This weekend, the Church presents us with the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as a role model for all Christian families. The scripture readings today give some practical examples of the roles children and parents have and how each can help create a holy family and home. We hear some key words that describe the nature between each relationship within the holy family such as love, respect and obedience. This goes beyond the interrelationships within the family...it also pertains to our relationship with God and others in society. The Gospel reading presents Joseph and Mary as being obedient to the Jewish tradition and God. Ordinarily, Mary has no physical reason to present herself for purification. A lamb is to be offered for the ritual sacrifice of atonement, but in the case of a poor couple, two turtledoves and two pigeons would do. The first child to be born is sacred and presented to the Lord, because that child opened the womb.READ MORE
On this fourth Sunday of Advent, our scripture readings are focused on the “Temple of God.” Our First Reading today tells us the story of King David who wanted to build a Temple for the Lord in appreciation for God’s favor to him and his nation. We are told that God sent Prophet Nathan to tell David that his plan was rejected. Nathan explained to King David about the implication of his intention and why God rejected his plan. Ordinarily, King David’s plan to build a house for the Lord was a wonderful idea, however the motive behind his intention was that he was trying to reward God for his goodness and blessings towards him, which is a sin of pride. We learned from King David’s mistake that no matter how blessed and how grateful we are, no human being can reward God and God does not bless us in exchange for our loyalty to him or our good behaviors. God generously bestows his blessings upon us, unconditionally.READ MORE
Welcome to the final weekend of preparation for Christmas. If you are familiar with liturgical settings and official prayers of the Church, you will notice that prayer book settings are specifically different from December 17-23. This is because December 17 marks the beginning of the tradition of the “O Antiphons.” These are 7 antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17th-23rd, recalling the seven Messianic titles, based on the Old Testament prophecies about Christ. This tradition dates back to around the fourth century AD. You may incorporate the antiphons into your evening prayers up to December 23rd. Find out more here.READ MORE
As we observe Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday this weekend, we may ask ourselves, “What is there to rejoice about in the midst of the pandemic?” In our Second Reading today, St. Paul reminds us to rejoice always in all circumstances. Even in the midst of the pandemic and other challenges, we have many reasons to rejoice this weekend and always. Our reasons to rejoice go beyond the need for physical health or protection from harm. It is the Joy of the Lord, the joy that the world cannot give us. In the First Reading, Prophet Isaiah describes his reasons for rejoicing in the Lord. We too can share with him in rejoicing that the spirit of the Lord is upon us, that the Lord has anointed us, that the Lord has entrusted us with the opportunity to announce the Good News, to heal the broken-hearted and to set the captives free. In the Gospel Reading today, John the Baptist also rejoices that he was given the honor of announcing the arrival of Jesus Christ. He saw the light of Jesus Christ, he testified to the Light, he pointed at the Light and in doing so, directed people to follow Christ.READ MORE
This weekend, I will be presenting the parish Annual Finance and Pastoral Reports for the fiscal year 2019-20. This will include reports on finance, pastoral ministries, sacraments and parish charitable outreach from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. We will include a finance report and other information from St. John Bosco school community for the first time this year. Please note! Our fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The Annual Report will be presented by the Presidents of the parish Pastoral and Finance Councils at the end of all Masses this weekend. A digital copy of the report will be posted on the parish website. A few copies will be printed and available at the Church vestibule for those who prefer hard copies.READ MORE
If we were to give a nickname to the liturgy this weekend, it would be “Announcement Sunday.” This is because the First Reading and the Gospel are quite similar; both Isaiah and John the Baptist announce the need for preparation for the arrival of the Messiah. The First Reading from Prophet Isaiah begins with, “Comfort my people.” What a beautiful message! God gave the Prophet Isaiah the privilege to see the future events that preceded the arrival of the Messiah. He heard the voice of someone crying out in the desert, calling people to repent, preparing them for the coming of the Messiah.
His prophecy was clearly fulfilled more than 700 years later in the person of John the Baptist. As foretold, John the Baptist did not only call people to repentance in preparation for the coming of the Lord, he also had the honor of baptizing the people to wash away their sins in the River Jordan.READ MORE
The Scripture readings during Mass this weekend are timely; they invite us to raise our heads above the tide and keep our hopes high as we await the coming of the Lord. With the news of the increasing rate of new cases of Coronavirus also comes the increasing hope that vaccines will be available soon. I understand there are mixed feelings about the vaccines. While some are hopeful that it will help, others are concerned about the ethical standard of the vaccines. I urge everyone to resist the temptation of spreading any unfounded rumors concerning the vaccines until we have clear evidence about their nature. For now, we have every reason to hope that the vaccines will help control the spread of the virus.READ MORE