Blog & Pastor Letters

Fifth Sunday of Lent

03-26-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Edward Linton

Somebody was telling me recently about looking for a parking place. He had been driving around for some time looking, looking, looking for a place to park when he saw a man loading the trunk of his car. My friend rolled down the window and asked, “Are you leaving?” The man looked up and said, “Yes.” Then he closed the trunk of his car and walked away. Literal thinking is not very helpful! In fact, being too literal can even destroy a relationship. I am thinking of the husband whose wife asked him on their anniversary, “Do you love me?” To which the husband responded, “You know that I love you. I told you last year!” How do we nurture a deep and personal relationship with Jesus?

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

03-19-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Edward Linton

In the first reading from the book of Samuel, we hear that Samuel was instructed by the Lord to go to the house of Jesse. There, the Lord would choose one of Jesse’s sons to replace Saul as the anointed king of Israel. One by one Jesse’s sons were brought in to stand in front of the prophet.

Each son seemed to have all the physical traits that one would expect for a king. And looking at each, Samuel thought, “Surely this one is the one.” However, after each of the seven sons came before Samuel, the Lord said, “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance, but the LORD looks into the heart.”

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3rd Sunday of Lent

03-12-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Edward Linton

Every Christmas morning, in a parish where I was pastor for many years, we had a reception for homeless people. The parish served a great Christmas lunch to about 150 homeless men, women and children. One Christmas it was especially cold and wet. A long line of homeless people formed outside our hall. I strolled up and down the queue trying to keep up the spirits of those waiting to get in. One man showed me his shoes. They were old and the sole was coming apart from the rest of the shoe. He asked me if I had another pair of shoes for him. I told him I didn’t have another pair of shoes, but he should keep on asking because I was certain that someone who was helping with the lunch would definitely have a pair of shoes for him. “You have an angel here,” I told him. “You have to find the angel who has your shoes.”

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The Transfiguration

03-05-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Edward Linton

The Renaissance artist Raphael painted the Transfiguration scene that we hear in the Gospel today. If you have been to the Vatican Museum in Rome, you have seen this painting. If you have been Saint Peter’s Basilica, you have seen a mosaic copy of this painting to the left of the baldachin. If you haven’t been to Rome, google “transfiguration” and you will see it immediately. Many call this the greatest work of art ever painted!

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First Sunday of Lent

02-26-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Brent Bowen

One of the great Eastern saints of the Church, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, once famously said, “That which is not assumed is not redeemed.” He says this in reference to Jesus, who, when he chose to become incarnate, took to himself every aspect of human nature with the exception of sin. In other words, because Jesus has a human nature in addition to His divine nature, he is like us in every way; he has a human body and soul. He has a will, an intellect, and emotions. And this reality is important, St. Gregory tells us, because if Jesus had not assumed every aspect of human nature (except sin), then those aspects of human nature would not have been redeemed with his passion, death, and resurrection.

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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

02-19-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Brent Bowen

I remember the first time I read the Bible from cover to cover. I found Genesis and Exodus enthralling. There were lots of interesting stories and the narrative was easy to follow. Then I began reading the Book of Leviticus, the book from which today’s first reading is taken. Suddenly I found myself somewhat lost in paragraph after paragraph of laws and prescriptions about the sacrifices prescribed by God, cleanliness, and a lot of other rules that seemed obscure and completely disconnected from my own life, making it very difficult to follow.

Then I got to chapter 19, part of which we hear at Mass today. In verses 1–2, we hear, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them: Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.’” This, my friends, is the most important part of this chapter because it is the reason behind all of the law of Moses. God, whose essence consists in supreme holiness, has chosen this people to be peculiarly his own. He has freed them from their captivity in Egypt, and is now leading them through the desert into the promised land. Along the way, he instructs his holy people on how to be in relationship with an all-holy God and with one another. When we read the story of the Old Testament, it can be easy to get caught up in the details of the law, losing sight of this great truth: the reason God calls His people to observe these laws is because He is holy, and He desires them to have a share in His holiness.

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

02-12-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Brent Bowen

Jesus gives us the interpretive key to this long passage in verse 17 when he says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Jesus’ original hearers, an audience primarily made up of Jewish men and women, would have recognized that he is making a messianic claim: He is the one whom God promised to send. In His very person, Jesus is bringing to fulfillment the Kingdom of God. For example, in Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses says, “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kindred; that is the one to whom you shall listen.” Likewise we see Jesus as the fulfillment of the prophecy made in Isaiah 11:1, “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,” King David’s father, “and from his roots a bud shall blossom.”

