Third Sunday of Lent
March 12, 2023 — Year A
Readings: Ex 17:3-7 / Ps 95 / Rom 5:1-2, 5-8 / Jn 4:5-42
by Rev. Mr. Barry Welch, Guest Homilist
For a few moments I’d like for you to put yourself in the place of the woman at the well in today’s story. Imagine you’re her and you’re there. It’s dusty and it’s hot, even in the shade. The dust and the wind are hot, and they’re sticking to you because you’re sweaty. You’re a long walk from the village. You’re alone. The jars are heavy even when empty.
I am the woman at the well, and I swim in dirty waters. I exist and I swim in the waters of this world, this culture. It can be a cesspool really. The world doesn’t love me; it doesn’t care about me. Society, the culture, they wish for my power as their own. I’m worth what I produce for it. My dignity is ambiguous, my morality is ambiguous, dependent on what others might see in me or gain from me, so I behave the same. This culture that corrupts me by bombarding me with its messages: consume, it’s your truth, love whomever you’d like, if it feels good do it, the baby is not a person, the old man is a burden. This culture that has shaped me is the same that will condemn me, shun me, ignore me, separate me whenever it seems helpful to it. Governments, business, academics, art, media, these can’t save me. I am the woman at the well, and I swim in dirty waters.
I am the woman at the well, and I am a cast away, rejected, shunned, alone with my sin and my pain. There’s a reason I’m at the well far outside of town, alone with the sun at its peak and the heat. I am a cast away. That’s because no one will be there, no one carries heavy containers of water in the heat of the day; they go in the early morning or the late evening when it’s cool. But me, I go when no one will be there, no one to deride me, no one to judge me, no one to make me feel worse about myself than I already do. No one can help me, no one cares, no one loves me. Do I even deserve love anyway? I just need to exist. I just need to get by. I am the woman at the well and I am a cast away.
I am the woman at the well and I doubt Him. Why talk to me? Why care about me? I am a woman, I am from Samaria, I’m a pagan. You don’t know me; You can’t know me. Everything about me is the antithesis of what someone like You would value. I float in sin. I doubt You can help me. You don’t even have a vessel, a container for the water, and my darkness is deep, too deep for You to reach. How could You sustain me for even a few moments, let alone eternally? No, this doesn’t make sense, this must be some trick. You must want something from me or wish to gain something by this encounter. I am the woman at the well and I doubt Him.
I am the woman at the well and I accept Him. Wait, He does know me. He really, truly, knows me. He knows my heart, hardened and despairing as it is. I’ve never met Him, and yet He softly identifies everything about my darkness. He dips deeply into my well of shame and loathing and somehow accepts it, accepts me. He accepts who I am. His grace is bigger than my past, much bigger. He’s met me in the dark and barren places of my heart where I am and offered me His love without requiring anything. And yet, I feel I want to return to Him somehow. I want to acknowledge this immense gift. I welcome His gift. It’s what I’ve unknowingly been seeking. He has risen me to pure living water. I’m unsinkable. I live. I am the woman at the well and I accept Him.
I am the woman at the well and I know Him. I’m not even going to haul the water back or the containers. I’m lighter than air now. I’m restored. My burdens lifted. My guilt and shame washed away. I’m floating. But what about the others? They don’t know, they can’t know. They swim in dirty waters. They are castaways. They doubt love. If they knew Him, they might be light. I must share. I must let them know, because even me, and all my darkness and brokenness and doubt, even me He loves and wants to save. You’ve got to meet Him. There’s nothing greater, nothing more important, nothing more beautiful. He is the living water, salvation, the Christ. I am the woman at the well and I want you to know Him.KEEP READING
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
December 25, 2022 — Year A
Readings: Is 52:5-10 / Ps 98 / Heb 1:1-6 / Jn 1:1-18
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor
There was an inquisitive 4-year-old who happened to be rooted strongly to the “why” and “tell me” stage of life. The little boy was helping to sort out ornaments and said, “Daddy, what does ‘ignore’ mean?” The father explained, “Ignore means not to pay attention to people when they talk to you.”
Immediately, the little boy looked up at his father and said, “I don’t think we should ignore Jesus.” Puzzled, the father knelt closer to his animated son and replied, “I don’t think we should ignore Jesus either, son. I think we should give Him our full attention. So why do you say that we ignore Him?” “But daddy, that’s what the Christmas carol says: O come let us ignore Him.”
