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December 29, 2019


From the Pastor...    What can we learn from the Holy Family?

     There are many facets to the Christmas story. An important one has to do with God sending Jesus to be born and raised within a family unit. The Holy Family was not a "traditional" family, as we might understand it. Joseph adopted Jesus and lived in a marriage that was never consummated. This was because of Mary's special vocation which necessitated perpetual virginity. Her virginity was to be an abiding sign of Jesus' divine origin.
     To all appearances, Jesus' family was "normal". Most people, at the time, had no understanding of the extraordinary nature of the family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. When Jesus started His public ministry, people were critical of Him as being merely, "the carpenter's son". Little did they realize that He was the Son of God.
     The Holy Family, although singular and unique, was not removed from the challenges of life. The gospel today, for example, speaks of their first big adventure: eluding the murderous designs of King Herod. The Divine Infant could have been killed in His infancy, were it not for the prompt action taken by St. Joseph to take the family into Egypt. I can't imagine the dread that must have fallen upon them.
     The Holy Family can teach us things about what is truly important for the Christian home. Jesus should be at the center. Each family member should strive to live a holy life. It makes things simpler that way. When God is first, people follow His commandments and strive to be virtuous. They will have a great advantage in relating to one another respectfully and in maintaining a spirit of service, rather than selfishness.



December 22, 2019


From the Pastor...     The Gift of Jesus

     A popular gospel reading for a wedding is the story of Jesus' first public miracle at Cana (John 2 ). The opening line reads:
" There was a wedding at Cana and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had likewise been invited. " Once, after I had read this line, a child's voice called out (as clear as a bell), "who is Jesus?" This was a bit of an interruption, but it is an excellent question, which more people need to ask: Who is Jesus?
     Jesus is God with a human nature. He is the invisible God in the flesh. As the Letter to the Hebrews tells us, He is the perfect image of the Father. And so, it is now possible for the merest child of five or six, who comes from a Catholic home environment to draw a picture of God. All he has to do is draw a baby in a manger or a man on the cross, for example.
     God commanded all of creation to come into being, by His very word. Yet, He makes Himself helpless and unable to speak, which is what the word "infant" means. He created the sun and the stars to give light and heat, yet He exposes Himself to the cold and dark night in Bethlehem. He has to be warmed by the breath of animals. The all-powerful One becomes weak and helpless. The impassible One opens His tiny mouth and cries. He who made laws regulating the entire universe, willingly subjects Himself to obeying two of His own creatures: Mary and Joseph. Why would the infinite, all-knowing God do such a thing?
     Why did God become man?
    a.   That we might know God's love. What is more lovable than a baby?
" God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son.... " (Jn 3.16 ).
    b.   In order to reconcile us to God.
" God rest ye merry gentlemen... to save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray. "
    c.   To show us that life is good, even with its difficulties.
It's illustrative to consider that God chose to be born into a poor family. How many of us, if we had had such a choice, would choose something like that?
    d.  To show us humility: the Infinite One becomes tiny and helpless.
    e.  To make it possible for us to be holy.



December 1, 2019


From the Pastor...     Rescuing Advent

     The world has a way of cheapening our religion. For example, what ever happened to Advent? Weeks before the first candle of the Advent wreath is illuminated, display windows, restaurants, television and print advertisements (and even some homes) begin displaying Christmas decorations. Further, the concern about the "disappearance" of Advent pales in comparison to what our society has done to Christmas. Many seasonal displays and programs give the impression that we are merely celebrating a winter holiday, rather than the birth of Jesus. It seems, in short, that the very things Jesus warned about (using the example of how things were in Noah's time) are back with a vengeance. What can we do about a world that has lost sight of the Lord, and prefers that people live with this false sense of security, as if this world were to be our permanent home for all eternity?
     Let's start with our home. Even in a family whose celebrations have evolved to the point where little of the Christ-Child matters any more, the gentle suggestion to add an Advent wreath to the home's decor for the preceding weeks can deliver a subtle invitation to prepare inwardly.
     When the subject of Christmas parties (during the season of Advent) comes up among the neighbors, it's true that one can take a hard line and say, "it's too early, and we are only in the season of Advent". A more fruitful response might be, "thanks for the invitation. I love Christmas gatherings! In our home we add to the joy by calling in friends for quieter and smaller gatherings that begin with some Advent prayers and lighting of the Advent wreath in the days before the actual arrival of Christmas. Do you know about this custom?"
     The introduction (and sometimes re-introduction) of very subtle activities can begin to draw family, friends, and neighbors to Christ at Christmas, when the culture exercises its influence to distract attention away from Him.
     Why not return to the habit of sending only religious Christmas cards? A secular card is not going to impress people. It will not inspire them to ask questions or think about the important things, the way that a conspicuously beautiful Madonna and Child will do. Remember, a picture paints a thousand words....



November 10, 2019


From the Pastor...     Remembering those who have died

     It is an ancient custom to pray for the dead. The Book of Maccabees  tells us that the Jews were already doing it 200 years before the coming of Jesus. The general, Judas Maccabeus, prayed for his fallen comrades who had all died in battle. It was discovered that they were wearing pagan amulets. Judas arranged for an expiatory sacrifice to be made on their behalf in the temple.
     It is clear from early inscriptions in the catacombs  that the first Christians (Catholics) did the same. St. Augustine writes of his mother St. Monica. It seems that he and his brother were discussing, at her bedside, where she should be buried (she was near the end of her life). She interrupted her sons and said, "Never mind where you bury me. Remember me at the altar." St. Monica was a very devout Catholic who understood the power of the Mass for the living and the dead. (She lived in the fourth century.) To this day, the Catholic Church offers Masses for the dead. Any parish bulletin will list daily Masses along with the intention of the Mass. The intention is usually for someone who has died.
     The Church teaches that those who have died in God's grace and friendship, but who are yet perfectly purified, are indeed assured of their salvation, but after death they undergo purification in order to achieve the holiness necessary to enter heaven. Purified of what? Selfishness, defects in devotion, faults, attachments to venial sin, laziness, etc. (I recall the vision of the priest who appeared to a village girl who didn't recognize him. He said that he was in purgatory for celebrating many Masses perfunctorily.) The name for this state or process of purification is "purgatory". Purgatory is like a "finishing school" which gets people ready for heaven.
     November is a special time for remembering those who have died. Please pray for them with renewed ardor. When we die, we may very well need the prayers ourselves.



