Pastors Corner

A message from Fr. Jim

February 11, 2018

Often times we make Lenten resolutions. I know I have done so with mixed results. And yet a resolution I made six years ago on Ash Wednesday has stuck. And that is time spent in prayer every day for twenty minutes. Early on in my priesthood I discovered the merits of centering prayer. Then for one reason or another I got away from it. I noticed I became more fragmented, lacked focus, and settled for the more comfortable and easier path of life. Since my decision to return to the practice I have found a new spirit and vivacity in my life. Yes, there seem to be more distractions than silent prayer at times but I do believe that my humble attempts are pleasing to God. I would invite you to make time for prayer this Lenten season. After all we are now focusing on stewardship of time, this is, time spent with God.

February 11, 2018

It is hard to believe that Ash Wednesday is upon us already. In fact it falls on Valentine’s Day. Lent is our season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, ancient practices dating back to the Israelites. Mentioned in a number of places in the Old testament-particularly the Books of Job, Jeremiah, & Daniel-the sprinkling of ashes, wearing of sachcloth, and practices of fasting were the central gestures of sorrow and repentance for the chosen people. May this Lenten season be one in which you continue to repent and believe in the Gospel. With our Baptism comes the responsibility to live our lives for the Lord

February 4, 2018

As I enter my seventieth year this week ( I will be 69) I can’t help but be grateful for the wonderful life God has granted me. I would be arrogant if I thought that I had carved this life myself. Hopefully it has been more the case that God has been the guiding factor in my life. The great family that I have, the parish communities I have served, personal friends, the faith handed down to me –these are all gifts, to name but a few. Thank you for being a part of my journey. With God’s permission I have a few good years left in the tank.

January 28, 2018

In next weekend’s Gospel we hear about Jesus searching out a deserted place to pray. He had spent much of the day healing people and he was exhausted. He realized he needed to recharge his batteries. I will be doing the same thing this week while taking a personal retreat at Seaside, Oregon. My praying will not have the depth of Jesus’ prayer but hopefully will be received by God. I’ll also be reading the book by Allen Hunt we gave to  you a few weeks ago. You also can be assured of my prayers. May the Lord bless you in every way.

January 21, 2018

As the March for Life takes place tomorrow we are asked to reflect on the right to life for the unborn. Although I do not preach that much on this important topic I do believe that we as the followers of Christ should do all we can to make sure that young women (and young men) have all the resources they need to make life-giving decisions for their unborn children. It is easy to condemn. It is far more difficult but vital to provide the counseling and positive example of parenthood for young people. For those who have been involved in an abortion there is Project Rachel which holds a weekend experience for healing. May the Lord hold all our young ones in his loving hands.

January 14, 2018

The winter portion of Ordinary Time is but five weeks. We may think that this time is ordinary in the sense of “run of the mill.” However, the term ordinary derives from the word “ordinal,” or numbered, as the Sundays in Ordinary time are numerically ordered. The time between the close of Christmas Time with the Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday’s introduction to Lent does not have to be fallow; it can be a time in which our faith can flourish and grow, “greening” in the spirit of this season’s liturgical color. Perhaps one of the great opportunities of Ordinary time-whether in winter or summer is to make our discipleship visible not only through our words but also through our deeds. In this way, Ordinary Time becomes anything but ordinary. 

January 7, 2018

Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. The child who is born in the darkness of night in a lowly manger is revealed as the manifestation (the meaning of epiphany) of God. Christ is revealed in many ways: as Lord, as King, as the one in whom God is present and acts. All of these manifestations are “lights” that shine on Christ revealing a deeper understanding of who he is. This weekend we also celebrate the twenty seventh anniversary of our parish community. I like to think that we are that light on a hill that manifests the saving actions for God in the person of Christ. May the Lord continue to bless us especially as we continue to reflect on “Who is my neighbor?” May we “do something” to bring Christ’s lift into the world today.

December 31, 2017

It is only fitting that as we end this year and look forward to 2018 we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Much of our lives is spent in the midst of family. At the end of the year I invite you to reflect on how you have related with your family in 2017. To be holy does not mean to be perfect. It has everything to do with being open to one another, being honest and forgiving, going the extra mile for each other. It has to do with striving to be whole. How often do you pray as a family? How often do you parents bless your children? On behalf of our parish staff I wish all of you a blessed and happy new year.

December 24, 2017

I feel a bit torn as to how to address this column. This is the Fourth Sunday of Advent (at least this morning) which elides into Christmas (this evening). Maybe it is to express my hope that during Advent each of us has made room for our newborn Savior. On Christmas Day, we receive the Christ child anew, God’s gift of love and transformation taking flesh and dwelling in our midst. The Rule of St. Benedict says it best, “Let all guests who arrive be received as Christ.” As a parish community we welcome each of our guests as Christ. On behalf of our parish staff I wish each of you a very blessed and joyful Christmas season. God indeed is with us.

December 17, 2017

This Third Sunday of Advent we celebrate Gaudete Sunday In other words we are called to “rejoice in the Lord.” It’s almost as if we can’t wait for Christ’s coming in eight days. The appropriate color for the day is pink but, alas, we don’t have pink vestments. May we be people of joyful hope who by our very nature lead others to Christ our Savior.

Be sure to consult next weekend’s schedule. Notice that we will not have the 11:30 AM  Mass next Sunday. Confessions will be heard this Wednesday at 7 pm and next Saturday at 4 pm.

December 10, 2017

Our parish namesake comes on the scene  today. The one thing I love about John the Baptist is that he is true to his ;mission in life. He knows that his role is to point to the person of Jesus Christ even though he is not quite sure whether his cousin is the one who fills the bill. He is not tempted to tell his questioners that he himself is the one they are looking for. He is able to say: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water, he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. “May we follow his example and point others to Christ.

 Please join us for the Filipino celebration of Simbang Gabi at our 5:30 pm Mass next Saturday, Dec. 16th. This is one of a series of novena Masses leading up to  Christmas. Festive paroles (lanterns) and Filipino music plus a Filipino dinner will be a part of our celebration. All are invited.

December 3, 2017

The beginning of the liturgical year would have us preparing a place for Christ to come again and to be born anew for his coming or “advent”-in our hearts and in our world. We remember his entry into human life as a vulnerable newborn, and remembering the Paschal Mystery, we also affirm when he will return in glory at the Parousia, the fulfillment of salvation history. Advent invites us to quiet ourselves, much as the coming of winter stills and quiets the natural world. May we prepare a place in our heart to receive our newborn Savior.

Next Saturday, Dec. 9, we will celebrate a Communal Advent Reconciliation Service at 2 pm.

 

 

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