Happy Feast of Immaculate Conception!
The Pharisees brought the woman, caught red-handed, before Jesus for judgment, and Jesus said, "Let the person who is without sin cast the first stone." They fell silent, and then, all of a sudden, a stone came flying from the crowd. Jesus looked up, surprised and amused, and then said, "Hold it, mother? I was trying to make a point, here." This is a humorous slant to the Catholic belief that Mary was born Immaculate to lead an immaculate life.
December 8 is Feast of Immaculate Conception. Because the Sunday of Advent takes precedent over Immaculate Conception, Feast day is transferred to Monday, December 9th. At the same time, we celebrate at Immaculate Conception parish because it is parish feast, we are going to celebrate the feast of Immaculate Conception along with Second Sunday of Advent. It is because more parishioners can participate in the celebration.
I take this opportunity to wish everyone the Happy Feast of Immaculate Conception, especially to Parishioners of Immaculate Conception as we celebrate the patron Saint of our parish. I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this celebration beautiful, especially the Christian Ladies and KC’s for preparing the breakfast. I would like congratulate also our Confirmation Candidates and first reconciliation candidates who are introduced at Immaculate Conception and St. Anthony.
Mary was chosen and brought her to this world without sin. In the book of Genesis, we read, "The man called his wife Eve because she became the mother of all the living." Mary, the new Eve, bought Jesus to this world to give us life. If we look at Jesus' life, he starts his public ministry at the wedding of Cana in the presence of his mother Mary. And Mary was present throughout his life. Mary was there at the foot of the Cross, at his death and then at the Resurrection. At the foot of Jesus gave Mary as our Mother, mother of humanity.
Bernadette Soubirous at the age of 14 encountered vision of a woman named Mary on hillside grotto. She was a poor young girl so no one believed her, but the vision continued. Finally, the local priest asked Bernadette to find out the name of the woman and she replied Immaculate Conception. Today Lourdes, France where Mary appeared is a great place of pilgrimage and thousands of miracles take place.
Immaculate Conception is not about the conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb; it is about the conception of Mary in the womb of Anna. It is beautiful that we get a chance to reflect on the conception of Mary and Jesus during Advent.
The readings for the second Sunday Advent tell us about homecoming. We see a beautiful poem in the first reading from the book of Isaiah. This poem describes the beauty of the coming of Jesus. It reads, “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse…”He is the one who is going to bring the community integrity. He is going to bring peace and harmony. The Baby of Bethlehem comes to establish his reign over the universe, and most especially in our very hearts. Mary brings Jesus for us, He brings us to the true home.
In the Gospel we see John the Baptist is giving the instruction to how to prepare for Jesus. They listened to him and followed the instruction. They received the baptism of repentance and renewed their life, so Jesus can come home – mind and heart.
Shirt over the wings: Grandma Martha was scolding her little grandson on his failure to go to church on a Sunday. “You will never get into heaven the way you are going today,” she told him.
“Well, Granny, the reason that I don’t go is I got a problem. I can’t for the life of me figure how I’m gonna get my shirt on over those wings I’ll have on my way to heaven.” “Never mind about shirts,” said the grandma. “The question in your case is how are you gonna get your hat on over those horns which the bad boys get when they are taken to hell.”
This is the first Sunday of the new liturgical year, the First Sunday of Advent. This year we return to the A cycle of readings, with the gospel focus mostly on the Gospel of Matthew. For those who read the daily readings, they are now from Year 1. The first Sunday of Advent, the ‘Sunday of Hope’ in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, through whom God has promised to save and redeem His people. Today we begin our yearly pilgrimage through the scenes and events of our history of salvation. Advent is a time for looking both backward and forward. We look backward as we prepare to celebrate the historical birth of Jesus. At the same time, we look forward to his Second Coming, as we prepare ourselves to welcome him into all areas of our lives during the Advent season.
St. Augustine had heard what sounded like a child’s voice chanting, “Pick it up, read it.” This was no children’s game, and he understood the words to be addressed to him. He picked up the book that lay on a nearby table, which contained Paul’s letters.
At this moment in his life, Augustine was at the tipping point in his conversion. Opening the book at random, he read the words quoted above from Paul’s Letter to the Romans—today’s second reading—and his transformation was complete! Those words are part of an exhortation which begins: “Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
In the first reading Isaiah reports his vision of all nations gathering on Mount Zion as described also by Micah (4: 1-3) using the image of a pilgrimage. In the vision of Isaiah, Judah is shown as the place to which all nations will come for “instructions in righteous living.” The result will be universal peace.
