Christianity has to do with building up your faith in Jesus. There are many things you can learn from the Catechism class, from your parents and from your peers. But it all depends on your personal disposition to translate this information into your spiritual life. It is said that “you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink,” this applies to our lives as human beings in the sense that we have all the tools necessary for our spiritual growth, yet we take many things for granted.
I remember the story of man who was travelling in his car. All the tire bolts on one of his tires fell off. The three other tires were intact. He stopped by the side of the road and was lamenting that one of his tires had no nuts due to rough terrain. It was a lonely road. He saw a man sitting by the road and engaged him in a conversation. He lamented his situation and cursed his vehicle. The man sitting by the side of the road advised him to loosen a nut on each of the three good tires and tighten them on the one without nuts. It worked and he continued his journey until he reached the city.READ MORE
We have come a long way since the start ofCOVID-19. I say this because for close to threemonths our lives have been transformed indifferent ways. New changes have come into ourlives. We were once on total lockdown, but nowthat is easing up. I see some light at the end ofthe tunnel, although we are not out of the woods.A glimmer of hope is what we need to move usforward in positive ways. I am sure you too feelthe same.
As I drive every day to downtown for Mass and tothe office, I see changes along the way. I seepeople also moving in their cars to do business.Some local businesses have partially openedallowing us to feel that sense of normality. Theroads are becoming busy and crowded once more,a sign of a return to normalcy. All these are signsof hope and I’ve to praise your resilience inkeeping up with the difficulties.
In the Church, the diocesan office at Phoenixacknowledged that the process of returning tonormality will be messy and at times confusing.This should not be interpreted to mean that there isno good spirit or clear way on how we should go.As new knowledge comes into view, so will newdecisions. We change our views not out ofdisregard for safety but because we are advisedthat it is possible to move forward to ease thestress of the moment.READ MORE
It is over forty years now since Avery Cardinal Dulles, S. J. published his wonderful treatise on the Church. He considered six models that help us better understand the workings of the Church. His publication Models of the Church (Doubleday, 1974) became an instant bestseller for many reasons. For me, the first reason is the significance and importance of the Second Vatican Council.
From 1963 to 1965 Church leaders discussed the position of the Catholic Church in the modern world. After the beautiful discussions, many theologians began compiling the resolutions into simpler forms for Catholics to comprehend. Cardinal Dulles is among the first group of theologians to capture the proceedings of the Council in simpler forms using his theological expertise. My second reason is that his book appealed to Catholics as well as non-Catholics eager to learn the position of the Church on many topics such as ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, the universality of the Church, etc. Cardinal Dulles used his experience and gave us these models to assist us in our spiritual growth.READ MORE
A day before I traveled for my vacation, the Knights of Columbus at St. Paul Phoenix gave me a beautiful gift. Would you like to guess what the gift was? If you said a chalice, then you got it right. What better gift can you give the priest than that of a chalice? I love this gift and I will cherish it. The gift is a reminder of my priestly commitment in the service of God’s people. I am sure the knights do the same for many other priests who serve across the United States and beyond.READ MORE
The teaching of the Church on the Most Holy Trinity is clear. The Trinity is a tripod of three persons in one God. They are not three gods but three persons in one God, undivided in unity and equal in majesty. The history of this teaching goes back to the promulgation of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A. D. when Emperor Constantine called an assembly of bishops and leaders of the Church.
The challenge was posed by the Arian heresy which taught that Jesus was not begotten but caused to exist by the Father and thus possessed the divinity of the Father. The relationship of Jesus to the Father was under serious question as taught by the Arians. The Nicene Creed retained Jesus as begotten by the Father just as we say it today. The Council Fathers agreed that Jesus is equal to the Father and that He was begotten and not made as he existed with the Father right from time immemorial. Other resolutions of the Council are setting the date for Easter, the structure of the episcopate and the formulations of canons to guide church leadership.READ MORE
Today is the birthday of the Church. It is a birthday because the Church was established on this day in 33 AD. As Peter, the leader of the apostles, preached on this day, over three thousand people were baptized and added to the number of believers. On this day also, the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles and gave them power and authority to preach in the name of Jesus.
There are many other reasons to count this day as the birthday of the Church. On this day, the fire of the Holy Spirit renewed the hearts of the apostles, believing strongly in the promises of Jesus. He did not make vain promises to them. Rather, he made candid promises that he fulfilled. Apart from the descent of the Holy Spirit, he promised to be with the Church until "the end of days."READ MORE
Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus ascends to the Father as a conclusion to his earthly ministry. During his public ministry, he appointed 12 men whom he called apostles. These men are to continue his great works of healing and evangelization. However, the duty of evangelization is not solely the responsibility of the apostles. Every baptized Christian is duty bound to proclaim Jesus to the world.
Today's celebration of the Ascension of Jesus is a reminder to Christians that everything that has a beginning must come to an end. Within three years, Jesus revolutionized the entire Palestine with his teachings on compassion, hope and healing. He did not allow anyone who had contact with him to go empty handed. After his ascension, the apostles felt empty and became fearful of the authorities.READ MORE
Since 2nd March 2020, we have never had a communal worship as a parish. Rather we have been confined to our homes and watching the mass on TV and social media. This situation is abnormal in our lifetimes and no one ever anticipated this phenomenon and the attendant problems arising.
The presence situation undoubtedly has affected the whole world. In some places the cases of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, are severe, while in few locations, the numbers are less. In the United States as of 20th May 2020, we had over 92,000 deaths, 1.56m confirmed cases with 297,000 recoveries. In the whole world, there have been over 324,000 deaths, 4.9m confirmed cases and 1.9 m recoveries. These numbers are worrisome although scientists and researchers are working day and night to flatten the curve of the virus and restore hope.READ MORE
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas,
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate Mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
I met a woman whose baby was learning to speak. I could hear the babbles of the baby but could not comprehend one word. I asked the mother what the baby was saying, and she explained. I listened a second time and I felt the same. I was far from understanding his mutterings. Each time he muttered something, I looked at the mother to decode for me. This was how I was able to listen to this baby and the mother. I began to wonder what was happening. Then I realized that what was happening was a special connection between mother and child communicating in a language that is divine, heavenly, and exclusive.READ MORE