This Wednesday, January 31, we celebrate the feast of St. John Bosco. Many in the parish may recognize his name from St. John Bosco Catholic School here in Ahwatukee, but fewer may be familiar with his life.
He was born in Italy as Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco on August 16, 1815 to a poor family of farmers during a time of famine and drought. His father, Francis, passed away when John was only two years old, leaving his mother, Margherita, to raise John and his two older brothers on her own.
Even though the family was very poor, John learned the importance of charity through the example set by his mother. She would often give food and other assistance to the homeless and others in need. She was a tender-hearted woman with a devout faith. Those who knew her referred to her as “Mama Margherita.”READ MORE
Even though it is not a popular belief today or topic in some churches; let me be clear from the beginning- Satan does exist. In fact, one of the tactics of the Devil is to get others to believe he doesn’t exist. For if there is no Evil One, then neither must there be a Holy One. However, there is a devil. Scripture is clear on this point, and calls Satan- the ‘prince of darkness’, ‘the accuser’, the ‘father of lies’, a ‘liar and a thief’. Satan, and all his demons, have one objective- to steal away the life of God in humans and lead to the demise and damnation of every person’s soul. God is the author of life, and Satan does all he can to lead us away from that life- both joy and happiness on this earth as well as eternal life. And so, this battle for our soul is very real and serious, but we need not be overly fearful. Our God is the all-powerful faithful God, and our Church is a protective Church, and our faith, rooted in Scripture, including our Gospel today, instructs us about this battle that is raging for our souls. Let me unpack this Gospel, to enlighten us of its truths and meaning for our lives.READ MORE
Abortion has been one of the most divisive issues in America since states were forbidden to outlaw abortion after the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision. Since that time, over 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States with an average of 3400 abortions being performed each day. On one side of this contentious issue, those who call themselves “pro-choice” believe that abortion is a private medical decision that should take place between a woman and her doctor, without interference from the government or anyone else. On the other side, those who describe themselves as “pro-life” believe abortion is the killing of children before they are born and therefore should never be tolerated in a free society. So where does the Catholic Church stand in the debate between “pro-life” and “pro-choice?”READ MORE
In today’s Gospel, which is the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, we hear Jesus went to Galilee, a fishing village right off of the Sea, and proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand. And seemingly inexplicably, Jesus calls Simon and Andrew and then John and James, and all 4 of them immediately leave the fish they had caught and their boats, leave their father behind, and immediately and follow Jesus. Seems kind of sudden, don’t you think? Why would anyone, let alone 4 grown men who have a good family and successful jobs drop everything on the spot, and follow this strange man they had just met? Have you ever thought about why?READ MORE
The last verse in the Gospel of Matthew is the Great Commission of Jesus to his 12 apostles- “Go, and make disciples of every nation”. In this, Jesus gave the Church our marching orders, our mission. The very reason and purpose of the Church, and thus of every parish, is to make disciples. For this reason, a few years ago, if you were part of the parish at that time, I encouraged you all to read the book Forming Intentional Disciples. This book describes where the Church is at, why so many Catholics have fallen away, and describes the steps or thresholds of someone’s journey to discipleship. If you don’t have a copy, you can check out a copy in the parish library, or read the copy that is left in the Adoration chapel when you’re there. But before we can help make disciples, we have to first know who a disciple is and become one ourselves.READ MORE
Sometimes when I’m at Mass or doing something out of charity, I still feel this emptiness inside. Despite being told over and over that living the Faith will bring the greatest sense of fulfillment to my life, sometimes I’m just not feeling it.
After a closer look at Scripture, though, it becomes clear that in those moments, I’m just missing the point. In my effort to praise God through my words and deeds, I often hold back the most important thing: my heart.READ MORE
Their journey of encounter is an example for all of us "I call them the three fools."
"What?" I said a little incredulously to Dr. Robbins.
"Yeah, I call them the three fools. After all, who would leave everything that is safe and comfortable to travel in the darkness after a star merely because it promised something better?"
I knew what Dr. Robbins was doing. He was being provocative in a desire to teach me a lesson. We were standing in his office in front of a large painting depicting the Three Wise Men sitting on camels as they traveled by night to a distant star. That conversation was a seminal moment in how I came to understandthe journey of the Three Wise Men.READ MORE
We come to the final week of the Christmas season by celebrating the Epiphany. Epiphany means appearance or manifestation, and so we celebrate the 3 wise men or magi that followed the star to the Christ child.
Before we reflect on what this celebration means for us today, it is helpful to have an understanding of who the Magi were and what they were doing. The magi were the ones who were summoned by the king whenever he wanted advice or to learn about something. The Magi were literally wise men who were very learned in philosophy and astrology, among other subjects, and so able to read the signs in the stars. The magi, in general, were Gentiles, or people who did not believe in the one true God of Israel. However, even though these 3 magi were Gentiles, they still knew the prophecies of the Jewish believers.READ MORE