Kids sure say the darnedest things sometimes. But you know, brothers and sisters, often we actually get so caught up in the frenzy of preparations — parties, shopping, and decorating — that we appear to ignore the true meaning of Christmas and fail to prepare a place in our hearts to come and adore Him.
Let us adore the baby Jesus in the manger. A baby easily wins the heart and love of anyone with human feelings, but how much more does this baby win our heart and love? Imagine Jesus, the son of God and our savior, born in a stable and placed in a manger instead of a crib. When God comes, He usually comes in humility, silently and peacefully, without causing a great disturbance.
God’s humble coming in Jesus would not surprise us if we knew God better, but of course we will never know God sufficiently to understand. So, no matter how much we try to understand God becoming human in Jesus, we will not be able to comprehend. It will remain a mystery. The best reaction is that of the shepherds, simply to praise God.
So let us praise God now in our own words. As we look at the baby Jesus, we think of the mystery of God’s love for us, and ask ourselves: Why did God, who is almighty and all powerful, become small and powerless as a baby? Quite simply out of love for us. God became human so that we might become more like God. If Jesus had not come as a human like us, we might have had difficulty in believing God really loved us, but now we know for sure.
John the Evangelist says this is the revelation of God’s love for us: that God sent His only son into the world that we might have life through Him. This Christmas, brothers and sisters, let us thank God for revealing His love for us in Jesus, that He who is so big and powerful became so small and weak for us, that He became one of us to help us be more like Him, to have life through Him.
So, as we see baby Jesus in the manger, we reflect on God’s way being a way of gentleness and tenderness. God’s way is not one of violence, but gentleness. There’s a lot of goodness and love in the world but God is always tender and loving. As we look at baby Jesus in the manger, we see that He is the answer to today’s problems.
Instead of violence, in baby Jesus in the manger we see gentleness. Instead of hatred, in baby Jesus in the manger we see tenderness. Instead of selfishness, in baby Jesus in the manger we see love for us. So let us ask baby Jesus to help us to be gentle, tender, and loving with those around us, as He was in the manger.
Jesus in the manger gave us hope. In the darkness of our world His light has shone. His coming in gentleness encourages us to hold out the hand of reconciliation, to help one another, to work for peace. And we remember the message of the angels: Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth, peace!KEEP READING
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 9, 2022 — Year C
Readings: 2 Kgs 5:14-17 / Ps 98 / 2 Tm 2:8-13 / Lk 17:11-19
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor
A story is told about a magical horse owned by a priest. The horse would run only if the phrase, “Thanks be to God,” was uttered, and the horse would stop when it heard, “Hail Mary, full of grace.” One day, a Protestant man borrowed the horse, and he was instructed in the magic words that were needed to make it run or stop. The man said, “Thanks be to God,” and sure enough, the horse started to run, and when it was about to bump a tree, he said, “Hail Mary, full of grace,” and the horse stopped abruptly. Then he let it run again, by saying, “Thanks be to God.” He was enjoying the ride until he came near a cliff. Unfortunately, he forgot the magic words to stop the horse. He tried, “Our Father” – it did not stop. “Amazing Grace” – the horse continued to gallop. When the horse was almost to the edge of the cliff, he suddenly remembered the words, and cried out, “Hail Mary, full of grace.” The horse stopped just in time. The man sighed in relief, “Thanks be to God.”
Whatever happened to the other nine? The nine lepers were cured and did not return to thank the Lord. Leprosy was a terrible disease; terrible not only because it destroyed the body, but also because its victims were separated from their families and society. There were very strict laws that prohibited lepers from mixing with healthy people. Imagine the sufferings of the lepers. I bet the cured lepers ran home to their families. They must have been thrilled beyond description. There must have been some grand celebrations.
But why did only one return? I’m sure all intended to return and thank the Lord. Perhaps we can understand if we put it in modern day language, so here it goes. Mary had to return home and clean the house; there were only men living there and the place was a mess. Aaron arrived home just in time to save the harvest; he worked day and night. Martha had to catch up on her favorite TV series. David found his business in crisis and dedicated himself to getting it in order. Amos returned to find his wife had remarried and moved away; he drank his pain away. Peter lost his old job and was looking for a new one. Anna headed back to thank the Lord but could not resist that sale sign in the shopping mall. And so on.
So, there you go, brothers and sisters – excuses, excuses, excuses, all except Simon the Samaritan. Jesus had given the sick the gift of life, and like any gift, it cannot be complete without a thank you. Yes, we teach our children to say thank you. We celebrate Thanksgiving each year as a national holiday. We have a need to say thanks.