November 3, 2019


From the Pastor...    

All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven.

It should not be confused with All Souls' Day, which is observed on November 2, and is dedicated to those who have died and not yet reached heaven.

Although millions, or even billions of people may already be saints, All Saints' Day observances tend to focus on known saints that is those recognized in the canon of the saints by the Catholic Church.

All Saints' Day is also commemorated by members of the Eastern Orthodox Church as well as some protestant churches, such as Lutheran and Anglican churches.

Generally, All Saints' Day is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation, meaning all Catholics are required to attend Mass on that day, unless they have an excellent excuse, such as serious illness.

Other countries have different rules according to their national bishop's conferences. The bishops of each conference have the authority to amend the rules surrounding the obligation of the day.

All Saints' Day was formally started by Pope Boniface IV, who consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs on May 13 in 609 AD. Boniface IV also established All Souls' Day, which follows All Saints.

Holy day customs vary around the world. In the United States, the day before is Halloween and is usually celebrated by dressing in costumes with themes of death commonly associated. Children go door to door in costume, trick-or-treating, that is soliciting candy from their neighbors. The holiday has lost much of its connection to its religious origins.

Although nearly everyone celebrates Halloween for the fun of the secular holiday, the following religious solemnity, is not widely practiced or acknowledged by most Americans unless they are Catholic.

Across much of Europe, the day is commemorated with offerings of flowers left on the graves of the dead. In Eastern Europe, candles are lit on graves instead of offerings of flowers.  USCCB



October 27, 2019


From the Pastor...    Help us to be humble, O Lord

Why is it important to be humble?

  1. One cannot count on any favors from the Lord. The Scripture tells us that the Lord resists the proud but bestows favor on the humble (Prov. 3.34 ).
  2. One cannot expect to have his prayers answered unless he is humble enough to acknowledge that he needs forgiveness and works at it.
  3. One cannot expect to be forgiven without humility. The Scripture tells us repeatedly that God shows His mercy to the humble. Job 22.29 : " For God abases the proud but He saves the lowly ."
  4. Pride goes before disaster and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16 ).
  5. " Humble yourself before the Lord and He will exalt you " (James 4.10 ). Humility is not the most important virtue, charity is. But, without humility, there is no foundation on which to build a spiritual life. Humility is not thinking less of oneself but thinking of oneself less. Humility is not pretending to be no good or worthless. In fact, pride can masquerade in such disguises. So, how humble is a person?

Note the following signs of a lack of humility:
  1. Thinking that what one says or does is automatically better than what someone else thinks or does
  2. Always wanting to get one's way
  3. Arguing with stubbornness and bad manners whether one is right or wrong
  4. Giving an opinion when it has not been asked of us, or when charity does not demand it
  5. Looking down on another's point of view
  6. Seeking to stand out and be noticed
  7. Not looking at one's talents and abilities as gifts that have been given by God
  8. Using oneself as an example in conversations
  9. Not admitting one's own faults or taking correction
  10. Not taking criticism gracefully
  11. Bragging
  12. Having an inflated sense of self-importance
  13. Etc.



October 20, 2019


From the Pastor...

       Objections to Prayer
       A common objection is: God doesn't hear my prayers. (Interestingly, this objection is only raised regarding petitionary prayer, and not with prayers of praise or thanksgiving.) God hears all prayers, but maybe we do not like the answer He might be giving us. Maybe we do not even understand that He has answered the prayer, but in a way we did not expect. Sometimes, people have such a limited view of God they say things such as, "I don't want to bother Him by asking Him for things, He has enough to do." This objection sounds humble, but it really isn't. Simply put, it is bad theology. God is not limited in what He can do. He isn't like a man answering a telephone or a letter, who can only do one thing at a time!
     Jesus explains what is at the root of failure to pray: lack of faith. Prayer is an expression of faith. It also feeds faith. To be sure, there are difficulties. Don't be put off by them. One such difficulty in prayer is distraction. Find a suitable place with a supportive environment (this will help with external distractions). Be sure to prepare for prayer (take 15 or 20 minutes if you have to: take a walk, calm down, do whatever you need to do to put yourself at ease and to calm the mind; then you are ready to pray). Prayer can also be difficult because of temptations which may creep in. Again, lack of faith is a common one that militates against prayer. People can forget their dependency on God. In their minds, they do not need to pray. Prayer for them is a luxury, not a vital necessity. Don't give into this temptation. We need God. We need His love. We are completely dependent upon Him. Sometimes prayer is difficult because it can be dry: without any sensible consolations. Don't worry about this. Think of prayer as a function of our relationship with God. Even earthly relationships (e.g., marriage) are not always marked by having "good feelings". One should be able to love another person without experiencing consolation. Otherwise, we are talking about being self-absorbed: I will open myself up to you as a long as it makes me feel good.
     Be persistent and faithful. Even if one doesn't "feel like praying", pray anyway. Don't be put off by apparent "lack of results". Prayer isn't merely about "results". It is about having a real relationship with a real God. Prayer can work wonders for people, for families, for parishes and nations. It isn't because it changes God. It's because prayer changes us. And through us, it can change the world, at least our little corner of it. Whenever we pray, it is not just what we are doing, but what God does within us and through us.



October 13, 2019


From the Pastor...

