January 16, 2021

2nd Sunday - B (January 17, 2021)


Stay With Jesus

John 1: 35-42


Having “stayed with Jesus that day,” the two disciples recognized Jesus as the Messiah. 


In order to know who Jesus is, we too must stay with him.    


And Jesus himself teaches us how we can stay with him.  Later in the Gospel of John, Jesus teaches that if we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we remain in him (John 6:56).  He then tells us to “remain in him” and have his words remain in us (John 15:7).  He also assures us that we remain in his love when we keep his commandment: “love one another as I love you.” (John 15: 10-12)  


Therefore, if we want to stay with Jesus in order to know him, we need to receive him in the Eucharist, to spend time with his words, and to love one another.


[1] “Stay,” “remain” and also “abide” are different English translations of the same verb in the Greek text.  



Image source:   www.qumran2.net

January 9, 2021

Baptism of the Lord (January 10, 2021)


God’s Children



We close the Christmas Season with this feast of the Baptism of Jesus.  The Church wants to celebrate and again reminds us of God’s great gift – God’s only Son came to be with us to make us children of God. 


In the Collect (opening prayer) of the Mass, we pray that as God’s children, we “may always be well pleasing to” God.  Then, after Communion, we pray again, that “we may be [God’s] children in name and in truth.”


Many people today still need to know that they and all people are God’s children.  We can do that when we treat ourselves and others as children of God.

Image:  Young People Carrying the World Youth Day Cross

January 2, 2021

Epiphany (January 3, 2021)


The Inconvenience of Meeting God

Matthew 2: 1-12


Two groups of people have a chance to meet the newborn king of the Jews.


The magi “saw the star at its rising.”  They leave their homes and embark on their journey.  They disrupted their lives to “do homage” to this newborn king.  They could do that because they see the newborn king the fulfillment of a promise, of their hopes and probably their lifework.


King Herod and Jerusalem are “greatly troubled” at the prospect of this newborn king.  They presume the newborn king comes to threaten their routines, their power, and their positions.  It seems no surprise that neither Herod nor any of the chief priests and the scribes travel the five-mile trip to Bethlehem to do homage to the newborn King. 


How do I deal with the inconvenience of meeting God in my life, such as when I know I need to “make time” for God?  Or when somebody needs my help, asks for my time?   How do I react when God, through a person or a situation, invites me to change my thoughts, my attitude, or my way of doing things?


Image by Carmelo Garofalo, found at twitter.com/Cindy_Wooden

December 26, 2020

Holy Family - B (December 27, 2020)


They Returned to Their Town of Nazareth

Luke 2:22-40


The Holy Family lived in Nazareth.  Jesus would be known as Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph (Luke 4:22) and the carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55).


On this day, let us read and reflect on what Pope Francis recently wrote on St. Joseph and the dignity and situation of work in our world. 


Saint Joseph was a carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family. From him, Jesus learned the value, the dignity and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labor…

Working persons, whatever their job may be, are cooperating with God himself, and in some way become creators of the world around us.  The crisis of our time […] can serve as a summons for all of us to rediscover the value, the importance and necessity of work for bringing about a new “normal” from which no one is excluded. Saint Joseph’s work reminds us that God himself, in becoming man, did not disdain work. The loss of employment that affects so many of our brothers and sisters, and has increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, should serve as a summons to review our priorities. Let us implore Saint Joseph the Worker to help us find ways to express our firm conviction that no young person, no person at all, no family should be without work!


Furthermore, Pope Francis has asked that this year be dedicated to St. Joseph.  The full Apostolic Letter on St. Joseph written by Pope Francis for the occasion can be found here With a Father's Heart.

Image source:  St. Joseph, on Facebook, posted by Fr. Jay Mello, reposted by Fr. Louis Molinelli, SDB


December 24, 2020


They Did Not Have It Easy

Luke 2: 1-14


Joseph and Mary did not have it easy.  When they began their trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, Mary was close to giving birth.  They had to traverse a distance of about 90 miles with whatever road condition and means of transportation that existed 2,000 years ago.  They were away from home.  The only lodging they found was a manger. 


The shepherds did not have it easy.  They did not have an illustrious profession by the social standards of the time.  They were “living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.” 


The Son of God, who is Love, entered the lives of Joseph, Mary and the shepherds.  None of them had it easy.


It is not just some good news that was told.  It is a reality.  The Savior is God-with-us, Emmanuel.


We might not have it easy.  We might be separated from homes and loved ones.  We might not have what is familiar and comfortable.  We might have suffered loss.  We might be sick.  We might be anxious and lost.  We might find life burdensome…


To us, “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).


Moreover, “God came into the world as a child to make us children of God” (Pope Francis on Twitter).  




December 19, 2020

4th Sunday of Advent - B (December 20, 2020)


The Lord Is with You

Luke 1: 26-38


The Angel Gabriel said to Mary:

1.    Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you.

2.    Do not be afraid.

3.    The child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.


With the Emmanuel, God-with-us, the words of the Angel are now applied to us. 

1.    Like Mary, we are full of grace!  The Lord is with us.

2.    We are encouraged, “Do not be afraid.”

3.    Jesus, the only Son of God, is with us to make us holy as children of God. 


In these challenging days, may these words of the Angel Gabriel remind us of the mystery of God’s love for us in the gift of God’s only Son coming to be with us.


Image source:  www.agnusday.org

December 12, 2020

3rd Sunday of Advent - B (December 13, 2020)


Pray.  Rejoice.  Give Thanks.  Heal…



The first audience of the First Reading were the people of Judah who were returning, or just returned from 50 years of exile.  They returned to a Jerusalem that was ransacked, looted and abandoned.  Even the Temple of God was burned and destroyed.


To them, Isaiah declared that the spirit of God anointed and sent him “to bring glad tidings.”  His mission was “to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and release to prisoners, and to announce a year of favor from the Lord.” 


In the Second Reading, St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In all circumstances give thanks.”


In the Gospel, John the Baptist “was sent from God … to testify to the light.”  God’s Light, Jesus Christ, is with us.


What does this message of Scriptures tell me now, amidst the uncertainties, anxieties, challenges, and sufferings of my life and of our world?


 Image source: www.agnusday.org