“Behold the Lamb of God”: Another one of those profound Church sayings that we may take for granted. In our modern age, I’m not sure if we have any attachment to what a lamb is. We know it’s a farm animal, but what significance is that to God?
For me, it was just a phrase that didn’t make sense that I never really dove into. Why is Christ being the Lamb of God so significant? Because Christ is willing to be so. The reality is, Christ knew His mission, to be sacrificed for the sake of all of us so the gates of heaven can be opened for all.
Throughout the Old Testament there are so many instances of a lamb being sacrificed in place of others. The lamb is such a significant symbol, that those who are well versed in the Old Testament cannot think of the lamb in any other such way, (i.e., the sacrificed animal with Abraham and Isaac), the lamb’s theme will always be a means for sacrifice.
So why is this so important? Because of all the events of Salvation History, God allows His only begotten Son to be the sacrifice for all of us to open the gates of heaven. The ultimate sacrificial lamb, led to slaughter, for the sake of our eternal relationship with God.
If you’re like me, you may take a lot of “Church sayings” for granted, but what helps me to be in tune with our liturgy is to allow these terms to have the same strong meaning as for those who heard them for the first time.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
Youth and Young Adult Minister
1950 - 2020
Vigil / Rosary
Monday, January 20
Tuesday, January 21
Padre Serra Parish
5205 Upland Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012
When I first saw this photo, I was knocked out. Most clergy say their ordination day was the most important day in their life. Most married people say: our wedding day.
For Pope Saint John Paul II, it was his baptism day (June 20, 1920). Here he is, on his first trip back to Poland after being elected pope, visiting his baptismal font and leaving a new paschal candle as a gift to the church (the church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Wadowice, Poland).
In what church building were you baptized? What was the date? Who was the deacon or priest? Who are your godparents? For which saints and persons are you named?
Your baptism confirmed the promise God made the moment you were conceived: “This is my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
No one sang that better than Jeanne-Paule Marie Deckers (1933–1985), “The Singing Nun”:
ENTRE LES ETOILES/AMONG THE STARS
Among the stars the Lord has written your name, among the stars, way up high in his dwelling-place.
Among the stars the Lord placed your life, among the stars close to him in Paradise.
The night when God desired you, the night, that night when your life was fashioned from two bodies,
that night when His love first smiled upon you,
Blessed be that night.
The day that God redeemed you, on that day
the day He made you His child forever
the day when He made His dwelling in your heart
Blessed be that day.
The evening when God will call you, that evening,
That evening when your waning days will hasten your departure,
That evening of reunion, transfigured by hope,
Blessed be that evening.
Among the stars the Lord has written your name,
among the stars, way up high in his dwelling-place.
Among the stars the Lord placed your life,
among the stars close to him in Paradise.
Dr. Paul Ford
Professor of Theology and Liturgy
St. John’s Seminary
1930 - 2020
Monday, February 3
St. Mary Magdalen
Tuesday, February 4
Padre Serra Parish
5205 Upland Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012
Also visit: Knights of Columbus
Did you know that early childhood music can…
I have to admit that I like daylight savings time. Pictures of snowy landscapes capture the feeling of winter much better. Winter is associated with snow and freezing temperatures and death is a real possibility if you find yourself stranded on a highway in the middle of a winter storm as in my home state of Montana. The changing of the seasons to being colder and getting dark much earlier can be disorienting, even here in California. There is a redeeming quality, however, to this darkness. I like to spend time looking at night sky. There is a sense of wonder in being able to experience the expanse and beauty of the cosmos. The darkness broken by the starlight captures the sense of this season. Cosmology is the story of birth, development, and destiny of the universe and it is told with the aim of assisting us in our task of identifying our roles within this great drama. A Belgian physicist and priest postulated that there was a beginning to the universe and this became known as the Big Bang. Scientists have been able to calculate the age of the universe with a fair amount of accuracy, 13.7 billion years. Because all life is part of this single cosmic event, all life is connected at its most basic level. Our solar system came about as the result of a supernova explosion, the death eruption of a primal star. Death is integral to life. Yet from the very beginning the trajectory of the universe has been toward life.
Epiphany is a time to reflect on the meaning of Incarnation, God here and with us now and make the journey ourselves. God emptied himself to become like us so that we might become more like God. This is our hope, to enter more fully into this relationship. The metaphor of the magi following a star, risking their survival and traveling a great distance to discover this is fitting. The idea of relationship is central. The wisdom of the Catholic tradition is that salvation is possible in and through the community. We say as Catholics that we are saved in community that includes everybody. This idea is not necessarily even something we long for.
I really believe that our experience of Epiphany must be more than just hearing about the Magi. We must be willing to encounter God in this season by risking our own journey, as difficult as it may be, so that we can honestly experience the selfrevelation that we need in order to see God beyond ourselves. Epiphany reminds us that the trajectory of creation is toward life. Epiphany is about searching for God beyond ourselves in order that we might enter more fully enter into the mystery of the Incarnation, God
here and with us now. We are called to be active participants in this great drama and search for what it means when we say that salvation is possible in and through the community. May your Epiphany be one of discovery.
Deacon Bob Fargo
Also visit: Faith Formation for Adults
Dear friends on the journey,
Every Saturday was chore day. Each of us three kids always had age appropriate tasks, from dusting low furniture and sweeping to cleaning glass and dusting higher places to eventually vacuuming and laundry. During the week, we set and cleared the dinner table and later helped with cooking. As a family of five with two working parentings, it was necessary for all of us to keep our house in order and running. As family members age, we care for each other in different ways: prayer, finances, living situations, emotional support, child care and so on. More than just necessity all this is right and good. We love and live in relationship. That’s what family does.
We know in first century living a household was not only an immediate family but extended family. Jesus, Mary and Joseph likely lived with older and younger generations. They all had jobs and tasks to keep the house running and everyone cared for. It was necessary, right and good. They loved and lived in relationship.
So too with our human family. Jesus’ message can be summed up in just a few words: love God and love others. And he taught us exactly how to do it: comfort the sick and lonely, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the dying, give preference to the marginalized, and love those who are struggling physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. He not only taught it; he showed it and lived it, no matter who they were. To love and live in relationship with our human family is necessary, right and good.
At our baptism, we are born into God’s family, the Church. We live out our baptism and discipleship in a parish family. Today we are the parish family of Padre Serra Parish. We love and live in relationship with each other as well as our greater Camarillo and human family. It is right and good.
Each year we express this relationship in a concrete way. Through our parish covenant, our Pastoral Team makes promises to you our family members and you as parishioners make promises to God in relationship with the parish family.
There’s one for single people and another for households with parents and children. Take one home this weekend to prayerfully review it and consider how you will respond. The goal is for each of us to commit to living our discipleship and membership in our domestic, human and parish families. Complete and sign the covenant then lay on the altar before or after Mass on January 11 and 12, the Feast of Jesus’ Baptism.
Siempre Adelante and Happy New Year,
Faith Life Minister