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True Blessing Comes From God

Dear friends: The theme of today’s readings is centered upon hope in God, who invites us to stay close to Him and heed His guidance. In today’s gospel, we have the images of abundance and scarcity, blessings and woe, time and eternity, and all these make us reflect on our ultimate destiny. The words of Jesus show how startling the Gospel message can be. In fact, it is just the opposite of the wisdom pervading our consumer society. Woe, says Jesus to the rich, the satisfied, those financially secure and blessing to those who are poor, suffering and the hungry. How can this be real? On reflection we see that material satisfaction can isolate us, but a lack of it can take us beyond ourselves. Our poverty, hunger and sorrow can lead us to greater riches as it takes us close to the divine. The true blessing comes when we empty ourselves, make a room for God and realize His plan in our life.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

New Knights of Columbus Council-17194

It is exciting news for all of us as new knights of Columbus council has been formed at our parish. The first council meeting was held on Monday February 4th in the parish hall. I thank all the members of the council and their families for their generous willingness to serve the Lord. The council will meet on Thursday s at 7.30pm in the church hall. Congratulations to all the office bearers. Upcoming events as follows-

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING: February 21, 2019 7:30PM IN PARISH HALL

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW WOULD LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS OR ARE INTERESTED IN JOINNING

PLEASE CONTACT: TIM RUNSTEDLER

1-226-988-2620 OR EMAIL: tma­­_runstedler@hotmail.com

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Called to Love

Dear friends: The theme of the liturgy of today is the prophetic call from God given to each individual personally. Through this call God communicates His message of love to all. John tells us that God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son for our sake that we may have life through Him. This is the sacrificial love and a caring love. It is love that enables us to be compassionate, understanding, patient, forgiving and accepting others. Love sustains us with courage, with power to endure and carries us confidently through every challenge. Jeremiah, in today’s first reading, is directed to give a prophetic witness to God, whose saving justice and compassion yearn to steer a wayward, stressed-out people away from impending disaster. Warned about the obstacles he will face, Jeremiah is instructed by God to stand firm. Jesus, as prophet in today’s Gospel, challenges His own people to a new way of living, a new way of seeing things. However, the people while they are expecting the newness through the messiah, reject the very means to reach the wholeness, freedom and peace they have been seeking. They stubbornly resist the prophetic invitation of Jesus. Today this call comes to us through His word, scriptures.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

God’s Invitation

Dear friends: God’s love for humanity is outstanding as we see it in creation and redemption. He also invites every person to respond to His personal love. From the earliest of times, God has called human persons to be with Him for He is the creator who has made every human person in His own image and likeness and desires to have constant contact with Him. He invites all human persons to a personal relationship with Him and when they do wrong and go astray, He invites them to a spirit of repentance to make them live a life worthy of Him. Repentance means to turn around, and go in the opposite direction, change one’s way of thinking, change one’s values, change the mind and heart, change desires, and more importantly change the direction of life. It means that there is an invitation for a total conversion and a complete transformation in the person. However, there comes a time in the life of every child of God to respond to His invitation to follow Him closely and participate in His mission.

Jesus testified to the public that His mission is to do the will of God. Do we take His invitation seriously?

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

God feeds us with His abundant blessings

Today we begin the ordinary season of the year. Today’s readings tell us about the identity of Jesus, who He is and what His mission is. The readings of today reveal to us that God is generous to His children and He rejoices in them. In the joyful hymn of Isaiah we see how God prepares for His chosen people, the ones who had remained faithful to Him, with good gifts, and most particularly His own presence. Paul, in the second reading, tells us that all gifts come from God but with a purpose, so that we may proclaim His glory in His kingdom. These gifts may be diverse but they all proclaim God’s own glory. The Gospel presents to us the first miracle performed by Jesus at a wedding. A wedding is a time of abundance and celebration. From the food and wine that are served, to the music and dancing that follow, weddings overflow with the goodness of life. At a deeper level, weddings speak about love, compassion and unity. The wedding feast in Cana is a sign of God’s love and compassion. Here Jesus takes care of the family who is about to be pushed into a state of embarrassment. At the same time, He accepts the word of Mary to do a good act and present the family things in abundance. The abundance of the wedding is a taste of what God provides for us at the Eucharistic table.        

