As much as we make plans and have our daily routines, very often we are asked to give our time and attention to someone who was “not on the schedule” that day. What energizes us In these situations is to see the people involved as opportunities to enrich and in that way being enriched ourselves. Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. It is always good to be enriched by our family members. I am the oldest of four children, having two sisters and a brother who is the youngest. He is seventeen years younger than me. I used to come home from the seminary and pick him up and down when he was a little boy. Now he is bigger and stronger than I am. But I say he is my brother with great joy. At least a couple times a month I go out to Greenport to see him and have supper with him and his family. It is just good to spend time together. Seemingly we don’t do anything significant but we do. We simply enjoy spending time with each other. His business is putting in gravestones and making stairs. The closest I came to making stairs was a few times putting the screws in the holes he drilled in the back of a couple of sets of stairs so he could follow after with the screw gun to put them in. And I did mix the cement when we put the gravestone on my parents grave.READ MORE
What do you want for Christmas? We readily ask that of children who respond with enthusiasm. The older we get the less we are looking for gifts and the more we see the love that is behind them. For a gift to be a perfect gift it just has to come from the heart.
As we have been getting ready for Christmas the previous two Sundays we have been reminded by the prophets Jeremiah, Baruch, and John the Baptist that God has promised to eliminate all obstacles to His coming presence into our midst. The valleys will be filled in, the mountains leveled, and the crooked roads straightened. Our obstacles to God’s presence are not physical but the busyness, problems, and concerns of our daily lives. The key is to recognize that God did not come in Jesus to put a burden on us, to take away time and energy from our daily lives, but to enrich, guide, and walk with us in all we say and do every day. It is so important to take some time everyday to pray, to focus on Jesus’ presence in our lives and His presence in ours. We are still in the midst of the coronavirus and another strain of it now called the Omicron strain. Our lives have certainly been disrupted and challenged this past year and a half. Where is the light? Where is the hope we all need? The answer is what we are preparing to celebrate on Christmas Day and in reality what we need to celebrate and focus on every day of our lives - Jesus’ presence in our lives and our presence in His. God knows us much better than we know ourselves and has come to walk with us Himself in Jesus.READ MORE
Do you love Christmas traditions but don't know where they come from? Tune in for Dr. Michael Patrick Barber's Advent reflections called "The True Meaning of Christmas" and learn the meaning behind your favorite Christmas pastimes. To go deeper, be sure to get his accompanying book, The True Meaning of Chirstmas, available on the Catholic.Market.
One of the ways we come to see what those who have lived before us experienced is to read history. We read about different kinds of governments, advances in technology, and problems they faced and how they dealt with them. Other than the perfection of the Garden of Eden, which was short lived because of human sinfulness, there has never been a form of government or moral code that all people have come to see and embrace as THE way to live. In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Luke 3:1-6) we see St. Luke giving us the political environment into which Jesus and John the Baptist were born. Tiberius Caesar, Pontus Pilate, and Herod are names that are familiar to us because they were people who had a role in how Jesus was received. They were pagans and had no interest in changing their way of life or leading the people they ruled in a new direction. Jesus was not seen as a gift but sadly as a nuisance to be executed.READ MORE
One of the joyful moments I experience is giving church tours to the first graders in our parish Religious Education Program. They come into the church one or two classes at a time and Fr. Abraham, Fr. Mike, and I give the tours. One of the things I show them is the different colors of the vestments the priest wears and what those colors mean. First I show them the purple vestment and explain that this color indicates we are at a time where we are getting ready for a special celebration. Since we just completed the tours they quickly come to see that we are getting ready for Christmas, getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus.READ MORE
“My daily prayer is that I can open the doors of my heart to Jesus and His expectations of me.” These are the words of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in his book “The Gift of Peace” that he wrote a few months before his death on November 14, 1996. His is a very brief, to the point expression of faith, hope, and love. First and foremost we open the doors of our hearts to let the love of God in. We come to see how much He loves us and all people. Seeing that God’s love is so inclusive expands our vision beyond ourselves. As individuals and as the Church we are worth not only God’s time, concern, and attention, each one of us is worth His death on the cross in Jesus. There is no question or doubt about God’s love for me, the only question is, “Do I accept God and His love.” Through the vision of faith we see that God is far more than an acquaintance or someone I know about.READ MORE
This week we celebrate Our Lord Jesus, Christ, King of the Universe. Ring in this great feast by diving deeper into the mystery of Christ's greatest gift to His Church - The Holy Eucharist.
Over and over again as much as we seek stability and predictability in our lives, change is constant and inevitable. Some changes we look forward to and some we do not. Life begins with change. We leave the security of our mothers’ wombs and immediately experience a wonderful change. We are held, embraced, and fed with so much love and joy. As we begin our formal education in school, we leave the security and familiarity of our homes and begin living and learning with teachers and classmates. Upon the conclusion of our school and college years, we assume more responsibility for supporting ourselves and making a chosen difference with the people we encounter. The gift of marriage is life changing and that change is enriched when husband and wife become mother and father. As time moves on grandchildren often come into the picture and joy that change brings renewed and wonderful joy.READ MORE
All too often, science is falsely pitted against Faith to disprove the tenants of Christianity. In this infomative talk, Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ - expert in physics, philosophy, and theology - debunks this powerful myth as he discusses the Bing Band and the origin of the universe with sound reason, credible science, and faithful theology. This talk is a must-listen for anyone wrestling with the biggest questions regarding science and Faith.
Dive into the heart and soul of what it means to be Catholic with Chris Stefanick and his guests streaming live every Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
The Chris Stefanick Show is the most recent addition to the Augustine Institute’s robust and innovative programming, which aims to help Catholics understand, live, and share their faith.
This coming Thursday we will celebrate Veterans Day, remembering all living and deceased who have given of themselves for the good of our nation. In the first reading for Mass today (1Kings 17:10-16) we have the account of the prophet Elijah meeting a woman gathering sticks to make a fire to cook the last meal she will be able to make for herself and her son. There was a famine then. Elijah asked her to make him a meal first. Elijah promised that if she did this for him her jar of flour would not go empty and her jug of oil would not go dry. The woman trusted his words and did as he requested. As a result his words to her came true. She and her son were able to eat for a year until the famine was over and her jar of flour never emptied and her jug of oil was never used up.READ MORE