Merry Christmas everyone! What a joyous celebration this is, that out of love for us, our God would choose to enter into time, enter into our lives to save us. I pray that the Lord will truly enter deeply into your hearts this Christmas season. A couple of Sundays ago, Matthew Henry, our music director, shared what the Lord has been doing in his heart through our Discovering Christ and ChristLife series. So many were inspired that I wanted to share it here with both our visitors and our parishioners. Discovering Christ is a great way to begin to let Christ deeper into our hearts and lives. ~ Fr. ChadREAD MORE
On this final preparation for the coming of Christ, each of our readings speak to us about what it really means to receive Christ into us. Let us look at each of our readings and be inspired and convicted to fully receive Christ into us.READ MORE
For those of you who were not able to attend the Parish Mission earlier this month, I wanted to highlight some key points and share with you some of the fruit from it.
Deacon Keith Strohm, who also presented last year's Advent Mission, came with a friend of his, Kristin Bird, a young lay-woman who is the director of Burning Hearts Disciples. Even though it was called a Mission, it was more of a retreat, as everyone had an opportunity to truly encounter the Holy Spirit and receive healing from our Lord.READ MORE
Stretching out his hand over his disciples, the Lord Christ declared: Here are my mother and my brothers; anyone who does the will of my Father who sent me is my brother and sister and my mother. I would urge you to ponder these words. Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Savior was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her—did she not do the will of the Father? Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father's will, and so it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ's disciple than to have been his mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood. Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb him whom she would obey as her master.READ MORE
We celebrate the 3rd Sun of Advent, just two weeks til Christmas. Are you wanting, are you ready for the coming of Jesus? Indeed for us human beings, it is easy for us to get so busy in this season that before we know it Christmas is here, and we have hardly prepared. Have you taken time to pray and reflect on what it means for Jesus to come? Are you ready and wanting Him to come, with all your heart? It is easy to kind of go through the motions in Advent and Christmas- something we have probably done many times over the years- and so we can kind of know what to expect.READ MORE
Beloved, now is the acceptable time spoken of by the Spirit, the day of salvation, peace and reconciliation: the great season of Advent. This is the time eagerly awaited by the patriarchs and prophets, the time that holy Simeon rejoiced at last to see. This is the season that the Church has always celebrated with special solemnity. We too should always observe it with faith and love, offering praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the mercy and love he has shown us in this mystery. In his infinite love for us, though we were sinners, he sent his only Son to free us from the tyranny of Satan, to summon us to heaven, to welcome us into its innermost recesses, to show us truth itself, to train us in right conduct, to plant within us the seeds of virtue, to enrich us with the treasures of his grace, and to make us children of God and heirs of eternal life.READ MORE
I hope and pray that everyone had blessed Thanksgiving celebrations! Personally, I don't know where November went, but ready or not, Advent is here! I wanted to update you on a couple of matters.
First of all, I have heard all positive feedback on the new sound system. We now have the white speakers installed so our eyes aren't drawn away from Christ in our worship space. We have also fine-tuned the system and made some tweaks in certain areas that we noticed concerns. Please continue to let us know if you have any difficulties in any way or anything else that you notice.READ MORE
Happy New Year everyone. Although the world celebrates the new year in January, we as Church celebrate the start of Advent as a new year. We begin a new cycle of readings, in this year of ‘A’, the Gospel of Matthew. However, we don’t start this 1st Sun of Advent, as one might expect, with the beginning of the Gospel, instead the Church wants us to begin towards the end of Matthew’s Gospel, with the preparation of the 2nd coming. The word ‘Advent’ means ‘coming’. So indeed, the Season of Advent is about preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ, but especially in the 1st couple of weeks, we focus not on preparing ourselves for the 1st coming but for the 2nd coming. Listen to the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 524: “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present an ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation of the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming”. We, in this age, remember the 1st advent, but are to focus our hearts and our desires for the 2nd advent, for the final coming of Christ.READ MORE
From a notebook on prayer by Origen, a priest
The kingdom of God, in the words of our Lord and Savior, does not come for all to see; nor shall they say: Behold, here it is, or behold, there it is; but the kingdom of God is within us, for the word of God is very near, in our mouth and in our heart. Thus it is clear that he who prays for the coming of God's kingdom prays rightly to have it within himself, that there it might grow and bear fruit and become perfect. For God reigns in each of his holy ones. Anyone who is holy obeys the spiritual laws of God, who dwells in him as in a well-ordered city. The Father is present in the perfect soul, and with him Christ reigns, according to the words: We shall come tohim and make our home with him.READ MORE
The story is told about a man who was so scared and nervous during his first plane ride. The man beside him suggested that he get a glass of whisky from the flight attendant. Which he did and which he downed in one gulp. When he asked if he could get another one, the man beside him pointed out to the button above his head and told him to press it if he wanted another drink, whereupon he stood up and pushed the button and held his glass underneath. (When we are scared sometimes our mind does not work well.)READ MORE
As we conclude Vocation Awareness Week, let me share with you my vocation story. I have always been Catholic and my family and I went to Mass every Sunday. However, it wasn't until my family moved to Chandler, AZ, when I was in the 6 th grade that I became more involved in the life of the parish. I went to the junior high program, and then was very involved in the high school youth group. I grew a lot in my faith during high school. It was on a youth group retreat when I was a Junior in high school, while thinking about what I wanted to study in college and do as a career, that I thought about the priesthood. At the time, I assumed that because I loved God and had a strong faith, God was therefore calling me to be a priest.READ MORE
If you were at one of the Masses that I celebrated last week, you'll recall that I encouraged you to reflect on our first reading from the Book of Wisdom because, not only is it inspiring in itself, but it is also foundational for our Christian life. If we really understood this truth in the depth of our hearts, then it would change how we act and live our lives. If you did not reflect on it yet, here is the first reading from last Sunday as well as words from our Lord to St. Catherine of Siena which speak about the same truth of who God is and who we are (and meant to be). Additionally, in case you forgot, my homilies are also on our website.READ MORE