Feast of the Holy Family
Jesus not only came as a baby at Christmas, He also entered into a human family - with all the joys and frustrations that go with it. We are challenged in all relationships, but especially in the family, to put the wants and needs of others before our own, to stretch our hearts, to learn how to love more, to sacrifice for each other. Our readings today all challenge us to put others first, "Children, obey your parents in everything...Wives, be subordinate to your husbands...Husbands, love your wives." Jesus loved us, and so He subordinated Himself to our needs, even to the point of death. We can practice this kind of love every day, especially in the family!
What child is this, who, laid to rest, On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring him laud, The Babe, the Son of Mary.
4th Sunday in Advent
The sacrifices and offerings God asks for in the Old Testament are meant to show forth the interior reality that God's people desire to do His will before their own. Jesus came physically into the world on Christmas day so that He could live not just next to us, but, ultimately, IN us - in the Eucharist and through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amidst the busy-ness of Christmas preparation this year, take time to remember why we do all these external things: to invite and celebrate Jesus' coming into us again this Christmas!
3rd Sunday of Advent
We celebrate Gaudete Sunday - "Rejoice" Sunday - this weekend. What are we joyful about? That Jesus came and gave us something we could never get on our own, a gift of supernatural power that brings us beyond even the strongest human ability, the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is only in the Holy Spirit that we find a joy, a peace, a thankfulness that surpasses anything this world can offer. That's why we rejoice this Sunday, that we already have this gift. Have you unwrapped it yet? Come, Holy Spirit!
2nd Sunday of Advent
John the Baptist challenges us in this second week of Advent to be prepared for Christ's coming, to make straight a highway for our God. God came to this earth because He wanted our hearts, and He'll keep coming until He gets them. When Jesus comes, will He find the road to your heart smooth-sailing for His holiday travel...or is it going to be a bumpy and windy ride? What needs to be cleared away? What needs to be added? "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths" this Advent season!
1st Sunday of Advent
Happy New Year! Today we begin, in the Church, a new liturgical year with Advent - the season of waiting, watching, and praying for the coming of the Lord at Christmas. Pope Francis has also proclaimed this coming year a Jubilee Year of Mercy, wherein the Holy Door of St. Peter's basilica will be opened. We are all invited, in spirit, to step through that door from a life of sin into a life of grace, to recommit ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ, and, in a special way, to both receive God's mercy in our own lives and to be agents of that mercy in the lives of those around us.
Solemnity of Christ the King (34th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
This feast is a challenge for us: is Jesus Christ the King of our lives? And by that I mean, is Jesus Christ the King of EVERY area of our lives: family life, work life, public life, private life, personal life, mind, body? Jesus is the King of all, and He wants to be King in your life, but He waits for you to decide. So will you invite Jesus in today to be the King of your heart?
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Apocalypse literally means to pull back the veil, to uncover, to see things as they ARE. When Jesus comes again all things will be unveiled; we will see all things as they are - visible and invisible - and all things will see us as we are - down to our depths. Sin spiritually disfigures the soul, while grace and virtue makes ordinary people beautiful, strong and attractive at the core. So today we speak and act in such a way that if the Lord called us right now, we would be ready to meet him, unveiled!
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus Christ is present, 100% Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist - that's amazing! And in adoration we get to spend time with this Jesus, one on one; we get to see this Jesus! We all want God's presence and God's peace in the midst of our busy lives. Adoration is that opportunity to give ourselves a break, to experience the peace and rest that only God can bring. You've worked hard - experience peace for a moment, come to adoration.
Solemnity of All Saints
Holiness isn't the call of a select few, it is the ordinary call of every Christian - it's the norm! Everyone in heaven is a saint. Saints aren't angels, they're survivors, with their own shares of difficulties and joys in this life, but who turned to Jesus again and again and again. Want a direct path to genuine holiness, follow St. Therese's Little Way, simply ask throughout the day, "What's the right thing to do in this moment?"
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus calls us to be His disciples, but true discipleship involves a relationship with Jesus - a relationship built on a thankful, joyful love, not an imposed duty or obligation. Our Psalm proclaims, "The Lord has done great things for us!" What great things has God done in your life? Out of that thankfulness is where we begin to live true discipleship!
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
God wants to walk with us in our struggles. Jesus came to us in our sin and weakness and suffering precisely so that He could walk through it with us. Jesus doesn't avoid suffering, He takes it head on, trusting that not even suffering can separate Him from His Father. And we as Christians are called to that same mission. Following Jesus means learning to suffer in love, learning to walk through our difficulties with Jesus, and then to walk through difficulty with others, as Jesus did.
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The rich young man comes to Jesus asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Having followed all the commandments from his youth, Jesus invites him into the Major Leages, to follow Him in a deeper way...and this good young man walks. There are lots of 'good' people in this world, but the only thing that matters is whether we are willing to choose Jesus. Are you willing to put something down in life in order to pick up Jesus? We've only got two hands: what are you holding onto?
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Marriage, Divorce, Homosexuality, Gay Marriage - living in the tension of showing genuine love, care and concern for every person as a child of God and walking with others through any struggle they may encounter, while standing for our belief in marriage as a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman - distinction between supporting a person and supporting actions/lifestyles - let's be the example of faithful love and true care for ALL!
The Pope is in the United States! And we should be proud: Pope Francis is modelling to us how to show active care and concern for all, especially those pushed to the fringes of society, while at the same time actively upholding the principles we stand by as Christians and Catholics - before Congress, before the United Nations, before the world. Never be afraid to let your voice be heard!
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Many of us, I think it's safe to say, feel like we have some degree of a spiritual speech impediment: when confronted about Jesus or some aspect of our Catholic faith, we suddenly become tongue-tied - we don't always know the "Why?" behind many of the actions we traditionally do. But there ARE answers and we CAN know them: by listening, by hearing, by regularly 'plugging in' to Jesus. So how do you stay plugged into God throughout the week?
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Laws and rules protect the values our nation upholds, and they allow us the freedom to live by these values. Laws and rules in sports allow for the freedom to play the game. The laws and rules of God teach us how to be human so that we can have the freedom to live fully human - which means fully happy - lives. They are not meant to be blindly followed, but to consciously bring us into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Then they're not even rules anymore, they're simply the best way to live!