     October is dedicated to the Rosary. The reason is that the Catholic naval forces, outnumbered by their opponents three to one, defeated the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. What was the secret to the victory? Pope Pius V had called for a rosary crusade throughout Europe to help the Christian forces. The date of the victory was October 7th. Originally known as Our Lady of Victory, October 7th is now the feast of the Holy Rosary.
     In his book, The Power of the Rosary, Fr. Albert Shaman recounts similar Marian interventions in recent history. The Russian troops, who occupied Austria for several years, mysteriously returned to their own country in 1956, without a shot being fired. It seems that a priest named Fr. Peter had called for a rosary crusade. He believed that if ten percent of the Austrians pledged to pray a rosary daily for the Soviets to leave, that Austria would be free. 700,000 pledged. Seven years later the Russians left Austria. If enough people prayed the rosary, today, imagine what spiritual power would be unleashed against our society's culture of death.
     There are other examples of the power of the rosary for nations and for individuals. Bishop James E. Walsh maintained his sanity during years of confinement in a Chinese prison through the daily rosary, which he prayed on his fingers. Then there is the case of Dr. Carlos Finlay. It was while praying his daily rosary and batting away mosquitoes, that he discovered the cause of malaria. As a result of his discovery, construction on the Panama Canal would be completed.
     The Blessed Mother is called Our Lady of the Rosary. In her recent appearances (e.g. at Lourdes and Fatima), she has encouraged regular use of this prayer chaplet. Many popes have recommended it. The rosary was Pope John Paul II's favorite prayer. Treasure the opportunity to spend time with our Lord and his mother each day.



October 6, 2019


From the Pastor... October is dedicated to the Rosary

     After the publication of Pope St. John Paul II's apostolic letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae,"
the weekly cycle of meditations on the mysteries of the rosary are as follows:

		•  The joyful mysteries: Monday and Saturday
		•  The luminous mysteries: Thursday
		•  The sorrowfill mysteries: Tuesday and Friday
		•  The glorious mysteries: Wednesday and Sunday.

     This distribution is customary and not set in any legal code, and there is fairly wide leeway left for personal devotion. It is also customary to pray those mysteries that are most appropriate on the respective feasts. For example, if the Annunciation falls on a Friday, it would usually be considered as more appropriate to pray the joyful rather than the sorrowful mysteries.
     Likewise, there may be other good reasons for not following the customary cycle. During retreats and spiritual exercises, for instance, the mysteries are sometimes prayed according to the themes of the day. There may also be personal reasons that lead individuals to choose to vary the cycle. Needless to say, it is also possible to pray more than one set of mysteries on a given day and even the full rosary. St. John Paul II, in spite of all his duties, frequently prayed the full daily rosary.



September 29, 2019


From the Pastor... October is the Month of the Rosary

     After the publication of Pope St. John Paul II's apostolic letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae,"
the weekly cycle of meditations on the mysteries of the rosary are as follows:

		•  The joyful mysteries: Monday and Saturday
		•  The luminous mysteries: Thursday
		•  The sorrowfill mysteries: Tuesday and Friday
		•  The glorious mysteries: Wednesday and Sunday.

     This distribution is customary and not set in any legal code, and there is fairly wide leeway left for personal devotion. It is also customary to pray those mysteries that are most appropriate on the respective feasts. For example, if the Annunciation falls on a Friday, it would usually be considered as more appropriate to pray the joyful rather than the sorrowful mysteries.
     Likewise, there may be other good reasons for not following the customary cycle. During retreats and spiritual exercises, for instance, the mysteries are sometimes prayed according to the themes of the day. There may also be personal reasons that lead individuals to choose to vary the cycle. Needless to say, it is also possible to pray more than one set of mysteries on a given day and even the full rosary. St. John Paul II, in spite of all his duties, frequently prayed the full daily rosary.



September 22, 2019


From the Pastor... October is the Month of the Rosary

"Since the prayers of the Rosary come from such excellent sources - from Our Lord Himself, from inspired Scripture, and from the Church - it is not surprising that the Rosary is so dear to our Blessed Mother and so powerful with heaven.
     "If we consider the power of the Rosary as seen in its effects, we find a great abundance of proofs of its wonderful value. Many are the favors granted to private individuals through its devout recitation: there are few devoted users of the Rosary who cannot testify to experiencing its power in their own lives. If we turn to history, we see many great triumphs of the Rosary. Early tradition attributes the defeat of the Albigensians at the Battle of Muret in 1213  to the Rosary. But even those who do not accept this tradition will admit that St. Pius V attributed the great defeat of the Turkish fleet on the first Sunday of October, 1571 , to the fact that at the same time the Rosary confraternities at Rome and elsewhere were holding their processions. Accordingly, he ordered a commemoration of the Rosary to be made on that day. Two years later, Gregory XIII allowed the celebration of a feast of the Rosary in churches having an altar dedicated to the Rosary. In 1671, Clement X extended the feast to all Spain. A second great victory over the Turks , who once, like the Russians, threatened the ruin of Christian civilization, occurred on August 5, 1716 , when Prince Eugene defeated them at Peterwardein in Hungary. Thereupon Clement XI extended the feast of the Rosary to the whole Church. "Today, when dangers far greater than those of the ancient Turks threaten not only Christianity but all civilization, we are urged by our Blessed Mother to turn again to the Rosary for help. If men in sufficient numbers do this, and at the same time carry out the other conditions that she has laid down, we have the greater reason for confidence that we will be delivered from our dangers.



September 8, 2019


From the Pastor.......... How free are you?   Downloadable - How free are you? 

     There are several steps to becoming free and living accordingly. Freedom, here, does not mean freedom of movement or being able to do what one wants when he wants to do it. (This can be merely superficial freedom.) Remember the old adage: "Iron bars do not a jail make." The point is that a person can be superficially "free", but, at the same time, impeded by the effects of sins, lies and evil spirits. This is where Jesus comes in. The Lord wants us to be free to be the people that we are supposed to be. He wants us to be free from psychological "hang-ups". He wants us to be free from the effects of immorality: sins we may have committed, and the effects of other people's sin. What to do?
• Step 1. Repent of all sin. For Catholics, confession is ideal in this regard.
• Step 2. Forgive everyone who has offended you in any way.
      I recommend the use of the Forgiveness Prayer (use the Internet).
      [Perhaps Forgiveness Prayer by Fr Robert DeGrandis S.S.J. L ]
      The prayer is a template (so, make it you own. Make any changes to the prayer that you need to make.)
      Pray it every day for a week or 30 days (for deep-seated unforgiveness issues.) Pray the prayer out loud.
• Step 3. Renounce any lies that you may be clinging to.
      Say: "In the name of Jesus, I renounce the lie that _____"
      (Fill in the blank with whatever is appropriate: e.g., the lie that I'm a failure, I'm a bad person,
      God doesn't care about me, God wanted this (bad thing) to happen, I am unworthy, I am in control and can fix everybody, etc.
• Step 4. Renounce evil spirits. Actually, this is not an "exorcism"
      This is a renunciation of common "spirits" that may be affecting you.
      For example: "In the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of ____"
      (Fill in the blank with whatever pertains to you: fear, rejection, resentment, anxiety, worry, shame, loneliness, guilt, etc.)
      Again, make these renunciations out loud, and "In the name of Jesus".
• Step 5. "In the name of Jesus I command every spirit that I have renounced.
      Every spirit behind the lies and sins that I have confessed, to leave me now, never to return again!"



