Sunday, December 26, 2021

Feast of the Holy Family


Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. This feast takes place on the Sunday immediately following Christmas, falling within the season of Christmas fittingly to continue to call our attention to the profound reality of God becoming man. On this feast we are reminded of the humanity of Jesus as the son of Mary and Joseph. Jesus grew up in their home. The only thing we know about Jesus’ childhood, apart from His infancy, is the account we hear in today’s Gospel. We do learn quite a few things about the Holy Family from this gospel account. First, we see that they are a faithful Jewish family. Second, we learn that they traveled in a “caravan” that probably included many, many relatives and friends. Third, we see that Mary and Joseph had typical parental concerns. Not being able to find Jesus for three days caused them “great anxiety.” Fourth, Jesus’ response to Mary and Joseph when they find Him reveals that their role, although essential, was to be subordinate to the will of Jesus’ Father in Heaven. The passage does tell us that Jesus “was obedient to them,” but this obedience was always connected to His perfect obedience to God. Likewise, our families are to be reflections of our relationship with God.

In the bulletin from our parish, they had a consecration prayer to the Holy Family.  I share it below.  May the holy family continue to guide and watch over us.

O Lord Jesus, you lived in the home of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth.  There you grew in age, wisdom, and grace as you prepared to fulfill your mission as our Redeemer.  We entrust our family to you.  O Blessed Mary, you are the Mother of our Savior.  At Nazareth you cared for Jesus and nurtured him in the peace and joy of your home.

We entrust our family to you.  O Saint Joseph, you provided a secure and loving home for Jesus and Mary and gave us a model of fatherhood while showing us the dignity of work. We entrust our family to you. Holy Family, we consecrate ourselves and our family to you. May we be completely united in a love that is lasting, faithful, and open to the gift of new life.  Help us to grow in virtue, to forgive one another from our hearts, and to live in peace all our days. Keep us strong in faith, persevering in prayer, diligent in our work, and generous toward those in need.  May our home, O Holy Family, truly become a domestic church where we reflect your example in our daily life. Amen.  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us!


Monday, December 20, 2021

Star of the Nativity

As we prepare for Christmas, I came across this poem in my prayer and wanted to share it with others.  Sr. Jeannie

Star of the Nativity


In the cold season, in a locality accustomed to heat more than to cold, to horizontality more than to a mountain, a child was born in a cave in order to save the world; it blew as only in deserts in winter it blows, athwart.


To Him, all things seemed enormous: His mother’s breast, the steam out of the ox’s nostrils, Caspar, Balthazar, Melchior—the team of Magi, their presents heaped by the door, ajar.  He was but a dot, and a dot was the star.


Keenly, without blinking, through pallid, stray clouds, upon the child in the manger, from far away—from the depth of the universe, from its opposite end—the star

was looking into the cave. And that was the Father’s stare.


                                                                                                      December 1987


The poem caused me to remember that the child coming very soon had the love of parents as he entered the world.  Love is a very powerful feeling and something we all need. Let us remember Jesus' words -Love one another as I have loved you.  Love is what we must work to bring the word this Advent and Christmas season.


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Fourth Sunday of Advent


Today we celebrate the fourth and final Sunday of Advent in 2021. During these weeks we have eagerly anticipated the celebration of Christ’s birth.  The fourth Sunday of Advent we meditate on the peace that Jesus brings our hearts and our world.

This week we focus our hearts on the “Lord of peace” who came down from heaven in the form of a baby.  As Covid 19 cases are once again on the rise our God knows that we are in a constant battle against fear! Fear wants to cripple us, to push us to react rather than carefully respond, and fear steals our joy. God has given us the gift of peace so we can live joy-filled lives!  This year we all have faced so much chaos and uncertainty. God’s peace is something we need to grab tightly onto more than ever. May God’s spirit transform the days leading up to Christmas into a time to joyfully await our King!

The fourth candle of Advent is called the “Angel Candle” and symbolizes peace. This name comes from the fact that the angels announced that Jesus came to bring peace (Luke 2:14). This week we are reminded that Jesus came to bring peace to our hearts and to our world!

