“But Jesus is God; why does Jesus get baptized? Because he wants to be with the sinners…He saves us by coming to meet us and taking our sins upon himself. This is how God conquers worldly evil: by humbling himself, taking charge of it. It is also the way that we can lift up others: not by judging, not by suggesting what to do, but by becoming neighbours, empathizing, sharing God’s love…in each act of service, in every work of mercy we perform, God manifests himself…He draws near, allow me to say, he caresses us with his mercy.”    — Pope Francis

 

FROM YOUR PASTOR 

At the moment of JESUS’ BAPTISM, through the TRINITARIAN LOVE OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, Jesus transitioned from his FAMILY LIFE to a LIFE FOR OTHERS.  Both Fully Human and Fully Divine, he had NO SINS TO BE FOREGIVEN… but he had His LIFE TO GIVE.

To whom did He give His life? To Sinners…to you and to me.

He Walked, Talked, and Dined with Sinners during His Life…and He calls Sinners Today to experience the Love, Mercy, Compassion, and Forgiveness of His Heavenly Father in Our Life.

From THE CROSS, Jesus says, ‘I Thirst.’ Not for water…but for our joys and sorrows, successes and failures, hopes and dashed dreams,  sins and selfless deeds …ALL OF THEM…so He can CARRY THEM WITH US…and FOR US.

But there is more…

At the moment of His Baptism, Jesus assumed HIS MISSION — OUR REDEMPTION. A journey that leads from the River Jordan to Jerusalem.. and the Cross.

His DETRACTORS murdered Him.

He ATTRACTED those who were the object of His Teaching, Preaching, Healing, and Raising from the Dead…THOSE WHO WANTED MORE…THOSE HE LOVED!

So, OUR LIFE BECOMES HIS LIFE…

If we REJECT HIM, we reject the GREATEST GIFT one can give — to LAY DOWN ONE’S LIFE FOR ONE’S FRIEND. You would never do that with a friend in your life…NEVER DO IT TO THE ONE WHO SAVED YOUR ETERNAL LIFE!

If we ACCEPT HIS GIFT, the journey will be rough. The same force — SATAN — will tantalize us with the attractions of our human nature — wealth, power, prestige,  stuff, and admirers — to TURN OUR FOCUS ON OURSELVES and our self-satisfaction…NOT THE LIFE JESUS ASSUMED FOR OTHERS AT THE MOMENT OF HIS BAPTISM.

Will we fail periodically? Probably. But that is where the GRACE OF JESUS’ GIFT TO US KICKS IN.

When we fail with a HEART FOCUSED ON SERVICE TO OTHERS,  we are ONE WITH GOD…the One who is PURE LOVE…and with each ACT OF SERVICE, even if we fail, we will receive HIS LOVE, MERCY, COMPASSION,  AND FORGIVENESS.

So, how do we LIVE OUR BAPTISM…LIVE A LIFE FOR OTHERS?

We LIVE OUR MISSION — the SAME MISSION AS JESUS — in three ways:

> First, be a PERSON OF PRAYER for others. Do you pray regularly for those who have asked for your prayers? Do you pray for those who have no one to pray for them?

> Second, SPEAK THE WORDS OF GOD. Are the words of God — in Prayer and Scripture — on your lips regularly in your daily life? Do you not only share them, do you believe them? Do you live them?

> Third, EVANGELIZE OTHERS FOR THEIR SALVATION. Do you understand that God places others– friend, foe, or stranger — in your life for a reason? Do you realize that His Plan is that you not only save yourself, but that you save others?  Do you lead others to God through your words and actions so they may live God’s will for their life?

Why is this important?

Because on YOUR LAST DAY, I hope you want to hear the WORDS OF YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER that JESUS HEARD AT HIS BAPTISM – – ‘You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased.’

+May God Bless You and Keep You+

“The fact that Jesus was, from the very beginning, the Word, means that from the beginning God wants to communicate with us, He wants to talk to us. The Son of the Father wants to tell us about the beauty of being children of God. He is ‘the life’ who knows our lives and wants to tell us that He has always loved them. Jesus is the eternal Word of God, who has always thought of us and wanted to communicate with us. What, then, does He desire from us? A great intimacy!”

FROM YOUR PASTOR

Is your RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS…Distant, Lukewarm, or Intimate?

The answers lie in What You Believe and How You Act.

Is the CREED just a PRAYER or YOUR PROFESSION OF FAITH?

DO YOU BELIEVE that HOLY SCRIPTURE is the Inspired Word Of God? DO YOU BELIEVE in the POWER OF PRAYER? DO YOU BELIEVE in the REAL PRESENCE OFJESUS IN THE HOLY EUCHARIST? DO YOU BELIEVE that there is POWER IN THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS?

DO YOU SEEK the SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION frequently? DO YOU RECEIVE the SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION regularly? DO YOU ATTEND the HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS weekly even in COVID Times? DO YOU PRAY your MORNING AND EVENING PRAYERS daily? DO YOU MAKE an EXAMEN at the END OF EVERY DAY?

If most of your ANSWERS ARE NO…your Relationship is DISTANT.

