As we celebrate today's feast, we are reminded that God creates and fashions each one of us with intent and purpose. We are not random accidents. We are special creations and wonderfully made. Each of us brings a unique twist to the one shot at life that we are given. As people of faith and children of God, we are asked to use our specialness to announce God's kingdom. Each of us reveals a unique part of God's face. Each day presents opportunities to communicate our faith to others and to reveal God's mercy. We have the means to point the way to Christ.
How can we show Jesus to others today?
The date set for John the Baptist's birth only came into existence once the date to celebrate Jesus' birth was set. Evidence shows that by the middle of the fourth century Christians were celebrating the birth of Jesus around December 25. No one at that time knew when Jesus was born, but the date seemed to be selected to counter the Roman festival to the sun god.Once December 25 had been selected for the birth of Jesus, a number of other dates could be set, using the biblical evidence at hand. When the angel appeared to Mary and she conceived, her cousin, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was in her sixth month.READ MORE
My Dear Friends,
I get asked frequently by some people to either give suggestions for book titles or even to let people know what I am currently reading. I usually read five books at a time. Currently, I have Padre Pio’s Letters Volume II by my bedside, along with the current novel that I am reading, Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. I am also reading a collection of Pope Benedict’s homilies, Teaching and Learning the Love of God: Being a Priest Today, and Pope Francis’s most recent Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exultate. The fifth book I am currently reading is a collection of essays compiled by Father Robert Araujo, SJ, Slaying the “Spirit” of Vatican II with the Light of Truth. I am also re-reading Cardinal Alfons Stickler’s little treatise, The Case of Clerical Celibacy: Its Historical Development and Theological Foundations.
As you can see, I love to read, and I have an extensive library of theological works as well as fiction and non-fiction (historical and/or biographical) works. The most recent books that I did finish in the last two months are; Edward Sri’s book, Who am I to Judge? Responding to Relativism with Logic and Love; Daniel Mattson’s, Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexuality and Found Peace; a compendium on marriage called, Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church; Katherine Galgano’s, The Devil Hates Latin; a compendium put together by John Rao, Luther and His Progeny: 500 Years of Protestantism and Its Consequences for Church, State, and Society; and Pope Benedict’s, Last Testament; In His Own Words.READ MORE
My Dear Friends,
Today is Father’s Day, and like Mother’s Day, it seems that one day a year to honor fathers just does not cut it.
Fathers, as well as mothers, are so important for the life of a child. Yes, there are many families that a father or a mother are missing, for a variety of reasons, but a father and a mother together, which image Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5), stand as an image for the love that God has for each and every one of His children. In the Book of Genesis, it is stated that God created man in His image, male and female He created them. In the image of God is the coming together of a man and a woman, a complimentarity that is fruitful when new life comes forth from this union.READ MORE
My Dear Friends,
Today's Gospel talks about Jesus' mother and brothers. Until only recently (the 18th Century), most of the faithful, (the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, as well as many of the early Protestant communions), have understood that the "brothers" mentioned in this passage are really cousins or kinsmen of the Lord. There is no word in Aramaic or Hebrew for the relationship of cousin (or nephew or step brother as well). When the New Testament was written in Greek, the Gospel writers use the term "adelphoi" to describe the relationship between Jesus and His "brothers", who are more likely cousins or other relatives to the Lord. In the early Church, there was a belief that they might be half-brothers of the Lord, children of St. Joseph from a previous marriage, which is why in some pictures St. Joseph is portrayed as an old man.READ MORE
My Dear Friends,
Today is the Feast of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, commonly known in its Latin words, Corpus Christi. We make up the Body of Christ, as members of the Catholic Church, for we are the Body and He, Jesus Christ, is our Head. As the Body of Christ, we become the eyes, ears, mouths, hands and feet of Jesus Himself on this earth. We all have a role to play in the Church, as parents, as priests and deacons, as parishioners, and, indeed, as those seeking God with a sincere heart. For the Body of Christ is open to all.READ MORE