Our humanity bleeds through today’s Gospel passages in more ways than one. We see both elation and fall, hope in the midst of the darker sides of our natures. If we allow it, these Gospels hold a mirror to our own fickle hearts. The crowds cry “ Hosanna” and the Apostles profess allegiance unto death. In a manner of days—even hours—-Jesus is betrayed, abandoned, denied, condemned, tortured, and executed. As God, he could have stopped this horrific narrative from unfolding, but he doesn’t. He allows free will to play itself out.READ MORE
We all fear losing that which is familiar. We fear dying. When our securities and familiarities are threatened, the anxiety of uncertainty can lead us into fear and despair. We have difficulty believing that new life comes from death. This is the basis of what it means to Hope.READ MORE
Who Invented the Stations of the Cross?
The first Stations of the Cross were walked by Jesus himself on the way to Calvary. Known as the “Via Dolorosa” ( The Way of Suffering”) or the “ Via Crucis” ( The Way of the Cross”), it was marked out from the earliest times and was a traditional walk for pilgrims who came to Jerusalem. The early Christians in Jerusalem could walk the same pathway that Jesus walked, pausing for reflection and Prayer.READ MORE
Can you recite the Ten Commandments by heart? Several years ago a national US survey found more people could identify the ingredients in a Big Mac and name the children in the Brady Bunch television show than recite the Ten Commandments. Of course, being able to recite them is not nearly as important as living a life in harmony with them. However, if we simply live to not break them then we are only living out half of our discipleship.READ MORE
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