Thursday, April 27, 2017

Stations of the Cross - Jesus is crucified on the cross - St James Catholic Church - Tupelo Mississippi


We had a really amazing live tations of the cross this year on Good Friday.  This year we pray the Immigrant stations of the cross bilingually, alternating between English and Spanish.  A big "thank you" to all who participated this year.  


4/29/2017 - Homilía de la Misa de la Primera Comunión para los alumnos de 2º grado - 3º Domingo de Pascua - El Camino de Emaús - Lucas 24: 13-35

      Me encanta mi vida como sacerdote.  Uno de los momentos más felices de mi sacerdocio es cuando doy a alguien la primera comunión.  En la Misa de la Vigilia de Pascua, 8 adultos y 6 niños recibieron la primera comunión.  Hoy, dos semanas después de celebrar el Domingo de Pascua, tenemos 49 niños recibiendo la primera comunión.  Es un día de gran alegría, ¿no?  Todos ustedes, niños, recibirán a Jesús en sus vidas hoy de una manera muy especial a través de la Eucaristía por primera vez. Su ropa es especial hoy y nuestra misa es especial también -  son signos que es un día especial para todos ustedes, para su familia y para nuestra parroquia.  No puedo explicar en palabras la felicidad que tengo en mi corazón hoy por todos ustedes. Yo sé que tus padres y tus hermanos y los miembros de sus familias se sienten el mismo sentido de gozo y alegría hoy.  Oímos este maravilloso Evangelio hoy de dos discípulos de Cristo en el camino a Emaús.  Los discípulos están muy tristes. Su líder y su amigo - Jesucristo - murió en la cruz. Los discípulos estaban tristes y confundidos. No sabían qué pasaría después. Así que huyeron de la ciudad de Jerusalén.  Sin embargo, se encuentran con este desconocido en el camino. No saben quién es. Empiezan a contarle su historia. Los escucha. El desconocido les explica las Escrituras. Pero todavía no saben quién es él.  Los dos discípulos comparten la cena con él.  Él toma el pan, reza antes de comer, rompe el pan, y luego se lo da. Se dan cuenta - ¿no es esto lo que hizo Jesús cuando tuvimos la última cena con nosotros? Se dan cuenta - esto es Jesús.
        Estos dos discípulos reciben un mensaje de alegría pascual de Jesús en su encuentro con él.  Recibimos ese mensaje hoy también, así como celebramos a Jesús resucitado durante esta temporada de Pascua.  Mientras celebramos a Jesús resucitado hoy, es maravilloso que celebramos la Primera Comunión con ustedes.  Los discípulos se separaron de su pasado a través de su encuentro con Cristo.  Esta es una experiencia nueva - su primera comunión -  maravillosa para todos ustedes también.  Pero esta experiencia no debe terminar hoy. Será una nueva parte de su camino. Tienen la llamada de recibir a Cristo en la Eucaristía todos los domingos cuando vienen a la Misa con su familia. Esa es una parte importante de nuestro camino de fe como discípulos de Cristo.
      Cuando esos dos discípulos hablaban juntos durante su viaje, antes de reconocer quién era Jesús, estaban tratando de entender lo que pasaba en sus vidas. Trataban de entender quién era Jesús.  Y eso es lo que estamos llamados a hacer en nuestro camino de fe: aprender constantemente y crecer y preguntar.  Todos ustedes tuvieron la suerte de contar con maestras tan maravillosas este año: la Sra. Sandra Almanza y la Sra. Nora Fierro.  Sus maestras tienen tanto amor por todos ustedes y ambos disfrutaron de enseñarles acerca de Dios y acerca de Jesús durante su preparación para la Primera Comunión este año. Ustedes continuarán a aprender y crecer aquí en nuestra parroquia de St James.  Así que, disfruten hoy, niños. Disfruten de esta ocasión especial en sus vidas. Celebramos con ustedes en este día tan especial. Celebramos con nuestro Señor Jesucristo, nuestro amigo resucitado.  Muchas gracias, niños. 

4/29/2017 - Homily for First Communion Mass for 2nd graders - 3rd Sunday of Easter - The Road to Emmaus - Luke 24:13-35

