrection. We rejoice today because Christ has risen from the dead, he has conquered death and the enemy of death and taken the victory over sin and death. What does this rising from the dead mean for us? It means that death no longer has the final power. It means that despair gives way to hope, darkness gives way to light, hatred gives way to love and sorrow gives way to joy. We are no longer afraid because Jesus rising from dead has liberated us from fear.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, he was loving Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and us. When Jesus called his disciples to a new life, he was loving them. When Jesus asked his disciples, "How long must I remain with you of little faith?" he was loving them. When Jesus spoke harshly to the Pharisees to challenge them, he was loving them. When Jesus said, "Blessed are you poor" he was loving them. When Jesus made a whip to overturn the tables of the moneychangers and drive them out of the temple, he was loving both his Father and the moneychangers. When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilot he was loving him.READ MORE
The Book of Exodus tells us what sacrifices are acceptable to God coupled with an invitation to purify our religion of cults that have nothing to do with love of God and the neighbors. St. Paul, inhis first letter to the Corinthians, tells us that we must stop reasoning like the ‘Jews’ and the‘Greeks’, rather, we should preach Christ crucified and a stumbling block to unbelievers! The Gospel recounts the story of the purification of the temple, or rather, the replacement of the old temple with the new one. We are the new temple but, like the old, we also often need purificationfrom all that hinders our offering to God’s acceptable sacrifices.READ MORE
Today is the second Sunday of Lent, it is a season of grace, prayer, penance, and almsgiving that equips us get closer to God. The Lenten observances and practices are meaningful if they are carried out in loving obedience and faith to God. Lent, as a season of grace, is a time we leave behind those things that distract us from developing a deeper relationship with God. In today's liturgy, we are called upon to have absolute faith in God irrespective of the challenges and trials that confront us every day. Such challenges can lead to loss of faith in God but from the example of Abraham in the first reading and Paul's injunction in the second we are encouraged to remain firm and steadfast.READ MORE
Why do we always go to the desert? We see this example in Scripture time and time again. The Israelites wandered in the desert. King David and prophets were driven into the wilderness. And now Jesus is in the same place. Lent after Lent, we too are invited into a barren, desolate place. Why do we always go to the desert?
Throughout Scripture, the desert is a place of testing. It's also a place of hiding and withdrawal. In the Old Testament, David fled into the wilderness to hide from Saul, Elijah from Jezebel, and Jonah from God! In other words, the desert is a place of "retreat."READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I just want to share some national statistics with you that our Bishop Olmsted had gathered. "Since AD 2000, 14 million Catholics have left the faith, parish religious education of children has dropped by 24%, Catholic school attendance has dropped by 19%, infant baptism has dropped by 28%, adult baptism has dropped by 31%, and sacramental Catholic marriages have dropped by 41%." As our bishop has said about this: "This is a serious breach, a gaping hole in Christ's battle lines."READ MORE
In the gospel passage of last Sunday, Jesus was seen in the Synagogue teaching with authority and casting out demons from a man under demonic influence and possession. In that, he demonstrates his power over evil forces and demons. In today's gospel he demonstrates his power over pain and sickness. We read that "when he came into Peter's house, the mother-in- law of Peter was sick with fever and immediately they told him of her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up and the fever left her."READ MORE
Today, being the Fourth Sunday in the Church's liturgical year, the readings outline that the promised Messiah is one whose Word is authoritative and rightly to be obeyed.
St. Paul emphasizes that holiness remains the yardstick of serving God and worshiping Him with undivided attention whether we are priests, religious, married or unmarried persons. He also presents an example of the "New Doctrine": the new value attributed to virginity which is lived for the love of and at the serving of our brothers and sisters.READ MORE
One remarkable feature we encounter in the Gospel of Mark is that the first time ever we hear Jesus speak, his words were "This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel." This is to show that Jesus came to reconcile us with the father and be at peace with him. We can achieve this reconciliation and peace, IF and only IF, we repent of our own sins and believe in Jesus who has come to save us.READ MORE
In today's First Reading we see God trying to call out to Samuel, but Samuel does not realize that it is God calling to him. Yet this does not deter God, nor get him upset and annoyed because we then see God try to call to reach out to Samuel two more times with no response from Samuel. But Samuel is lucky because in the midst of all this he has help. His father Eli is with him. Eli has a strong personal relationship with God because Eli has accepted God's gift of faith and knows that it is God reaching out to his son Samuel.READ MORE
"Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."
What a wonderful example the Magi give us in their visit to the infant Jesus. First of all, they demonstrate profound faith in God's word, spoken through the prophet Micah: "And you, Bethlehem ... from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel" (cf. 5:2). Embarking on a long and difficult journey, they trust that they will find this newborn king of the Jews in Bethlehem as the prophecy announced.READ MORE