Jesus teaches us in St. Matthew’s Gospel that his coming for us will be without much or any warning at all. Jesus will come, besides business as usual for our family life, and our usual daily activity. But he will come– and he will take us!
God comes again and again in special ways throughout our lives. One of these is His annual coming at Christmas with the birth of His Son in human form. Let us prepare for it.
Every morning when we get up, let us pray, “Lord, show me someone today with whom I may share your love, mercy, and forgiveness.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, "Whatever you do in your family, for your children, for your husband, for your wife, you do for Jesus." Every night when we go to bed, let us ask ourselves, “Where have I found Christ today?” The answer will be God’s Advent gift to us that day. By being alert and watchful we’ll be getting an extra gift: Christ himself. There is a saying which goes s back to St. Thomas Aquinas: "Without God, I can't. Without me, he won't."
In the first reading we have this beautiful invitation:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.”
In this advent, let us focus on this invitation.
Frederich Nietzche, the German philosopher said, “God is dead.” In 1966 Time Magazine published a cover story that asked, “Is God Dead?” Is it God dead or alive for you and me? We celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King- King of the Universe, which marks the end of the Liturgical year. The only a minority will say God is dead, but lots of us live like God is dead. Our God is alive, he is with us.
November 23, 1927. The dirty walls of the place of execution resounded with the shout, “Viva Cristo Rey!” Blessed Miguel Pro of Mexico, a priest of the Society of Jesus, lived during a very trying time for the Mexican people. As he was waiting for the shots that would end his earthly life and begin a new life in the kingdom of Heaven, he forgave his executioners, and spreading out his arms in the form of a cross he cried out “Viva Cristo Rey!” “Long live Christ the King!” His cry gave courage and determination to people of Mexico, to restore the reign of Jesus the King in a place where Catholics were persecuted since the time of Elizabeth I of England.
Today in the Gospel two criminals were on the cross with Jesus. One recognizes Jesus as his King, and Jesus promises him Paradise. Everything changes because we are members of his kingdom. We have experienced the love of Jesus. We need to live for Christ. We need to spread this love to others. We cannot be vengeful. We cannot be people of hate. We cannot allow or support any form of prejudice or bigotry. We are the people of Jesus Christ. We cannot join those who live in a way that says, “We don’t need God.”
We do need God. We need to proclaim to others with our lives, “Jesus is your king too.” Jesus, remember us when you come into your kingdom.
Mother Teresa told this story in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994. “One evening several of our Sisters went out, and we picked up four people from the street. One of them was in a most terrible condition. So I told the other Sisters, ‘You take care of the other three: I will take care of this one who looks the worst.’ So I did for the woman everything that my love could do. I cleaned her and put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hands and said two words in her language, Bengali: ‘Thank you.’ Then she died. I could not help but examine my conscience. I asked myself, ‘What would I say if I were in her place?’ My answer was simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said, ‘I am hungry, I am dying, I am in pain.’ But the woman gave me much more; she gave me grateful love, dying with a grateful smile on her face. It means that even those with nothing can give us the gift of thanks.” Happy Thanksgiving!!
I would like to take this opportunity to say “THANK YOU” to all our cluster parishioners, councils and committee members, people serving as different ministers, Cluster staff, benefactors and well-wishers…“THANK YOU!”
The END brings NEW BEGINNING…
Do you think the end of the world is near? We hear over and over again people talk about this subject. Whenever something unexpected happens we have tendency to think this direction. Do you remember the movie "2012?" The premise was that the world was going to come to an end in 2012. As Hollywood hoped, a significant number of people believed that there might be some truth to this. How many of us stopped for a moment and questioned or worried? Did anything happen so far? Every century there were predictions of end of time. There were times predicted closing date.
Jesus in the Gospel portrays for us, graphically, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. For Jews, the destruction of these two things was equivalent to the end of the world. There were three reason behind this, because for them, the Temple was 1) dwelling place of God. In 1 King chapter 8, we see the dedication of the Temple and Lord came from heaven to dwell in the Temple. 2) It was sole place of sacrifice. Deuteronomy 12 tells that the center of worship is Jerusalem Temple. 3) Jerusalem Temple was symbol of heaven and earth. So they believed that the destruction of Jerusalem Temple is destruction of the universe, the destruction of heaven and earth.
