Our Gospel today is taken from John chapter 6, which every Catholic should know well, as it is the great chapter explaining the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist, and its explanation in John 6, is so important that the Church asks us to reflect and learn from it over the next 5 weeks. Today, we begin with the miracle of the feeding of 5000. Have you known that the great Eucharistic teaching of John 6 begins with this miracle? Let me reveal how. First, though let’s recall last week’s Gospel from Mark because it leads directly into Mark’s version of this miracle of feeding the 5000; and it will help us more fully understand the context of this story.READ MORE
Fr. Rey was ordained on July 16, 1993. His 25th anniversary celebration took place in the Parish Center on July 21 where he shared the following story of his vocation journey.
"Why did you become a priest, Fr. Rey?" I always encounter this question. For me, priesthood is a gift and a mystery. It is a mystery because it is only God who knows the answer to why I became a priest in spite of my weaknesses. It is a gift given, and once it is a gift it is always embedded with mystery. The receiver doesn't know the inner motive of the giver.READ MORE
Let me start today with a question, what does a well-deserved Rest, Beatlemania, and The Good Shepard all have in common?? Bet you never thought you’d hear those three things lumped together, especially in a homily! What these three seemingly divergent items have in common is that an element of each of these things is found within in our Gospel reading today. The real question however, is what actions, if any, do these three things potentially call us to do? And on that note, let’s dig in…
While I know you’re most likely dying to hear how in the world I’m pulling Beatlemania out of the Gospel, you’ll have to hold tight just a bit on that one. Let’s first unpack the aforementioned Well Deserved Rest…READ MORE
As the twelve Apostles return from their first missionary journey in today’s Gospel our readings continue to reflect on the authority and mission of the Church. Our Divine Shepherd (Jesus) appointed new shepherds (the Apostles) to help lead all people to the truth. Flowing from this we have our current hierarchy with the Pope, Bishops and Priests carrying on this mission of evangelization, and safeguarding the truths of the Catholic faith as they work to gather all people into His body the Church.READ MORE
This week is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week. It corresponds with the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love and responsible parenthood. In 1998 Pope John Paul II wrote a letter to Dr. Anna Cappella, director of the Center for Research and Study on the Natural Regulation of Fertility at Rome's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. The occasion was a convention commemorating Humanae Vitae. Excerpts are reprinted below.
I hope that everyone will benefit from a closer study of the Church's teaching on the truth of the act of love in which spouses become sharers in God's creative action.READ MORE
(The following comes from a transcript of a video in which Brant Pitre explains the Mass readings from last week.)
Let's look for a few moments at an issue that is really, frankly, rather a big issue for a lot of Catholics, and that is the whole reference to the brothers of Jesus. I don't know about you, but I remember being a young Catholic and hearing this particular passage, Mark’s gospel in particular, read at Sunday Mass and wondering, “well wait, I thought Mary was perpetually virgin, who are these so-called brothers of Jesus?” What is the gospel referring to here? And it doesn't just mention his brothers, it even mentions his sisters as well. So who are all these brothers and sisters of Jesus, are they the children of Mary?READ MORE
This Wednesday, July 11, is the feast of St. Benedict, who is considered the founder of Western monasticism. The only authentic record of his life comes from the second book of Pope St. Gregory I's "Dialogues." It consists mostly of accounts of the various miracles attributed to St. Benedict during his life.
Benedict was born in Nursia, Italy (now known as Norcia) around the year 480. He was the son of a Roman noble and had a twin sister, St. Scholastica. He went to school in Rome, but once he reached the higher level of studies, he left school, tired of the immorality and corruption that was endemic of the city at the time.READ MORE
My brothers and sisters, the people of Nazareth in our Gospel are having to answer the most important question of their lives. In fact, it is the most important question that each and every person down the centuries, including that you and I, today, must answer for ourselves. And how we answer this one question with our lives has important ramifications and eternal consequences. So, what is the all-important question? Who is Jesus Christ?READ MORE
“America has always wanted to be a land of the free. Today, the challenge facing America is to find freedom’s fulfillment in the truth: the truth that is intrinsic to human life created in God’s image and likeness, the truth that is written on the human heart, the truth that can be known by reason and can therefore form the basis of a profound and universal dialogue among people about the direction they must give to their lives and their activities.”
