Today we begin our Sundays of what the church calls "ordinary time". Maybe a better translation would be "ordinal time", or "counted time". These are the numbered Sundays that do not fall in one of the four great seasons of the liturgical year: Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.
Of course, there is nothing ordinary about ordinary time. This is the time when we walk with Jesus through his adult ministry and listen closely to his teaching. It is a time just as important as the other great seasons.READ MORE
Jesus said, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5: 48). Many married couples embark on marriage with the hope of having a perfect wedding, marriage and family. Perfectionism is a priority in their lives as they try to control the world, spouse and family. Jesus' call to perfection has to do with holiness, a desire for personal holiness based on a disciplined obedience to the will of God rather than control of spouse. Jesus wants to help us with our quest for perfect holiness so He gave His Church the needed tools to help us. He awaits us in reconciliation to provide the graces needed for holiness to help let go of anger, pride, fear, bitterness, disappointments, past hurts and all issues that lack love and exert control.READ MORE
Sacramental Catholic wedding vows are a very serious covenant between God and couple. Unlike civil contracts that can be broken when one or both of the parties decide it's over, in a Catholic wedding, the couple pledges their faithful love for life, "In good times and bad, sickness and health." This vow is made in the holy space of a Catholic Church in the presence of God, family and friends. As a covenant, it is binding, exclusive, indissoluble, faithful and mutually self-giving. Contrast this with the civil marriage where couples marry in a variety of outdoor venues or hotels, writing cute vows such as, "I will love you until butterflies don't fly" or "I will always love your cutesmile."READ MORE
Blessed John Henry Newman wrote: "The year is worn out: spring, summer, autumn, each in turn have brought their utmost, but they are over and the end is come. All is past and gone, all has failed…and the austere weather which succeeds, though ungrateful to the body, is in tone with our feelings, and acceptable. Thus the soul is cast forward upon the future…and does it rejoice that there are new heavens and a new earth to come. These are the feelings of holy men (and women) waiting earnestly for the Advent of Christ."READ MORE
Today, on the Feast of the Epiphany we might wonder about the unusual gifts the Magi brought for a newborn baby? When we hear about these gifts, we're meant to ask, "Who could this child be?" Gold is for royalty – will he be a king? Frankincense is used in worship. Is he a priest? And myrrh is used in burial rites. How and when will he die?
What can we learn from the Magi who were not from Israel? They followed the light of the star on a very long journey to worship the child Jesus. They studied the ancient prophecies, they were overjoyed at seeing the star, and they brought their best gifts for Jesus.READ MORE