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Baptism of the Lord, presence of the Trinity

Dear friends: The celebration of the Baptism of Jesus, brings to an end the Season of Christmas. The Baptism of Jesus is one event recorded in the gospel when all three persons of the Holy Trinity are present. The voice of the Father is heard proclaiming Jesus as His son, Beloved. Jesus Himself, on being baptized comes up out of the water. The spirit comes down on Him like a dove. This even takes place when we are baptized as babies, or adults. God the Father calls us His beloved children. With Jesus we emerge from the water having died to sin. The Spirit descends on us empowering us with His gifts of grace to continue the mission of Christ. How truly blessed we are. It’s our responsibility to begin to proclaim the message of Christ to all the nations. Let the triune God be our guide.

Fr.  Jerome Mascarenhas

Encountering the truth/ Divine

Dear friends: Epiphany means manifestation of the Lord. In recent years the census shows that there is a sharp rise in the number of people who don’t belong to any religious faith. Yet there is still hunger for meaning of our lives, even among those who reject the existence of God. Some people try to find it in their relationships; others look to art and music etc.

What does this story of the magi have to say to about our search? They arrive at Bethlehem and offer Jesus their homage, but they need all sorts of help to get there. First of all, there is their own wisdom and expertise, but that led them as far as Jerusalem. They needed the help of King Herod, who told them to go Bethlehem; he in turn needed the expertise of the chief priests and the scribes, who had studied the scriptures and so, knew where the Messiah was to be born. So it is with us in our own search for the meaning of our lives.

First of all we Christians have the wisdom of our scriptures, the word of God. We come to know the person of Jesus Christ. We listen to the wise and holy men and women who have the rich experience of encountering God. We also listen to the church’s teachings, the Magisterium. St Paul tells the Ephesians, “that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, namely that the mystery was made known to me by revelation”.

Finally, we believe that the child born in Bethlehem is the truth for which the human heart hungers. Like the magi, we need to be attentive to the truth wherever it is to be found, for which ultimately it is one in Him who said I am the truth. We have already celebrated the first coming of Christ at Christmas. Did we re encounter Him or was it just a celebration of parties and presents? As we enter a new year in the civic calendar let us make strong resolutions to seek and find the divine truth.

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas

God is with us

Dear friends: Blessed Christmas to all. It’s the story of God’s love for us. For God so loved the world that in the fullness of time He sent His only begotten son, born of a woman, to save and redeem us from sin and death. Today our hearts beat with the joy of being saved, freed and loved. St John writes, the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus, who is Immanuel, is ever present, is in a special way with us once again as we come together to share the joy of Christmas. Let us celebrate Christ’s birth with the great hope of knowing that He loves us always. Let us share the joy of Christmas with everyone. I take this opportunity to thank everyone for your continued support towards many different spiritual ministries, organizations, volunteering in various outreach programs, and working towards building up a strong community. I wish and pray that the year 2019 brings us good tidings of peace, Joy and good health to all.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

 

Rejoice in the Lord

Dear friends: Saint Paul, writing from prison to the Philippians, says, “rejoice in the Lord”. Joy is not the absence of suffering, but the absorption of suffering. If we wish to have real lasting joy we need to look at the three letters that make up the word JOY. The letter J stands for Jesus. If we want joy, Jesus must come first. We must give Him the best and the first place in our lives and make Him the centre of all that we are. The second letter O stands for others. Our family, our neighbors, and friends form the second circle. We love them, serve them, care for them, and help them. We get joy only when we give it. The last letter Y, stands for You. When we think of ourselves last we experience joy. When we recall and remember the times we experienced joy we will realize that was when we thought of ourselves last. Therefore, in the midst of busy preparations for Christmas let us not forget to give Christ first place.

I request you to try to bring a friend to Christmas service here; will enhance your joy of Christmas.

Fr.  Jerome Mascarenhas

Prepare the way of the Lord

Dear friends: St John the Baptist is urging people to prepare a way for the Lord. It was a necessary proclamation because people were living in sin. The scripture says every mountain has to be made low. There are mountains of pride, jealousy, selfishness. Every valley will be filled in, we think of the valleys of emptiness in our lives. Every rough road will be made smooth. Advent is a time to prepare ourselves the best possible way to encounter JESUS. A friendly reminder about confessions on Wednesday at 7:00pm with visiting priests.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

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