During this time in Lent, especially when there will be adults who will receive full incorporation in the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil, the scripture readings may be taken from Cycle A rather than Cycle C. The gospel selections for Mar 20, Mar 27 and Apr 3 are chosen to support the Catechumens as they move toward Easter Vigil.READ MORE
Oscar Romero was born on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1917, in Ciudad Barrios, a mountain village in El Salvador near the Honduran border. He was the second of seven children. Romero's father wanted him to be a carpenter and as a young man he showed considerable promise. But he felt a strong call to the priesthood and pursued that vocation.
Romero studied in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood in 1942. He became a parish priest and later a seminary rector. He recognized the effectiveness of radio as a means of evangelizing and convinced five radio stations to broadcast his homilies and pastoral reflections. He continued to rely on the electronic pulpit throughout the remainder of his life, making it a popular platform for his ministry.READ MORE
In 1521, Ignatius lead Spanish forces against a rebellion from the kingdom of Navarre, supported by France. This rebel group included the Xavier clan, which fought on the side of Navarre. At this battle, Ignatius was struck by the cannonball which changed the direction of his life. But while Ignatius was experiencing his mystical visions and pioneering the Spiritual Exercises, he was also arrested at least twice by the Inquisition on suspicion of heresy.READ MORE
Today is the First Sunday of Lent. There are many avenues we could take to provide us with reflection material as we join Jesus in this 40-day pilgrimage.
Mr. Larry Hopp, a retired faculty member at Creighton University, offers us this thought: “Psalm 91 strongly reinforces the unmistakable fact of God's presence, specifically in the challenging moments of our lives.READ MORE
Psalm 1, which serves as an introduction to the entire book of Psalms, speaks of two possible paths for the people of Israel: the path of the just and the path of the wicked. With its usual poetic flare, Psalm 1 describes the just one as a tree in full flower, bearing great fruit and bringing prosperity to all, while the path of the wicked is compared to useless chaff which blows away in the wind. “For the Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes” (Ps 1:6).READ MORE
In the call of Isaiah in today’s first reading and the call of Simon Peter in the gospel, both men tremble at the thought of the Lord speaking to them, let alone actually serving as a messenger of God. Both men recognize that they are sinners – men who have faults and fears. How can they possibly be worthy of serving our God Most High?READ MORE
If you have been to a Catholic wedding, then more likely than not, you have heard today’s second reading: Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous… Love never fails. And because we hear this reading at weddings, it has become synonymous with romantic love.
But the word in Greek that St. Paul uses is not eros – or passionate love. It is agape – self-giving love. It is the love of a parent for a child, the love that gives without counting the cost. It is the love that God has for his people, that he gave his only Son for our salvation. And it is this same love that we are called to return in the Great Commandment – to agape God with all your heart and to agape your neighbor as yourself.READ MORE
Why does the word Evangelization sometimes intimidate us?
It’s interesting, I think every Christian at some point on the journey (I sure do hope so) will ask themselves, “How do I Evangelize?” In fact, when I speak to Catholics about Evangelization the overwhelming sentiment is that they don’t feel equipped or confident to be evangelists.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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!READ MORE
Today’s Gospel tells us to “stand tall and raise your heads” and pay attention to the signs of the times, so that we might be ready when the Lord comes. The images in the Gospel can be frightening – signs in the heavens, the shaking of the earth, the roaring of the sea – and one way to respond to these could be to lock our doors, hide under our blankets, and mistrust strangers who come our way.READ MORE
I once got out of a traffic ticket because I remembered the altar boy’s first response to the priest in the traditional Latin Mass. It comes from Psalm 43: “I will unto the altar of God. To God, who gives joy to my youth.” That is how the Mass began: responding to a call to the altar. An altar call is a tradition in some Christian churches in which those who wish to make a new spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ are invited to come forward publicly. It is tempting to see this as something done only in Protestant churches and yet, for the past several weeks, we have been doing the very same thing in our communion procession. Now we all come to the altar to receive the Eucharist or a blessing. Our “Amen” affirms our belief in the real presence and a renewal of our own spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ. Today after the homily you will receive a special invitation to come to the altar to place your Stewardship Commitment card in a basket. Too often stewardship is seen only as a monetary contribution rather than a fuller service commitment of time and talent as well. It is for this reason that I am asking you to make this special trip to the altar today as a symbol of your love of and ongoing commitment to St. Francis Xavier parish and GodREAD MORE
Humility and gratitude are two virtues that stand out for me in the gospel of today.
Jesus speaks strongly to the religious leadership of the day. The scribes and Pharisees are hypocrites in that they preach one thing and do another. Love God and love one's neighbor is the one commandment that sums up the Jewish tradition. The scribes and Pharisees are only looking after themselves and even makREAD MORE