“...President Abraham Lincoln asked whether a nation ‘conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal’ could ‘long endure.’ President Lincoln’s question is no less a question for the present generation of Americans. Democracy cannot be sustained without a shared commitment to certain moral truths about the human person and human community. The basic question before a democratic society is: ‘how ought we to live together?’ In seeking an answer to this question, can society exclude moral truth and moral reasoning?
Can the Biblical wisdom which played such a formative part in the very founding of your country be excluded from that debate?”
On this June 24th, we interrupt Ordinary Time to celebrate the Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist. It is always celebrated on this date because it is 6 months before Dec 25th. Luke tells us that Elizabeth was already 6 months pregnant when the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and Jesus was conceived. Today, open your mind and heart and let's reflect on what the significance of the birth of John the Baptist teaches you and I, in our lives. For we too can be part of God's amazing plan of salvation.READ MORE
Before anything else, I want to express my sincere thanks to all of the parishioners of Corpus Christi who truly allowed me to go on this trip, and especially to those who kept me in their thoughts and prayers as I traveled to El Salvador.
Being raised in the Church and receiving Catholic education in all thirteen years of my schooling, I had heard the idea of “seeing God in all things” too many times. Over the years, as I became somewhat more understanding of God and His role in my life, I felt that I was doing something wrong solely because I was failing to see Him in the life that surrounded me. However, upon returning from El Salvador, I have realized that I was not doing anything wrong in my search, rather the privileged world around me was one that lacked God’s real presence. As I dove deeper into my connection with God through this trip, I have completed the first two steps of the pastoral circle, and now I must work towards the third. It was in El Salvador that I witnessed God in all things, judged the way God portrayed Himself through the crucified people, and thought through how I must act to embody their abundant love and generosity here at home.READ MORE
Excerpted from the June 2002 issue of Columbia, the monthly magazine of the Knights of Columbus.
Father's Day, in the United States especially, has become a day to recognize the important place of dad. While the celebration itself may be focused on a Father's Day card, a gift, or a special meal, at its heart is the recognition that a father plays a singularly important role in the life of a family. Children need a father. Fathers have a God-given responsibility to their children.
Recognizing this, Pope John Paul II took action, holding up St. Joseph as a model of modern manhood. On August 15, 1989, he issued an apostolic exhortation on St. Joseph and the Catholic understanding of fatherhood – Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer: On the Person and Mission of St. Joseph in the Life of Christ and the Church ).READ MORE
Today, my brothers and sisters, our readings reveal to us the inner mystery around who God is, and, in response, who we are called to be. So, let us open our hearts and reflect upon who God is and how we might see Him; and if needed, even allow Him to change how we might see Him and respond to who He is.READ MORE
Contraceptives are supposed to make life easier. The idea is if married couples could have sex without the possibility of becoming pregnant that their marriages would be better, easier, and last longer. Couples would be happier. Unfortunately, it does not work that way.
Since 1960, when the introduction of the oral contraceptive pill accompanied and fueled the sexual revolution, there has been an explosion in the divorce rate. There is more sex before marriage, more cohabitation, and less commitment and actual marriages than ever. People are less satisfied and less happy. Why? Is there a link to the widespread use of the Pill? How about the use of long-acting contraceptives like the IUD or sterilizations – getting your tubes tied or having a vasectomy? Each of these interventions attempts to separate the possibility of new life arising from the act of intercourse, which ultimately separates the spouses from each other and from God. These broken relationships result in misery for the persons involved.READ MORE
From Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia
53. If we wish to rediscover in all its richness the profound relationship between the Church and the Eucharist, we cannot neglect Mary, Mother and model of the Church. In my Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, I pointed to the Blessed Virgin Mary as our teacher in contemplating Christ's face, and among the mysteries of light I included the institution of the Eucharist. Mary can guide us towards this most holy sacrament, because she herself has a profound relationship with it.READ MORE