The Temple was the joy of the People of Israel. Its stones were inlaid with jewels. The disciples marveled at it. Jesus said it would be torn down, as it was in the year 70 AD. There is a section of the Temple still standing. It’s called the Wailing Wall. People still go there and mourn the fate of the Jewish people, and the fate of all who are persecuted.
Jesus told the disciples that the Temple would be torn down because all material things come to an end sooner or later. Then the disciples asked the big question, the question that so many people want to know: When? Jesus absolutely refuses to say when the end of time will come. All he will tell us is that there are signs of the end. Jesus' point is that his true followers should not be concerned about when the end is, they should only be concerned that they are ready for end so they can be ready.
Jesus foretold many signs that would shake peoples and nations. The signs which God uses are meant to point us to a higher spiritual truth and reality of his kingdom which does not perish or fade away, but endures for all eternity. God works through many events and signs to purify and renew us in hope and to help us set our hearts more firmly on him and him alone.
How would we respond if someone prophesied that our home, land, or place of worship would be destroyed? Early Church were persecuted and they thought the Second coming of Christ is near. They talked about being prepared.
The reading wants us to reflect on being prepared. It wants us to ask ourselves, “How prepared will be for that moment when it comes?” Let us choose one aspect of our Christian life. Let us ask three question about love.
How loving are our thoughts-right now in our life? How loving are our words-right now in our life? How loving are our action-right now in our life?
We are at the end of liturgical year. Next Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, which is the last Sunday of the liturgical year. The end brings new beginning.
First of all let me take this opportunity congratulate our St. Anthony Confirmation Candidates as they make their commitment. We, faith community with their sponsors, families, and teachers asked to make a commitment to pray for them and support you in their journey.
This week, we celebrate Veterans Day: veterans is the national day to recognize the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes. I would like to share St Ignatius of Loyola’s prayer about heart-felt generosity. It goes like this: Dear Lord, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil, and not to seek for rest; to labor, and not to ask for any reward except that of knowing that I am doing your holy will. Amen. Veterans Day is to honor them for their love and sacrifices for our safety. Our men and women in uniform in past, present and the future, God bless you and Thank You.
The month of November is dedicated to pray for our loved ones. Every year we celebrate a Mass of remembrance to honor and to pray for those who have gone this past year. So this weekend we join with families and friends who lost their loved one.
Thirty second Sunday readings talk about resurrection. There is a story about a singing group called "The Resurrection." They were scheduled to sing at a church. They had to postpone the performance, because of a snow storm. Then the pastor fixed the outside sign to read, "The Resurrection is postponed."
The First reading and the Gospel talks about resurrection. In the first reading seven brothers with their mother are arrested and persecuted. At the time of death one told to the executioner, “you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.” We see a amazing witness to their faith. Second Maccabees became one of the favorite books of the early Christians. They would choose Christ and his Kingdom rather than give in to the so-called modern yet pagan world of the Roman empire.
In Jesus time there were two prominent groups, such as Sadducees and Pharisees. In the Gospel, Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. So they came up with a story and asked a question. The woman in the story married over time to seven husbands. Their question, “Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?”
Although we believe in the resurrection, we often hear tribute at the funerals in which people talk about the person being united with a deceased spouse, “oh yah he or she enjoyed doing something in this world” and now, “he’s up there fishing with Uncle George” or “dancing with Mom.” We say those things; it is easy way for us to understand. Jesus might want to correct us as well as the Sadducees. Heaven, as he indicates, is going to very different from what we experience here on earth. Jesus answered their question and said, “To the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.” Jesus added, “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."
Our God is God of living. Let us pray for our loved ones every day, especially as we celebrate Mass of remembrance.
We are celebrating National Vocation Awareness week. We all received a call to holiness, but in different ways: as a priest, religious, married couple and family, singles, and so on. Vocation in general is openness to God’s call. How do we foster this call? One of the brochures for Vocation Awareness week talks about seven ways a family can foster vocation: 1) snuggle up and read fascinating age appropriate saints story at bed time; 2) watch a better movie as family (e.g. life a St. John Bosco); 3) Set the record straight, means tell children about real happiness, instead TV tells them what is happiness; 4) Play dress up, let children imagine being a priest or nun and play it out, 5) pray from the heart, have family prayer time and during the family prayer pray for the families, priests and nuns too; 6) Talk about vocations openly, marriage, priesthood and religious life; 7) Befriend priest and religious, invite a priest or nun at your home.
