Give Your Servant An Understanding Heart

07-30-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

You may have noticed that the whole Chapter 13 of Matthew’s Gospel provides different parables with which Jesus explains the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. You may also have noticed that during this part of Ordinary Time in Year A, the season of growth in our knowledge of God, the Church is pursuing a lectio continua (continuous Reading, Reading in a particular order) of both Paul’s Letter to the Romans and the Gospel of Matthew. The Readings of the previous Sunday were themed around the seamless application of God’s mercy and justice. This weekend, the Church invites us to meditate on what actually constitutes true wisdom and what we need to do in order to gain it.


The Wheat and the Weeds

07-23-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Jesus presents us with three parables in the Gospel this weekend to explain the nature of the Kingdom of God and those who merit to enter it. Some of us who experience weeds in our gardens or lawns may relate well to these parables. However, the parables communicate a much deeper message: they speak to the reality of the coexistence of good and evil in the world. Many beautiful inventions in the world, like sowing good seeds, were created with good intentions; however, the devil knows how to sow weeds. For instance, the invention of the internet and social media was a wonderful breakthrough in human history, but the devil has sown weeds into the minds of people who now use them for harm and deceit. The invention of money was a beautiful thing, but as St. Paul says in his letter to Timothy, “The love of money is the root of many evils” (Tim 6:10). Medical advancements are wonderful, but we have seen how the devil has used the same avenue to destroy many lives. Originally, weapons were developed for hunting food and personal protection, but we see how they are now used as weapons of mass destruction. As a result, we kill ourselves more than any other species in the world.


Bearing Fruits for the Lord

07-16-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

Four key images: Rain, soil, seed, and fruit, are used in the First Reading and the Gospel this weekend to explain the impact the Word of God has on our lives. In the First Reading, God speaks through His prophet Isaiah, saying the Word that goes out from his mouth shall not return to him empty. The parable of the sower that Jesus gives in the Gospel today is about the only parable where He explains its meaning to His disciples. The parable compares the teaching of God’s Word to the sowing of seeds. The seeds fall on different types of soil: the pathway soil, the rocky soil, the thorny soil, and the good soil. Jesus’ explanation of the parable shows that both the seeds and the soil represent the different disposition of our hearts to receiving the Word of God and what we do with it. However, the key difference here is that while the seed and soil cannot help being what they are, we can.


Come to Me, All You Who Labor and are Burdened

07-09-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

The account presented in today’s First Reading occurred approximately one century after the Israelites returned from exile and rebuilt their Temple. Prophet Zechariah offers words of hope and comfort to the people to strengthen their aspiration for the fulfillment of God’s promise of the coming of the Messiah. Zechariah prophesied the coming of an eschatological king who would return to Jerusalem to end the war and division, to proclaim peace to the nations. He describes the Messiah King as riding on a donkey as a demonstration of humility in contrast to the image of a warrior king on horseback. In the New Testament, we see the fulfillment of this prophecy when Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a donkey (Mt 21:5), a sign of a humble King who comes to bring peace on earth.


Hospitality of the People of God

07-02-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

The stories in the First Reading and Gospel today remind us that in welcoming ministers and strangers into our homes, we inevitably welcome God. In the First Reading, the widow of Shunem and her husband welcomed the Prophet Elisha to their house. They were kind to him and provided for him without expecting any reward. Prophet Elisha, on the other hand, paid attention to their deepest need and prayed for them asking God to grant them a son. In the Gospel, Jesus reminds the people, “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward.”


June 30

06-30-2023Church Building Update

The westside Crucifix was installed this week. The West End inspection will be next week. We continue to have an issue with the fasteners in the soffit wall / load bearing wall. The structural engineer and the City Inspector see this in opposite directions which is impacting the schedule. The team continues to work to resolve the issue.


