Notes from our Priests

WE REJECT HIM, BUT HE LOVES US

In today’s Gospel, we hear about when Jesus visited the town where he grew up.  He was born in Bethlehem, but grew up and lived in Nazareth for thirty years.  Then, for three years, he visited elsewhere ministering and preaching to others who received his healing, teachings, and comfort.  Many miracles occurred during his public life because people had strong faith; they opened their hearts to the love of God, and they saw the glory of God. For many of them, it was clear that Jesus was the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Son of God.  Unfortunately, for his friends in Nazareth, neighbors, and relatives, it was challenging to accept him their Savior and Lord, because they shared his infancy and youth.  The big question for them was how the son of the carpenter of Nazareth and the humble Mary could preach and perform miracles?  He was a regular citizen of their town, nothing special.  They may have acknowledged Jesus’ wisdom; they might have heard of some of the astonishing miracles and works of Jesus, yet they rejected him.  What they heard about Jesus was hard to reconcile with their image of the nice kid, the nice guy, who was one of them.  They thought that they knew everything about Jesus.  Indeed, “Familiarity breeds contempt!”

Because of their attitude and lack of faith, Jesus couldn’t perform any miracles.  But later, while on the cross, he gave his life for the life of the world.  Even though he was rejected, offended, hated, and condemned, he extended his arms on the cross as a sign of his love for us.

Let us accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Messiah.

Father Alfonso; July 8, 2018

 

WE ARE THE TRINITARIAN PEOPLE

Today our Catholic Church is full of joy, once again, celebrating the “Feast of God,” the Most Holy Trinity.  God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and how three different persons are one and unique God through the communion of three divine persons in love.

God as Father created us and loves us.  We are the result of his love. In the book of Genesis, we find that God said: “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground (Gen 1:26).”

God is also the Son who came into our world to share his life with us.  He took our nature by being one of us and rescued our humanity from the slavery of sin.  In the Gospel  of John (1:14), we find a beautiful explanation of the incarnation of the Son of God: ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

And God is the Holy Spirit who gives us new life as children of God and causes the Trinity to dwell in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit is one of the most significant promises of Jesus Christ to his disciples and the Church that he will send the Spirit of truth who will be in charge to explain all the mysteries f God to mankind and to be a great consoler.  “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you (Jn 14:26).”

At the beginning of the day, work, and at Mass, we all make the Sign of the Cross.  Christians have been doing that since the time of the apostles.  So, what are we actually doing when we make that sign?  We’re expressing our faith in the Trinity and our belief that Jesus revealed the Trinity in his Cross.

We touch our head and say, “In the name of the Father” because he is the first person of the Trinity and our Creator. Then we touch our head and say, “and of the Son.” This reminds us that God the Son proceeds from the Father and came down from heaven to the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Then we touch our shoulders, moving from left to right as we say, “and of the Holy Spirit.”  We do this because God the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son; and in his love, the Spirit fills us, body and soul, with the life of God.

We are made to live a divine life in this world as children of God, and temples of the Holy Spirit.

Happy Sunday.

Father Alfonso, May 27, 2018

 

RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT

Today is Pentecost Sunday and a celebration of the community.  

The Church is happy because today the crucified-risen Christ remains with the Church forever.  The only Spirit is the same living being that will accompany the Church until the end of time.  It is the spirit of God, which is showing the way. The Holy Spirit acts from the inside out since it is within every person to let them live in fullness.

But, unfortunately, we have been locked in our selfishness.  My dear brothers and sisters who live under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, begin to be trained to build community and real life of the risen Christ amid the world and history.  That at this party, we all experience the joy of recognizing the fire of the spirit Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and who spoke through the prophets as we say our Creed.

The Holy Spirit is still awaiting a concrete response from us.  As we approach Ordinary Time, let the Holy Spirit be you guidance. Amen.

Father Jose, May 20, 2018

 

GO INTO THE WHOLE WORLD

Today is one of the greatest solemnities in our Catholic Church.  We are celebrating the last of Jesus’s earthly mysteries.

Today, we say with a loud voice and with enthusiasm the part in our Creed; “He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”  The Ascension means that Jesus led us to his Father and opened the gates of heaven for us!  His victory is our victory, and now we know in faith that where He is, we will be one day, too.

But for now, and until the Lord calls to us to live with Him in eternity, we have a mission that Jesus gave to the apostles and continues until this present time.  As God the Father sent him, Jesus sends each of us to to continue to announce the good news to the world that we live in–our homes, the places where we work, and our neighborhoods.  We are to sanctify reality to help both our loved ones and the people we meet every day to get into heaven.

But the Ascension does not mean a farewell.  This is the mystery of the Church!  With his Ascension, the earthly mission of Jesus ends.  That’s true, but the mission of his Spirit and his Church begins.  Jesus tells us: “you will be my witnesses!” –witnesses of his Resurrection.  Today, as Jesus promised, his Holy Spirit is going to come upon us with the power to strengthen us for our mission in his Church.

Let’s go and be His witnesses!

Father Alfonso, May 13, 2018