My heart changed.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. 

Thank you for joining as we continue in the celebration of the Christmas Season and in our expectation of the Lord’s return in glory.

This unique Solemnity in our Holy Church dedicates a Sunday in the early Christmas season to the remembrance of those shepherds who first heard of the Lord’s birth from the angels. This Solemnity is so important that it displaces all other Solemnities of the Christmas season excepting the Circumcision, Holy Name of Jesus, and Epiphany should they occur on a Sunday. In most years, this Solemnity occurs on the Sunday after the Nativity. In years like this one with Christmas on a Sunday, this Solemnity is celebrated on the 8th of January.

This Solemnity is wonderful on so many levels for it shows how God interacts with humanity. God sent His angels to the poor workers of the region to announce His salvation, the fulfillment of the entire Old Testament. In fact, He chose the lowest of the low to receive this news.

We can assess their humility from the fact they were not people of pretense. They could not fool anyone about who they were – they even smelled like their work – the sheep, the pastures and woodland.

A lack of pretense is one sign of humility. Oxford notes that humility is: ‘Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance. Of low social, administrative, or political rank.’

Another sign of humility / humbleness is what the Shepherd’s did with the news. They trusted and went, then having seen told people about it directly and honestly. The Shepherds experienced God and didn’t have to think about it, philosophize, theologize, or seek the local descendent of Aaron, a Levite, or religious leader to interpret for them.

In the Letter of St. James (James 4:10) we hear: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. Good advice! The more like these Shepherds we are the better off we will be because God will be holding us up.

If we are hanging on to any pretense, let’s wash ourselves of it in confession. If we are grasping after the straws the world offers, know they will snap and break, and we will be alone. So, if we are grasping, let us stop and grasp onto Jesus. If we are holding off in talking about Jesus or waiting for the advice of philosophers, theologians, priests, or best sellers, let us stop waiting and get to work. Speak of Him.

Last week we spoke of being changed, having changed hearts and lives. Here we see the practical model of people who are transparent, honest, and humble about what God has done. God sent His Son Jesus to save us. Let us live as saved and humble as those Shepherds who declared the Lord.

Pray too for all present and these future humble shepherds of our Church: Alfonsito, Nick, Sean, David, Jason, Todd, Adam, Zach, Kevin, Zach, James, Nick, Rodryg, and all Deacon candidates.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Imagine if you will, an asteroid falls to earth. Upon investigation scientists discover a new element, one unknown throughout history. There is just so much of the element and it is removed and and taken to a lab. The element is found to have a beautiful appearance, an infinite number of valuable uses, and in-and-of-itself is rare. Everyone has heard of the element via the news and social networks and that news causes it to further increase in value. Everyone would love to have it in their possession. With all this going on, people are talking about the new element all-the-time, they are doing all they can to pursue it, and there is no work or sacrifice people would not expend to have it in their possession.

Jesus tells us as recorded in Matthew 6:21 that where a person’s treasure is, so is their heart there.

Eight days ago we recalled the precious gift that came down from heaven, like our imaginary asteroid element one-of-a-kind, filled with light/luminous, rare, and infinitely present and perfect in all situations. That gift is Jesus, God with us, ever present.

Now one thing about our journey through the liturgical year, following in the footsteps of Jesus and the key moments and teachings given to us is how we live because of them. We could consider our experience of Jesus disconnected and one-off, of no more value than perhaps a few hours on a Sunday and a few occasional holidays, but if we see the truth of the treasure we have, its preciousness, we do all we can and even more to fully possess Him. If we do indeed see the value of Jesus and we make His value central in our lives, we will talk about Him all-the-time. We will pursue Him in our reading of Scripture and in times of dedicated prayer. We will count no work or sacrifice too much if we dedicate them to carrying out Jesus’ commands. If Jesus is our treasure then our hearts will be focused on Him alone. Let our continuing celebration of the forty days of Christmas cause us to reflect on the gift we have received and how we treasure it.


Welcome to our January 2023 Newsletter and the ongoing celebration of the Christmas season (all forty days of Christmas which started Christmas Day). As you can imagine, there is tons going on. 

We start by taking a look at all the good we are doing within our community, whether direct assistance to families, empowering the women among us, gathering clothing and food which continues in the SouperBowl of Caring – Let’s Tackle Hunger. There are several events going on including Christmas season gatherings and our hosting of prayer for Christian Unity on Saturday, January 21st at 5pm. It is time to recognize those who have been awarded music scholarships in the past and encourage all to apply for a scholarship. There are plenty of thanks to go around and a schedule of most of this year’s big events.

All that and more in our January 2023 Newsletter.

My heart changed.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus 

Thank you for joining as we continue in the celebration of the Christmas Season and in our expectation of the Lord’s return in glory.

The question on everyone’s mind – why celebrate this? I mean, think about it. This ceremony performed probably in Joseph and Mary’s home and all it entails – well it seems both minor and kind of gross.

The Roman Church got rid of this celebration and converted it to a Marian Feast. That cleaned it all up, right? They do not have to think about all this, and they thought they made it all pretty. Unfortunately, they lost the point.

So why do we celebrate our Lord’s circumcision? There are several very important reasons to celebrate.

One reason is that it is factual. January 1st is eight days from December 25th, and in accord with God’s instruction to Abraham which Joe so elegantly read, every male among you, when he is eight days old, shall be circumcised.

