From the Pastor's Desk
On the last Sunday of the year, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. We are here to offer all the members of our own families on the altar for God’s blessing.
The first reading emphasize the patience and obedience of Abraham, Sarah and God’s faithfulness in fulfilling the promise made to Abraham. Sarah and Abraham continued to believe that they would have countless descendants, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Patience and Faithfulness also characterize the two elderly Jewish people we meet in the Gospel. Simeon and Anna each portrayed as extremely devout, virtually living in God’s house. For years, they patiently prayed in the temple in Jerusalem every day. When encountering the boy Jesus, they each prayed in the temple in Jerusalem every day. When encountering the Boy Jesus, they each immediately recognize the savior of the world. Simeon, believing that he would not die until he had seen the Christ, prays to God, “Now, master, you may let your servant go in peace” (LK: 2:29). Their patience and faithfulness have been rewarded, and just seeing Jesus was enough.
1) We need to learn lessons from the Holy Family: The Church encourages us to look to the Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph for inspiration, example and encouragement. They were a model family in which both parents worked hard, helped each other, understood and accepted each other, and took good care of their Child so that He might grow up not only in human knowledge but also as a Child of God.
2) We need to make the family a confessional rather than a courtroom. A senior Judge of the Supreme Court congratulated the bride and groom in a marriage with a pertinent piece of advice: “See that you never convert your family into a courtroom; instead let it be a confessional. If the husband and wife start arguing like attorneys in an attempt to justify their behavior, their family becomes a court of law and nobody wins. On the other hand, if the husband and the wife -- as in a confessional -- are ready to admit their faults and try to correct them, the family becomes a heavenly one.”
3) Every Holy Mass in which we participate is our presentation. Although we were officially presented to God on the day of our baptism, we present ourselves and our dear ones on the altar before God our Father through our Savior Jesus Christ at every Holy Mass. Hence, we need to live our daily lives with the awareness both that we are dedicated people consecrated to God and that we are obliged to lead holy lives.
Mary Mother of God & New Year’s Day January 1, 2018
Since we celebrate the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God on New Year’s Day, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Peaceful New Year. I pray that the Lord Jesus and His mother Mary may enrich your lives during the New Year with an abundance of God’s blessings. Today’s Feast of Mary, the Mother of God is a very appropriate way to begin a new year, reminding us to rely on the powerful intercession of our Heavenly Mother. The Church observes this day also as the World Day of Peace and invites us to pray specially for lasting peace in the world throughout the New Year.
Let us strive to be pure and holy like our Heavenly Mother. All mothers want their children to inherit or acquire their good qualities. Hence, let us honor Mary, our Heavenly Mother, by practicing her virtues of faith, obedience, purity and humble service. Let us make the New Year meaningful by having every day a) some noble thing to dream, b) something good to do, and c) Someone to love, the first person being Jesus. 3) Let us have a daily resolution for the New Year: Let us resolve to start every morning asking our Heavenly Father for a special anointing of His Holy Spirit so that we may do God’s holy will and avoid everything evil. Let us also resolve to say a short prayer, every evening, as the last thing we do before we go to sleep: “Thank you Lord for helping me to do your will today. Forgive me, Lord, for saying ’no’ to your grace several times today. I am sorry for all my sins of the day. Please pardon me.” In addition, as we close our eyes, we might say: “Good night, Lord. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."
Join us on Monday (Jan. 1) 8A.M. Mass to celebrate Feast of Mary Mother of the Lord and to welcome the New Year. NO 7AM MASS.
Fr. Gus. MS, Pastor
Fr. Edwin MS