Adults/Teens: When Jesus appeared to the disciples, they must have been frightened at first. Their faith in Him ultimately led them to accept the gift that Christ bestowed on them- the institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Another important aspect to the Gospel is Thomas’ doubt. How often do we also doubt the power of the Lord? Thomas needed to see with his own eyes that Christ had returned. Jesus appears for Thomas so that he might believe; but blessed are those who believe because they know in their hearts what their eyes may not perceive.READ MORE
In one of my previous articles, we looked at signs of stewardship at work in our parish by looking at the four strategic goals and pointing out what has been achieved during the past year in each of those goals. In this article, I am going to report to you how our Sacramental Celebrations and Spiritual Formations have grown since my address to you last April. So far, we have had:
What a week this has been! The most sacred of all weeks in human history also known as Holy Week, is always a week of gross contradictions and naked betrayals. These painful contradictions and betrayals are implemented by actors purported to be the friends of our Lord and Savior Jesus and a people He "slaved" and sacrificed so much for. Led by the ever impetuous Peter, the whole bunch of the apostles abandoned and betrayed Jesus at His hour of greatest need. This became particularly so painful after Peter even pompously professed that he was ready to die for him. Did he? Not at all even though he attempted to put up a fight by chopping off someone's ear!READ MORE
Adults/Teens: In the Gospel reading today, we encounter a frantic Mary Magdalene telling Peter and John that Jesus is no longer In the tomb where he had been for three days. Peter and John rush to the scene, and having no idea what they might encounter when they reached the tomb of Christ. It is always interesting to read that the disciples, "did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead." We might ask ourselves how they could not have known that He would rise again. After all, Jesus had told them what was to come. The reality is though, that the Apostles were truly crushed that Jesus had died.READ MORE
In our last Article, I left off defining a Steward as: "One who is a disciple of Jesus who receives God's gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord."
I also pointed out that there are a lot of key words in this definition which we shall explain in due course as it forms the essence of stewardship, however, it is so important to note from this definition that Stewardship is not about asking for money, money, and more money, as has been the misconception. It is about first, strengthening our relationship with God based on the appreciation of the fact that all we have is freely given to us by God to be used for His service and for the service of our brothers and sisters.READ MORE
O Jesus! Heavenly Physician, raised aloft on the Cross to heal our wounds with Thine, remember the bruises which Thou didst suffer and the weakness of all Thy Members which were distended to such a degree that never was there pain like unto Thine. From the crown of Thy Head to the Soles of Thy Feet there was not one spot on Thy Body that was not in torment, and yet , forget ting all Thy sufferings, Thou didst not cease to pray to Thy heavenly Father for Thy enemies, saying, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Through this great Mercy, and in memory of this suffering, grant that the remembrance of Thy Most Bitter Passion may effect in us a perfect contrition and the remission of all our sins. Amen.
—4th prayer of 15 prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden on the Passion of Christ
Take a moment to reflect on Jesus and His presence in your life.
Pray together, aloud, the Our Father.
Last week, at all the Masses, I delivered my Fourth Annual State of the Parish in which I laid out the exciting growth of our parish, evidenced by the many vibrant ministries and activities that we have here in our Parish. I began with acknowledging the crisis and scandals our Church is currently facing. I promised to share my address with you in future articles and this article is the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise.
St. Catherine of Siena, a Saint and Doctor of the Church who died in 1380, once said:
"If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze!"
Adults/Teens: In the Gospel today, Jesus is faced with a choice. Should he succumb to the bait that the Pharisees and Scribes put out for Him? Should He condemn the woman that is caught in the act of adultery? It is prescribed in the Law of Moses that a woman be stoned if she be accused of infidelity to her husband. Jesus does not take the bait. He acknowledges the women's sinfulness, but He does it in private, after all the others have left. He reminds the men that if they are without sin, they should throw a stone at her. Of course none of us are completely without sin at all times. And Jesus offers redemption to the woman through a challenge- "Go and do not sin anymore." We are all called to turn away from sin and accept the mercy of God. Let us seek out His forgiveness for the times we have sinned against Him and others.READ MORE