August 25, 2019


From the Pastor.......... How many are going to heaven?

     This is another question that Jesus does not answer. Why not? Because He was not one for indulging people's curiosity. Today, I'm afraid, while many people are interested in this question: "are there many who will be saved?" Many people, seemingly, assume that salvation is nothing to be that concerned about. I mean, after all, isn't God good? Why would He send people to hell? Etc. God is certainly good. And He has never sent anyone to hell. People do it to themselves. Hell is not like being sentenced to prison. It is, rather, the result of a person's own choice to live without God. Even heaven would be hellish for people who want nothing to do with God or His kingdom. Well, someone might say, perhaps there is a hell, but isn't it reserved only for the worst perpetrators of evil the world has ever known? The problem with that interpretation is that a person gets himself off the hook. This is why Jesus tells His questioner not to be seeking information about how many are in heaven. Rather, make sure that you get there, yourself. "Strive to enter the narrow gate." The only people in heaven are saints (holy people).
     The Scripture never says that everyone is going to heaven automatically. This would make a sham out of Christ's death on the cross. St. Paul has a number of lists of the kind of people who are excluded from the kingdom of God: including, thieves, adulterers, misers, drunkards, sodomites, etc. Jesus actually talked about hell more than He did about heaven. This was not because He was preoccupied with hell, but because He loves us and doesn't want anyone to perish. Jesus challenges us to enter through the narrow gate. This means that if we want to live in heaven, after we have spent our time on earth, we have to make the effort to live holy lives. Even the great St. Paul said, "I continue to buffet my body, lest after having preached to others, I myself may be found wanting." Prayer, penance, dying to selfishness, humility, detachment from material goods, obedience to God and to our rightful superiors, the keeping of the commandments, reconciling with God and with others, etc.
     The road to heaven is not laxity. Laxity is the "wide road" that many choose to take.



August 11, 2019


From the Pastor.......... How is your hearing?

     Clergy must always strive to preach well. At the same time, it is necessary for lay people to be better hearers of the gospel. In his book, The Crisis of Bad Preaching, Fr. Joshua Whitfield deals with the subject of rectifying poor homiletics. At the end of the book he writes about improving one's hearing. Even a good homily will only be as effective as there are good hearers to receive it. As St. Paul says, "Faith comes through hearing."

How can we improve our hearing?

      1. Read the Sunday readings in advance.
      2. Pray for your preachers.
      3. Expect the Holy Spirit to speak through the preachers.
      4. Strive to listen.
      5. Don't be overly concerned about the length of the homily.
      6. Listen for what inspires you.
      7. Listen to what might upset you.
     Provocative preaching belongs to the prophetic character of the Church.
     Jesus' first homily, given in His home town, enraged His listeners.
      He was speaking prophetically.
      8. After a homily, ask the question,
      "What am I to do to put this message into effect?"
      9. Talk about the homily afterward.
      Talking with family and friends after Mass
      can be a spiritual exercise.
      Not only can we gather something we may have missed,
      but also, we can grow closer to our fellow-disciples.
      Journaling and taking the homily to prayer, can also help.
     10. Remember the homily later in the week.



August 4, 2019


From the Pastor.......... The Smoke of Satan

     Philip Lawler has written another book: The Smoke of Satan. The subtitle of this book says it all: "How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful... And What to do About it." The publisher cites three factors contributing to the failure of American bishops to deal with the current crises that plague the Church: they have failed in their duties to teach, to rule and to sanctify. Lawler's book presents the sad story.
     The inspiration for the title of the book comes from Pope Paul VI's famous quip: "Through some fissure, the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God." The context for the quote is the tumult that followed the second Vatican Council. Lawler suggests that the "smoke of Satan" is not only a thing of the past, but also an ongoing factor in the life of the Church. Current examples include the way that certain bishops have handled clerical sexual misconduct.
     The book is not only about the sexual abuse crisis. The crisis simply fits into a context that has been with us for many decades. "Despite the grave losses that Catholicism has suffered during the past fifty years -- the thousands who have left the Church, the families that have broken apart, the priests and religious who have forsaken their vows, the parishes and schools that have been closed, -- bishops remain reluctant to calculate the total damages and identify the root causes of the disaster". He continues: "An honest appraisal of the past fifty years should brace us for the conclusion that there are many diocesan programs that should never have been launched, liturgical innovations that should never have been suggested, hymns that should never have been sung. There are also priests who should not have been ordained, religious who should never have taken vows, and couples who should never have married". The implicit question is, "Who's minding the store?" It should have been the bishops.
     The Smoke of Satan is well written and persuasive. Not only does it analyze the crisis in Church leadership, but also, it encourages everyone in the Church to make a difference. Fulton Sheen once said that it is the laity who will save the Church, not the clergy. To that end, Philip Lawler has compiled several lists of do's and don'ts for laity. He ends on a positive note: "Then stand back, keep praying, and prepare for the Catholic revival".