The O Antiphons of Advent began on December 17.

The Roman Catholic Church has been singing the "O" Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative "Come!" embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.

December 17

O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love:  come to teach us the path of knowledge!

December 18

O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:  come to rescue us with your mighty power!

December 19

O Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people:  come to save us without delay!

December 20

O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:  come and free the prisoners of darkness!

December 21

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:  come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 22

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:  come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

December 23

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:  come to save us, Lord our God!                   

 —From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers

Let us live this week focusing on the hope, love, joy, and peace that the Christ child promises to bring us.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Third Sunday of Advent/Our Lady of Guadalupe


“The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love.” Zephaniah 3: 17

Today, we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday.   On this Sunday we are called to rejoice.  Rose vestments are worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose candle on our Advent wreath.  In the opening prayer we pray, “O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord's Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.”

The Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom.

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is superseded by the Third Sunday of Advent liturgy. Yet throughout the world celebrations will be held to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.  In many places today commemorates the day when Our Lady of Guadalupe first introduced herself as the Mother of God and the mother of all humanity when she appeared on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico in 1531. An indigenous peasant, Juan Diego, saw a glowing figure on the hill. After she had identified herself to him, Our Lady asked that Juan build her a shrine in that same spot, in order for her to show and share her love and compassion with all those who believe.

Afterwards, Juan Diego visited Juan de Zumárraga, who was Archbishop of what is now Mexico City. Zumárraga dismissed him in disbelief and asked that the future Saint provide proof of his story and proof of the Lady’s identity.

Juan Diego returned to the hill and encountered Our Lady again. The Virgin told him to climb to the top of the hill and pick some flowers to present to the Archbishop.  Although it was winter and nothing should have been in bloom, Juan Diego found an abundance of flowers of a type he had never seen before. The Virgin bundled the flowers into Juan's cloak, known as a tilma. When Juan Diego presented the tilma of exotic flowers to Zumárraga, the flowers fell out and he recognized them as Castilian roses, which are not found in Mexico.  What was even more significant, however, was that the tilma had been miraculously imprinted with a colorful image of the Virgin herself.

This day let us focus our entire lives on God’s love for us and all of Creation. God so loved the world that he sent His son into the world to give us new hope, new joy, and the promise of God giving us a second chance. 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Second Sunday of Advent


In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.  John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”  Luke 3:1 - 6

This Sunday’s gospel tells of how John the Baptist’s message is a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.  “Prepare the way of the Lord!” John the Baptist is presented as one who helps to prepare the way for the Lord.  This Sunday’s scriptures remind us that Jesus enters into our human history following a line of holy men and women who looked forward to God’s promise that baptizes us into a changed life. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”

Every time I hear this gospel, I think about a song I first learned in college.  We sang it every Advent.  The song is Every Valley.

Refrain: Ev’ry valley shall be exalted and ev’ry hill made low.  And all God’s people shall see together the glory of the Lord.

A voice cries out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord.  Make straight in the desert a highway, a highway for our God.”

Comfort all my people. The time for war is gone. The blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, the lame shall leap for joy.

Stand upon the mountain top.  O lift your voice to the world.  Sing joyfully, Jerusalem:

“Behold, behold your God.”

Text: Based on Isaiah 40:1, 3, 4, 9. Text and music © 1970, Robert J. Dufford, S.J

Advent reminds us that we matter to God.  God will never abandon us.  God constantly invites us to be his people.  Often, we get caught up in doing things our way and not following God’s way.  We fill our days with different things and need to keep seeking God’s will in our lives.  Advent offers us an opportunity to witness and proclaim God’s love for us all. May we live this Advent season in hope and love.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Happy Foundation Day and FIrst Sunday of Advent

Happy Feast Day! Today, November 28th, is the day the Roman Union of Ursuline Sisters was founded.