Jesus is trying to tell us how we are to interpret his coming: not to abolish everything that God had done up to that point in the history of salvation, but rather to fulfill it. In the Old Testament, God calls and chooses His people, he establishes a covenant with them, and only then does he give them the precepts of the law. Or, put another way, God first establishes a relationship with his people, and then he teaches them how to live in that relationship. The law teaches them how to conduct themselves before God and among one another.

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Called to be Salt and Light

02-05-2023Weekly ReflectionBr. Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.  —Matthew 5:14-16

Were you afraid of the dark as a child? Are there little ones (or even “grown-ups”) in your life who can’t stand being left in a room with no lights?

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Nothing Ordinary Here!

01-29-2023Weekly ReflectionRev. Mark Suslenko

There is nothing ordinary about Ordinary Time. This couldn’t be truer today when Zephaniah reminds us of the mysteriousness of God’s way and Jesus lays out his Gospel blueprint in his Sermon on the Mount. God’s ways certainly are mysterious. Those who are first are actually last and those who have the most will end up with the least. There is an ironic twist to God’s wisdom and this is no more evident than in the Beatitudes. Of the Beatitudes, St. Oscar Romero states: “These are the paths along which true Christians travel.” Indeed, the Beatitudes embody the heart of the Gospel and define what it means to be Christian.

There is a tendency, however, to overly spiritualize and individualize the message of the Beatitudes. This keeps them at a safe distance, engaging them merely as interior virtues necessary for personal holiness. Seeing them exclusively as dispositions needed for the salvation of our souls, sidesteps what Jesus intends.

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Living the Good News

01-22-2023Weekly ReflectionDouglas Sousa, S.T.L.

The message of Jesus is simple. It can be boiled down to two sentences. “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the good news.”

In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus appears in Galilee for the first time preaching the good news. At the Lake of Tiberias, he calls simple fishermen who drop everything to follow him. Their immediate and wholehearted response teaches us what it means to repent and believe in the good news. It means encountering the person of Jesus, following him and leaving everything behind.

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Information on Abortion in the United States

01-18-2023Weekly Reflection

After Roe was revised last 24 June 2022, ‘Abortion Laws went to the states. June 24 is Feast Day of St. John the Baptist. He leaped with joy in his mother’s womb when his mother St. Elizabeth heard St. Mary’s voice!

As an example of states:

17 states banned abortion as of 22 November 2022. They’re Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, S. Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and W. Virginia.

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Behold the True Lamb

01-15-2023Weekly ReflectionAllison Gingras

During this time of the National Eucharistic Revival, the faithful should take every opportunity to reflect on the Real and True Presence of Jesus. As John the Baptist urges, don’t miss the Messiah in your midst, “Behold the Lamb of God.” For us living in this particular age, the best way to behold the Lamb is to gaze upon Him in the Blessed Sacrament — Eucharist. To encounter His presence — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity — in the Mass or Eucharistic Adoration.

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Star of Wonder, Star of Light

01-08-2023Weekly ReflectionBr. John-Marmion Villa

There is a story of an astronomy professor who was enthusiastically discoursing in a planetarium about the marvels of the known universe. Noticing an unpretentious priest who had joined his group of students, the professor asked him, “What do your Scriptures say about cosmic space and its myriad stars?”

Instead of giving a direct answer, the priest, in turn, posed a question, “Tell me, Professor,” he said, “do you think that science will invent still more powerful telescopes to see farther into the universe?”

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Living Under the Gaze

01-01-2023Weekly ReflectionColleen Jurkiewicz Dorman

“Today is gonna be a Mommy-and-me day,” my preschool-aged son told me recently. He was perched on the kitchen countertop, his favorite spot in the mornings, where he likes to sit while watching me unload the dishwasher.

“Oh, is it?” I said, my hands full of damp plates. This was news to me. “What does that mean? What are we going to do?”

“We’re gonna read books and put stickers on walls and you’re gonna watch me play,” he told me. “And then at the end of the day you’re gonna make dinner and I’m gonna sit here and watch you, and we’re gonna smile at each other.”

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