July 28, 2019


From the Pastor.......... Teach us how to pray

     Every now and then, someone claims that he does not prefer to pray "formula" prayers. He would rather compose his own, We can compose our own prayers. Even children, with prompting, can pray spontaneously and in their own words. I would suggest, that although we can (and sometimes should) compose our own things to say to God, we should not neglect to pray the way Jesus taught us to pray. Music written by the great composers is better than anything we can compose. The same is true with prayer, and the Lord's Prayer in particular. Who is more qualified to teach us how to pray than Jesus Himself?
     The context for the prayer is given in the opening address: "Father". Calling Him "Father" should inspire within us two attitudes: the desire to be like Him and confidence in Him. How many Christians today have forgotten that they are children of God? (Sin, serious sin in particular, is compatible with our dignity as God's children.) "Father" also reminds us that prayer is a relational thing. We're not just saying words. We are talking to the Lord, in the language he gave us.
     "Give us this day our daily bread." "Here, we recognize the Lord as the source of all that is good. We entrust to Him our daily needs (while not shirking our responsibilities).
     "Forgive us our trespasses." This is the only petition with a condition attached to it: "as we forgive those who trespass against us." In other words, we make a pledge of our ongoing responsibility to forgive all who have hurt us (and anticipate doing so for anyone who will hurt us in the future).
     "Lead us not into temptation," does not mean to suggest that God leads us into temptation. "God tempts no one" (as St. James reminds us). It means only that He spare us from being tempted. Failing that, we are praying that we not succumb to temptation. We must be vigilant, lest we fall into sin. The Lord's Prayer helps us with this challenge.
     "Deliver us from evil" was originally, "deliver us from the evil one. This includes all evils (past, present and future) of which the devil is the author or instigator. We do not know why the Lord permits evil spirits to have a certain freedom in the world. We must not be naive to think that we can stand up against them without God. Ultimately, the devil has one aim, to subvert us so that we will never go to heaven. We are praying for deliverance from such a terrible fate.



July 7, 2019


From the Pastor.......... Passing on the faith

     Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ and strives to live out his baptismal commitment is the beneficiary of a gift given to Him by God, through others. Without the Christian influence, witness and proclamation of the Gospel by others, none of us would have the faith. With this in mind, we have to be ready to do our part to make it possible for others to accept the gift of salvation in Christ. How do we do that?
     Evangelization means bringing the Good News of Jesus into every human situation and seeking to convert individuals and society by the divine power of the gospel itself.
     What is so important about knowing Jesus Christ? St. John tells us that it is a matter of life and death. "This is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (17.3) . St. Peter said: There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name in the whole world given to men by which we are to be saved" (Acts. 4.12) . Jesus Himself said (Mk 16.16): "The man who believes in the (Gospel) and accepts baptism will be saved; the man who refuses to believe in it will be condemned."  If we take these words seriously, there is no room for indifferentism. There is no salvation without Jesus Christ, for anyone. We must not be an elite group: "We are saved and others are not."
     Be a witness yourself. Remember, no one will listen to what you have to say unless you're living the faith yourself, (And sometimes you won't need to say anything; your witness will be enough. St. Francis told his friars: Preach and if need be, use words.) Be kind to people. Be understanding. Be forgiving. Be patient. Serve others. Use the sacrament of penance wisely. Ask yourself, what kind of Christian example have I given to others who do not have the faith? (Christians who do not practice the faith impede evangelization.)
     Pray. Be devoted to the Lord. Remember unbelievers in your prayers. Look to the example of St. Monica (it took thirty years). Have Masses offered for "special intentions" (i-e., particular unbelievers). The Mass is a very powerful means of intercession because it is Jesus praying to His Father. Remember, conversion is a function of grace.



The Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart

The Sacred Heart of Jesus
      As given by Our Lord to Saint Margaret Mary
- I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
- I will give peace in their families.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
- I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
- I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
- I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
- Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
- | promise thee in the excess of the mercy of My Heart,
that its all-powerful Love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion
on the First Friday of Nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance;
they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving the Sacraments;
My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.



June 2, 2019


From the Pastor ... What is heaven like

     Jesus talks more about hell than He does about heaven. This was not because He was obsessed with the netherworld, but because He wants to save as many people as possible from eternal perdition. There is no happiness without God. Therefore, anyone who does not get to heaven will be in misery for all eternity. We need God. We need toshare in His life and love. This is ultimately fulfilled in heaven. So, what makes heaven heaven?
     Some funeral homilists, today, speak of heaven in very earthly terms (e.g., playing golf or having a good time forever), implying, I suppose, that heaven is a permanent "vacation" of some sort. Clearly, speaking of heaven in this way does not do justice to it (to say the least). It is not difficult to demonstrate that an abundance of earthly goods and pleasures do not in and of themselves make anyone happy. Heaven is eternal happiness (not eternal pleasure or amusement).
     True happiness must therefore be based on something spiritual. The Bible connects happiness with holiness. The beatitudes speak of the spiritual qualities that make for happiness, a happiness which the world cannot give. (I can recall a television documentary about a community of monks. The television crew was amazed that there was so much joy in the monastery, even with their poverty, chastity and obedience.)
     What makes heaven heaven is the presence of God, who is all holy, and sharing in the life of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in a way that far surpasses our share in His life on earth (which begins in baptism and is forfeited by serious sin). Heaven, then, is not so much a place, as it is a life (a life that begins here with grace). Heaven is "abundant life". A house is a building; a home has a heart. Heaven is more of a home.
     St. Paul speaks of heaven as being with Jesus. Heaven is personal. He said this when he was on death row: "I long to be freed from this life and to be with Christ? " (Phil 1.23).  
     Heaven also includes the friends of God: the saints and angels. Our dearest friend, among this group, will be the Blessed Virgin Mary. Heaven is perfect communion with the Lord and all who are in communion with Him. Everybody in heaven will be friends with the saints, by definition.



