Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, it also marks the beginning of Holy Week. Today we commemorate the triumphant arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, days before he was crucified.
On Palm Sunday the faithful often receive palm fronds to participate in the reenactment of Christ's arrival in Jerusalem. In the Gospels, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, and to the lavish praise of the townspeople who threw clothes, palms or other small branches, in front of him as a sign of homage. This was a customary practice for people of great respect.READ MORE
As we arrive at the Fifth Sunday of Lent, I hope you have deepened your relationship with God through prayer. This year’s Lenten theme for our parish, “God makes you uncomfortable when he wants you to grow” and the messages we shared with you every week were all meant to inspire you to experience Lent more fully, and to encourage you to practice different ways of fasting and almsgiving throughout the season. Today, we pray for those of you who feel lonely. May the Lord open your hearts to welcome and accept others into your lives.
As we reach the half-point of Lent, let us take a few minutes to reassess our Lenten commitment to prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. It is important to keep in mind that these three practices are intended to help us prepare our hearts for the joy of Easter.
Praying helps us nourish our relationship with God and grow our faith. Almsgiving reminds us that we are the body of Christ and that we are to take care of not only ourselves but of others. The third practice is fasting, which brings us back to Jesus and helps us put Him in the front and center of our life.READ MORE
Fast from complaining and anger - Feast on appreciation and patience, is our Lenten message for this week. Most people complain about something now and then. Some people seem to complain all the time. Perhaps you too have noticed that those who complain the most do not always realize that they are doing it.READ MORE
As we continue our Lenten journey, an important way to bring the Lord into every aspect of our life is to fast from talking and feast on listening.
"From the shining cloud, the Father's voice is heard: This is my Son, listen to him."
This Sunday, I wish to echo the call made by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters and participate in the National Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers.READ MORE
Most people wish to feel comfortable and have peace of mind in everything they do. It is also natural for people to want a comfortable life. Wanting to achieve this, may be one of the reasons children and young adults in our communities are encouraged to study hard and prepare for a great job with a comfortable salary. However, it is important to recognize that God makes us uncomfortable when he wants us to grow, just as Jesus must have been uncomfortable during the 40 days he was out in the desert.READ MORE
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season. Lent is a time to seek the Lord in prayer and scripture; it is a time for almsgiving, self-control and sacrifice. The tradition of abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent is a long-standing Catholic tradition.
Additionally, there are many ways to practice self-control and fast throughout the Lenten season. We will share some thoughts on this in the weeks to come. For now, I encourage all of you to read Pope Francis' message for Lent 2018: "Because of the increase of inequity, the love of many will grow cold" (Mt 24:12). Following is an excerpt from the Holy Father's message which he extends to all men and women of good will, who are open to hearing God's voice.READ MORE
Throughout the past few months, I have shared some thoughts on three fundamental values: Respect, Inspiration and Compassion. These values are part of Holy Spirit Catholic Community’s guiding principles which were defined by our parish pastoral council, several years ago.
As we prepare to start the Lenten Season in a couple of weeks, I encourage all of you to think about these three values. How do you apply these values in your daily lives?READ MORE
"Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed." Is this year's theme for National Catholic Schools Week which starts this Sunday, January 28 and runs to February 3rd. Schools observe this annual celebration with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. All events are centered on highlighting the value Catholic education provides to young people and the contributions it makes to our church and communities.READ MORE
"Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power." is the theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. For the past 100 years, the week of prayer has traditionally been celebrated January 18 – 25, between the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Every year, ecumenical partners in a region of the world, are invited to produce a basic liturgical text on a biblical theme. Then, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches (WWC) review the text and jointly publish it after an editorial team of the WCC and Roman Catholic representatives has edited it.READ MORE
This Sunday marks the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and from January 7 to the 13, the U.S. Catholic Church celebrated National Migration Week. This year's theme "Many Journeys, One Family, draws attention to the fact that we are all migrants."
Each family in the United States has a migration story. Many of these stories are recent. However, most migrant stories in our country started in a very distant past. Some stories have even been forgotten. Nevertheless, regardless of where we are and where we came from, we remain part of the human family. All family stories are important. We are important.READ MORE
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of The Lord, and the arrival of the Magi to the place where Jesus Christ was born. The Gospel describes the Magi as being overjoyed at seeing the star that had led them to the new born child. When the Magi saw him with Mary his mother, they fell on their knees and worshipped him. Then, they offered him the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh --symbols of Christ's royalty, divinity and eventual suffering and death.
In giving these gifts, the Magi recognized that Jesus was born to be our Savior. May we too recognize Jesus as our Savior in all that we say and do.READ MORE