Pastor's Corner

This page provides quick access to Fr, Michael's Pastor's Corner columns.

January 20, 2019 - Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

We did have three weeks of Christmas as "epiphanies - GOD REVEALING HIS ONLY SON TO US." The Royal Son and the Prince of Peace -Jesus is the newborn king of the Jews who makes us co-heirs of Israel's promise, beloved children of God. Last week in the liturgy we went to a baptism and this week we're at a wedding. Truly, we're being shown another dimension of our relationship with God. If we're sons and daughters of God, it's because we've married into the family.

Have you ever wondered why the Bible begins and ends with a wedding-Adam and Eve's in the garden and the marriage supper of the Lamb? Throughout the Bible, marriage is the symbol of the covenant relationship God desires with His chosen people. He is the groom, humanity His beloved and sought-after bride. When Israel breaks the covenant, she is compared to an unfaithful spouse. But God promises to take her back, to "espouse" her to Him forever in an everlasting covenant.

That's why in today's Gospel Jesus performs His first public "sign" at a wedding feast. Jesus is the divine bridegroom, calling us to His royal wedding feast. The new wine that Jesus pours out is the "salvation" announced to the "families of nations". By His New Covenant, He will become "one flesh" with all humanity in the Church. By our baptism, each of us has been betrothed to Christ as a bride to a husband.

Fr. Michael

January 13, 2019 - Epiphany of the Lord

The liturgy last week REVEALED THE MYSTERY of God's plan-that in Jesus all peoples, symbolized by the Magi, have been made "co-heirs" to the blessings promised Israel. This week, we're shown how we claim our inheritance.

Jesus doesn't submit to John's baptism as a sinner in need of purification. He humbles Himself to pass through Jordan's waters in order to lead a new "exodus", opening up the promised land of heaven so that all peoples can hear the words pronounced over Jesus today - 'You are my beloved Son'.

Jesus is the chosen servant, anointed with the Spirit to make things right and just. God puts His Spirit upon Jesus to make Him "a covenant of the people," the liberator of the captives, the light to the nations. The word messiah means "one anointed" with God's Spirit. King David was "the anointed of the God of Jacob". The prophets taught Israel to await a royal offshoot of David, upon whom the Spirit would rest. God confirms with His own voice what the angel earlier told Mary: Jesus is the Son of the Most High, come to claim the throne of David forever.

In his Baptism, Jesus has sanctified the waters, made them a passageway to healing and freedom, a f ountain of new birth and everlasting life for all who believe in God.

Fr. Michael

January 6, 2019 - Epiphany of the Lord

An "epiphany" is an appearance. In today's readings, with their rising stars, splendorous lights, and mysteries revealed, the face of the child born on Christmas day appears.

In the Gospel, Herod asks the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah is to be born. The answer says much more, combining two strands of Old Testament promise - one revealing the Messiah to be from the line of David, the other predicting "a ruler of Israel" who will "shepherd his flock" and whose "greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth". His kingdom, we sing, will stretch "to the ends of the earth," and the world's kings will pay Him homage. The nations stream from the East, bearing "gold and frankincense" for Israel's king.

The Magi's pilgrimage in today's Gospel marks the fulfillment of God's promises. The Magi are following the star that Balaam predicted would rise along with the ruler's staff over the house of Jacob. Laden with gold and spices, their journey evokes those made to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba. One greater than Solomon is here. He has come to reveal that all peoples are "co-heirs" of the royal family of Israel.

His manifestation forces us to choose: will we follow the signs that lead to Him as the wise Magi did? Or will we be like those priests and scribes who let God's words of promise become dead letters on an ancient page?

Fr. Michael

December 23, 2018 - Fourth Sunday of Advent

On this last Sunday before Christmas, the Church's liturgy reveals the true identity of our Redeemer. He is, the "ruler . . . whose origin is from . . . ancient times." He will come from Bethlehem, where David was born of Jesse and anointed king. God promised that an heir of David would reign on his throne forever. Jesus is that heir, the One the prophets promised would restore the scattered tribes of Israel into a new kingdom. He is "the shepherd of Israel," and He has "come to save us."

In two days' time, we, the believers will sing, "Joy to the world, the Lord is here." Away from all the consumeristic drama centered on Santa Clause; away from materialistic approach assigned to the Christmas tree which stands as the tree of material gifts that temporarily cheers our hearts; may we Christians, the believing community find the spiritual meaning to the celebration! Let Jesus, the Prince of Peace and the Reason for our season, be the center of our celebration. Are we, then, ready to give heed to the call of angels singing that a savoir is born and are we ready to journey with the Shepherds in search Him? Let us not forget that He is 'out there' waiting to be discovered, and let us not shy away from searching Him among the poor, needy, underprivileged and the exploited.

Jesus is God's divine gift - the true embodiment of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Along with the Staff and our Deacons, I extend warm greetings to all our parishioners; may the blessings of this holy season be with you! Wish you all a meaningful, Spirit filled Christmas celebration this year, God Bless you!

Fr. Michael

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