The Ursuline Sisters of the Eastern Province, who administer and sponsor the Academy of Mount St. Ursula, Bronx, NY, The Ursuline School, New Rochelle, NY and Ursuline Academy, Wilmington, DE all belong to the Roman Union of Ursuline Sisters. This is an international group of Ursuline sisters that joined together in 1900 at the invitation of Pope Leo XIII, because he envisioned a united institute created from smaller, independent Ursuline communities. The purpose was for the Ursuline communities to collaborate and work together. 

The international group which took the name of the Roman Union of the Order of St. Ursula has its headquarters in Rome and all follow a common Constitution. The Roman Union Order of St. Ursula has found strength in unity, living out Angela’s vision that crosses nationalities, cultures, and ethnicity.

Today, the Roman Union of the Order of St. Ursula can be found in these different countries.

Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa

The Americas: Barbados, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Guyana, Mexico, Peru, United States, Venezuela 

Asia/Pacifica: Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam

Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Czech-Moravia, England, France, Greece, ngary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, and Wales

All our schools follow the SERVIAM motto. In the picture below, you see the Soli Deo Gloria-Ursuline shield standing for Glory to God along and the Ursuline crucifix. 

There are other independent groups of Ursuline sisters in the United States and Canada, such as those in Kentucky, Ohio, New York, and the Canadian provinces. All the North American Ursuline Sisters and groups are in communication through meetings and shared initiatives. 

All connected to the Ursuline family work to bring Angela’s vision and the Ursuline charism of service, care for all creation, strengthening of family unity, and the importance of women leadership to all parts of our world.

Today we also celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.” The Advent season is an invitation to set your mind off the stresses of the year. We can take our focus off the crazy hustle that can be associated with the Christmas season that often threatens to produce more hassle than delight. Advent is a chance to focus our thoughts on the gift God has given us in his son Jesus who stepped down from Heaven and took the form of a man so that we might believe.

The tradition for the first Sunday of Advent includes lighting the candle of hope. This candle of hope symbolizes promises delivered through the prophets from God as well as the hope we have in Christ. A good friend of mine use Hang On Peace Emerges as an anacronym for hope.  I often find myself using this when life gets too stressful.

This first Sunday of Advent we read, pray, and reflect on the hope God’s plan gives us (foretold by the prophets and fulfilled by the life and death of Christ), and we meditate on the promise of Christ’s coming glory-filled return.  Let us always trust that if we hang on peace will emerge.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Foundation Day & Happy Thanksgiving Day


Happy Foundation Day of the Company of St. Ursula! 

486 years ago today, on November 25, 1535, St. Angela Merici founded the Company of St. Ursula which became the Ursuline sisters.

On this feast day of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Angela Merici gathered with the first 28 members of the Company of St. Ursula to sign the book of the Company, thereby making their commitment to a life of virginity, service, and love for all people. They lived in the midst of family, workplace, and local community. The group would meet regularly for prayer and would be visited by the local leaders in the Company.

Happy Feast Day who all who claim Angela as their Foundress. May this day be filled with many blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all too!  We have much to be grateful for this day.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Solemnity of Christ the King


On the last Sunday of each liturgical year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, or Christ the King. 

Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 with his encyclical Quas primas (“In the first”) to respond to growing secularism and atheism.  He recognized that attempting to “thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law” out of public life would result in continuing discord among people and nations. This solemnity reminds us that while governments come and go, Christ reigns as King forever.


A poem for the Feast of Christ the King

See how this infant boy
lifted himself down
into his humble crèche
and laid his tender glove of skin
against splintered wood—
found refuge in a rack
of straw—home
that chilly dawn,
in sweetest silage,
those shriven stalks.

This outcast king lifted
himself high upon his savage cross,
extended the regal banner
of his bones, draping himself
upon his throne—his battered feet,
his wounded hands not fastened
there by nails but sewn
by the strictest thorn of love.

Pamela Cranston © 2019

Sunday, November 14, 2021

World Day of the Poor


Sunday, November 14, marks the fifth celebration of the World Day of the Poor. The Day was instituted by Pope Francis to urge the Church and the faithful to ‘go out’ to encounter poverty in the various ways it manifests itself in the modern world and to reach out to those most in need. This year the motto chosen to promote the Day comes from Saint Mark's Gospel: “The poor you will always have with you” (Mark 14:7).


