God With Us

12-20-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“She will bear a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.”—Matthew 1:21

In Advent the Church prepares for the three comings of Christ. She prepares for His coming as a little baby at Christmas. She prepares for His coming at the end of time, when He will come to judge the living and the dead. She also prepares for the coming of Christ in the Eucharist. Emmanuel means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). In the Eucharist Jesus is truly ‘God with us’. When Jesus came as a little baby He was vulnerable and weak; He hid his divinity. In the Eucharist Jesus continues to make himself vulnerable and weak, and hides both his divinity and his humanity. God came to save us from our sins 2000 years ago, yet He remains in the Eucharist to heal us from the effects of our sin.

Vaccines for COVID-19

12-20-2020Weekly ReflectionMost Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades

Important Message from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

There appears to be some confusion in the media regarding the moral permissibility of using the vaccines for COVID-19 developed by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna. We would like to offer some clarifications. Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development, or production.1 They are not completely free from any connection to abortion, however, as both Pfizer and Moderna made use of a tainted cell line for one of the confirmatory lab tests of their products. There is thus a connection, but it is relatively remote. Some are asserting that if a vaccine is connected in any way with tainted cell lines then it is immoral to be vaccinated with them. This is an inaccurate portrayal of Catholic moral teaching. There are three documents from the Holy See that treat the question of tainted vaccines: 1) the 2005 study by the Pontifical Academy for Life, "Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Foetuses"; 2) paragraphs nos. 34-35 in the 2008 Instruction on Certain Bioethical Questions (Dignitatis Personae) by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; 3) the 2017 Note on Italian Vaccine Issue, by the Pontifical Academy for Life. These documents all point to the immorality of using tissue taken from an aborted child for creating cell lines. They also make distinctions in terms of the moral responsibility of the various actors involved, from those involved in designing and producing a vaccine to those receiving the vaccine. Most importantly, they all make it clear that, at the level of the recipient, it is morally permissible to accept vaccination when there are no alternatives and there is a serious risk to health.

The Three Comings of Christ

12-13-2020Eucharistic Adoration

In Advent the Church prepares for the three comings of Christ. She prepares for His coming as a little baby at Christmas. She prepares for His coming at the end of time, when He will come to judge the living and the dead. She also prepares for the coming of Christ in the Eucharist. Emmanuel means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). In the Eucharist Jesus is truly ‘God with us’. When Jesus came as a little baby He was vulnerable and weak; He hid his divinity. In the Eucharist Jesus continues to make himself vulnerable and weak, and hides both his divinity and his humanity. God came to save us from our sins 2000 years ago, yet He remains in the Eucharist to heal us from the effects of our sin.

Beholding the Glory of God

12-06-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”—1 COR 2:9

Heaven is the place where we shall behold the face of God unveiled. On this Earth we can also behold the face of God yet only the eyes of faith are able to recognize Him. St. Thomas says that on the cross Jesus hid His divinity but in the Eucharist He hides both His divinity and His humanity. It is only through faith that we can look upon the white host and recognize the Lord and giver of life, for “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen”— Hebrews 11:1. May we look upon our God with faith on this Earth so that we may behold Him in His glory in Heaven.

Thanksgiving

11-22-2020Eucharistic Adoration

Eucharist means thanksgiving. When we go to Mass we are offering God a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for all that He has done for us and all that He continues to do. In a special way Eucharistic Adoration is also a prayer of thanksgiving. When you find it difficult to pray or do not know what to say to God why not count your blessings? Try to think about the ways God has blessed you today, in this week, in this year. Once you begin to recognize the many ways God is already blessing you, your heart will overflow with praise.

Unclean

11-15-2020Eucharistic Adoration

Jesus frequently came into contact with people who were considered ‘unclean’; He met lepers, taxcollectors, and prostitutes. The incredible thing is that once these people encountered Jesus they could never be the same again. Yet they still had to decide whether they wanted to remain in their state of isolation-- an isolation due to either physical or spiritual sickness (sin), or be healed. The same dilemma is presented to each of us in Eucharistic Adoration. We approach the holiness of God, and in so doing simultaneously come into contact with our own sinfulness. Like the leper, the tax collector, and the prostitute we must ask ourselves if we are willing to be changed by Jesus, to see not only what we are, but who God has created us to be. May the grace which gave the leper the courage to cry out to Jesus also be ours; may we be reconciled with God our Father.

Why do we offer Mass for the Dead

11-08-2020Weekly ReflectionFather William Saunders

The offering of Mass for the repose of the soul of the faithful departed is linked with our belief in Purgatory. We believe that if a person has died fundamentally believing in God but with venial sins and the hurt caused by sin, then God in His divine love and mercy will first purify the soul After this purification has been completed, the soul will have the holiness and purity needed to share in the beatific vision in heaven. While each individual stands judgment before the Lord and must render an account of his life, the communion of the Church shared on this earth continues, except for those souls dammed to hell.

The Vatican Council II affirmed, "This sacred council accepts loyally the venerable faith of our ancestors in the living communion which exists between us and our brothers who are in the glory of heaven or who are yet being purified after their death..." (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, No. 51). Therefore, just as we pray for each other and share each other's burdens now, the faithful on earth can offer prayers and sacrifices to help the departed souls undergoing purification, and no better prayer could be offered than that of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

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Pray for the Dead

11-08-2020Eucharistic Adoration

In November the Church commemorates the souls of the faithful departed. We recall that while the Souls in Purgatory are suffering in anticipation of their entrance into Heaven, they can no longer pray for themselves. We are each called to pray for the dead. In Eucharistic Adoration, we bring our own needs but also the needs of those who have gone before us. Praying for the dead is a powerful reminder that this life is not our final destination. One day we will also need the prayers of those whom we have left behind. May we recognize the value of human life and feel compassionate for our brothers and sisters in Purgatory.

Be Fruitful in Ministry

11-01-2020Eucharistic Adoration

The book of Genesis describes how God worked for six days, creating the heavens and the earth and how on the seventh day He rested. Likewise, Jesus spent His days ministering to the crowds, feeding the hungry, and healing the sick, yet He drew His strength by frequently taking time to be alone with His Father in prayer. Jesus teaches us that in order to be fruitful in ministry, in order to “be” for others we must first receive love and strength from God our Father in prayer. In Eucharistic Adoration we too can take time to be alone with God—to allow Him to fill us with His strength and His love. The love we give to others is only what we have first received from God. In Adoration we receive the grace necessary to be faithful and fruitful for the Kingdom of God.

Declarations of Pope Francis Regarding Civil Unions

11-01-2020Weekly ReflectionRaymond Leo Cardinal Burke

The worldwide communications media have reported with strong emphasis, as a change of course, the news that Pope Francis has declared that persons in the homosexual condition, as children of God, “have a right to have a family” and that “no one should be thrown out or be made unhappy because of it.” Moreover, they write that he has declared: “What we have to create is a civil union. In this way they will be legally covered. I have defended this.” The declarations were made in an interview with Evgeny Afineevsky, director of a documentary, “Francesco,” premiered on October 21, 2020, on the occasion of the Rome Film Festival (Festa del Film di Roma).

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