How are your Lenten resolutions? By the time week two rolls around, plenty of well-meaning people have skipped, neglected, or outright forgotten their Lenten resolutions at least once. It can be easy to start excusing our Lenten commitments altogether.
Last week we saw Jesus driven into the desert. This Sunday, we see Jesus leading his disciples to an equally barren place: he "led them up a high mountain apart by themselves." But what happens there? "And he was transfigured before them and his clothes became dazzling white." Today's Gospel reminds us of the goal. We don't enter into the desert for the sake of suffering, but for the sake of transformation.READ MORE
We see this example in Scripture time and time again. The Israelites wandered in the desert. King David and prophets were driven into the wilderness. And now Jesus is in the same place. Lent after Lent, we too are invited into a barren, desolate place. Why do we always go to the desert?READ MORE
As we continue through our Stewardship of Prayer season, I wanted to follow up my introduction of the Rosary with a little more explanation. I thank parishioner Rebecca Case for taking the time to write the following:READ MORE
For most of us, the dynamic between prayer and action is imperfect. Breakfast needs to be made and the kids dressed. Work demands our energy and additional responsibilities fill our evenings and weekends. Then there is the football game or a new TV series to stream. After all, don’t we need to relax?READ MORE
“The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the Scribes.” Those gathered in the synagogue where Jesus taught had never heard anything like this before. They were used to the preaching of the well-educated scribes, but Jesus possessed something that those men lacked: authority. Instead of merely interpreting the laws of the prophets, Jesus presented a new vision, indeed, he shared the good news of the Gospel with his listeners.READ MORE
"So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him". What did Zebedee think about all of this? His sons and his partners, James and John, suddenly left their post and followed Jesus. So there he stood in the boat with a crew of employees, but not one of his sons. We can't help but wonder whether Zebedee was in favor of this promise that his heirs would become " fishers of men". Most likely, this event was the cause of some family tension.READ MORE
"Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." What a wonderful example the Magi give us in their visit to the infant Jesus.
First of all, they demonstrate profound faith in God's word, spoken through the prophet Micah: "And you, Bethlehem...from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel" (cf. 5:2). Embarking on a long and difficult journey, they trust that they will find this newborn king of the Jews in Bethlehem as the prophecy announced.READ MORE
As your pastor of St. Rose, I feel truly blessed. I hope and pray that you similarly feel blessed. St. Rose Flourishes with spiritual activity, welcoming faith family of love and charity to those in need. We continue to grow our parish families and our parish staff. Our catechetical programs continue to grow and bring the Good News to A community that is hungry for His fulfillment.READ MORE
A welcoming and joyful community committed to making disciples by igniting and strengthening faith in Christ and the celebration of God’s grace.
As I leave for Denver, I thank you for all the love and support that you have shown me over the past summer. It's outstanding to see the Lord calling so many men to His Holy Priesthood, that they may lay their lives down for the sake of the Diocese.
It's always a bittersweet moment when one heads back to seminary, but I can assure you that we are all very eager to begin a new semester and a new year. Please continue to pray for docility for all of us, that we may be clay in the hands of the Lord. Certainly, know of my prayers, and I will see you soon. Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever.
Ad Iesum Per Mariam,
Kevin Penkalski - Seminarian - Diocese of Phoenix
"When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it." Jesus today gives us the image of a merchant who knows he has discovered a great treasure. In fact, its value is so tremendous that the man is willing to sell everything else in order to possess it. Why? Because he knows it will all be worth it. He knows that the pearl will bring him more reward than anything else he has ever owned, more even than all his possessions combined.READ MORE
"The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?'" From the beginning, the Eucharist has been a source of controversy. Some people have always found the teaching difficult to accept. But as Catholics, the Blessed Sacrament is at the heart of our worship and our spirituality; we go to Mass to share in the holy sacrifice of Jesus' body and blood, and we receive spiritual nourishment from partaking of this heavenly food. As Jesus himself tells us in today's Gospel, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."
From this passage it is clear that Jesus intended the Eucharist to be a tremendous gift for us, for "whoever eats this bread will live forever." This, of course, is because the bread is Christ's "flesh for the life of the world." In other words, just as he gave his body on the cross to save us from our sins, so too this same flesh is given for us at every Mass to strengthen our weakness and unite us more deeply to our Savior.
Receiving Communion isn't like taking a magic pill, however. We must beware of reducing this sacrament to an empty ritual or a foolproof guarantee of heaven. No, it is quite possible to receive Communion unworthily and reject its spiritual efficacy. Just like the benefits of a healthy meal can be undone by a habit of binging on junk food, so too we can prevent holy Communion from having its full benefits when we crowd our souls with vices and sins. If on the other hand, we wish to let this sacrament of divine grace flourish, we should receive it with a sincere spirit of gratitude and reverence, praying that we may be made worthy to receive such a gift.
"God so loved the world that he gave his only Son." We are used to this profound idea, so used to it that we often glaze over the incredible reality: God the Father has a Son who became man and dwelt among us! Too often we blithely make the sign of the cross in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, without realizing what a radical theology we are announcing.READ MORE
“Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be with you.'" Then, he said it again. And then, "he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" Jesus brings peace, and he brings the Holy Spirit. Peace, in fact, is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Today, on this feast of Pentecost, we remember the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit that came upon those first apostles and the peace that came along with it. But we do more than remember. We also celebrate the presence of this same Spirit in our midst.READ MORE