26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-30-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

As we go about our days, we necessarily label, classify, and prioritize. What's "in" and what's "out" on our priority list? Because humans are social beings, we tend to do the same thing with people. We can only invite six people to the dinner party. Our young child wants to invite certain friends to her birthday, but we're keenly aware of who the parents are, and the prospect of spending several hours with them is enough to give us pause.

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25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-23-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

We live in a culture set on competition. The Oscars. The Super Bowl. TV talent shows. Your son's Little League championship. The desire to "be the best" goes beyond hobbies and into politics, the corporate world, and parenting comparisons at the park. This desire is as old as the human race, and it surely arose in Jesus' day. While Biblical society was significantly less open and upwardly mobile than our own, power was attractive. From what we know, many of Jesus' disciples had come from lowly backgrounds. Now they followed an increasingly popular rabbi who seemed primed to do something big.

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Keep Moving Forward

09-23-2018Pastor's LetterFr. Carlos A. Gomez-Rivera

Family in Christ;

Transformation and renewal……Yes!!! Those 2 words are the theme of our life in our parish community. As you noticed there have been several changes in our worship space and in great expectation to see one day all accomplished. We have been so blessed in different aspects of life. Our families, our schools, our jobs, our society, and our Church. All of those areas where we move and do our lives have been touched by God’s presence.

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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-16-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

We know the signs of defeat: slumped shoulders, downcast eyes, a chastened demeanor. For those of us sincerely trying to follow Jesus, defeat is inevitable. We commit to spending more time with our kids, but that one project still looms. We resolve to be a good person, but our selfishness strikes again. It can be easy to get discouraged over our moral failures. Today's Gospel is a small, intriguing look at this process in the life of St. Peter.

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-09-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

Judgment tends to have a bad reputation. We often associate it with condemnation, and in the Gospels, we associate it with the Pharisees. Today's Gospel features the Pharisees doing exactly what we expect. "They observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands." The Jewish people had strict purification laws that applied to all areas of life. The Pharisees attempt to accuse Jesus of not following the ancestral traditions. Jesus doesn't take offense at their judgments per se. He instead points out the hypocrisy of their words. "You hypocrites? this people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."

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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-02-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

Judgment tends to have a bad reputation. We often associate it with condemnation, and in the Gospels, we associate it with the Pharisees. Today's Gospel features the Pharisees doing exactly what we expect. "They observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands." The Jewish people had strict purification laws that applied to all areas of life. The Pharisees attempt to accuse Jesus of not following the ancestral traditions. Jesus doesn't take offense at their judgments per se. He instead points out the hypocrisy of their words. "You hypocrites? this people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

08-26-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"This saying is hard; who can accept it?" The words of Jesus' disciples in today's Gospel must sound familiar. At some point in our lives, you and I have said it about some article of our faith. Christianity makes firm demands on our ethical behavior and gives no easy answers for suffering. Many disciples were confused and dismayed by Jesus' words in the Bread of Life Discourse. Not all of them, however, had the same reaction.

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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

08-19-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

In this Sunday's Gospel, the conflict escalates in the Bread of Life Discourse. Confusion is mounting in the crowd. "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Their minds were thinking literally, not mystically. Jesus doesn't seem to help, however, and only drives his point home with more emphasis. "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you." Jesus would later institute the Eucharist at the Last Supper. There he would definitively establish the sacramental reality in which bread and wine become substantially his own Body and Blood. We celebrate this sacrament in the Mass.

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19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

08-12-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

Have you ever approached a hushed group and were certain they were talking about you? It's an uncomfortable feeling to catch people murmuring about what you did, said, or didn't do. It breeds division and exclusion.

In today's Gospel, Jesus invites us to just the opposite. The reading opens with the crowds "murmuring" their doubts about Jesus after he has proclaimed himself the Bread of Life. "Is this not  Jesus, the son of Joseph? how can he say 'I have come down from heaven'?" In his response, Jesus brings up the Israelites and the manna God brought them in the desert. If you turn back to the story in Exodus, you'll see another similar word: murmuring. As the going got tough, the Israelites doubted Moses and God's plan to protect and care for them as a chosen people. Here, Jesus proposes a difficult theological concept. Jesus himself is "the living bread" and "flesh for the life of the world."

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

08-05-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

In an on-demand society, it's not always easy to imagine life with less. The crowds of Jesus' day depended on the weather and successful growing seasons for their livelihood. For many of Jesus' listeners, even "food that perishes" would have been a welcome relief. Jesus acknowledges this but tries to draw them deeper. "You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled." For people who have just witnessed a miracle, the response is strangely marked by ingratitude. "What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert." Jesus fed them for one day, but Moses interceded with God for 40 years of bread. "Jesus," they seem to say, "can't you just give us more?"

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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-29-2018Weekly Reflection

Have you ever wanted to be part of something bigger? Even the most independent among us likes to make changes and have an impact on others. In this Sunday's Gospel reading, Jesus demonstrates one of his most iconic miracles - the multiplication of the loaves. It is a sign of the institution of the Eucharist, when we are fed not by bread but by the Body of Christ.

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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-22-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"Now what?" It's a difficult thing to hear, isn't it? The train comes late, a child unexpectedly cries, and the latest public policy debate flares up in the news. Life throws us curveballs, and we have no choice but to adapt. Jesus and the Apostles find themselves in that exact situation in today's Gospel.

The Apostles have returned from their two-by-two missionary journey. As Jesus hears all of their stories, he knows they need time to recover and refresh. "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." Their wilderness retreat is short-lived, however, as eager crowds discover their location. Jesus is well aware of the needs of his disciples. Still, as he looks out at the crowd, "His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd." The rest break is over. "He began to teach them many things." For those of us who have experienced a taste of much-needed relaxation only to have it taken away abruptly, perhaps we surmise what the Apostles might have been feeling in that moment.

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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-15-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two." This Sunday we read the first sending of the Apostles to preach, teach, and heal. For many of us, it can be easy to think we "just don't have enough" to be disciples and evangelists ourselves. We don't have enough education and training. We don't have enough experience talking to people about Jesus. We don't pray enough. We don't have enough faith.

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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-08-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

If you have been closely following the Sunday readings, today's gospel could sound a bit like a broken record. Four weeks ago, the Gospel told of Jesus visiting his home of Nazareth and being poorly received by his family members. Jesus had attracted a large crowd as he preached, and his concerned relatives came to bring him home. Jesus, they thought, was out of his league.

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Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-01-2018All©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc

Today's Gospel offers a rare framework -- a story in a story. Most of the healing miracles are standalone encounters. One person approaches Jesus, demonstrates faith, and is healed. The evangelist tells the next story. This Gospel, however, is different. Jesus is on his way to heal one person, a young girl of twelve, and is interrupted on his journey by "a woman afflicted with hemorrhages." She bravely approaches Jesus in a crowd, despite being ritually unclean from her bleeding, and stretches out to touch his cloak. She is healed! Jesus meets her eye, confirms her faith, and continues on to resurrect the young girl.

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