Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary • Before we were conceived in our mother’s womb, we were conceived in the mind of God. He thought up the finished product: the saints in heaven are all immaculate. Mary was on earth what we will be in Heaven. Work along with God so that His conception of you can become a reality.
Second Sunday of Advent (Year A) • Our vision statement says we are missionary disciples — what does that mean? There are four parts to missionary discipleship:
- Discover Jesus
- Follow Jesus
- Worship Jesus
- Share Jesus with Others
Being a disciple means allowing ourselves to be transformed by the daily encounter with Jesus. Being a missionary is about helping others realize that Jesus is already present and active in their life. We mistakenly think the Kingdom is a long way off so the work can wait. But the Kingdom is closer than you think; it may be as close as your next bite of food.Read More
According to tradition prayed 15 times a day from St. Andrew’s Day (30 November) until Christmas
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born
of a most pure Virgin Mary
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold.
At that hour vouchsafe, O my God,
to hear my prayers and grant my desires:
(Mention your intentions here)
through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
First Sunday of Advent (Year A) • The Kingdom of God surrounds us and breaks into our world. Do we welcome the interruptions of the Kingdom or do we try to reject them? The hardest thing for me to turn over to the King is “my time” and “my plans.” We need to be willing to drop everything like Hunter Mahan when the King calls us. Are you expecting the King to come, or to stay away? Advent means we are expecting.Read More
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Year C) • God has given us Jesus to be our King. The king is crowned with thorns, barely dressed, nailed to a cross and powerless. We have to look beyond the appearances and have faith in our King. He has a vision for us: missionary disciples striving to lead all people to His Kingdom.
When you got married you had a vision of life with your lover. Then you started living for the kids. Now your family mission has become driving kids to stuff all the time. You’ve lost sight of the vision. Allow God to show you His Vision and a Mission for your life. We can say No to all the junk when we say Yes to following our King.Read More
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) • Jesus wants to remind us: Just hold my hand, and you’ll be safe. It’s just like getting though a haunted house. My family held Jesus’ hand and it brought me to serve as a priest in the Diocese of Green Bay. Don’t grab hold of the President or the latest fad. Holding Jesus’ hand will help you reach out and make a difference in America.Read More
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) • US Voters have the opportunity of going to the polls next Tuesday, November 8. If you don’t exercise your right to vote, you lose your right to complain. The Bishops say there are four key issues for Catholics voters:
- Human Dignity
- Common Good
We are not single-issue voters, but some issues are more important than others. Read more about this, look up the candidates on your ballot, and vote for the best candidates. But your job isn’t done. We have to stand up for our values and beliefs every day, in our country and our community. Pray a novena, do your job, and leave the rest in God’s hands. To paraphrase Padre Pio: Pray, Vote, and Don’t Worry.Read More
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) • “I’m basically a good person.” Most of us are in danger of believing in our own righteousness. St. Paul knows that he is nothing without God; all he has is a gift from God. Perhaps he spent a lot of time praying: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”Read More
I have to first admit that there is no quick and easy cure for warts. A dermatologist explained: “We have a number of different treatments for warts, and that tells you that none of them are particularly effective. Because if one were particularly effective we would just use that one all the time.”
Warts are a virus that infects the surface of the skin. It turns skin cells into something nasty. The body’s immune system can fight viruses, but warts are good at tricking the body into ignoring them. Several years ago I contracted a single on the bottom of my left foot. These are known as “plantar warts.” Since the skin is extra thick there, warts can grow extra deep. I didn’t know what to do, so I mostly ignored it and hoped it would go away. Periodically I would buy some treatment off a drug store shelf. The warts always came back. I went back to ignoring them. Eventually the wart spread to more sites on my foot and then to the fingers of one hand. I finally broke down and visited a family doctor and then a dermatologist. I expected that he would numb me up and cut the warts out and they would be gone. Cured.Read More