Because the cry of the poor and the cry of Earth are inextricably bound, Pope Francis has chosen to launch the Laudato Sí Action Platform (LSAP) on the World Day of the Poor.  Pope Francis asks us, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are growing up?” (LS 160).  This challenge of Pope Francis leads us to respond to the call for transformation set forth in Laudato Si.  The tasks are great, seemingly never-ending.  Our invitation to all – communities and individuals – is that we consider all of our actions through the lens of Integral Ecology.

This year, Pope Francis has invited us to be part of a seven-year journey to Integral Ecology as the new paradigm of justice. Integral Ecology is a concept that reflects the many relationships that keep a system intact, whole, and healthy. It looks at a comprehensive picture of reality and is essential to our understanding the interconnectedness of the whole. This paradigm respects our unique place as human beings in this world as well as our relationship to all which surrounds us. No issue is an isolated event but is part of the web of relationships.  Let us embrace Pope Francis’ call and join in the efforts to preserve our common home.




Sunday, November 7, 2021

We Remember


This week had been about remembering.  On Monday we celebrated the Feast of All Saints and on Tuesday the Feast of all Souls.  Yesterday we celebrated our Mass of Remembrance for fifteen Ursuline Sisters and eight Ursuline Associates who died since November of 2019.   We had a Mass of Remembrance scheduled for December of 2020 but had to postpone it due to Covid restrictions in place at the time.  The celebration took place at Holy Family Church and was live streamed for those who were unable to be present.  It was truly a beautiful celebration of the incredible women who gave their all-in service, commitment, and fidelity.  The blessing of technology made it possible for family members and friends to watch the Mass in the comfort of their homes.  The comments keep coming in from those who watched virtually.

It struck me this morning when listening to the Suscipe by John Foley, SJ,

Take, Lord, receive all my liberty.  My memory, understanding, my entire will!  Give me only your love, and your grace, that's enough for me! Your love and your grace are enough for me!

Take Lord, receive, all I have and possess.  You have given unto me, now I return it. Give me only your love, and your grace, that's enough for me!  Your love and your grace are enough for me!

Take Lord receive, all is yours now.  Dispose of it, wholly according to your will.  Give me only your love, and your grace, that's enough for me!  Your love and your grace are enough for me!

That this is what these women (and all who have gone before us) have done.  They have given their all-in love and fidelity.  Responding to God’s call is what motivated them in life, and they remain models for us today.  May we always remember to celebrate what we believe.

Sunday, October 31, 2021



The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference. It is scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, between 31 October and 12 November 2021, under the co-presidency of the United Kingdom and Italy.

As our leaders gather for COP26 let us pray...

Loving God,

We praise your name with all you have created.

You are present in the whole universe, and in the smallest of creatures.

We acknowledge the responsibilities you have placed upon us as stewards of your creation.

May the Holy Spirit inspire all political leaders at COP26 as they seek to embrace the changes needed to foster a more sustainable society.

Instill in them the courage and gentleness to implement fairer solutions for the poorest and most vulnerable, and commit their nations to the care of Our Common Home.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son.  Amen

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Mission Sunday


Pope Francis’ message for World Mission Sunday this year reflects on the theme: “We        cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). He reminds us that, “as Christians, we cannot keep the Lord to ourselves,” as we “recall with gratitude all those men and women who by their testimony of life help us to renew our baptismal commitment to be generous and joyful apostles of the Gospel.”

On World Mission Sunday, we join Pope Francis in supporting his missions Together, through our prayers and financial support, we bring the Lord’s mercy and concrete help to the most vulnerable communities in the Pope’s missions.

In a world where so much divides us, World Mission Sunday rejoices in our unity as missionaries by our Baptism, as it offers each one of us an opportunity to support the life-giving presence of the Church among the poor and marginalized in more than 1,111 mission dioceses. With grateful hearts for our mission of solidarity we pray this Sunday. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Happy Feast of St. Ursula

 Happy Feast of St. Ursula!