May 19, 2019


From the Pastor ... Jesus's new commandment

Jesus said that His commandment to love others is "new". Why? It is new because it is revolutionary. The scope goes beyond anything that Moses (or anyone else) ever said. What do I mean? Love your enemies; pray for your persecutors (Mt 5.44 ).  Many of us remember when Pope John Paul II met with his would-be killer and forgave him in his jail cell. What about the many people who don't have enemies or persecutors?. Whether or not we have "enemies", we all need to bear wrongs patiently and readily forgive others.
      The commandment is new because it applies in every day and age. For example, the Catholic Church is the greatest purveyor of social services the world has ever known:
a) the first hospital in Cleveland by Bishop Rappe for returning Civil War veterans, The hospital still exists, it is St. Vincent Charity Hospital. Bishop Rappe also sponsored orphanages (he was called "father of orphans") and many parochial schools;
b) countless religious orders have been founded to take care of the needs of the infirm and the needy (e.g., the Hawthorn Dominicans, the Missionary Sisters of Charity),
c) "personal charity": the saints provide the best example of the extension of charity received from the Lord, to others: St. Thomas More and his ministry to expectant mothers. Needless to say, there are many opportunities to assist the needy today.
     The commandment is new because it is not merely a prohibition. It tells us what we should do. This will apply up to the Last Judgment where Jesus mentions the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned. "Whatever you did to one of these least ones, you did unto me."   Sins of omission offend charity. It can be rather sobering to think that we will also be judged on what we failed to do.
     The commandment is new because it demands many applications. St. Gianna Beretta Molla died in 1962 due to complications from the birth of her fourth child. Gianna was the last saint to be canonized by Pope John Paul II. She could have had an operation that would have saved her life, but not the baby's. She wanted, more than anything, that the baby's life be saved. The baby is now 57 years-old. Didn't Jesus say, there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends?   And "let the little children come unto me?"  Gianna did not have to do what she did. It was'a heroic act. St. Gianna's great love indicts a contraceptive and abortive culture in which children are often unwelcome.



May 12, 2019


From the Pastor ... Pray for Vocations

     One of the most endearing images of Jesus, found even on the walls of the catacombs, is that of the Good Shepherd. He is pictured holding a lamb over His shoulder or close to His heart. This image is right out of the Bible. King David started out as a shepherd of sheep. Later he became a shepherd of people. When Jesus looked out at the vast crowd, it reminded Him of a large flock of sheep. He lamented that they looked like sheep without a shepherd. And in John 10, Jesus says, "I am the Good Shepherd". Why did Jesus use this image? People are not sheep, of course. But there are certain things that we have in common with sheep: we need care, we need protection, we need direction.
     The fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday, is fittingly "world day of prayer for vocations". This is because the Lord employs some people to be shepherds of His flock as priests or religious. Most of the sacraments require a priest's involvement. Certainly, there would be no Mass (Eucharist) without priests. And without the Eucharist, there would be no Church. Our diocese is fortunate to have two seminaries (Borromeo and St. Mary's). These institutions provide for the formation of candidates to the priesthood. I went through four years of formation at St. Mary's (when it was located on Ansel Road in Cleveland). My ordination class is a total of 19. In those days (I was ordained in 1982), the numbers of ordinations were always in double digits. In recent years (since the 1990s), while we manage to have ordinations each year, the numbers are much lower (three to five, perhaps). Some people speak of a shortage of priests. Certainly, every priest is valuable. It is always a sad thing to lose a priest, or to lose a prospective vocation.
     We have to remember that priests generally come from solid, Catholic home environments. When we consider that the second largest "religious group" in the U.S. consists of inactive Catholics, it puts things into perspective. If there is a vocations crisis, it begins in the home.
     Please pray for the young men who will be ordained at our cathedral on May 18th. Also, remember our seminarians, especially our own Christopher Stein, in your prayers. Please pray for all priests and religious, for their continued fidelity.



April 21, 2019


From the Pastor ... Death, where is your victory?

     "It is in regard to death that man's condition is most shrouded in doubt" (Vatican II). No one wants to die. The human person recoils at the prospect of bodily decay and the end of earthly existence. Leo Tolstoy, in The Death of Ivan Ilyich, tells the story of a man who coped with his death by simply not thinking about it. He was able to do this until he had a fatal accident. The looming specter of death terrified him. Today, there are, likewise, many successful, worldly people, whose horizon is limited to what they can see and touch.
     Faith in Christ is urgent because it is the only thing that is able to address, adequately, human mortality. Jesus, who rose from the dead bodily, promises a like resurrection to all who embrace Him in faith. What amazes me is that there are many Catholics who do not make any connection between Jesus's resurrection and the hope that is in store for those who love Him. For them, the resurrection of Jesus is limited to Him and has nothing to do with us on a practical level. We must get the word out that we believe in the resurrection of the body, not only Jesus's body, but also our own (provided that we persevere in the faith).
     Jesus set up His Church to provide the means for people to live the life of resurrection, starting with baptism. The sacrament of penance ("confession") allows people to maintain their baptismal purity. (Jesus founded this sacrament on the evening of Easter. See John 20 ). In the sacrament of the Eucharist, Jesus fills people with the seeds of eternity: "He who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal, and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6.54 ).
     What can we do, then, about death? Live the faith. Live a sacramental life. Pray. Make the Sunday Mass the high point of the week. Keep the teachings of the Church. Strive to be Christ-like in thought, word and deed. With Jesus, we will not perish after death. We will rise to a new and glorious life.
     Alleluia! Alleluia!



March 24th, 2019


From the Pastor ... The ministry of the confessional

     Last Wednesday evening, the diocese of Cleveland's "Evening of Confession" took place. This special evening started several years ago. Each parish is asked to make available, once a year, several hours of confessions. More people are catching on to it. This year I heard 37 confessions. {The first year I heard only 4: although the weather was quite inclement). Last year, there were 50 confessions at Immaculate Conception.
     As a follow up to the evening of confession, the diocese sent out surveys asking for priests' input. The comment I made was to the effect that whereas I believe that much good comes out of the evening of confession, there is much more that can be done to promote the sacrament. For example, what about the rest of the year? In many parishes, the amount of time offered for confession, in a typical week, is hardly adequate. For example, 30 minutes each week, or confessions by appointment only. I am happy that many people take advantage of the confessional opportunities at this parish, both at the regular Saturday times, and on Sunday mornings. Last weekend I was in the confessional for two and a half hours, total. I was not merely "sitting in the box". I was quite busy. Many people received the benefits of the sacrament. I often hear the confessions of people who have been away from the sacraments for years. And then, there are the "regulars". But, every Catholic should partake of the sacrament regularly, who is not otherwise impeded. I use the sacrament myself (as every priest should; most do, I am sure). It helps people to maintain the life of grace (or to regain it, if they have lost it through mortal sin), which is so necessary for life here and in the world to come.
     If you have not been to confession in a while, why not make it a point to do so during this Lenten season? If you are hesitant because you are not sure of what to say {because it has been so long since your last confession), pick up a good examination of conscience flyer. Check our literature rack, see me, or look for one on the Internet. There are plenty of good guides for confession available.



