Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.”

Welcome as we begin a new Church year and enter the shortest Advent season in a while.

Advent, a season of expectation and anticipation can last from 22- and 28-days and this is a 22-day one.

I suppose that for a people who are to live in expectation and anticipation a much shorter time to wait is kind of nice. We only have to hear ‘are we there yet’ for 22-days.

A compressed schedule may be experienced in a few different ways. Some might spend the time valuing each day of expectation more deeply. Some might choose to rush through it, not paying too much attention. Some might choose to live frustrated, focused solely on getting ‘there.’

Of course, the Church is solidly recommending that we value each day of expectation more deeply for there are not too many of them.

That recommendation comes from thousands upon thousands of years of experience from the Old Testament period through today. The Holy Spirit guides us in doing what is right and in the end, what is best for us. 

The other approaches each diminish our experience of God and thus our lives. Not paying attention, rushing, being frustrated, let’s just get there approaches take our eyes off God and fill us with such unease that we draw into ourselves becoming blind to the very gifts being offered to us.

Jesus enjoins us to be alert, to stay awake and to watch. To be busy about our work for Him.

That command is not about arriving at the goal. Jesus will take care of that, but about our growth as a people confident and trusting in God. That type of attitude leads us to grow into the image of God, to act (it is not about sitting around) by living Jesus’ way most fully, and to deal with those things in us that must change – our very inability to be patient with God’s timeline.

Much of the history of the Old Testament is about waiting and becoming; lessons learned, repentance undertaken, and to be prepared for the Messiah. Speaking of waiting, the time between the last prophet and Jesus was about 500 years of silent waiting, yet each moment had value for growth.

As St. Paul tells us, we have been enriched in the knowledge of Christ so that this time may be grace filled, focused on what we have learned, and engaged in the work that helps us be ready for welcoming Him again. 

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

I was listening to religious radio the other Sunday, just after Thanksgiving, and the commentator mentioned that we are now in the Christmas Season. Now, I am not a Negative Nelly, correcting everyone for such mistakes. I am happy that they recognize the need to celebrate the season. The better question, Why the rush?

If you are old enough you might remember the days when the decorations were put up on Christmas Eve or in the week before Christmas. Folks prepared for Christmas by living with a sense of anticipation. Anticipation – the old ketchup commercials where they sang Anticipation while the ketchup slowly trickled out of the bottle. Anticipation like in the heart of a child awaiting Christmas morning, a bride her wedding, parents the birth of a child. Those and many other occasions we each know very well.

We Catholics know something of anticipation. In every Holy Mass we await the living presence of the Lord Jesus and our receiving Him in Holy Communion. We live seasonally anticipating the celebration of the key moments in our Lord’s life which encompass our salvation history. It does not all happen right away. Advent calls us to a spirit of anticipation. The Holy Church guides us through this season focusing on our Lord’s coming and echoing Psalm 130: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.

Let us imagine our keeping of this time of anticipation. What awaits us? A grand celebration of forty days beginning Christmas Day and lasting until February 2nd. We will together celebrate those moments of salvation history that focus on family, the impoverished that first met Jesus, and His revelation to the nations. On the other hand we can meet Christmas exhausted, throw out the tree the next day, and miss all Jesus revealed to us. So, let us celebrate by keeping this time of anticipation for if we do the peace of Christ will indeed reign in our hearts.


Think December is busy? You’ll be right. Our schedule is jam packed with activities that help us anticipate Christmas and the Christmas Season. Advent begins a new Church year. We have our Charity Organ Concert on December 3rd at 4pm to support Blessed virgin Mary’s fire recovery fund. Come share in our annual Vigil / Wigilia Dinner on December 10th. Rorate Masses (Holy Mass by candlelight only celebrated Wednesdays at 7:30am) throughout Advent help us prepare. Come help us decorate the church in our Greening of the Church. Read a portion of St. Ephraim the Syrian’s Stanzas on the Nativity and engage in charitable giving of food and clothing for those in need. Too much to mention here, so check it all out in our December 2023 Newsletter.

“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was…’” 

Welcome as we conclude this year’s Ordinary Sundays with this great Solemnity dedicated – as all things are – to Jesus Christ our King.

In some churches this Solemnity is dedicated to Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Kind of funny when one thinks about it, how we as His people add on levels of detail to Jesus’ Kingship, trying to make Him as big as He really is by adding more and more adjectives.