I remember in 2015, 8th grade St. Anthony students invited me as their special guest at the radio station for an interview. Their first question was, why did I became a priest? I told them the short answer is because God called me. Then I explained to them how I found out God was calling me. It was through my family, pastor, nuns, youth group and so on. Definitely I can say that the youth program called “Cherupushpa Mission League” which made a remarkable influence in making my decision. I was very much involved in this youth ministry. I was a participant at the beginning and in my high school years, I was in the leadership team under the guidance of pastor and nuns. The experience with youth ministry encouraged me in my decision making to become a priest.
These are the little steps to teach our children about vocation. Everybody is not going to be a priest or nun. It is their choice, but it our duty to teach them about different vocations and have an opportunity to talk about it and to get to know. When it comes to faith, normally we say it is their choice. But in reality, automatically they are exposed everything else, they should be exposed to faith and its traditions and roots. Then they can make the right choice. Always it starts with prayer. Let us pray for vocation. We all are called to holiness in different paths.
Today we hear the story of the little man Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus the head tax collector, had climbed a tree along the road that Jesus was walking down. He was merely curious. He wanted to see this Jesus. But then Jesus stopped under the tree and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly because today I must stay at your house.” Jesus didn’t intend to stay there. He was passing through Jericho. But something happened that made Him change His plans. Compassion and mercy caused to stay. At the same way was Zacchaeus’ reaction…amazing! He promised to give half his possessions to the poor and payback four times over all he had forced. Jesus cared about Him. Zacchaeus would not let the moment pass.
Jesus loved Zacchaeus- sinner and by that love Zacchaeus was transformed. Sometimes we have the temptation to withhold love from the other. For example, a husband and wife may withhold love from each other. There may be a temptation to withhold one’s love from a rebellious teenager. But just as Jesus loved Zacchaeus even though he was the worst of sinners, so we must love others in spite of their weakness. It is not easy, but let us try it. Let us receive Christ’s peace and love; at the same time let us share Christ’s peace and love to one another.
What would be your first thought when you walk into the Church? Is it about ourselves or God? Do we compare ourselves with others? I often wonder what everybody thinks during the readings and homily at Mass. Do we reflect on our life or neighbors? Couple years ago, someone approached me after the Mass and said, “Father, while you were talking about “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” (2Timothy 4:7) I was thinking about two of my neighbors who had a good fight last night.
This weekends Gospel reading we see a parable of the tax-collector and the Pharisee. In Jesus' time, his Jewish audience would have expected the Pharisee to have been the "good guy" and the tax-collector to have been the "bad guy." But, Jesus flips this predisposition of his audience. Pride is found not in the tax-collector but in the Pharisee; and, conversely, humility is found in the tax-collector. If Jesus look at disposition our life what would he find: pride or humility?
This is the last weekend of Respect Life month, we are praying for victims of Domestic violence and human trafficking. The violence against another person is a failure to treat that person as someone worthy of love. The violence within the sacramental marriage, the abused spouse may question, "How do these violent acts relate to my promise to take my spouse for better or for worse?" An article from United State Bishop’s says, “We focus here on violence against women, since 85 percent of the victims of reported cases of non-lethal domestic violence are women. Women's greatest risk of violence comes from intimate partners—a current or former husband or boyfriend.” The human trafficking is new form of slavery. United Bishop’s Conference says, “Human trafficking violates the sanctity, dignity, and fundamental rights of the human person.” They state that, every nation is affected by this this disease—the United States is no exception.
We all are called to love God and love one another. It is essence of our discipleship. Month of October, we were reflecting and praying, especially through the devotion to the Rosary, on the dignity of the human life. This weekend reading talks about being humble in the presence of God. Our relationship with God is unique. Even though each one of us are different, in the eyes of God no one is fundamentally better or worse than another person. He created us to be ourselves, our best selves. That’s how He sees us.
All Saints Day and All Souls Day: In the month of November Church invites us to pray for our loved ones. We celebrate November 1st is all Saints day and November 2nd is all Souls day. Sometimes we think that the church means we who are on earth. Church has three realms: the church on earth is called militant church because we are in a battle between good and evil; the souls in purgatory are called suffering church because they are in state of purifying to fully experience God’s glory and the saints who have already entered in the heavenly glory are victorious or triumphant church.
All Saints day is a feast honoring all Christian saints – known and unknown. On All Souls day we remember all those who have gone before us. The souls in purgatory, they need our prayer to help their purification and to attain in heavenly glory. On November 2nd we celebrate a special Mass at St. Cecilia Cemetery at 11:00 am. We celebrate a Mass of remembrance on Sunday, November 10.
