Today’s Gospel tells us to “stand tall and raise your heads” and pay attention to the signs of the times, so that we might be ready when the Lord comes. The images in the Gospel can be frightening – signs in the heavens, the shaking of the earth, the roaring of the sea – and one way to respond to these could be to lock our doors, hide under our blankets, and mistrust strangers who come our way.READ MORE
In today’s Gospel, we hear the foundational commandment of Christianity: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). Ever since, believers have been trying to wrap their brains around this essential mystery of faith: the Holy Trinity. Many have offered images: St. Augustine proposed the idea of Giver, Receiver, and Gift. Rublev inscribed the famous icon of three angels seated at a table in conversation. St. Patrick famously offered the shamrock as the image of three-in-one, one-in-three.READ MORE
During the Easter season Gospels, we hear of Jesus’ appearances to his disciples, and how all of them are incredulous at his arrival. They want physical proof that he is not a ghost or a spirit. Thomas insists on putting is fingers in the nail-marks. Mary Magdalene clings to his feet. And this week, the disciples have to witness him eating in order to prove that Jesus is flesh and blood.READ MORE
As we enter into Holy Week, we are called to grow in our love of Christ by following him through his passion, death, and resurrection. But in order to grow in love, we must grow in our knowledge of Jesus, because it is difficult to love someone you do not know. To this end, St. Ignatius invites us to focus not so much on our head, but on our heart. In Ignatius’ native language, Spanish, he distinguishes between intellectual knowledge (saber) – knowing Christ in theological terms; familiar knowledge (conocer) – knowing Christ as a friend and brother; and felt knowledge (sentir) – knowing Christ through our senses and imagination. For Ignatius, this felt knowledge is what allows us to connect with Jesus in a deeper way, and to love him more deeply.READ MORE
On Ash Wednesday, the prophet Joel proclaimed, “Blow the trumpet from Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly!... Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep, and say, “Spare, O Lord, your people!”
In ancient times, prophets would blow the trumpet and call the people to repentance – to turn to the Lord – and take action in order to rectify injustice in their community and repair relationships. Whole communities would repent of how they treated the widow, the orphan, and the stranger. Entire cities would put on sack cloth and ashes to make amends for how they had treated the least among them. The trumpet call of the prophet would help the people examine their own lives and walk a more righteous path together.READ MORE
“In the desert, prepare the way for the Lord. Make straight his paths.”
The second week of Advent focuses on faith – the belief in the God who saves. Time and again, God has delivered his people through their desert wanderings and into the promised land.
Today, we too are in a desert of loneliness and division, isolated from one another not only by pandemic, but by economic disparities and cultural differences. Though we desperately long for unity, it is difficult to see a way forward.
So this Advent season, we turn once again to God, and ask him to make straight our paths and to guide us through the desert to a promised land. We must have faith that the God who guided Abraham and Sarah, who watched over Moses and David, and who sheltered Mary and Joseph, is still there to watch over our pathways and guide us safely home.READ MORE
It has been a baptism by fire these first two weeks in Phoenix – I don’t think there has been a single day below 110o since I’ve been here! But truly, I have received such a warm welcome here at SFX, and I am truly grateful to God to have been missioned here as your new associate pastor.
A little bit about myself: My mother, Dee, grew up in rural Washington state in an Irish Catholic family, while my father, Reynaldo, grew up in Quezon City in the Philippines. They met and married in New York, where both my older brothers were born. My dad got a job with the Boeing Co., and so the family moved out to Seattle, where I was born and raised.READ MORE