We celebrate the Eucharist each week, and the word Eucharist means thanksgiving. A gift requires a thank you, not so much for the giver, but for the receiver. The poet George Herbert wrote, “Oh God, you have given us so much. Give us one more thing – a grateful heart.” We see miracles all the time. We have seen how many times people have been cured of diseases, sometimes with no logical medical explanation. When people are sick or dying, they take their relationship with the Lord seriously. Many return to the sacraments and change their priorities in life. But when the crisis is over, some of them are never seen again in the church.
If we examine our lives, we can see God’s hand in so many instances and close calls. We all have been touched by Jesus. This Sunday, let us ask ourselves, “Have our lives changed as a result of the encounter?” Are we like one of the nine, superficial in our relationship with Christ, except when we think we really need Him? Or have we responded like the Samaritan? Today we are reminded to be grateful for everything. Gratitude is something that we cannot ignore at the expense of our decency and integrity.
The first reading, according the Second Book of Kings and the gospel of today, presents to us an attitude of gratitude. Naaman after being cured of leprosy and the Samaritan after being healed by Jesus. Why is an attitude of gratitude to God crucial to the wholeness of mind, body, and spirit? Apparently, to be made well, we must add thanksgiving to our faith. The person who makes such acknowledgement experiences a salvation that goes beyond the merely physical cure. It is a reorientation of the inner life.
How is our impulse to thank others related to our impulse to thank God? What does gratitude contribute to our being made well in body, mind, and soul? Why is it so important that Jesus would chastise those who didn’t value it? Gratitude keeps us connected to the giver of the gift. It helps us recognize the source of a gift. Furthermore, it keeps us grounded in the value of the gift as we take it into new pursuits and places. All good gifts come from God.
The attitude of gratitude keeps us focused on the source of life, love, and each new day. Maybe when we acknowledge the source of love, we are more likely to share it with others. Maybe that is why it is important enough for Jesus to lament its lack from the other nine. So, brothers and sisters, we will not forget to thank the Lord for all the blessings that we have received in our lives.
May Jesus Christ be praised.KEEP READING
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 31, 2022 — Year C
Readings: Ecc 1:2, 2:21-23 / Ps 90 / Col 3:1-5, 9-11 / Lk 12:13-21
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor
An elderly man on the beach found a magic lamp. He picked it up, and a genie appeared. “Because you have freed me,” the genie said, “I will grant you a wish.” The man thought for a moment, and then responded, “My brother and I had a fight thirty years ago, and he hasn’t spoken to me since. I wish that he would finally forgive me.” There was a thunderclap, and the genie declared, “Your wish has been granted.” The genie continued, “You know, most men would ask for wealth or fame, but you only wanted the love of your brother. Is it because you are old and dying?” “No way!” the man cried, “But my brother is, and he’s worth about sixty million dollars.”
Brothers and sisters, in the gospel, a man asks Jesus to interfere and to help settle a problem in the family concerning the division of ancestral property. He says, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” In Jewish culture, as well as in many other cultures, to be chosen as mediator is something honorable. Normally, people would ask someone to mediate because of the person’s good standing in the community. Jesus appears to decline the invitation and gives the reason for His refusal when He says, “Take care to guard against all greed. For though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” The Lord suspects that this conflict about the inheritance is driven by greed, and He does not want to take part in it.
Brothers and sisters, up through today, many family feuds are caused by a selfish interest in inheritance. Because of a piece of land or property, siblings give silent treatment to one another, file civil lawsuits against each other, and in some situations, harm or even kill one another.
To show his disgust with greediness, the Lord tells the parable of the man with the bumper crop, the man who built bigger barns to store up his harvest and secure his comfortable future. He is called a fool by God. Why? What did this farmer do to displease God? There is no sign that the man is dishonest or that he cheats others in order to gain more.
However, if we read between the lines of the parable, we can tell that the farmer is wrong on at least two counts. Number one, he celebrates bountiful harvests without being grateful. He believes that he is successful in farming because of his own efforts. Thus, he does not feel beholden to anybody, not even to God. And second, he depends solely on material possessions for his security and happiness. He believes that by becoming wealthy, his future is guaranteed. The farmer in the parable is a fool, because he forgets that all of creation is from God.
There is nothing that we can claim as our own in this world. Even personal achievements cannot come without God’s grace. We should remain grateful to God, because He is the reason for all our being and becoming. The person who thinks he succeeds through his own effort only tends to become proud and selfish, while he who recognizes that every blessing comes from God tends to become humble and generous.