Another reason, and this is particularly important for us, is that the fact of the circumcision, the pain and loss of blood, was testament to Jesus’ humanity. Indeed, God had become man. Jesus laid down His Deity and took on our flesh so He could deliver on all the Father’s promises to us.

Jesus as man was the only One Who could save us from our sins by paying their penalty, Who could redeem us, and Who could make us new and co-heirs with Him to eternity in the Kingdom now and to come.

How privileged we all are that God became man, that His humanity was one-hundred percent real and full. Many ancient heresies tried to downplay or outright rejected Jesus’ humanity, but without that humanity we could not have been saved, our debt would not be paid, we would remain our old fallen selves.

In the circumcision we are reminded that this baby boy, Jesus, faced all we face. He was not some magical figure, sitting up in the manger and doing calculus, or speaking, or anything other than what 8-day old babies do – eating, crying, and needing a diaper change.

Finally, the circumcision is a sign in the old covenant, the covenant that Jesus, as God, enjoined on the Jewish people and all in their nation.

Jesus took on this sign of the old covenant in His flesh to declare that He was of Israel, its true son, and just as the sign of the old covenant was in His flesh so would the sign of the new covenant be in His flesh – in nail marks, scars, and a pierced side.

For us, the new covenant in Christ’s flesh and blood frees us, as St Paul says, from the Law and its prescriptions. We live a new changed existence in grace.

St. Paul is being very careful in exhorting the Galatians and us so we might perceive our new reality – who we really are as a changed people. The Galatians, and some today, believe that they can do stuff – be circumcised, cook a certain way, carry out lists of activities and be saved. How wrong they are!

Our salvation is in the God/man Jesus. He completed that work. Now we must accept Him, live changed lives, and walk His way in faith working through love.

  • Wednesday, December 21st, 7:30am: Feast – St. Thomas the Apostle and Rorate Holy Mass – celebrated in candlelight.
  • Saturday, December 24th, 4pm: Vigil of the Nativity. Holy Mass for Children and Youth.
  • Sunday, December 25th, Midnight: Solemnity of the Nativity. Pasterka/Mass of the Shepherds. A High Holy Mass, offered with incense and chanting.
  • Sunday, December 25th, 10am: Holy Mass of Christmas Day.
  • Monday, December 26th, Noon: Feast, St. Stephen, Proto-Martyr. Holy Mass.
  • Tuesday, December 27th, Noon: Feast – St. John Apostle and Evangelist. Holy Mass with blessing and distribution of wine.
  • Wednesday, December 28th, Noon: Commemoration – Holy Innocents. Holy Mass.
  • Saturday, December 31st, Noon: Solemnity of Holy Family. Holy Mass.
  • Sunday, January 1st, 10am and Noon: Solemnity of the Circumcision. Holy Mass.
  • Monday, January 2nd, Noon: Solemnity of the Holy Name of Jesus. Holy Mass.
  • Friday, January 6th, Noon: Solemnity of the Epiphany. Holy Mass with blessing of incense and chalk. Epiphany Home Visitations/Kolędy begin.
  • Sunday, January 8th, 10am and Noon: Solemnity of the Humble Shepherds. Holy Mass.
  • Monday, January 9th, Noon: Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord. Holy Mass.

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

Our celebration of the Christmas, the coming of God among us, His incarnate Being in our midst, is so important it must be celebrated for more than a few days. This season marks God’s chosen moment in which the story of salvation takes a major step forward. So, we must celebrate and set to ongoing work. The story of salvation is a continuous saga. It began with creation, God called us into being so we might belong to Him. The world rejected that call and turned away from God by sin. God would not give up! Salvation is not a once and done offer, and God would not rest until we were His as we hear in our Eucharistic Prayer based on the Canon of St. Basil the Great: “You did not abandon us to the power of death… You came to our help… Again and again You called us into covenant with You… You taught us to hope for salvation… In the fullness of time You sent Your only Son to be our Savior.” 

Jesus’ incarnation is the moment we were drawn permanently close to God in our humble humanity. God took what was broken and deformed and made it holy and beautiful by His unity in human flesh. Flesh that was cursed and apart from God now became one with God. St. Paul is saying something really amazing in Colossians 2:9. He summarizes in ten words the whole mystery of faith – that Jesus is God among us in our flesh. That changes everything. It makes us all capable of being washed free of the worldly choice of sin and one with God, heirs to heaven. All flesh was hallowed in Jesus, each person’s dignity certain. All flesh is given the opportunity to be one with Him if we choose so in faith. Furthermore, Jesus, before His crucifixion, provided for the permanent presence in His flesh and blood which is for His faithful to this very day: Take, eat and drink. This is My body. This is My blood. The totality of Christ is ours for the taking. In it are closer to His divinity and strengthened for our work.

We are in the story of salvation and we have work to do in our evangelism until His return. So, open the door, invite, He awaits.

Welcome to our January 2022 Newsletter and Happy New Year. In the Newsletter we explore the year ahead as we focus on Being a Eucharistic People. We have our upcoming annual meeting and election of parish officers (time to get involved). We give thanks for so many blessings brought about through your charity and our common work. It is time to prep for the SouperBowl of Caring (the soup pot is out). We reflect on the past year – our Centenary – and we celebrate. Check out the Newsletter for all that and more – including Music Scholarship Sunday and the Return of the BASKET SOCIAL – hurray!!!

This and so much more within our January 2021 Newsletter.