Love of God and Love of neighbor
Dear Parish Family,
Today we are reminded of the greatest commandment, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn. 13:35) This defines out Catholic Christian Identity, seems easy, right?
For some of us loving God is easy; however, loving our neighbors may come with conditions. I will love my neighbor as long as they do not cut me off on the freeway. I will love my neighbor as long as they do not get on my nerves. I will love my neighbor as long as they are loving in return. We are called to love them even when they are unkind to us, when it takes our all.
Our Love of God finds its fulfillment in our love of our neighbor. “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40) Only then, are we being true to the commandment of loving God with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind.
In the last several months, as we all have experienced the pain of our brothers and sisters that have been affected by the hurricanes, earthquake and fires, we have been witnesses to the action of Loving our Neighbors. We have seen real love, sacrificing love, in big and small ways. Let us not wait for extraordinary events to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters. Sometimes a warm smile or holding the door open for someone can be life changing. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta would say “do small things with great love.”
Faith Formation Minister
To Ask and to Give
Dear Faith Family,
This Sunday’s Gospel’s is one of my favorites. Generally, in scripture, it is hard to decipher the intent of those who encounter Jesus. When they ask questions, you usually have to question whether the people either mean well or if they are trying to trap Jesus. The reason why this Sunday’s Gospel is one of my favorites, is because the intent of those asking Jesus questions are perfectly laid out.
Before we dive into the passage further, I do have a question for all of us to ponder. Do we ever try to trap God with our own prayers? I know it sounds like only malicious people would do such a thing, but I feel that sometimes we only pray to get something from God.
I am not saying asking God for things is wrong, that is definitely untrue. In any worthwhile relationship, it is healthy to ask our loved ones for help when we need it. Sometimes though, the trap of only asking and never giving can hinder the strength of any relationship.
I know in my spiritual lulls, I tend to ask God for a lot of things, but within this same lull, I fail to let God know that I love him, and I also fail to ask God what he needs from me. When my prayer life is not strong, my friendship with God is not strong either.
Now, I’m not saying God doesn’t want to give to us. Like any good Father, God wants to and will provide, regardless of our current relationship. And I guarantee that God does provide even when we are simply asking Him for assistance. With that said, it is vastly important to simply spend time with our Father. He yearns for us and when we yearn back for him, our relationship grows stronger.
In the Gospel, it was obvious that the Pharisees have terrible intent. Christ knew it too. Notice though, that Jesus still answered their question, even though the Pharisees were trying to trap Him. God will always provide us with the right answers, even when we aren’t at a strong relationship point with Him because He loves us and wants us to know the truth.
So please friends, continue to ask God questions, ask him for assistance, ask him for anything, He will always provide. But let’s take some time to just be with God as well, because he wants to be with us.
Youth and Young Adult Minister
Altar Servers Help Us Keep Our Focus
If there is a defining characteristic of an altar server, it is youthful service during our liturgies.
There are focal points during our liturgies. The first point is the altar, where the Liturgy of the Eucharist takes place. Another point is the ambo from which the word of God is proclaimed: Old Testament, Responsorial Psalm, New Testament, and the Gospel. A third focal point is the presider’s chair. It is from the chair that the presider leads the assembly in the opening and closing prayers, penitential rites, Gloria, Creed and the Intercessions. Because our liturgies are dynamic, we need individuals who can assist and meet the needs of the presider, deacon, cantors, psalmists, lectors and Eucharistic ministers, at and around the focal points. These individuals are altar servers.
During the entrance procession, a server carries the processional cross with two other servers carrying torches. The remaining servers in procession give body to the procession, making the statement that we are in a very important time and place. Processions give us a sense of transition and mission and our altar servers are involved in all of them: entrance, gospel, offertory, communion and exit processions.
When the altar servers post their torches at the ambo, it designates that point as important. Later, during the gospel procession, two altar servers retrieve the torches from the ambo and accompany the Book of the Gospels during the gospel procession and return back to the ambo for its proclamation.
When it is time to celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist, many servers are involved simultaneously: posting lighted torches at the altar, escorting the gifts to the altar, assisting with the reception of the gifts, bringing sacred vessels to the altar and placing them in their proper places and washing the presider’s hands. The servers perform all these tasks with reverence and never cause undo attention to themselves.
We are called to restore to creation all its original value, where creation is governed by the life of grace drawn into the Risen Christ. The Paschal Mystery (Christ’s saving Death and Resurrection) is the central focus of every liturgy. Our servers help us keep our focus.
The altar server is an icon of service and dedication. Each altar server functions as a model of what it means to have full, conscious and active participation in our liturgies, in essence to stay focused on the Paschal Mystery and how it is celebrated throughout the liturgy. It is my hope that our altar servers will spend a lifetime serving the Church in many other ways and remember this ministry as a time when God gave joy to their youth. This Sunday we will install 12 new altars servers. They will join the already installed brown alb servers, bringing our number to 120 active altar servers.
3 meals, 3 sessions, 1 mass
Dear friends on the journey,
When was the last time you …?
I suspect we’ve all attended to most of these in the last few months. Often these are simply checkups, assessments and hopefully confirmations of within range cholesterol levels, expenses aren’t exceeding our income, and the kids are academically on target. Sometimes an unexpected result sends us down a different path, perhaps a life-changing diagnosis, new tires are needed, or our child needs additional resources at school.
Now I ask: when was the last time you attended to our spiritual life …?
Where are you on your spiritual journey? What is your relationship with God like right now? How are you responding to your baptismal call to live a disciple’s life? Just as we do for our bodies, vehicles, and kids, it’s good to ask these questions periodically for ourselves and our upcoming parish mission is an invitation for that spiritual check-up. Led by Fr. Daniel Horan, our three-day mission Discipleship: Becoming Fools for Christ is an opportunity to be renewed in faith and reconnect with the gospel message so we can go forth as reinvigorated disciples.
I invite you to give yourself the gift of this spiritual checkup and come be nourished in body, mind and soul. Page 12 has all the details so you can plan to attend one, two or three meals and sessions on Friday and Saturday plus one mass the weekend of October 2022. See you there!
Faith Life Minister
Blessed Sacrament Chapel Hours
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Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
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