March 3rd, 2019


From the Pastor ... Lent begins this week

     This Wednesday begins the penitential season of Lent. Ash Wednesday, all the Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday, are days of abstinence from meat. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are also days of fasting. (The age requirements are indicated in another part of this bulletin.) Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, but people are encouraged to come to Mass on that day. What about the other days of Lent? Everyone is encouraged to practice various forms of penance (e.g., different types of fasting), prayer, and the giving of alms (i.e., charity). The bishops of the U.S., in their 1966 document, state: "we strongly recommend participation in daily Mass and a self-imposed observance of fasting. In the light of grave human needs which weigh on the Christian conscience in all seasons, we urge, particularly during lent, generosity to local, national, and world programs of sharing of all things needed to translate our duty to penance into a means of implementing the right of the poor to their part in our abundance. We also recommend spiritual studies, beginning with the Scriptures as well as the traditional Lenten devotions (sermons, Stations of the Cross, and the rosary), and all the self denial summed up in the Christian concept of "mortification."
     The parish will be providing opportunities for spiritual studies. These include Bible study on Monday nights, contemplative prayer class on Tuesday evenings, and another Bible study on Tuesday evenings. There are also various devotional activities: Eucharistic exposition until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, communal rosary before Masses, Stations of the Cross on Fridays after weekday morning Masses and at 7:00 p.m. And, of course, we have daily Masses, and confessions. As usual, the church will be opened for many hours during each day. Come and visit the Blessed Sacrament. Pray the rosary or the Divine Mercy chaplet. Take a pamphlet from the literature rack for spiritual reading....
     The purpose of Lent is to prepare ourselves to renew our baptismal promises on Easter: to reject sin and Satan; to profess and live the Catholic faith, so as to live the mystery of resurrection, now and in the life to come.



February 24th, 2019


From the Pastor ... Are we allowed to "judge"?

     Which verse in the Bible is most misunderstood in today's culture? "Do not judge and you will not be judged."
     Many people seem to think that Jesus is telling us not to evaluate behavior. Everyone has an obligation to judge people's behavior, especially when one has certain responsibilities. For example, a parent who refuses to judge his children's behavior is not a good parent. A supervisor who turns a blind eye to his subordinates' behavior is malfeasant.
     Judging behavior is not wrong. Rash judging people is another story. Rash judging means to believe the worst about someone without sufficient evidence. I should not assume that a particular person is guilty of some moral fault, if I don't even know him, for example. And if someone repeats something about a third party, which is derogatory, challenge him. "Where did you get this information?" "Why are you telling me this." lf the information seems to be true, let us at least pray for the person.
     It is a work of mercy to admonish sinners or to instruct the ignorant. Don't fall for the ploy: "You're being judgrnental". Often, a person will hide behind this, whose moral faults have been brought to light. lt is important for everyone to be open to correction and criticism. Otherwise, we will never grow. The virtue needed here, is humility.
     Humility, though, is a "two-way street". The one doing the correcting must not be hypocritical. Jesus said to take the "plank" from one's own eye ?rst. before correcting one's neighbor about the speck in his eye. In telling us not to judge, Jesus explains Himself: "Do not condemn and you will not be condemned." Condemning someone doesn't mean correcting him when he needs to be corrected, it means, for example, assuming that someone is in a state of mortal sin. or that a person is going to hell (as some "fundamentalists" assume about all Catholics).
     Jesus did not avoid contact with sinners: prostitutes. extortionists ("tax-collectors"), people who failed to honor their parents (certain scribes and pharisees). He showed them good will in an effort to open them up to the truth. He told the woman at the well that He knew that she was living with a man who was not her husband, in order to open her tip to changing her life ( see John 4). And, remember how he handled the woman caught in adultery. He did not condemn her. He forgave her, but also told her to avoid the sin in the future (see John 8).



February 17th, 2019


From the Pastor ... Unwanted Babies

     What can we do about the plethora of unwantedfabandoned infants? In 2000, a the body of an abandoned newbom was found in a vacant lot on St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland. With the help of the authorities I was able to retrieve the body, give the baby a name ("John Raymond"), and offer a funeral Mass and burial services. With the help of a good friend, we established the Babies' F uneraf F zmd, to help defray the cost of burying unwanted infants.
     Since that time, there have been IS more such children. One baby's body was found in a construction site near Akron. (We named him "Benjamin John"). This baby was found on March 30, 2005 at 24 weeks from conception. In 2009, three abandoned stillborn infants were found, named, and given a respectful burial. In 2013, three more children's bodies were retrieved, from 18 weeks gestation, to 24 weeks. One of these abandoned bodies was found in an attic in Ashtabula County, another at a waste-water treatment plant in Solon. Again, they were named and given a ?tting burial.
     This past January 26th, I buried our first aborted child. We named the child "Chris". Chris would have graduated high school last year, but was aborted on June 8, 2000. The child's remains had been in the freezer for 19 years. We are grateful to the Brecksville Police Department and detective Brian Scabbo, for his resolve that baby Christ be given a digni?ed burial.
     Presently, certain public officials in our country are doing everything in their power to promote the extermination of pre-born children, and even celebrating it, such as demonstrated by the governor of New York. Once you allow for the taking of pre-born children's lives, it opens the door to taking the lives of children even after birth. The governor of Virginia, for example, is trying to legitimize this a ghastly practice. Where will this end?