We ask saints to intercede for us. We pray for our loved one those who have gone before us. Every Mass there is place we pray for our loved ones. Please remember our loved one every Mass. Another way, Church invites us to offer Mass in their name. It costs only $ 10.00, but it take conscious thought and action to do it. Please join for All Saints Day and All Souls Day celebration.
I read a story of a phone call Father O’Malley received. Hello, is this Father O’Malley? Father O’Malley says, “Yes, It Is.” From the other side, “This is the IRS. Can you help us?” Father O’Malley, “Yes-I can” “Do you know a Ted Houlihan?” Father O’Malley, “Yes, I do” Is he a member of your congregation? Father O’Malley, “Yes, He is” Did he donate $10,000 to the church? Father O’Malley, “Yes, He will”
We are celebrating Extraordinary Mission Sunday. Some give to the missions by going. Some go by giving. Mission Sunday is the day to reach out beyond the needs of the local Parish and diocese to assist missionaries as they go and tell in the young churches. The theme for the Extraordinary Missionary Month is: “Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.” Pope Francis in his recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “Missionary action is the paradigm of every work of the Church.” (EG 15)
In 2017, Pope Francis wrote a letter to call the whole Church an Extraordinary Mission month on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of The Apostolic Letter “Maximum Illud” by Pope Benedict XV. Pope Francis wrote in his letter, “The Apostolic Letter “Maximum Illud” called for transcending national boundaries and bearing witness, with prophetic spirit and evangelical boldness, to God’s saving will through the Church’s universal mission. May the approaching centenary of that Letter serve as an incentive…(to) be open to the joyful newness of the Gospel. In these, our troubled times, rent by the tragedies of war and menaced by the baneful tendency to accentuate differences and to incite conflict, may the Good News that in Jesus forgiveness triumphs over sin, life defeats death and love conquers fear, be proclaimed to the world with renewed fervor, and instill trust and hope in everyone.”
Our baptismal call is to be a missionary. Church is missionary. St. Therese of Lisieux, also called St. Teresa of the Child Jesus or the Little Flower, is the patron saint for the missionaries. She was a spiritual master of the contemplative life. St. Therese didn’t go out to mission journey, but in her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, she reflects on the new freedom of a new joy she will enjoy in heaven. She writes, “There will be no longer any cloister and grilles and my soul will be able to fly with you into distant lands.” She didn’t go too far, but she prayed for missionaries.
This weekends First Reading from the Book of Exodus and the Gospel reading from Luke both speak about perseverance in prayer. In the battle against Amalek, the forces of Israel were winning as long as Moses held his hands up. The ancient way of praying, and the way many of us pray at times is to lift our hands up to the Lord. When Moses’ let his arms fall, Amalek succeeded. When Moses stopped praying, Amalek succeeded. He needed the help and support of Aaron and Hur to keep his arms up. He needed the support of others to persevere in prayer. Jesus tells a humorous story of an unjust judge and a persistent widow. Judge says, “While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.”
As we celebrate Mission Sunday, reading remind us that our missionary journey needs to start with prayer and perseverance in prayer. Let us pray for missionary, and share our resources. At the same time let us encourage each other to grow in our faith. Let us be a missionary!
In the ancient world, lepers were not included in the community. They were supposed to keep distance from others. The communities were afraid of them. Today we read this story and may say, it is so sad. Are we different from them? Flu season what do we do. We are afraid of those who are sick or self-conscious of our health. Jesus’ story, there were ten lepers. In this story there are two points for reflection: inclusion and gratitude.
What is inclusion? Some of them must have been limping with deformed legs, most likely relying on crutches. Some had lost fingers and even parts of their face. Many had horrible sores all over their bodies. They were hideous.
All of them had bells. All were required to call out continually, “Unclean, unclean.” The healthy would do everything possible to avoid them. That is why at the beginning of the Gospel the lepers stood off at a distance and called to Jesus to heal them. They were not supposed to come closer. Jesus told them “Go show yourselves to the priests.” It is because there was a ritual to be welcomed back to the community. Jesus healed them, not just leprosy, but brought them back to community.