The real point is that we can never define Jesus’ Kingship well enough, nor should we try, but rather spend our time as we have throughout this Ordinary Time focused on listening to, obeying, and witnessing to Jesus the King by our very lives.

Jesus, our King, and only true ruler taught us to live His Father’s way of generosity. He has told us that we will be held accountable for living up to doing things His Father’s way. He calls us again and again to turn, repent, and get back on track.

We hear Ezekiel telling us about God’s help in getting us back to where we need to be: As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered. I will seek the lost, bring back the strays, bind the injured, and heal the sick. 

Picture that, God among His scattered and wandering people. Immediately He sets to work in saving us. Well, that is what Jesus did.

Having been saved and reminded to stay awake, prepared for our Master’s return, with access to the many graces the Holy Spirit provides as He seeks, brings back, binds, and heals us, Jesus tells us what His return in judgment will be like.

In each instance He will judge how great our generosity has been. Welcoming, feeding, providing drink, clothing, visiting – all that stuff we do right here is our parish, but more important than that is the reason we do all those things. If it is just for points or to earn credits for heaven, we would be wrong. Rather, in each instance Jesus’ words must ring true – we are doing it for Him. We must see Him in each act of goodness and be Him to those we help. This must ring true – whatever you did you did for Me.

“A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– to each according to his ability.”

Welcome as we continue our journey of study and re-commit ourselves to the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus.

Jesus taught us to live His Father’s way and calls us to accept responsibility for godly generosity and our own follow through.

For the past two, and again this Sunday, we have shifted our focus from God’s generosity to how well we live up to God’s way of doing things. We are asked to stop and think and figure out any gaps that exist between God’s way and our way. Where we have lost sight, we are called to recommit.

Last Sunday we concluded by recommitting to staying awake, preparing for our Master’s return with responsibility, and fully accepting the accountability we have before God.

We see this theme again today. The servants were given stewardship over the master’s treasure. They were to act responsibly with it and were to cause it to grow.

If it is not too obvious – we are the stewards of our Heavenly Father’s treasure – His kingdom in which we dwell. We are to set to work and our obligation for which we will be held accountable is its growth.

I want to look a little deeper at the servant who failed, who ended up outside and cut-off.

Jesus’ parable tells us that each was given “according to his ability.” Now perhaps this servant wasn’t the brightest bulb. Perhaps he was not the most astute at his job. The master did not give him much. Yet his master gave him a share.

We could fall back on that as an excuse. I don’t have the knowledge, skills, or abilities. I don’t really understand this job of kingdom building. I am not good with words. But God thinks you are.

I’ll throw this one out – Pygmalion in Management. It is a concept based on the Ancient Greek story of Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved. The expectation he had of the statue brought it to life. So it is with teachers and bosses. Those under their care tend to live up to their expectations.

God expects us to live up to His expectations of us. After all, He finds us worthy of the blood of His Son.

“Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Welcome as we continue our journey of study and re-commit ourselves to the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus.

What have we been focused on for so many weeks? It is simply this, living God’s great generosity. Jesus taught us to live this way and calls us to accept responsibility for generosity and follow through.

Last Sunday the message shifted to reflection; how well we are living up to Jesus’ call. We were asked to stop and think and figure out the gaps. Where have we lost sight of our responsibility?

It is an important reflection to undertake especially as we approach the end of the Church year and face up to consequences, Jesus’ return.

Jesus’s parable today is about those consequences. Fail to live the gospel life, think things are just good enough, neglect the practice of persistent generosity, reject the notion of turning, what the Greek’s called metanoia, a deep inner affect wherein one is spiritually converted, and we find ourselves locked out.

Today’s words of accountability are hard to hear for many in the world where the way always seems easy, broad, and well paved. For many, the notions of preparation, responsibility, and consequences no longer bear any significance. 

Don’t study or do well on your tests, pass anyway. Neglect kindness and generosity and replace it with cruelty, bullying, and meanness and you’re a hero. Hate and you have a huge following. Exploit your body and God’s way of love and you have fans. This and so many other ways the world closes one off from any accountability.

Consider this, groups, and organizations as diverse as CAP, Scouting, 4H, FFA, and organizations like our YMSofR and ANS, as well as Church itself all have trouble attracting members because members have to agree to accountability. One must accept responsibility for doing something.

God paints a vision for us. Accept wisdom – meaning understanding and acceptance of what God wants and be blessed. Wisdom tells us that there will be accountability for the way we live. The psalmist tells us that hungering for God’s way brings great favor.

