The Gospel reading this weekend invites us to reflect on the reality of hunger in the world, especially with the current impact of the pandemic. Recent studies have shown that more than enough food is produced to feed the global population, yet more than 690 million people, that is one in nine, go to bed on an empty stomach every night, and an estimated 821.6 million people are considered undernourished or starving globally. WHO and UNICEF reported in 2019 that an estimated 2.2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water and over half of the global population, or 4.2 billion people, lack safely managed sanitation services. Recent statistics indicate that after steadily declining for a decade, world hunger is on the rise globally. This is compounded even more by the current impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.READ MORE
Imagine! If you were to have a vision, and God or an angel appeared to you and asked you to make a request for just one thing in life. What would you ask for? Would you ask for health, protection, wealth and prosperity? In our first reading today, Solomon was given such a rare opportunity to ask God for one thing in life. As a young king, Solomon had many legitimate needs. He needed wealth, military might, fame, security, prosperity, long life and happiness. But when God asked him to ask for one thing, he asked for wisdom from God to make right decisions in life. He knew that with God’s wisdom comes every other good thing he needed and desired.READ MORE
There have been predictions in recent times that many Christians will lose their faith by the end of this unprecedented pandemic. Studies have shown that most people who lose their faith during the time of crisis do so because they cannot imagine how a good God will allow bad things to happen to good people. At times like this we may ask, if God is all-powerful and all-loving, why doesn’t he intervene in the situation in the world today? Why doesn’t he remove bad people or prevent them from harming good people? Why can’t he prevent evil from the world?
In response to such questions in the Gospel today, Jesus used the parable of the wheat and weeds to explain that God is very patient and loving to both the good and bad people. He gives everyone enough opportunity to repent before the end of time. If we pay very good attention to the parable, and especially in the context of the other two parables that Jesus gives in the Gospel today, we will realize that the wheat and weeds actually reside side by side within each of us. Although we are created in the image and likeness of God, our free will causes us to be imperfect. The question we need to ask ourselves then is, “Am I perfect?” If the answer is no, then the next question is, “Should God destroy me because I am imperfect?”READ MORE
I thank the families who have responded to my invitation to participate in the Offertory Gift Matching opportunity. Over 50 families from our parish have participated as of this week! Thank you again for your generous support to our parish, especially at this very challenging time. I invite those who have not yet participated to please try and do so within this week. If you are hearing this for the first time, I am glad to inform you that a generous Catholic family from outside our parish has come forward and offered to help St. Benedict through this financial challenge.
This family is offering to match, dollar-for-dollar, every new weekly/monthly gift OR increased weekly/ monthly online gift to our parish offertory – up to $29,700. That’s a generous gift that will really help our parish. Will you help us take advantage of this generous offer? Here’s instructions on how you can help – it’ll only take a couple minutes, and you would be doing your parish a huge favor.READ MORE
I wish you all a Happy Feast Day as we celebrate the feast of our patron saint, Benedict, on Saturday, July 11 this week. Given the current crisis from the viral pandemic, we would like to observe the feast of St Benedict this year as a Parish Day of Prayer. We will begin the day with Mass at 9 am, followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and ending with Benediction at 12 noon. The Mass and Benediction will be live-streamed on our parish YouTube channel. I encourage those who are not able to attend the event in person to join us online and also to recite a Rosary or off er other prayers. In addition to your personal prayer intentions, we ask everyone to include the following as our community intentions:
1. For healing of the sick, especially those affected by the Coronavirus and for an end to the pandemic.READ MORE
Welcome to the Summer of 2020! I remembered earlier in the year, most of us were excited when we were told that the Coronavirus will not survive the Arizona summer heat. Unfortunately, the virus has surprised us with the recent increase of new cases even as we move toward the peak of the summer heat. This virus has not given us any time to catch our breath since the outbreak in March, hitting us on all sides. The financial impact on our parish has been significant, as you can see from our weekly offertory report in our bulletin. In the midst of all these, the Lord has not abandoned us. He has surprised us with a reason to keep our hope high.
I’m pleased to share that a generous Catholic family from outside our parish has come forward and offered to help St. Benedict Catholic Church with a matching gift up to $29,700 through August 31!READ MORE
I wish all fathers - biological fathers, adoptive fathers, foster fathers, grandfathers and Godfathers - a Happy Father’s Day and God’s blessings! We are thankful for the sacrificial love our fathers and father figures share with us throughout our lives. On this day, we honor and celebrate the indispensable role fathers play in our families and communities. Our relationship with our fathers and father figures is often a reflection of the nature of our relationship with God.
The joy of fatherhood is facing unprecedented challenges in our time, especially with the new redefinition of marriage. One can hardly talk about fathers this day without sounding “old fashion.” or offending someone. Someone once said that it is easier these days for fathers to have children than for children to have fathers. Let us remember to pray for all fathers and father figures who are facing different challenges in their personal and family lives. I encourage all fathers to look up to St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Mother, as their role model. Despite his holiness, he experienced challenges as he sacrificed his own personal dreams in order to fulfill God’s will by protecting his wife and child, Jesus. I pray again for God’s special blessings upon you through the intercession of St. Joseph on this day.READ MORE
This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, meaning the Body and Blood of Christ. Traditionally on this day, the Eucharist is honored by carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a solemn procession through the town, stopping several times for Benediction. This custom is still encouraged and practiced in many countries throughout the world. With the celebration of Corpus Christi, we now begin the full Ordinary Time of the Liturgical Calendar, which will last until the season of Advent begins in November.READ MORE
This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity is difficult for many people to understand or accept. The Church teaching states that there are three distinct persons in one God but with one nature. Not three Gods, but one God, manifesting himself in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is a mystery; a mystery is something we cannot fully understand. We may have an idea or awareness, but we cannot truly explain it to ourselves or others. One of the most common analogies that illustrates the nature of three persons in one God is water. Water can exist in the form of solid ice, liquid or vapor. Each form can be converted to the other, but it remains the same water. Although not a perfect analogy, this gives us an idea of the nature of the Trinity.READ MORE