Moreover, the farmer is foolish to think that his wealth alone would make him happy. The experience of so many lonely, rich people is proof that possessions do not guarantee life and happiness. In fact, there’s more to life than money and material things. Love, friendship, intimacy, and other Christian values are essential for joyful and meaningful living.
In the days of King Solomon, there lived two brothers who reaped wheat in the fields of Zion. One night, in the dark of the moon, the elder brother gathered several sheaves of his harvest and left them in his brother’s field, saying to himself, “My brother has seven children. With so many mouths to feed, he could use some of my bounty.” And then he went home. A short time later, the younger brother slipped out of his house, gathered several sheaves of his wheat and carried it into his brother’s field, saying to himself, “My brother is all alone, with no one to help him harvest, so I’ll share some of my wheat with him.” When the sun rose, each brother was amazed to find that he had just as much wheat as before.
The next night they paid each other the same kindness, and they awoke and found their stores still full. But on the third night, they met each other as they carried their gifts into each other’s field. Each threw his arms around the other and shed tears of joy for his goodness. And when King Solomon heard of their love, he built the temple of Israel there on the place of brotherhood.
Brothers and sisters, what does it matter if you have all the riches in the world, but have no real friends? What does it profit if you manage to get the bigger share of an inheritance, but lose a brother or a sister in the process? Would not love and intimacy in the family be more important than a piece of property?
In the first reading, the book of Ecclesiastes tells us that all things are vanity. When death comes, all of our human achievements, including material possessions and honorific titles, will be left behind. St. Paul, in the second reading, wisely admonishes that it is better to set our hearts on what pertains to higher realms and not on things of Earth. What are these higher things that St. Paul is talking about? What else, but the virtues that Christ our Lord would like us to have, such as love, compassion, generosity, mercy, and forgiveness. These virtues will accompany us to Heaven, not our earthly honors or possessions.KEEP READING
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 26, 2022 – Year C
Readings: 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21 / Ps 16 / Gal 5:1, 13-18 / Lk 9:51-62
by Rev. Jay Biber, Guest Celebrant
This was a week like no other, with the big elephant in the little living room: major cultural shifts. And to many of us, what came down from the courts is not necessarily friendly.
There were three decisions that came down from the high court. The first one was about the second amendment. The second sort of gets blocked out, about faith in education. It was a case brought from the state of Maine, in which the county agreed to pay for public or private schools, as long as there was no religion involved. Parents challenged the decision that no religion could be involved. The court’s ruling stated that as long as a full education was offered, public funding could be used regardless. So, we’ve all learned that it’s very important for Catholic parents to keep a close eye on education.
The third one on Friday has to do with the whole culture of life. I think of all of your prayers that have been going up for these forty-nine years since January of 1973, for an end to abortion and to respect the dignity of every human being from moment of conception to moment of natural death. That’s the first right, after which all other rights follow.
The Supreme Court decision does not mean an end to abortion. It was more of a judicial thing that says we took a case forty-nine years ago that was not settled law. In fact, it overturned state law for most of the states in the country and almost guaranteed an ongoing controversy. And so it returns to the states, for those of us who consciously wish to establish that culture of life in which every life is welcomed.
When I visit the nursing home and see the person whom I once knew in the prime of life, ranting and incontinent – no, you’re not a vegetable! You’re never a vegetable; you’re a human all the way to the end of your natural life. We don’t interfere with that. And you are human from the moment of your conception.
So, it’s up to us going forward, because in Virginia nothing has changed between Thursday and Saturday. To work for that right to life is still what lies before us. It has just been brought back to the state level now. The feeling was that the judiciary had been too activist – they had taken too active a role in what should have been up to the people at the polls to decide, not the unelected judge, so it wasn’t a constitutional issue.
I have the sense that you are probably getting hammered by those who know you are Catholic, because not everybody out there is friendly to what we stand for. Like in the early Church, in some ways we stand alone. I hope to give you a couple of things that you can say, because I don’t want to see you unequipped or defenseless. I want to see you with some words that you can believe in.
Long ago, as early Christians, we separated ourselves, often at the cost of life and limb, from the Roman Empire, and it was remarked upon by commentators and historians, that all these Christians don’t want to abort their children and they don’t expose their children.