Let us then be wise and stay awake, preparing with responsibility and accepting God’s way to accountability.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort

In our Sunday Holy Mass for November 5th we heard a beautiful psalm (Ps. 131:2) in which King David quiets and stills himself with God. David likens the experience to a babe in its mother’s arms. There is David with his soul at peace and rest.

As we know, November is the Month of All Souls. Contemplating death and the seeming unknown is cause for no small amount of distress in our lives. Yet, the phrases of comfort and care found throughout scripture, especially in the work of Jesus, eliminates the unknown. Jesus told us what would happen and that gives comfort, assurance, and dispels distress. I look to the example of Dismas, the ‘good thief.’ He certainly did not live the best life. Yet, his faith led Jesus to proclaim: “today you will be with Me in paradise.”That is a confidence booster. The raising of the widow’s son, Jairus’ daughter, and Lazarus adds to that confidence. The joy the disciples experienced on Easter and afterward puts a fine point on the fulfilled promises of God – we have forever life in Jesus in paradise.

As the weather gets colder I have been contemplating old comfortable slippers and sweaters. Those things that wrap around us and make us feel safe and well cared for. So our faith in Jesus. When we contemplate His love and care for us, His holding us in the palm of His hand, and His eternal promise of life we too should feel like David – quiet and still. We should feel God’s warmth that removes all cold. We should proclaim With St. Paul: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us. Paul then says that as we are comforted by God, so must we comfort, reassure, and wrap others in that same care. Paul says God comforts us so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction.

Let us in our endeavors, our charity, and in all things both experience and share the comfort God provides. Let us show the reality of God’s care that drives out the cold.


November is here and we approach the end of the current Church year and ready for Advent. This month is dedicated to remeberance of and prayers for our dearly departed loved ones. 

On December 3rd at 4pm we will host our Prime Bishop for the blessing of our new organ and then enjoy an organ concert coupled with a fundraiser for our sister parish, Blessed Virgin Mary, to assist in their recovery from the arson fire which damaged their facilities and church.

Our winter clothing drive is underway as is the collection of foodstuffs for those in our local community. Please remember our Christmas Vigil Raffle – time is growing short. Check out our Thanksgiving prayer and the thanks we offer for for all the good around us.

Interested in pet pics with St. Nick? Online Cathechism class? Need a place to go for Thanksgiving? Check that and more out in our November 2023 Newsletter.

Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me.

Welcome as we continue our journey of study and re-commit ourselves to the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus.

We have been spending our time these weeks focused on God’s great generosity. In each of those lessons we are reminded to be generous like our God. Indeed, that is our call as followers of our Lord and Savior, to be like Him in how we live and interact.

As we grow closer to the end of the Church year, it is a good time to reflect on how well we have followed Jesus and lived the life He laid out for us. Are we doing well, are we working diligently at that, or has our work been placed on hold, have other things gotten in the way?

It is so amazing – the amount of love our God pours out for us. If we even stopped to contemplate it for a few minutes we would be overcome by His tremendous love and care for us. So often I pray and desire that all of us could see it clearly, freed from all concern and throwing ourselves into His life completely.

The imagery in today’s psalm is so reassuring and comforting. At its start the psalmist reminds us to place our focus on the Lord, not on things that are passing, fleeting. 

Isn’t that the point, to dedicate ourselves to the Lord, to leave fear behind. If we might do that, if we might just release our human minds and hearts and take up the heart and mind of God our lives would be truly reformed. Wow, that would be incredible. We would be all-in for Jesus and His Holy Church, the family that surrounds us.

I am too shy would become I am bold. I can’t make it would become I must be there. I am too tired would become I am filled with vigor.

If we unify ourselves with Jesus having stilled and quiet hearts, we will find ourselves enfolded in God’s arms, cared for in ways the world cannot offer.

Today’s first reading from Malachi and the gospel both set forth warnings. The example of the priests and Pharisees is used because they would not still and quiet themselves. They did not place their focus on God. Their agendas came first and for that they became contemptible and base in God’s eyes and in the eyes of others.

Let us hear and follow Jesus in humility and solely focus ourselves on living His way.

He said to him, “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.”

Welcome as we continue our Ordinary Time journey of study and re-commit ourselves to the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus.

We have spent weeks focusing on God’s great generosity: unlimited forgiveness; full payment to all workers whether they are old school faithful or new followers; His offer of opportunities to change, turn and repent, and His invitation to all to put on the wedding garment of regeneration. Last week we even considered His generosity in making right choices for us.

