How was your week? What was it that occupied most of your time this past week? As we continue to move along in Advent is Jesus more present in your life or is it still a struggle with all the other commercial preparations for Christmas?READ MORE
Recently I was with a friend who was talking about all the invitations that he has already received regarding "Christmas parties". He said "Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it but what about Advent?" Such a common point of discussion at this time of year…especially in the Church.
Advent can easily be overlooked by many. People instead are looking to 'prepare' themselves for Christmas parties, buying presents and Christmas Day. Moments and things that will come and then go. They miss out with understanding that Advent is a time within our Liturgical year when we once again can reflect on an 'invitation' that will last forever, a relationship with Jesus.READ MORE
How many times have you been lost? Not knowing whereyou are and having a hard time finding your way back.The earliest memory for me was when I was five yearsold. Lost in what a five year old might consider the biggest world, Disney. Caught up in the excitement, forjust a moment I was distracted and wandered off. Thankfully my guardian angel grabbed my hand and brought me to the nearest security. It was scary. But when I finally saw my parents, their love was what I desperatelydesired.READ MORE
Following Jesus. We see in scripture that his call to the disciples is not just about learning from him. Being his disciple transformed their hearts, increased their faith and allowed Jesus to guide their lives. We saw this in the blind man and so many others. Following Jesus means trusting his guidance and to be part of the appointed seventy-two he sent out ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. (Luke 10:1). By doing this we participate in his prophetic mission, preparing the hearts of those we bring the 'Good News', so they are open to Christ's presence in their lives.READ MORE
"Through their participation in the prophetic mission of Christ, "who proclaimed the kingdom of his Father by the testimony of his life..", the lay faithful are given the ability and responsibility to accept the gospel in faith and to proclaim it in word and deed, without hesitating to courageously identify and denounce evil."
What we hear, what we see and what we receive each time we come to mass is a 'testimony of his life'. The liturgy not only recalls the events that saved us but actualizes them, makes them present. This testimony, the 'Good News' proclaimed by Jesus, is given to us so the blind see and oppressed set free. These encounters with Jesus transform our hearts so that spiritual blindness and emotional oppression become defeated and we may participate in an everlasting life with Him.READ MORE
A few words from Bishop Checchio's Pastoral Letter….
"In offering this pastoral letter my desire is to call every Catholic in the Church of Metuchen to be, in a sense, firewood. As your chief shepherd, my responsibility is to call you, to be materially and spiritually ready for God to set us on fire with faith, hope and love. In his apostolic letter The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis has told us, "We strive to light a fire in the heart of the world" (n. 271)….I am inviting and counting on you to light a fire with me in the heart of our part of the world. I want us — the laity, religious, deacons, and priests of the Diocese of Metuchen — to be kindling that is set aflame by the Holy Spirit, allowing God's love and power to burn more brightly here in Central New Jersey.READ MORE
A few words from Pope Francis…. Jesus' whole life, his way of dealing with the poor, his actions, his integrity, his simple daily acts of generosity, and finally his complete self-giving, is precious and reveals the mystery of his divine life. Whenever we encounter this anew, we become convinced that it is exactly what others need, even though they may not recognize it: "What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you" (Acts 17:23) (Joy of the Gospel. Art.265).READ MORE
If someone was to ask you, "What does it mean for you to follow Jesus?", what would be your response? Might you find it confusing or unfamiliar? Or maybe you are someone who could answer the question. Maybe you are like our friend Bartimeaus in last weeks 'Come Follow Me' reflection who had an encounter with Jesus and now has a great desire to follow him on 'the way'. Most of us may be a little unsure how to respond or even really know what the question is trying to ask of us.READ MORE
Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. [Gospel of Mark 10: 51-52]
Often in life we have personal challenges. How we choose to deal with them can determine a certain pathway we choose to live our lives. Take for instance our blind friend in this scripture passage. If you were to read the entire passage you would find out his name is Bartimeaus. You would hear that he was sitting by the roadside begging. I am sure he sat there daily to try and deal with his own personal challenge. But this day, when Jesus enters into his life, he does something differently.READ MORE