      February 10th, 2019       

From the Pastor ... Polling and the resurrection

     I'll give you an example of an apostolic teaching that too many Catholics have relegated to the categories of either being only "somewhat important" or "not important at all". The teaching is that of the resurrection. The findings from one such survey indicate that 16% of the Catholics polled considered the resurrection to be only "somewhat important to me" or "not important at all". One might suggest that since 16% is a minority, we should not be concerned. After all, it seems that over 30% of the people say that the resurrection is "very important" to them, and there are other elements of the survey that show greater discrepancy with Catholic faith or practice. I would answer, 16% is a rather large minority. Second, where to these people derive their hope? Apparently, not in the resunection. Why do I say this? Because these people indicate in the survey that it is not "very important" to them.
     Without the resurrection, our faith is in vain. This is what St. Paul says in 1 Cor:15 . In other words, without resurrection, the Catholic faith becomes something like an empty package. There is no substance to it. How can we be sure that the resurrection happened? The Church tells us so, going back to the very beginning. St. Paul tells us in today's second reading that many people saw the risen Jesus. In fact, 500 members of the Church saw the resurrected Christ at one time. He specifically mentions Peter ("Cephas"). Also Paul himself saw the risen Christ in a wholly unique way, after His ascension into heaven.
     The Church's very existence is premised upon the reality of the resurrection. Our faith is not a matter of religious opinions. It is a response to the truth. We must be thankful that there is a Church, or we wouldn't know Jesus. We wouldn't know anything about the resurrection, and we would have no hope. Why would we have no hope? Because the resurrection of Jesus is the principle and source of the resurrection of the faithful Christian. We begin the resurrected life at baptism. Along with faith (and perseverance in the faith), we live a new life which death cannot overcome.



      February 3rd, 2019       

From the Pastor ... Are you a prophet?

     The answer is given in the Rite of Baptism: "As Christ was anointed priest, prophet and king, may you live always as a member of his body, sharing everlasting life." We are called to be prophets. What does this mean
     A prophet is not someone who predicts the future. Few of us would quality A prophet, instead, is a witness to the truth. In general, a prophet is someone who professes the truth of God publicly. We exercise our baptismal consecration as prophets every time we make the sign of the cross in public {e.g., in a restaurant), enter a church, or genuflect to the tabernacle. We live up to our commitment as prophets when we speak up in defense of the truth or live out the teachings of Jesus. Any act of Christian witness is an act of prophecy.      A prophet is not satisfied with merely observing the law; he is concerned with bearing witness to Jesus (remember, Jesus fulfills the law). He looks at every element and expression of his lifestyle and asks: "How does this bear witness to the teaching of Jesus Christ?" He looks at the way he spends his time, how he spends his money, what he eats and drinks, how he speaks to people at home and at work. how he dresses, how he drives, how he uses the media, etc.
     A prophet courageously denounces evil. We remember John the Baptist who died because he defended the bond of marriage before a king who was living in an illicit relationship. Today, we have politicians who are promoting the culture of death. and even celebrating it {e.g.. the governor of New York). People who promote evil. in any form are anti-prophets.
     A prophet takes the opportunity to spread the gospel to others {"evangelization"}. The last thing Jesus told us to do, before He ascended in heaven, "baptize and teach all nations." The priest exercises this responsibility" liturgically, sacramentally, and through teaching the faith. Lay people should be available to assist the priest, when needed. Primarily, though, the laity must take their place in the world and perform their mission there. {Jesus said, "Go into the whole world....") The world means the family {Christian parents are the primary and irreplaceable catechists oftheir children) and the world outside the home. We all know people who have stopped practicing the faith, as well as many who are unhaptized. They need Jesus, too.



      January 20th, 2019       

From the Pastor ... Save the children

     Tuesday, Jan. 22nd is a special day of prayer and penance for the legal protection of unbom children. The day is the anniversary of the Supreme Court's disastrous decision of 1973, Roe V. Wade. Since then, there have been 60 million surgical abortions in our country alone. There are 4,000 each day. Abortion is the leading cause of death in America.
     When you look at a class photograph of anyone born after January 22, 1973, you can add (mentally) unfilled silhouettes, totaling, perhaps, 30 % ofthe class, representing children of youths who were not allowed to make the journey through the birth canal. The number of missing people vastly increases when we consider that all of the descendants of these children will never come into existence.
     The effect of such a large scale loss of life is incalculable. Each child is a unique creation of God and cannot be replaced. For example, I am reminded of the story of the woman who sought an abortion (in the year 1770). She had a number of children. The father had syphilis and there was deafness in the family. Apparently, she was talked out of taking her child's life. He was born. Later in life he would become deaf. He grew up to become very famous. His name was Ludwig von Beethoven. Sarah Smith was born in 1970 to a woman who thought she had aborted her. Instead, the abortion only took the life of her twin brother. Gianna Jensen survived a saline-solution abortion, while in the womb of her mother. Today Gianna is a young woman afflicted with cerebral palsy (because of the abortion attempt). She is grateful for the gift of life and has inspired audiences worldwide with her singing and personal testimony.
     Roe v. Wade has contributed to an erosion in our society's valuation of life. The major media, certain international organizations (the U.N. included), certain departments of the government, and even some of the "mainline" churches have been seduced into thinking that human life is disposable. And, even worse, there are organizations and individuals who pro?t from the grisly abortion industry (e.g., Planned Parenthood cashes in on 1,000 abortions each day). Killing children in the womb is a big business.



      January 6th, 2019       

From the Pastor.... What can we learn from the magi?

    In Biblical times, it was thought that the Jews had a "monopoly" on salvation. The three wise men were non-Jews who came to worship Jesus. During Jesus ministry 2,000 years ago, he directed Himself primarily to Jews, but there were times when he helped "Gentiles" or "pagans": e.g., He healed the Roman soldier's serving-boy. He healed the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman....
    After His ascension into heaven, Jesus made it clear that He wanted His salvation to apply to all. He said to His apostles (the Church): "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...." The visit of the magi tells us that God opened the doors of salvation to all people, unfortunately, though, not everyone puts in the time or the effort to find God and enter into eternal life.
    Case in point: the magi traveled quite a distance to find Jesus. They kept searching. Contrast this with King Herod and his (apathetic) Jewish advisors, who knew where Jesus was to be born, but they were not interested in finding Him themselves. God's kingdom is for everyone, but not everyone looks for it. Jesus says that a person who hears His words but does not act on them is like a man who builds his house on sand. The house will end up in ruins. This message is repeated over and over again in various parables.
    God's word is contradicted by our modern culture which tells us that everyone is going to heaven. The Bible never says this. The story of the magi tells us about people who sincerely searched for Christ and found him. Unfortunately, today, not everyone is interested in searching for Him sincerely. The moral of the story is: live the faith. Never take it for granted. And let other people know about Jesus.


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