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Showing posts from January, 2017

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Blessed are the poor…”  When we Christians hear this phrase we immediately think of the Beatitudes as Jesus taught them from his Sermon on the Mount.  But while we may easily recognize these words, what do they really mean?  Perhaps a deeper study of our readings for this week will help us understand…


The Word for the 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time Zephaniah 2:3, 3:12-13
Psalm 146:67, 8-9, 9-10
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Mathew 5:1-12a

Our first reading comes from the book of the prophet Zephaniah.  If you’re looking for hope in the scriptures, I would avoid Zephaniah.  Although Zephaniah’s prophecy takes place during a time of great reform under King Josiah, his message is a dire warning to the people of Judah.  The Lord is angry and there will be fierce retribution for the people of Judah.  Does Zephaniah offer an hope?  Today’s passage offers this:  for “all you humble of the earth, who have followed his law… perhaps you may be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.”  Even thoug…

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Discernment.  It’s a word we use when we need to carefully and prayerfully come to a life-altering decision.  Often this term is used for those who are contemplating a vocation to the priesthood or the religious life, but the truth is we the laity are faced with discernments of our own.  We are regularly faced with decisions about school, majors, job opportunities and relationships that can alter the course of our lives.  This week’s readings focus on our need for discernment:


The Word for the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time Isaiah 8:23-9:3-1
Psalm 27-1, 4, 13-14
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
Mathew 4:12-23

Our first reading comes from early Isaiah.  The Northern Kingdom of Israel has fallen to the Assyrians, and the people of the Southern Kingdom of Judah fear they are next.  But over some time a new regime has taken has hold in the former lands of Israel, and Isaiah sees this as a useful example of God’s mercy.  Lands that were in anguish and darkness now “have seen a great light.” …

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

With the Christmas season now behind us, we enter into a period of Ordinary Time.  The white and gold vestments and d├ęcor are put away as Green now becomes the color of the season.  Throughout Advent and Christmas we’ve heard the prophecy of the Messiah, witnessed his birth, and come to recognize him as the chosen one.  Now as we enter this first period of Ordinary Time we start our journey with Jesus as he begins his ministry.


The Word for the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
John 1:29-34

Our first reading comes from the book of the prophet Isaiah.  This passage from second or Deutero-Isaiah comes to us from a time toward the end of the Babylonian Exile.  During this time we learn of God’s plan for Israel’s redemption by sending us his “servant.”  Someone dedicated to the Lord who will bring the survivors of Jacob and Israel back to the Lord, and make them a light for all the Nations.  And just how will they be that …

Congratulations and blessings for Bishop Oscar Solis

I realize that some of you who read this blog might not be locals, so to give you some perspective, I come to you from the City of Long Beach, which is part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  For the past 30 years the Archdiocese, due to it's size and population, has been divided into 5 administrative "Pastoral Regions" with a different Auxiliary Bishop managing each region.  Since 2009, our San Pedro Region has been served by Bishop Oscar Solis.

It was announced today that Bishop Solis has been appointed Bishop to the Diocese of Salt Lake City.  That Diocese covers the entire state of Utah, serving nearly 300,000 Catholics in 48 parishes.  You can read more about Bishop Oscar from this link.

This is a unique position in a unique diocese.  I urge you to read more about this diocese from this link to Wikipedia.

Bishop Oscar has served us with grace these past 7 years, and his wit and his wisdom will be missed.  We don't know when he will be leaving, but according to …

The Epiphany of the Lord

The celebration of the Epiphany varies greatly among the many different Christian traditions and cultures.  Originating from the Easter Church in the fourth century, the celebration of the Epiphany ranks third in importance, behind Easter and Pentecost.  While the celebration was accepted by the Western Church in the fifth century, its celebration has varied over history, but still remains an important part of our Christmas season.


The Word for the Epiphany of the Lord Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6
Matthew 2:1-12

Our first reading comes from the later chapters of Isaiah, referred to as Trito-Isaiah or "third" Isaiah.  As with the other post Babylonian Exile prophecies, we see a vision of Jerusalem as a shining beacon to all the nations.  These nations both near and far, will bring their riches as tribute.  The significance of the gifts of gold and frankincense as mentioned in this prophecy are not lost on Matthew when we get to hi…