      There are many things I love about being a priest, but one of the happiest moments of my priesthood come when I give someone first communion for the very first time. On Easter Vigil Mass, we had 8 adults and 6 children receive first communion.  Today, two weekends after celebrating Easter Sunday, we have 49 children receiving first communion.  It is a day of great joy, isn’t it?  All of you children will be receiving Jesus into your lives in a very special way through the Eucharist for the very first time. Wearing special clothing and celebrating a special Mass are signs of what a special day this is for all of you and your families and your parish. I cannot explain in words how happy I am for all of you today, how much joy it brings to my heart.  And I know your parents and brothers and sisters and family members feel the same sense of joy.  We hear this wonderful Gospel story today of two of Jesus’ disciples on the road leading to the village called Emmaus. The disciples are very sad. Their leader and their friend Jesus had been put to death.  The disciples were sad, afraid, and confused.  They did not know what would happen next.  So they ran away. Yet, they meet this stranger on the road.  They don’t know who he is.  They start telling him their story.  He listens to them. He explains the Scriptures to them.  But they still do not know who this stranger is. It is not until he stays with them at the village that they share a meal with him.  He takes the bread, he prays before they eat, he breaks the bread, and then gives it to them.  They realize - isn’t this what Jesus did when we had the last supper with us?  They realize - this is Jesus.  
       These two disciples receive a message of Easter joy from Jesus in their encounter with him. We receive that message today as well as we celebrate the resurrected Jesus during this joyful Easter season.  As we celebrate the risen Jesus today, how wonderful it is to celebrate First Holy Communion. The disciples broke away from their past and all that was holding them back through their encounter.  This is a new, wonderful experience for all of you as well. But this experience is not to end today.  It be a new part of your journey.  You are to receive Christ in the Eucharist every Sunday when you come to Mass with your family.  That is an important part of our journey of faith.  
      When those two disciples were talking together on their journey, before they recognized who Jesus was, they were trying to understand what was going on in their lives.  They were trying to understand who Jesus was.  And that is what we are called to do on our journey of faith as well: to constantly learn and grow and ask questions. You all were so lucky to have such wonderful teachers this year: Mrs. Julie Arriola and Mrs. Anita Gusmus. They both have so much love for all of you and both enjoyed teaching you about God and about Jesus as you prepared for First Holy Communion this year.  You will continue to learn and grow here at St James.  So, enjoy today, boys and girls.  Enjoy this special occasion in your lives.  We celebrate with you on this special day.  We celebrate with our risen Lord and friend, Jesus Christ.   

Mass introductions - Third Sunday of Easter - 4/30/207

Introduction to the penitential rite: 
We continue our celebration of Easter today by hearing stories from the Early Church. We who have completed our Lenten journey of renewal, as well as those of us who have newly entered the Church, can together hear these stories and use them to deepen our faith. As we celebrate mass together today, let us resolve to take the Good News of Easter that we share with each other and spread it at home, at work, and in the world around us. As we begin our Mass today, we call to mind our sins: 

Penitential Rite - Option C
Lord Jesus, you are the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world: Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you are the living word of God: Christ, have mercy. Lord Jesus, you are the source of everlasting life: Lord, have mercy.

Introduction to the Nicene Creed: 
As we continue our journey of faith like the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus, let us profess our faith: 

4/29/2017 - Prayer for Crowning of Mary



Heavenly Father: As we prepare to enter the month of May, we crown Mary today to honor her as the Mother of your son, Queen of Heaven and Earth, and Mother of your Church.  We pray that we follow Mary’s example of faithful discipleship and attentiveness to God’s Holy Word.  As we honor Mary today with humble and grateful hearts, we pray that through her intercessions, we may achieve holiness of life and a deepened faith.  Mary, we pray, that you help us deepen our faith, hope, and love, as we seek to do the will of God in all things.  AMEN. 

5/1/2017 – Reflections on St Joseph the Worker – Monday of the Third week of Easter

       In Communist countries throughout Europe, May 1 was traditionally celebrated as the Day of the Worker.  To put the life of the worker in the context of the values of the Good News of Jesus Christ, Pope Pius XII established the feast of St Joseph the Worker in 1955.  We celebrate this feast on May 1 in our liturgical calendar each year.  We also celebrate St Joseph on March 19 in our liturgical calendar as Joseph, the spouse of Mary.  We know that Joseph was a carpenter, that he probably taught Jesus this trade.  The Church teaches that no matter what work we undertake in life, we are to do so with dignity and in a manner that allows us to contribute to both God’s kingdom and to human society.  We can find dignity in all human work – no matter what kind of work it is.  We can lift up any work we do to the glory of the Lord, for the glory of our faith. It is easy for us to see our work and our lives as our own, to see what we do in life as our own efforts, but our faith challenges us to do so in a wider context that goes even beyond our earthly existence.  
         As I thought about the Cold War that had the countries of the US and Western Europe on one side, and Russian and the countries of Eastern and Central Europe on the other side, I thought about the tensions that are facing the world with North Korea today.  We thought that after the fall of Communism in those countries and the rise of the European Union and global trade that maybe some of those tensions would be behind us.  We all need to work for peace and the values of the Gospel, values which St Joseph exemplified in his life and his humble work.  As we think about St Joseph the Worker today, may we lift up our work and our efforts here on earth to the glory of God.  May we pray for peace and fulfillment for all workers and all human beings. 


Quote - Catherine of Sienna


“Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.”