A Gospel Reflection: The Ascension of The Lord

05-29-2022From Fr. Tom GriffinFr. Tom Griffin, SJ

Today we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord, when Jesus returned to the right hand of the Father. He had completed his work here with us. He had done all that he could to let us know and feel God’s love for each of us, to teach us how to live with kindness and forgiveness for others, and to offer us the gift of eternal life with him.

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A Gospel Reflection

05-01-2022From Fr. Tom GriffinFr. Tom Griffin, SJ

Today’s gospel is a different sort of ‘fish story’. After the resurrection, the disciples were feeling a little lost. Jesus was no longer with them in the same way that he was before and they lost their enthusiasm for doing the good works they used to do with him. So, they went back to their old ways – they went fishing. Jesus knew that they needed some motivation so, although he no longer looked the same after the resurrection, he paid them a visit and made them breakfast. They recognized his presence.

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Reflect, Pray and Recognize

04-03-2022From Fr. Tom GriffinFr. Thomas Griffin, S.J.

A lot of people seem to have an odd curiosity with the failings of others. Some love to read about an unfaithful celebrity or a politician caught red-handed in a corrupt deal. Maybe we find ourselves gossiping about family, friends and neighbors. Often, we’re swift to offer harsh judgement. Perhaps we think that will help avoid any focus on our own mistakes.

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The Wedding Feast at Cana

01-16-2022From Fr. Tom GriffinFr. Tom Griffin

At the wedding feast in Cana, the unthinkable happened – the host ran out of wine! Mary and Jesus were guests at the feast and Mary understood the host’s embarrassment. Jesus had not yet started his public ministry and needed a nudge from his mother to get involved. Mary quietly said to her son; ‘they have no more wine’. Like most of us, he couldn’t say ‘No’ to his mother! So, Jesus performed his first miracle by changing water into the finest wine anyone had ever tasted.

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Filled with Joy

12-19-2021From Fr. Tom GriffinFr. Tom Griffin

Ready or not, Christmas is next weekend! Although we may be very busy this week with final decorating, shopping and food preparations, I hope that we can all take the time to prayerfully recognize that soon we will be celebrating the fact that Jesus is very much among us!

In today’s gospel, we heard that Mary, carrying the infant Jesus, hurried to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who was also carrying a child, John the Baptist. When Mary arrived at her cousin’s home, the yet unborn John the Baptist leaped in Elizabeth’s womb, and Elizabeth herself was ‘filled with joy’! John leaped and Elizabeth was filled with joy because they recognized that they were in the presence of Jesus!

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Ask Not What Others Can Do for You...

10-10-2021From Fr. Tom GriffinFr. Tom Griffin, S.J.

A long time ago, President John F. Kennedy told the nation; “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. That’s not unlike what Jesus tells his disciples, and us, today. Two disciples, James and John, ask the outlandish and outrageous favor of sitting at Jesus’ left and right hand, in glory, for all eternity! He gently reminds them that they have it all upside-down. Jesus Himself did not come seeking honor and glory, or to be served and treated like a king – nor should we. He came to wash the feet of his friends and endure the most horrific death so that we might share eternal life with Him.

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Happy Birthday!

05-23-2021From Fr. Tom GriffinFr. Tom Griffin, S.J.

Happy Birthday! It may not be your personal birthday, but today, the Feast of Pentecost, is often considered the birthday of our Church.

Why? Because Pentecost signifies the end of Jesus’ earthly work among us, and the beginning, the birth, of the disciples’ mission and of our mission – to carry on His ministry, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to all the world. Hence, today can be considered the birthday of our Church.

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Doubting Thomas

04-11-2021From Fr. Tom GriffinFr. Tom Griffin, S.J.

May the Joy and Glory of Easter continue to fill you with great Peace and Hope!

In today’s gospel, the Risen Jesus returns to visit with his friends, his disciples, to help them to better understand what happened at the Easter Event and to better understand how He wanted them to move forward. His friends were astonished when they first saw Jesus and it took a few moments for them to truly recognize Him. When they did, they were filled with joy! He said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” And then, He breathed the Holy Spirit upon them. He breathed upon them his love, strength and courage, all that they would need to continue His mission, for there was still much work to do!

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A Reflection from Fr. Tom Griffin, S.J.

03-07-2021From Fr. Tom GriffinFr. Tom Griffin, S.J.

Today’s Gospel, about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, reminds us that God’s love, compassion and mercy are offered to everyone! In the story, Jesus meets a woman from Samaria, someone with whom the Jews would not usually associate, and engages her in conversation about a drink of water. Jesus knows that she carries a lot of sinful baggage and offers her "a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman begins to realize who Jesus is, and gratefully accepts His gift of water and eternal salvation.

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Meet Fr. Tom Griffin, SJ

01-10-2021From Fr. Tom Griffin

As we begin the New Year, it seems like a good time to introduce myself, the new priest at St. Francis Xavier Parish. I’m a Jesuit priest of the Jesuits West Province and was ordained in Hollywood in 2000. Before becoming a Jesuit, I worked with BBDO, a large advertising agency, in New York and Johannesburg. While I enjoyed that work very much, after about ten years it became rather meaningless and God’s goodness led me to priesthood. Most of my priestly ministry has been in healthcare, a primarily administrative but also direct patient care, in Honolulu and Los Angeles. Working with people who were sick, especially those near the end of life, was a very wonderful and privileged experience.

About six years ago, God let it be known, as He sometimes does, that He had other plans for me. I’m originally from Connecticut and my Mom was still living there. When she began to deal with Alzheimer’s, the Jesuits graciously allowed me to work at my childhood parish, St. Gregory, near my Mom. It was a difficult but blest time, and my Mom is now in God’s loving embrace. So, it was time to return to my Jesuit home province. Through God’s graces, I landed on your doorstep and am very grateful that I did!

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