We also considered the fact that regardless of our civic leaders, we are called to live as followers of Jesus and members of the
Kingdom. Our witness, justice, love, compassion, and forgiveness must surpass that of the unrighteous.

We see in last week’s gospel something that continues into this week’s teaching and for the weeks that follow as we start considering the last things, Jesus’ return in glory – and that is our response to God’s generosity. In simpler terms, are we ready for Jesus’ return? 

Being ready is not a complex process. It does not require jumping through hoops, being extraordinary in what we do, or even being heroic in our actions. It simply means we must follow the gospel life Jesus provided us with, and care in real ways.

Core to that gospel life is our love of God and our neighbors. Jesus tells us that everything depends on this act of love. Indeed, love is an act, not just a warm fuzzy feeling.

To the world and the worldly, to the unsaved, our action of love, our purposeful work of love, our attendance at Sunday worship, our praise and thanksgiving toward God and our mutual charity within His family may indeed seem out-of-the ordinary. Some might even say we are extraordinary or even heroic. To others, we are just those oddball people who give up our Sunday morning and care for people who don’t really matter.

We have chosen to follow Jesus, to obey His teaching, to walk in His way. As such our every action in conformity with His gospel is the response we offer to the Father’s generosity and our readiness to meet Him.

At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

Welcome as we continue our Ordinary Time journey of study and re-commit ourselves to the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus.

We have spent weeks focusing on God’s great generosity: unlimited forgiveness; full payment to all workers whether they are old school faithful or new followers; His offer of opportunities to change, turn and repent, and His invitation to all to put on the wedding garment of regeneration.

Today we encounter a challenge cooked up by the religious authorities of Jesus’ time on earth. What should a faithful person do about government and rulers?

Jesus gives a classic answer we all remember: “repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

A brief thought crossed my mind in preparing for this week. If we are so focused on God’s generosity, why would we ever consider government, rulers, and taxes?

We start by turning back to our first reading where Isaiah recounts God’s words for the ruler Cyrus made in advance of Cyrus’ birth. This prophesied Cyrus would rule all ancient Babylon and would free the people of Israel. Not only would he free them, but he would make their return to Israel smooth.

Throughout the Old and New Testament, the prophets and Apostles point to God’s selection of rulers and government that were ostensibly pagan and did not know God. Yet they were working for God. We are told to honor them, be subject to them, to be obedient, and even pay our taxes without complaint. 

This seems odd doesn’t it, especially in our day. Some so-called Christians fight awfully hard for certain candidates for office. Some people channel their anger and louder than life voices behind others. This is why we are called today to consider God’s way of doing things.

In the end, it comes down to whether we trust God’s generosity or not. We heard: there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 

So, what should a faithful Christian do about government and rulers? As followers of Christ, we must let God make the choices for us, and not invest in following politicians. God will establish them even if they are pagans. What is key is how we live as followers of Jesus and members of the Kingdom. Jesus has many more instructions about that.

‘Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. 

Welcome as we continue our journey of study and re-commit ourselves to the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus.

Today we will welcome Travis and Christopher into the Body of Christ, the Holy Church, through the waters of regeneration. 

Travis and Christopher, like every other person coming into the Church have been gathered in, have been issued Jesus’ new invitation. Along with us they will join in the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus. 

I would like to take a moment to help us recall the gospel messages we have received over the past three Ordinary Time weeks. Jesus calls us to embrace and live out the Father’s model of generosity. Today, we consider this generosity again.

Now, going back, we have seen God’s generosity in His unlimited forgiveness; His full payment to all workers whether they are old school faithful or new followers; and His offer of  opportunities to change and soften our hearts toward His will for us. We are invited to turn and repent.

Today we heard about the invited guests. Jesus uses the illustration to show the listeners of His time that being the “chosen people” was not enough. Being part of the select does not allow one to slack off or to take God’s invitation for granted.

In stark terns Jesus shows how their disobedience, terror, dishonesty, and neglect of the Father’s invitation will lead to new invitations being issued. Those are given to us, the Gentiles. 

Within this telling is a warning to us, one we need to take very seriously. While the Father’s generosity invites us in, while it invites people of every background regardless of the past, we must enter faithful to the invitation.

The guest who showed up unchanged, trusting in generosity, but neglecting his obligation to change in light of that generosity is thrown out.

For Travis and Christopher today is a start as it is for each of us as we confess and approach. May they, like us, continually put on the white garment of regeneration and live faithful to the Father’s generosity.