Do Not Be Afraid

06-25-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

In our First Reading today, God calls on the prophet Jeremiah and sends him to tell the people of Israel to repent of their sins of idolatry and immorality and turn to God. The godless people do not want to hear the truth from God through Jeremiah, so they plot evil ways to get rid of him. Facing the opposition and the death threat against him, Jeremiah is tempted to keep quiet and let things be. Then God stirs up the fire of the Holy Spirit within his heart until he can no longer withhold the warnings of the Lord and continues to speak up on behalf of the Lord.


June 23

06-23-2023Church Building Update

The final application of the EFIS coat of stucco is in progress. Bell tower should be completed soon. The team of workers are moving from the north side of the building to the west side. The brick veneer is scheduled to begin soon. The sheetrock is making progress: choir loft area, restroom, and north side staircase are done with the narthex, cry room and transept being worked upon. The new 20-ton A/C units will ship October 10 with the existing A/C units being utilized until they arrive.


Sheep Without A Shepherd

06-18-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Let me begin by wishing all fathers a Happy Father’s Day! The Gospel reading this weekend is quite timely. It presents Jesus as a father. We are told that Jesus looked at the crowd coming to Him, and His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” What an image that describes the situation of fatherhood in our society today. The joy of fatherhood is facing unprecedented challenges in our time. One can hardly talk about fathers these days without sounding “old fashioned” or off ending someone. We have seen, and studies have shown, that the absence of fathers, or father-figures, in a family has a signifi cant negative impact on the emotional, social, spiritual, and psychological development of many children leading to increasing stress, drug abuse, suicide ideation, and crime among young people. We have many young people in our society today who are like sheep without a shepherd.


June 16

06-16-2023Church Building Update

The exterior doors and window frames have been installed. The final coat of EFIS is being applied to the bell tower. Interior drywall has begun to be installed. The new Ambo is complete. A special thank you to our parishioner, Frank Polimene of Arizona Custom Solutions, for donating the material, his talent and his time for creating such a beautiful piece of work. The first stained-glass window was installed: the exterior 6-foot stained-glass of St. Benedict was installed on the west-end of the building. It will be covered with plywood to protect it as the west-end is completed. Our 7-foot carved marble statue of St. Benedict is on his way from the art studio. The statue will be placed in the exterior front (west side) of the building. He will be positioned on a 2-foot marble pedestal.


Whoever Eats My Flesh and Drinks My Blood Remains in Me and I in Him.

06-11-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The early summer liturgical “trifecta” of Pentecost, Holy Trinity, and Corpus Christi that follows the celebration of the Easter Season and provides focus on the three fundamental realities of Christian life: the Church, The Triune Godhead, and the Holy Eucharist is completed this weekend with the celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the joyful celebration of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

The annual celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi gives us the opportunity to adore and expose the content of our belief in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the visible perpetuation of Christ’s presence in His Church. The Holy Eucharist is the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, together with His Soul and Divinity, under the appearance of bread and wine.


June 9

06-09-2023Church Building Update

You may have noticed that the west wall has not moved forward for a while. Many discussions have been going on about a structural issue. The architect and structural engineer continue to carve away concerns that the inspector has. Will continue to make progress with the inspector.


Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit

06-04-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The celebration of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church fifty days after Easter, is immediately followed by the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Thus, this weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the liturgical feast that celebrates the central mystery of the Christian faith. This is the most singularly distinctive belief that separates Christianity from all other religions. For instance, Islam and Judaism hold firmly onto mono personal monotheism that does not admit the multiplicity of persons in the one true God. As a consequence, for strict adherents of Judaism, the doctrine of the Trinity is both erroneous and heretical, the same doctrine is judged extremely offensive to strict muslims.


June 2

06-02-2023Church Building UpdateBob Prezkop

I would like to thank everyone who prayed for me. I am happy to say I am gradually gaining my strength back.

As you can see the first coat of stucco is being applied to the building. Interior framing is progressing well. Framing has begun in the Chapel.

The office remodel is coming to completion. The staff will not be allowed in their offices as it is still in the construction phase. Their furniture will be moved back into the offices, freeing up a storage container.