If what you BELIEVE IS TURNED INTO ACTION ONLY SELECTIVELY…your Relationship is LUKEWARM.

If you abandon your will and detach your life in TOTAL BELIEF AND ACTION THROUGH FAITH…your Relationship INTIMATE.

During Christmastide, we are called to be Active Participants…NOT SPECTATORS…at the Manger.

From the MANGER TO THE CROSS, Jesus says, ‘I THIRST’…not for water, but FOR YOU AND ME. He wants us to GIVE EVERYTHING to Him — what we BELIEVE and what we DO…OUR TOTAL LIFE EXPERIENCE — Good and Bad.

Jesus wants us to OPEN OUR HEARTS to Him and to TELL HIM EVERYTHING. He knows, He just wants to hear it from us!

JESUS WANTS TO KEEP US IN HIS HEART just as MARY TREASURED EVERYTHING IN HER HEART!

And when this happens, YOUR LIFE IS NEVER AGAIN THE SAME…

TRY IT!

What do you have to loose?

+May God Bless You and Keep You+

“When we contemplate the Holy Family, we are attracted by their disarming humility. There is no room for them, not even a small room, yet they keep vigil. Mary keeps everything in her heart, while Joseph looks for a place for her and the Child who is about to be born. In order to receive the gifts of peace, joy, strength, and comfort, we need to feel small, poor and humble like the characters in the crib. In the midst of the suffering of the pandemic, Jesus, small and helpless, is the ‘Sign’ that God gives to the world.”  — Pope Francis

 

FROM YOUR PASTOR

 

In this COVID Christmas Season, what can we learn from the HOLY FAMILY?

 

In this Extraordinary Time, Families — no matter how they are defined — are paying one of the Highest COVID Prices — isolation, loneliness, depression, hunger, reduced income, lost job, closed business, abuse, neglect, lack of internet access or computer equipment for on-line school, cramped house quarters, separation from schoolmates, children raising children, household internet competition, homelessness, suicide, drugs, or addictions.

 

As a Church Family, we meet Jesus at the Manger to serve as Spiritual Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Sisters, and Brothers to these Families in Stress. Our time, talent, and treasure can offset some of their Spiritual, Emotional, Psychological, Physical, and Financial needs through Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

 

In Solidarity, through our Baptism, the FAMILIES IN DISTRESS unite with their CHURCH FAMILY and together we become part of the HOLY FAMILY.

 

Through MARY, JOSEPH, and JESUS, we learn the Virtues and Values necessary in Christmas Season COVID Times.

 

Joseph is a good Provider for his wife and child. Mary is one with whom women could Share their problems. Mary is the example of the devoted wife and mother. And Jesus sees in his parents the Will of His Heavenly Father. As a Good Son, Jesus is called to Love his parents with tenderness.

 

The Holy Family is a family grounded in Harmony, Mutual Respect, Peace, and Unconditional Love.

 

So, why does this FAMILY WORK? Their life together emanates from their GOD-CENTERED LIVING. Doing the Father’s will makes the monumental challenges of THIS FAMILY livable– from the Conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit, to his Birth in a Stable, to their Flight into Egypt, to losing Jesus in the Temple, to the growing tensions in Jesus’ Public Ministry, and finally to his Death on the Cross. A Family CENTERED IN GOD endures their trials through GRACE.

 

The most important REALITY for any FAMILY, regardless of its configuration, is the SALVATION OF THE SOULS of every member of that Family.

 

Every Mother should dedicate her Motherhood to the Blessed Mother, every Father should dedicate his Fatherhood to St Joseph, and all parents should Dedicate Their Children to the Blessed Mother as their Protector.

 

PARENTHOOD brings with it enormous responsibilities.  When and what you explain to your children about life is a conversation that should be Faith-Filled and include Thanking God for the Gift Of Life. A CHILD’S CHARACTER must be guided to maturity gently, but firmly, by proper DISCIPLINE on the part of parents. OBEDIENCE is a great virtue of childhood. But RESPECT IS FOSTERED only if the parent merits it BY THEIR CONDUCT. None of this should be accompanied by hasty words or actions…because they can never be taken back. 

 

MOTHERS should foster the idea that their children should have the CONFIDENCE TO CONFIDE IN THEM and come to them, not others, with their questions. Their Answers should be Thoughtful and Age Appropriate.

 

FATHERS must deserve the HONOR OF THEIR CHILDREN…through the correction, companionship, and guidance they provide. The Virtues of Courage, Temperance, Honesty, Dependability, and Dedication are essential to carry out the RESPONSIBILITIES OF FATHERHOOD in faith and love. The silence of disinterest or anger can wound your child or your spouse.

PARENTS WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD for the SOULS OF THEIR CHILDREN – so a prayerful relationship with the Holy Family is essential.

BUT REMEMBER, it is in BROKEN FAMILIES that the Love and Support of the CHURCH FAMILY is ESSENTIAL.

Invite the HOLY FAMILY and your CHURCH FAMILY into YOUR FAMILY…and when you do, they will provide the GRACES, VIRTUES, and ASSISTANCE that Your Family needs in these complicated, disheartening, and uncertain Christmas Season COVID TIMES…

 

+May God Bless You and Keep You+