Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

12-29-2019From the PastorRev. Ernesto Reynoso, J.C.L.

Dear OLPH parishioners,

Christmas is here! There is always a special joy in our hearts to welcome Our Savior Jesus Christ. On behalf of the whole OLPH family (parish/school /capilla) we would like to wish you a blessed and joyful Christmas.

Challenges

We the school and parish staff as well as our many volunteers are working together to be good administrators with the resources that we have. As you have noticed, in the last six months, we have had some challenges with our building structures that needed repair. Among them, five A/C unit systems broke down and caused unexpected expenses but the Lord is always good to us and we were able to fix them.

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How can you bring more of Christ’s word into your family life?

12-29-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Merry Christmas!

May your family delight in the wonder of this most foundational of Catholic celebrations – God come to earth in the baby Jesus!

This week, with the encouragement and aide of the Knights of Columbus we consecrate our families to the Holy Family promising to honor the sacredness of family life.

What graces will our consecration bring to our families, our community and our world?

As families, let us resolve to live more fully St. Paul’s admonition to us in today’s readings:

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Final Week of Advent

12-22-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

On this final week of advent we relight the two purple candles for hope and peace, the pink candle for joy, and the third purple candle for love.

We have finally arrived at what Christmas is all about. It’s about God’s amazing love for each one of us. Love, and love alone explains why God brought his divine nature to earth and united it perfectly with our human nature in the body of the tiny baby Jesus.

We still need him today! There is no other who can teach us how to love without borders, to give without demanding that others earn our charity, to be peacemakers even in the middle of war zones.

What act of pure love can you do for someone who doesn’t expect it?

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God is With US

12-22-2019Weekly Reflection

Each Advent season, we prepare to welcome Jesus into the inns and stables of our hearts. But Jesus’ coming wasn’t welcomed by everyone with choirs of angels. For St. Joseph, the first coming of Jesus was a bit more complicated. “When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.” For Joseph, opening his heart (and home) to Jesus meant, at best, appearing to all the world like a man who had impregnated his wife out of wedlock. At worst, he appeared a cuckold, raising the child of another man. God doesn’t always appear the way we expect.

For some of us, the birth of Christ is a bit relationally complicated. Perhaps over the past few months, a loved one has died. This Christmas, you’re taking it upon yourself to keep up the traditions and hold the family together. Welcoming Jesus means welcoming grief. Perhaps it’s a difficult relative (or two or three) and it’s all you can do to bite your tongue and swallow your pride while they’re under your roof. Welcoming Jesus means welcoming strife, discord, and tension.

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See the Work of God

12-15-2019Weekly Reflection

Who did you come to see? A version of this question is posed by Jesus many times in the Gospels. He asks it of Andrew and John when they begin to follow him. He asks it of Mary Magdalene in the garden of the resurrection. He asks it in today’s Gospel. “What did you go out to the desert to see?” There is something innately human about “seeing.” Animals have eyes — some with much more powerful vision than our own — but that’s not the kind of seeing Jesus is talking about. We could phrase the question several other ways. “What are you looking for?” “What are you longing for?” “Whom do you seek?”

It is in seeing for ourselves that our suspicions or hypotheses are confirmed, that our desires discover their fulfillment, and that we can rest for a moment in certainty. John the Baptist sought certainty of Jesus’ identity. “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus sends word to him based on the testimony of sight, observations of the mighty deeds Jesus has begun to work. “Go and tell John what you hear and see.”

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Third Week of Advent

12-15-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

On this third week of advent we relight the two purple candles for hope and peace and we add the pink candle for joy!

How many places can you find joy in our Mass readings today.

In ten days, we will celebrate Jesus’ birth. Are we ready to welcome him with all the joy he deserves?

What fills your heart with joy as you and your family prepare for Christmas? How can you bring joy to someone who may feel sad this holiday?

  1. More conversation starters for your family: What is your favorite place in our home?
  2. What is your greatest strength? Why?
  3. What makes you feel loved?
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What is Your Gift from God?

12-08-2019Weekly Reflection

What does it mean to be worthy? There are a few different ways to approach this question. Today’s Gospel highlights two: the way of the Pharisees and the way of John the Baptist. Our faith values good works and discipleship. Perhaps, then, we “earn” our worth by adhering to the right doctrines and following the right pious practice. The Pharisees thought they were worthy. Due to their religious pedigree and proper procedures, they were self-satisfied. John the Baptist’s words to them are strong. “Do not resume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’” Of course, Jesus (and John) don’t omit the responsibility for moral behavior. John gives the Pharisees quite a strong warning in that regard. “Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance … every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

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Second Week of Advent

12-08-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

For this second week of Advent we light again the first purple candle for hope, and we light second purple candle – this one for peace.

How our world needs the Peace of Christ! While we are waiting for Christmas and for our Lord’s second coming, let us resolve once more to be peacemakers. But how?

We cannot give what we do not have, so a good place to begin in bringing peace into the world is to confess our sins and receive the peace of Christ into our own troubled hearts. When our hearts are filled with God’s love and mercy, we can call others to the peace, harmony, and justice that Jesus came to bring into the world.

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Advent is here!

12-01-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Advent is here! Let us prepare!

The empty manger: Make a simple manger to help young children participate in preparing their hearts for the gift of Jesus at Christmas. Every time someone in the family does something kind, they are preparing to welcome Baby Jesus. Each kind act or little sacrifice earns a piece of straw to put in the manger. Then, on Christmas morning, “Baby Jesus” is placed in the manger. Encourage your children to make Jesus’ bed as “comfortable” as possible by doing lots of good things! Remind them what a gift Jesus is to us.

Here are five more conversation starters for families gathered around the table, or traveling in the car together:

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Prepare the Way for Christ

12-01-2019Weekly Reflection

“I’m never getting enough rest! How can I possibly be ‘asleep’?” In a world of jam-packed schedules and high anxiety levels, physical rest may be hard to come by. Yet relentless pursuit of our todo lists and social calendars may keep our minds off of the things that really matter. Jesus knows all too well a pattern of busy, harried ignorance. “In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage … they did not know until the flood came and carried them all away … two men will be out in the field … two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.” When it comes to the spiritual life, we can be at work or at relaxation and still be spiritually asleep.

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