Respect life month invites us to meditate on dignity of life. Fr. Dennis Mullen at the cluster mission reminded us that our culture tells us that we have to be young and wealthy. So we are tempted to move towards that goal. The Bible teaches that life is a gift of God and hence we have to respect it from womb to tomb. This weekend we celebrate Inclusion Awareness Day as a part of respect life month. Respect life month we celebrate life with our ability and disAbilities, our strength and weakness. We are one family. Because we like to see ourselves young, healthy and wealthy, sometime we forget to appreciate the rest of the community. Inclusion awareness Sunday is opportunity to reflect how we include everyone in the community by looking at our abilities, rather than looking at disAbilities. How we appreciate the gift of each and every one. In other words, how we celebrate our differences. This weekends reading invites us to “do something beautiful for God” by reaching out to others.
Father Henri Nouwen, the founder of the Pathways Awareness remarked that "I was always studying about God and teaching about God to all these bright students. I wanted to be smarter than others. I wanted to show them that I could be "with it". And I suddenly realized that it is not in strength and power that God was coming to me, but in weakness."
God’s love includes everyone. He opened his arms and heart on the cross to embrace everyone. So Jesus invites us to open our hearts, minds and doors for everyone. But in reality, sometimes many people with disAbilities are unintentionally excluded. Inclusion Awareness Sunday invites us to reflect that what I can do to include everyone.
Second point is gratitude. On the way to the temple priest, all of them received healing, but only the Samaritan came back to Jesus to express his gratitude. He was outcast twice, he is outcast because he was a Samaritan and then because of leprosy.
We try to teach our children to say please and thank you. When we reach our adulthood, do we still keep the positive attitude or do we become a more negative person. Do we count our blessing? Do we still keep that attitude of gratitude? It is most beautiful prayer. Eucharist is a beautiful prayer of gratitude.
Let us pray, Lord, may we never fail to recognize your love and mercy. Fill our heart with gratitude and thanksgiving. Lord, give us strength to bring others closer to you. Amen
First of all let us wish our St. Francis parishioners, a happy and joyful Feast of St. Francis. Feast of St. Francis of Assis was on October 4th, but we celebrate on Sunday October 6th. St. Francis of Assis loved the whole universe. The custom of blessing of animal originated from St. Francis’s love all creatures. Animals used to come and listen to St. Francis preach. How beautiful is to begin month of October reflecting St. Francis’ love for all God’s creation.
I assume most of you got a chance to watch the movie, "Unplanned." After the movie, I said, what a powerful message. Why is it powerful, because it involves real life. Life matters.
The month of October is month of respect life and month of the rosary. This year, the theme for the respect life is "Christ is Our Hope in Every Season of Life." Every moment of our life from womb to tomb is a gift from God and He is our Hope. Every season of our life encounters challenges- moments of being vulnerable, but those vulnerabilities give us the opportunity to grow closer to Christ who is our Hope. As I mentioned above, October is month of Rosary, a devotion to our Mother Mary, which very well connects with respect life month. When we meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary, we walk through life Jesus: from very moment of his conception in the womb of Mary, through his passion death and resurrection to his ascension and coming of the Holy Spirit. He restored the dignity of our life. Through his salvific action, we received the dignity of life.
In this month of October, let us pray for life: life from the womb to tomb. Let us become voice of the voiceless: unborn, vulnerable and elderly. The first week we pray in special way pray for unborn babies, mothers and babies aborted and healing of their parents. The second week we will be praying for people with different abilities (disabilities). We call it Inclusion awareness Sunday. If you know someone is not received Sacrament in appropriate age, please call Kathy Rominske, Sandy Kennedy, we can prepare them for Sacraments. If you know someone who would like to read, serve or bringing the gift this Sunday please call parish office. We will train and prepare them for the ministry.
The third Sunday, we celebrate World Mission Sunday. Pope Francis wrote in his 2017 message, “Carrying out our mission, let us draw inspiration from Mary, Mother of Evangelization. Moved by the Spirit, she welcomed the Word of life in the depths of her humble faith.” Fourth Sunday, we meditate and pray for the domestic violence and human trafficking. Again, an opportunity to reflect on dignity of life in our day to day life.
October 18th we will be celebrating a healing Mass. It is the feast of St. Luke, who was physician and patron saint of the medical profession. During the healing Mass we pray for all those who are sick, opportunity to receive the Sacrament of the Sick, and offer a special prayer for the caregivers and healthcare professional.
Respect Life month invites us to reflect on the dignity of the lives and evaluate, how we respect one another’s lives. Let us take a special attention to pray Rosary this month and pray for peace, human life and the family.
“The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” -Saint Padre Pio