Friday, December 25, 2020

How The Holy Family Addressed Struggles Is How We Need To Emulate Their Faith Journey!



One of my daily prayer requests to God is that married or single parents of young children emulate, as best they can, the Holy Family as it relates to addressing their struggles; small or large.  My expectation is not that they are to equal or excel the Holy Family, the latter is already impossible given Jesus is divine and with Mary is sinless, and Joseph is receiving periodic dream communications from God directly.  But, that they are to look at life’s difficulties as opportunities to grow in their relationship with God and among themselves because they have faith and trust in His ways.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Blessed Virgin Mary’s Profound Decision!

 


God never forces us to make a choice.  He created us with a free will which offers us the ability to decide what we will do.  Based upon that, the decision by the Blessed Mary Virgin as a an illiterate teenager to say “yes” to God at the Annunciation is the most profound decision made by a human being in the history of humanity.  It opened the pathway for salvation not only for the Israelites but also for all gentiles who accepted Jesus into their hearts.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Life’s Challenges Brings Hope and Joy As The “Light” Of Jesus’ Birth Brings Us Salvation

 



Dear friends of ours from the Chicago area who my wife and I have known for 52 years reminded us recently through a personal sharing why we need God in our lives.  Now more than ever during times of what we believe to be impossible, we need to see the “Light” of what John the Baptist talks about in the Apostle John’s Gospel this Sunday.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Homecoming: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow!



When I think of homecoming, it's about high school and college football games returning to their home field after playing multiple road games and all the pomp and circumstance therein involved. That time is now on hold with the Covid-19 pandemic and not knowing if there is a game or if there is even anyone at school to watch and celebrate the outcome. The Second Sunday of Advent is about homecoming but looked at from various perspectives. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Watch! "The Times they are Changin"


 

Advent, the short-shrift liturgical season in which we await for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus, announce the beginning of His public ministry and prepare for His coming for us when we pass and at the end of time, brings us hope and joy for the future.  This year, though we are still in the calendar year of 2020, it is especially important because we need something to get us out the morass of so many changes that have brought fear, confusion, sadness, depression and a way of life that challenges who we are as Catholic disciples of Jesus.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Kingship or Kinship?


 

Father Greg Boyle, SJ, founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehab and re-entry program in the world, wrote a reflection in “Naked, and You Clothed Me: Homilies & Reflections for Cycle A” in which he refutes the title of Christ the King for a title he believes is more in keeping with what the feast day celebrates:

 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

What's in Your Bag of Gifts


 

There was a time early in our marriage with four young children that I was out of work for nearly three years save a few odd jobs here and there, receiving unemployment income, welfare and miscellaneous gifts from friends to survive.  It was one of those gifts that changed my wife’s and my life due to the way in which it was given.

 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Procrastination A Disastrous Decision

 


Be honest!  We have at times in our life waited too long to take action on something that needed to be done and suffered a consequence for it.

 

For me it came early in my life.  I had decided to do something else with the thought I would still have enough time to get home to join other altar boys picked up by Father Michael Dempsey from my parish to see the Harlem Globetrotters play.  I missed them by just minutes and had to wait another 40 plus years before going to see the “show,” as it was called.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Striving to be a Saint



My closest physical encounter to a named saint by the Roman Catholic Church was Saint Pope John Paul II when he visited in September of 1987 at St. Vibiana Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  He was walking down the nave to leave the church after he talked to representatives of the local parishes and I was standing on a pew with a camera trying to get a picture from three feet away as he passed but slipped and never got the picture.  So much for saintliness on my part.

 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

By Serving Others Through God’s Love We Are Saved

 



Since the onslaught of Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, we have become frightened, confused, impatient and sometimes angry with life or with whatever is or is not happening. Civility, kindness and a genuine effort to be helpful seems at times to have taken a hiatus waiting for the Coronavirus to come to an end.  What makes it even more difficult for us baptized Catholics is that we are called to rise above this because of our promise to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength and all that God has created as Jesus loves us according to our Gospel from St. Matthew today.

 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Two Kingdoms, One God

 


It never ceases to amaze me to what lengths people will go to make a point.  St. Matthew’s Gospel today provides us with an example I believe verifies this belief.


According to biblical and historical scholars, the two Jewish sects of Pharisees and Herodians during Jesus’ times hated one another.  The Pharisees resented the demand of any tax payment to a foreign king because they believed that God was their only king.  The Herodians were supporters of Herod the Great, King of Galilee, who received his power from the Romans and, therefore, supported the collection of taxes to benefit their cause.  And yet, both were willing to put their differences aside to form an “unholy” alliance that rid them of Jesus, because they hated Him more.

 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Invitation to Choose Holiness

 



Having a free will can be difficult at times.  You get to choose, but the outcome may not be what you imagined.  Saint Matthew’s Gospel today presents us with a parable from Jesus to the Jewish chief priests and elders of His time, as have the last two prior Sundays, inviting them to seriously consider His message of becoming holy according to God’s ways rather than their own interpretation of what they believe God meant.  In there lies the problem.

 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Duped or Loved? A Disciple's decision for following God

 



Based upon numerous studies by sociologists and psychologists throughout the years, their results have told us for the most part that our perceptions about life are based on expectations we encounter whether based on what we are told, see, hear, experience or believe.  And, from that conclusion, many people decide what reality is in their lives.

 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

You fed me with Love so I could feed others

 


In these last five months of the Covid-19 virus pandemic, it is interesting to note from my conversations with parishioners, family members and others, how we are still trying to hold on to a life that offers so few comparisons to what was versus what is reality now. In doing so, people voice their fears, confusions and hopes about what will happen so they can cope with whatever changes will stick with us in the future.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

God’s Word: Listen – Obey – Take Action

 



My first encounter with God’s Word was when I began reading and I was given a six-book set of Bible stories that highlighted the major events in both New and Old Testaments. It was both easy to read and filled with many pictures. It was my favorite “book” to read at the time and it helped me to better understand the Sacred Scriptures I listened to when attending Sunday Masses.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Fear Not - God is Here!




In case you haven’t noticed, life as we know it has changed considerably since 2020 said hi! Not just in the United States but in almost every inhabitable place on earth. Society, as a whole, has been infected with a worldwide viral pandemic, economies have dissipated to the point were more people are out of work prior to any time in history and protests, killings, rioting, looting and arsons are becoming the norm in most major cities in all but Antarctica; though 30 people protested there in 2017 for women’s rights.

So what does this have to do with our readings and Gospel today?

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Trust in God


 

Our focus today on this the Fifth Sunday of Easter and Mother’s Day is that as a chosen people, a royal priesthood and a holy nation we are called to place our faith and trust in the spirit of Jesus who guides our community of faith.

 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Inclusion with Our Good Shepherd



In the last two months I have been reaching out by telephone to both deacons in the Diocese of Orange and to parishioners of St. Joseph. In the first instance it was to solicit assistance on a telephone line to coordinate food pickups and drop-offs for those in need who are unable to go grocery shopping or are too poor to afford food. A majority of those contacted volunteered and the diocese seems to have enough to handle the need as provided by Catholic Charities and a few food pantries that are still open.


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Rise, and Do Not Be Afraid

 



In the three fourths of a century that I have lived, I have seen fear rob people of their life in so many different areas. 

 

The generation who lived during the Great Depression of the 1920s often became hoarders because they feared that if they didn’t save certain things they would run out of them and not be able to take care of a problem for which the items were made.  My parents had about 20 boxes of bandages that would no longer stick to anything when I went through their belongings after their deaths in the 1990s.