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