The Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe. Wow! Does this strike anyone else as an amazing title for a Sunday celebration?
Today we celebrate the truth that the same Lord Jesus Christ we receive in Holy Communion every Sunday is also the KING OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE! Think about this. Let it sink in until your heart is filled with awe and wonder for God! I found the following facts on a website for kids by typing into my browser "What is included in the universe?":READ MORE
"Hail the King of the Jews." The kingship of Christ has always been different than the world expected.
Many of Jesus' disciples hoped for an earthly Messiah who would overthrow the Romans. But, as Jesus says in today's Gospel, his kingdom is "not of this world." And yet it is a very real kingdom. Jesus is a very real Lord. And we are called to invite Jesus to be king of our lives. In the early 20th century, disillusionment with authority of all kinds was growing.READ MORE
Next weekend Bishop James Wall of the Diocese of Gallup will be with us. As many of you will remember, Bishop Wall, before he was named a bishop, was a priest from our diocese and was the administrator of our parish for a number of months. In fact, our altar server program is a result of his time with us.
When he was a seminarian, Bishop Wall spent 7 months with me as an intern at St. Gregory parish when I was pastor. He is a good friend and a good shepherd.READ MORE
This month as we remember family members who have died and gather with family members to celebrate Thanksgiving, make a long list of all the things you are grateful for AND be a family who serves others!
Small gestures can mean a lot for families who are struggling to pay rent and buy food. Take joy in giving a family a gift card to the grocery store, making and delivering a hot meal, or paying for electricity for a needy family.READ MORE
In 1 Samuel, God advises the prophet Samuel not to observe as men see but as God sees. He tells him to "look to the heart." This is the movement of this Sunday's Gospel reading. "Beware the scribes," Jesus advises. He points out their public greetings and "seats of honor," which stands in sharp contrast to their private greed. For the Jewish people of Jesus' day, honor resides at the top. Power and prestige created a high profile back then as it still does today. After his warning, Jesus turns his disciples' attention elsewhere: a poor widow. "She, from her poverty, has contributed all she had." While the scribes donated large sums to the temple, they did so "from their surplus wealth." This woman -- in her faith and devotion -- offers "her whole livelihood."READ MORE
It has been my experience that God takes delight in replenishing goods that are running out, especially for when we put our trust in him.
The widow trusted Elijah as a "man of God." She put her faith into action by sharing what little she had with the prophet and God blessed her faith by providing oil and meal for her and her son. The key seems to be complete confidence; a willingness to give everything and trust God with the results. But sometimes God's generosity surprises us. The wine Jesus provided at the wedding at Cana was not a matter of life or death. It wasn't necessary for the survival of the newlyweds. Yet, he provided in great abundance for them.READ MORE
As most of our country prepares to celebrate the feast of Thanksgiving, my prayer is that they remember that thanksgiving is more than food and football. In fact, for us Catholics, every Sunday...every day is a thanksgiving day because the work Eucharist means "thanksgiving". Yes, we give "thanks" to our God every day for the many blessings we receive.READ MORE
"You are not far from the kingdom of God." What does it mean to be close to God's kingdom? In today's Gospel, Jesus is in a dialogue with teachers of the law. They know well the Law of Moses, with its complex codes, expectations, and punishments. What will Jesus say? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength ... You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus effortlessly distills all the books of law into two commands. The simplicity of the Gospel message doesn't mean it's easy to follow. Far from it! The simplicity of the Gospel indicates its totality. Anything that requires the passions of our heart, the choice of our soul, the reason in our mind, or the strength of our body - all of this ought to be animated by love. As you can imagine, that means pretty much everything! The love of God and love of neighbor is meant to flow into our entire lives.READ MORE
What lasting gift can we give the children in our lives? If we must live through poverty, war, famine, natural disaster, immigration trouble, what can we give our children that can help them most? If, God forbid, our children were separated from their families what would they have to help them live? If, on the other hand, they grow and prosper only to be tempted by the false values of this world: chasing pleasure, wealth, power, or fame, what can keep them from destruction? There is only one answer. We must give them the gifts that "remain; Faith, hope, and love." (I Cor. 13:13) These gifts can only be guaranteed to be found in Christ and his Church.READ MORE
Howdy, I know this is such a busy time of year for everyone, but it is also time for me to remind you about Catholic Education Arizona. This scholarship program for our students cost you nothing to donate except time. What you are doing is directing a portion of your state tax liability to CEA to support our students.
I always say this is too good to be true. Rather than the legislators deciding what to do with your taxes, you can have a say by donating to CEA. What is best is that you get back what you donate up to your tax liability. Some people say, "But I don't pay state tax, I get a refund." Your refund is the amount you paid into the state from your pay check, minus your tax liability. You can increase your refund by donating to CEA.READ MORE