What was common under the Roman Empire was that children who weren’t wanted were put out where the animals were, or in the forest, or on the roof overnight. Of course, many of them didn’t survive. That was called exposing, and if they survived, the family would often take them back. Christians didn’t do that.
And I suspect that it was because we were taken from all walks of society, and we recognized that since Christ came for all, and since all were made in the image and likeness of God, and that since Christ had taken on flesh, that means that I have to treat their lives with enormous respect.
I always love first confessions. You know when the kids come in, and some of them have very keen consciences, and some not so much. But I always remind them that God loves you and that you are not here by accident. You’re not some cosmic waste; you’re here for a reason (although they may not know it yet), but you’re not here by accident. And so, it opens us up early on, hopefully. From the beginning we stood apart, regardless of how the empire went, and regardless of how the empire goes now.
This is in the future and I don’t have a crystal ball for you. Whatever happens, we’ll stay the same. Now we think it’s a great way to live. It is profoundly liberal, because it says there’s room for you. We don’t know how we’re going to put that extra plate at the table, but there’s room for you. That’s the best of the word “liberal” – an openness to the unexpected, an openness to what God’s doing that I may not be completely in touch with.
So, not only do I go back to the beginnings of things, I go back to when my own life began, which wasn’t the day that I appeared to the world in August of 1947. I’m guessing it was around Thanksgiving time the year before when my life first began inside my mom. She didn’t know I was there. Dad didn’t know; I guess God was the only one who knew. But what I know now that I didn’t know then is that even at that point, I was a person. I had a right to life. I was a human being. And now we know scientifically that I even had my own DNA. My mother was the one who carried me, but I wasn’t her, I wasn’t a part of her in that sense. I was dependent on her, but I was not her; I was somebody different. And that’s what we keep saying – the baby is somebody different, and the baby deserves that protection. We speak of the baby because maybe our first experience of faith was to think of a baby, because babies are voiceless.
A number of different numbers come to mind as I reflect back. The number 49. The number 43. The number 95. Forty-nine years ago, when I had just quit the seminary, I had been in for ten years – high school, college in Rhode Island, where I am from, and then over to Belgium for my graduate work for three years. Times were sort of wild in 1972; it was a crazy, crazy time. I said to myself that I had too many reservations, so I left the seminary, stayed in Europe after being in Belgium for three years where it was always cloudy and gray. I needed to clear out the cobwebs, so I hitchhiked down to the south of Spain and worked there for six months, got some sun, and then hitchhiked up to Switzerland where I waited on tables in the Alps and was a ski bum for six months before coming back to the states.
It was during that time that the Roe ruling came down. Of course, it was not on my radar, so I knew nothing about it. I only heard about it later on, and life has a way of coming full circle. After a business career I was drawn back to the priesthood, and I moved from Boston down to Virginia and was ordained here. There I became involved in the Pro-Life movement, because once I began to think about it, I said, “This can’t be.”
And on a day like today, I think of those in parishes throughout the world who are praying. I think of all those Marches for Life rarely covered by the news media and the longest peaceful protest in history. All those people who said, “This ain’t right.” In a culture that doesn’t have an attention span of 49 seconds, this is 49 years and that March for Life becomes like a great family reunion every year. It’s sort of like Woodstock without the dope – it’s the same average age as Woodstock was. There’s a sense of ‘we need to be here.’ And of course, now that is reversed and sent back. I think of all the people who have gone before us during those forty-nine years and those whose prayers, in this respect, have been answered.
Think of the number 43. There was no long history, no constitutional right to abortion. It was a very activist decision because the laws of 43 states were changed by this, overnight. And that was hard to swallow. So, this time around, the court says it is not constitutional – it must be taken back to the people.
I think of the number 95, for it was 95 years ago, not far from here in Amherst and Charlottesville – that the Supreme Court case was Buck v. Bell, dealing with involuntary sterilization of imbeciles, feebleminded, and people who were ‘less.’ It was the eugenics movement. It eventually got exported to the Third Reich. The eugenics movement – some lives are worth more than others – who would breed and who wouldn’t. And that Supreme Court, perhaps the most illustrious of all time, came down to permit it.
