Holy Family: St. Joseph’s Holy Family

12-29-2019Weekly Reflection

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. In the Gospel (Mt. 2:1315, 1923), St. Joseph is the main protagonist, making the all important decision for the safety and survival of the Holy Family. Joseph listened to God, obeyed God in total trust and humility.

Joseph the head of the Family was a man of prayer He constantly consulted God, listened and quietly carried out God's plan for the Baby Jesus and the Blessed Virgin. Joseph knew the great task that laid ahead of Jesus, his Son. He knew this the moment he accepted to be the foster father of Jesus. He also knew that everything should be executed perfectly or accordingly as planned.

This is the greatness of St. Joseph : His willingness to obey and faithfully carry out God’s plan in the most humble, simple, and loving way. Being at the forefront of God's plan that was unraveling before him, he was able to step back, and both follow and obey His holy Will. St. Joseph walked the talk of the saying; they who say little, are those who love much."

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Merry Christmas!

12-25-2019Weekly Reflection

Blessed Christmas to each of you!

We are the shepherds! We have a responsibility.

We are a few days removed from the actual birth of Jesus. The angels have appeared to the outsiders of that time, the shepherds, and have told them about a wondrous birth of an infant and who he was and what he was destined to do. Therefore, they all decide to go see this miracle themselves. They go in haste.

Because of the experience of what they see, they become the first evangelists: "they made known the message that had been told them about this child." That is why I call them the first evangelists.

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The Symbols of the Season

12-25-2019Gospel Meditation

Take a moment to contemplate the symbols of the season. The crèche tells us the Gospel stories: first from Luke, which details the human birth in a lowly stable and the angels' message to shepherds; and later from Matthew, which describes the arrival of Magi who signify that God's salvation extends to all. The angels stand as heralds of the good news, an emblem for each of us on this solemn feast, of our own duty to spread the message that Christ is born and saves us from our sins. The tree stands as a symbol of life, its green branches unfading even in the winter cold, just as God's life remains in us even though our human form should die. The wreath made of evergreens reminds us that God is one, without beginning or end. The candles recall the birth of him who is forever the Light of the world. Today, we celebrate the fact that God came to earth as a beautiful, innocent infant who rejects no one. We rejoice this day in the birth of Christ! And tonight, we remember that Jesus Christ came into this world quietly, humbly, and gracefully, an example of how we should live our lives.

4th Advent: Obedience to the Divine Plan

12-15-2019Weekly Reflection

In Mt. 1:18-24, we hear of the unconditional obedience of two important characters in the Christmas story, the parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. The advent of the baby Jesus started from their simple “Yes” to God’s plan, and yes to His divine will for the salvation of humanity.

The Christmas story revealed one important character of God, His faith with His creatures. The divine plan, the coming of the Son, was conditioned by the obedience of Mary and Joseph. This affirmed God’s belief of human goodness, that human beings are His confident partners in the History of Salvation.

The genealogy of Jesus (Mt. 1, 1-17) which revealed the fallen nature of man, Jesus’ ancestry is lined with people who are sinners and saints. But out of this ancestry came the “Savior” of the world. Despite humanity’s fallen state, God had faith in His people, in that something good can come out of seemingly hopeless situation.

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3rd Advent: The Coming of Jesus

12-08-2019Weekly Reflection

3rd Advent: The Coming of Jesus In Mt. 11: 2-11, John the Baptist sent his disciples to Jesus with this question: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” John the Baptist accepting his fate, was ready to relinquish his mission… to prepare the way of the Lord.

Today is Gaudete Sunday, the Sunday of joy and hope. The liturgical color for today is rose and not violent, to signify lightness and brightness.

1. Tell John what you hear and see - Advent is the time for penance, accompanied with rejoicing and hope, for God has fulfilled His promise of the Messiah. Hearing from Jesus' mouth about the fulfillment of the prophesy attached to the Messiah, was the 1st Christmas for the disciples of John.

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2nd Advent: Repentance and Good Fruits

12-01-2019Weekly Reflection

In the Gospel (Mt. 3:1-12), John the Baptist suggests two things we can live by this Advent Season. The first, Repentance - “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” The second, Good fruit - “Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.” Real conversion starts with true repentance, that is, the change of heart and mind. The fruit of real conversion is faithfulness to God that produces good fruits, and other faithful followers of God.

When one experiences the mercy and love of God, he/she makes a fundamental option to follow God and live a life that honors God. Meaning, living a life worthy of the mercy and love shown by His Son, Jesus Christ. A life of gratitude, reverence to God's holy will, and practicing the faith, values, and virtues of a disciple of Jesus Christ. A man exposed early to street crimes, after a series of bad decisions and actions was convicted and spent years in jail. When finally released, he needed just a humble and contrite heart, a true repentance. In confession, the guy broke down, filled with sorrow and remorse, "Today you will be with me in paradise." Humbly begging forgiveness from the Lord, through his Pastor, assured of God’s unconditional love, he was given the absolution for all his sins, finally he cried with tears of joy. Often, the most beautiful and genuine smiles are those to whom much is forgiven. Now, they love much to compensate for the many years that they have loved less.

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