Consider Your Priorities

02-17-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

What an audience Jesus has in today's Gospel! "A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of people from all over Judea and Jerusalem and thecoastal region of Tyre and Sidon." Disciples, pagans, and devout Jews gathered together to hear Jesus speak in the Sermon on the Mount. All of these peoplehad something in common. God was someone to be bargained with, and if God liked you, you were rewarded with good fortune.

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I've noticed when I go to Mass at different parishes, sometimes people say and do different things. Why is that?

02-17-2019Why do we do that?

The Mass in its current form has taken shape over the course of 2,000 years. Over time, traditions, structures, and prayers have been put into place. There are certain rubrics for the Mass that are normative wherever you go. This means you could attend Mass in Malawi or Thailand or Italy and still watch the same basic liturgy unfold, even if you don't understand the language. There may be some cultural differences from place to place, things that aren't specifically listed. For example, in the United States, most people go up for Communion in a nice neat line. In Europe, everyone gets up around the same time. It's a bit of a free for all!

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Is there any particular document I can read about the church's position on life issues? I am looking for something that gives me more than just a list of issues and where the church stands on them.

02-10-2019Why do we do that?

In the mind of many people, life issues are the defining social, political and theological issues of the twenty-first century. Hunger, homelessness, health care, gay rights, economic justice, abortion, and euthanasia are debated and discussed from all angles and perspectives.

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Do You Have Enough?

02-10-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Do you have enough? Many of us come from a nation of material abundance. We have all the things we could possibly need not only to survive but to thrive - food, shelter, mental ability, income, access to medical care. Most people in human history lived with far less than we. So why are we so dissatisfied? Some Christians can be drawn to the "prosperity Gospel." This is the idea that following God will bring us material abundance in this life.

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Prophetic Voices

02-03-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Today's Gospel is one of tension and contradiction. We enter the scene at the local synagogue. It is near the beginning of Jesus' earthly ministry, and he has returned home to Nazareth for a short while. There, in the midst of the men who watched him grow up and who played with him as a boy in the dusty streets, Jesus proclaims that he is the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah. The response is understandably mixed. "All spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, 'Isn't this the son of Joseph?'"

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My neighbor is just beginning to explore the Catholic faith but was raised agnostic. I grew up believing in God, praying, and attending Mass. How does one start from scratch as an adult to develop a relationship with God?

02-03-2019Why do we do that?

Start on a personal level! How did you and your neighbor become friends? How did you begin to discuss such a personal topic as faith? Communication, spending time together and getting to know each other are essential to forming the bonds of a relationship.

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