"Loving God, St. Ursula had the courage and leadership to gather others and unite them in love and discipleship with Jesus the Savior.  

May we be witnesses of service for others and foster unity in mission.  

When we encounter resentment and ill will may we meet it with courage and unswerving faith and hope.  

Together may we honor and serve the Christ for whom St. Ursula died and for whom we live.  

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Christ.  Amen."

Sunday, October 10, 2021


As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"  Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.  You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother." He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth."  Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing.  Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."  At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"  The disciples were amazed at his words.  So, Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!   It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."  They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, "Then who can be saved?"  Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.  All things are possible for God."  Mark 10: 17 - 27

 In today’s Gospel, we hear the familiar story of the rich young man who approaches Jesus and asks about what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus replies that one must follow the commandments of the Law of Moses. The man acknowledges that he has observed all of these since his childhood. Jesus then says that only one thing is lacking: he must give his possessions to the poor and follow Jesus. The man leaves in sadness, and Mark tells us that this is because he had many possessions.

Jesus makes two requirements of the wealthy man who approaches him. First, he must give up his possessions. Throughout history, some Christians have taken this literally. Their example witnesses to us a radical commitment to the Gospel of Jesus. Christians have generally understood that at the least, following Jesus requires that believers hold material possessions loosely and remain vigilant against seeking security in accumulating possessions.

The second requirement Jesus makes of this man is the invitation that Jesus extends to all would-be disciples: “follow me.” Jesus very much wants this man to be his disciple. We believe that the Christian faith is one in which each believer is in a personal relationship with Jesus. Just as this Gospel tells us that Jesus loves the man and is sad when he departs, so too, Jesus loves us and is saddened when we are unable to follow him.

I think my favorite line is this Gospel is the very last one where Jesus assures us, “That all things are possible with God.”  Let us live this day and every day remembering this line.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Feast of St. Francis


Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis and the end of the Season of Creation.  As we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis let us remember his Peace Prayer and his prayer for animals.  Tomorrow (or this past weekend) many people will bring their pets to their Church to be blessed.  May this day be filled with many blessings for all.

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.



Canticle of the Creatures

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,

Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing.

To You alone, Most High, do they belong,

and no human is worthy to mention Your name.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,

especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day and through whom You give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor

and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.


Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,

in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,

and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,

through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.


Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,

who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,

through whom You light the night, and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.


Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us,

and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your

love, and bear infirmity and tribulation.


Blessed are those who endure in peace for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no one living can escape.


Woe to those who die in mortal sin.  Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will, for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility.  Amen


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”  But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him. They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?”  But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest.  Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”  Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”  Mark 9: 30 – 37

On this 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time hear the story of Jesus teaching the disciples about His death and resurrection.  The disciples did not understand and were afraid to question Him further.  Jesus then asks them what they were discussing on the road and they remained silent because they had been discussing who was the greatest among them.  Jesus knew what they had been discussing and told them if you wish to be first then you will have to be last and a servant.  I wonder how I would receive that message.

As I reflected on this Gospel, I found myself wondering the age-old questions – why do I try to be perfect?  Why am I afraid to make mistakes?  Why do I worry so much about things?  Why, why, why?  The answer seems simple when reflecting on today’s Gospel – that kind of thinking is a recipe for an unsatisfying life.  It is more important to listen to what Jesus calls greatness – to be willing to have a humble heart and serve others.  If we do this then we are living the life that Jesus calls us to.  May we take time this week to look at the invitation Jesus gives us to receive one another with childlike simplicity.

Sunday, September 12, 2021


Grandparents Day is always celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This year, that's Sunday, September 12! While we honor our grandparents every day, take an extra moment to appreciate all the joy and wisdom that grandparents bring to our lives.

A Prayer for Grandparents

Look with Love

Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them!
They are a source of enrichment
for families and for all of society.
Support them!
As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardian of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.

Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on to future generations the fruits
of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Help families and society
to value the presence and roles of grandparents.

May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed
in all the years of life which you give them.
Keep them constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families
may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity
for the great embrace of life without end.