Entries for November 2020


Posted on November 30, 2020 in: Pastor

No, it is not January 1st.  The liturgical (Church) year does not match New Year’s Day, the beginning of the calendar year. The Church year is distinctive.  It always begins on the first Sunday of Advent, and with it comes a shift in the cycle of Scripture readings. (This year the focus is on the Gospel of St. Mark.)

Advent is the four-week liturgical season that precedes Christmas. The term “Advent” is derived from the Latin word “advents” which means “coming,” and it focuses not only on the past coming of Jesus on the first Christmas; but also on the present coming of Jesus in the gospels, the sacraments, other people, prayer, love, truth, and personal experience; and the future coming of Jesus at the Second or Final Coming at the end of the world, the Parousia or the Last Judgement.

Advent is not Lent or a miniature version of Lent.  In fact, the two seasons are extremely different.  Advent stresses hope and joy, Lent stresses penance and sorrow;  Advent emphasizes what we need to add to our lives (e.g., grace, light, joy), while Lent emphasizes what we need to remove (sin).  Advent stresses preparation with festivity!  Advent features the Prophet Isaiah.  How great it would be if we could read two chapters of Isaiah each day.

St. John the Baptist is the main saint of Advent.  He is “the prophet of the Most High”, the immediate forerunner of Jesus, and the link between the Old Testament prophets and Jesus Himself.  John the Baptist is the voice crying out in the desert, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”  John also directed peoples’ attention from himself to Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God” and made one of the momentous statements in the gospels as he declared, “He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease”.  I pray that all of us can have a spiritually profitable Advent as through the Bible, the Sacraments, Prayer, and Works of Charity, Jesus increases in power and brilliance in our lives! 

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Thanksgiving to God

Posted on November 20, 2020 in: Pastor

Thanksgiving to God


So much of 2020 has been beyond our control, and we have naturally focused on limitations and restrictions, the uncertainty and loss of the people and opportunities we miss most.  With record numbers of people infected by covid-19, Thanksgiving Day is a good moment to take a deep breath and focus on the parts of our lives that bring us joy and for which we are thankful to our God.  Gratitude to God can open our hearts to God’s gift of happiness.  Gratitude to God helps us all feel more positive emotions, improve our health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

Of the many things that will be remembered in the aftermath of 2020, the moments of warmth and kindness will surely be some of the brightest ones.  Acts of kindness are not strictly a pandemic phenomenon, but perhaps they have taken on a new significance.  Kindness can be God working through each of us that unlocks our shared humanity.  We are all sisters and brothers, created in the image and likeness of God.  Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community, and enables others to see Christ in YOU!

In the face of fear, uncertainty, and isolation it is all too easy so give in to frustration.  This year God gives us the opportunity to strengthen our community, and be even more of the presence of Jesus in us and in others.  



On this last Sunday of the Church’s Liturgical year, we honor Jesus as the center of creation.  The attitude demanded of us as true believers is that of recognizing and accepting in our lives the centrality of Jesus Christ, in our thoughts, in our words and in our works.

We must work every day, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to draw closer to Jesus.  In our own increasingly “post-Christian” society, we cannot be complacent in our spiritual lives.  To acknowledge the Kingship of Christ means that we should dedicate ourselves to prayer, to building up our families and our parish communities, and to bringing healing to our broken world.

The Kingdoms of this world at times are sustained by arrogance, rivalries and oppression; the reign of Christ is a “Kingdom of justice, love, and peace.”

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