All the way up to the 60s, thousands were victims of involuntary sterilization, and that Supreme Court consisted of luminaries. Former President Taft was on it, and perhaps the most well-known of all Supreme Court justices, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis. This is a list of the greats, and they came out 8 to 1 in favor of eugenics. Now it had to get overturned and was overturned in the 1940s, when we saw what it wrought. But the one dissenter, which sort of struck me, was the one Catholic justice. He was raised not in the lap of luxury, not with a silver spoon, but in a log cabin in Minnesota with ten other kids in the family. Somehow, he knew.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I feel very inadequate. The first time around we didn’t have the words; we didn’t know what to say. Perhaps when you get confronted, maybe we can begin to get the words now. What I always ask is if a baby is a baby is a baby, and I was who I was before my mom knew I was there. Science tells me that. I wasn’t part of Mom in that sense. I was who I was. The other thing I say is when you look at much of this back and forth is that nobody talks about Baby. And I simply say, “Who speaks for Baby?” You’d expect Mom to be the one to speak for Baby, but if not, we will. Keep Baby at the center of the conversation.
Listening to today’s gospel, I would say put this on my tombstone. Where he says to Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go. And Jesus says, “Foxes have dens and the birds of the air have their nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head.” That to me, is the great romance of the priesthood, or trying to follow Christ, I think for all of us. To eventually let go of all the little props and little securities that I need, and to turn myself over completely to Him. Where the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head, there is no security but Him.
This is a chance for us to move forth, to say no, we think a culture of life is a great thing, and yes, we may have to revise the whole sexual revolution. We may have to revisit that and say that it was not such a great idea. Look at a lot of the results. Now we may have to go back and do a lot of work, but the battle is always Christ’s, and so may we be graced with all the fruits of the spirit in going forth.KEEP READING
Second Sunday of Advent
December 5, 2021 — Year C
Readings: Bar 5:1-9 / Ps 126 / Phil 1:4-6, 8-11 / Lk 3:1-6
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor
The season of Advent is a time for us to prepare our hearts for Christmas. In our gospel today, on this second Sunday of Advent, we hear John the Baptist preparing the people for the coming of Jesus, a voice of one crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his path straight.” (Lk 3:4). We hear these familiar words of John the Baptist calling all people to conversion.
Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians in our second reading today, reminds us of three wonderful things. First, Saint Paul reminds us of the joy of the Lord. (more…)KEEP READING
First Sunday of Advent
November 28, 2021 — Year C
Readings: Jer 33:14-16 / Ps 25 / 1 Thes 3:12-4:2 / Lk 21:25-28, 34-36
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor
Today is the first day of Advent and also the first day of the liturgical calendar of the Church. That’s why some would say it’s the New Year for the Church.
Every time we hear the word Advent, what comes to our mind? Perhaps we would say, “Christmas is near.” Yes, Christmas is near, but it’s not yet Christmas.
Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning ‘coming’ or ‘arrival.’ In this season of Advent, the Church invites us to prepare for the coming of the Lord into our lives. The Church teaches us there are three ways in which the Lord comes into our lives. (more…)KEEP READING
Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 12, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Is 50:5-9a / Ps 116 / Jas 2:14-18 / Mk 8:27-35
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor
There is a story about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson on a camping trip. As they lay sleeping one night, Holmes woke Watson and said,
“Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see.”
Watson said, “I see millions of stars.”
Holmes asked, “And what does that tell you?”
Watson replied, “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?”
Holmes answered, “Someone stole our tent.” (more…)KEEP READING
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 8, 2020 – Year A
Readings: Is 2:1-5 / Ps 19 / Acts 11:19-26 / Mk 16:15-20
by Rev. Mr. Eddie Craig, Permanent Deacon
The prayers and the readings that you’ve heard thus far are not from the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time. That’s because this weekend the Richmond Diocese celebrated a Eucharistic Congress to wrap up our year of bicentennial celebration.
You may not have heard of a Eucharistic Congress, but most of you are probably familiar with Eucharistic adoration. For years we’ve had it every week, sometimes twice a week, in our church. It’s a time to spend a holy hour (or longer) with the Lord in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. It’s a time of prayer; it’s a time of reflection; it’s a time to draw strength from the grace that is available through this Blessed Sacrament. (more…)KEEP READING
Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 4, 2020 – Year A
Readings: Is 5:1-7 / Ps 80 / Phil 4:6-9 / Mt 21:33-43
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
A few days ago, I had the privilege of being at the bedside of a great man, when I was called to give the Last Sacrament to Clint Shay, a member of our sister parish, Resurrection. He had turned 98 last March. I was expecting to see a man already nonresponsive, but when I got there, Clint was not only conscious and alert, but he even gave me a big smile and asked me how my mother is doing in the Philippines. He said, “I heard she is now 105 years old—only seven years older than me.” (more…)KEEP READING