Parish Mission with Fr Francis Donnelly – Dec. 4, 5 & 6

Mark your calendars for our Advent Mission!

Join Fr Bob and Fr. Francis Donnelly for an opportunity to prepare your heart for the coming of the Christ child.  Monday and Wednesday at St Philip (7pm), Tuesday at St Clare (7 pm).  Wednesday will be an evening with reconciliation.  Please join us and bring a friend!  This is a beautiful way to prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Fr Bob Writes – December 3, 2017

Fr Bob writes: Another Advent season opens this weekend.  As usual, the focus for us as Christians should not be celebrating Christ’s first coming as a child 2000 years ago, but his second coming “at a time you do not know or expect.” (Mark 13:33)

When will the Second Coming of Jesus take place?  As the apostles continued staring up to the skies following Jesus’ ascension, angels appeared and told them, “This Jesus who has been taken up from you will return in the same way as you have seen him going up to heaven.” (Acts 1:11)

Early Christians believed Jesus’ return would take place within a few years, if not months. That’s why those who joined the first Christian community at Jerusalem sold what they had and put their money in the common pot.  They felt sure that Jesus would return before the money ran out. The passing time was a challenge both to their financial situation and their faith.  If Jesus wasn’t returning, something which the early preaching had led them to believe, how true were the other things they had been taught about him?

That is why Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus who sold a piece of property and put the whole amount in the pot was given the nickname “Barnabas,” meaning “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36-7).  Paul took up a collection for that community during his missionary journeys.  He wanted to support the faith of the Jerusalem community in the return of Jesus.  John Mark wrote his gospel, the first of the four to be written, as a member of Peter’s missionary team.  The teaching of the return of Jesus undoubtedly was part of Peter’s preaching of the message of Jesus Christ.

Twenty-some years after the ascension, however, Christian leaders were wrestling with Jesus’ “delay.”  They thought back to any indications Jesus may have given them.  What they recalled was included in passages such as today’s gospel selection.  We don’t know when Jesus will return, so keep alert, on watch and ready at all times.

Happy Advent!!

Fr Bob Writes – Nov 26, 2017 – Feast of Christ, Universal King

On the news this last week, we saw yet another coup in Africa, this time in Zimbabwe.  We saw President Mugabe still remain nominally head of the country, but in effect, the real power was in the hands of the army.  Mugabe reigned, but did not govern.

This weekend we celebrate the feast of Jesus Christ, Universal King.  In reality, for many Catholics, Jesus may be honored as Lord and King, but the truth is he does not hold Lordship over their lives.  They still govern their own lives, make their own decisions, and, while going to Mass to give him objective worship, for the rest of the week, they pay no more attention to him, than they do to the Queen of England.  She is Head of Canada, but effectively she does not govern.  Jesus reigns in our lives, but he does not govern.

Many of us Catholics have Jesus on our lips, but ourselves on the throne of our hearts.  When was the last time that we sought his guidance for major decisions in our lives?  At the wedding feast of Cana, Mary told the servants “Do whatever he tells you.”  That should still be the benchmark for our lives, that we would “do whatever he tells us.”  But how many of us take the time to go into the quiet place of prayer, to seek his guidance for our lives?

As we gather to celebrate the feast which closes off the church’s year, how many of us are willing to carry out a coup – remove self from the throne of our hearts, and install Christ there instead?