January 7-8, 2023
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2) Like the wise men in the Gospel today, we seek the king. We are looking for a guiding star to bring us safely across the wildernesses of our lives. Our local parish is one of the places where this star rests.
Quietly it shines above, calling us to seek the king here. When our journey is beset with troubles, like the wise men’s journey was with Herod’s plots, we can rest with the king here. He sleeps peacefully in the manger of our tabernacle, radiating peace to all people of goodwill who have the wisdom to find him there.
There is no more reliable place to find him than there. Join us in preserving the refuge of the wise through our Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal. Through his Church, God asks you to be like Saint Joseph. Just as the angel Gabriel asked Joseph to provide a safe home for baby Jesus, so too does God ask us to support the place where his son lives vulnerably in the quiet Eucharistic bread. Work together with us, alongside Saint Joseph the Worker, to give from the gifts God gave you. Let it not be said that the star shone above a sad stable in our town. Let it be wondered that our parish is instead a “stable” filled with light! Join our Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal. Let’s ensure this place remains fit to welcome kings of the earth and heaven.
January 14-15, 2023
“Behold!”John says in the Gospel today. The Lamb of God is passing by. When you see him, what will you do?
He is beautiful. Will you wish to do anything except behold? He is spotless and radiant. John the Baptist saw past the appearance of Jesus’ humanity, into his divinity. Are you able to see past the appearance of the Eucharistic bread? Your neighbors? Family? Fellow parishioners?
John said he saw the Spirit descend on Jesus. The Spirit also descends on our Eucharistic bread at each Mass. Today, we humbly ask that the Holy Spirit descend upon our Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal. Just as the Holy Spirit gave Jesus the direction and strength to endure the trials of the desert, so too do we ask the Holy Spirit to direct and strengthen our efforts. Join in God’s purposes in our appeal. Behold, the lamb of God is here. Help us prepare his dwelling place.
January 21-22, 2023
What would it have been like for Jesus to hear that his cousin John had been imprisoned? Bravely, John called the Pharisees, Israelites, and Herod alike to repentance. Even before his birth, John showed that he was wholly given to proclaiming Christ’s coming—even leaping in the womb.
Such tenacity could not have been lost on Jesus. John’s total commitment to preaching repentance must have moved Jesus. Just as Jesus wept at the death of his friend Lazarus, Certainly, he must have been deeply grieved by his cousin John’s arrest and eventual murder.
Through such trials, Jesus saw his heavenly Father moving. Today’s Gospel implies that Jesus may have viewed John’s incarceration as the “hour” to begin preaching the message of repentance himself. Jesus “picked up the baton” in Matthew 4:17. This included both a message of love for the lost and condemnation for the wicked in power. It also began the chain of events that would end in his execution. Yet, he didn’t do it alone. He asked many to join him. Today, he invites our parish community into the same mission: to preach the good news and repentance. Please support our Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal as one way of helping our parish preach His word. The resistance is mighty, and the audience is hungry for it. Pray for Call to Share and join in whatever way God asks you!
January 28-29, 2023
Today Jesus said in the Gospel, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Matthew 5:12) He commanded us to rejoice in our persecution.
Jesus doesn’t ask us to rejoice in pain for pain’s sake. As he faced his agony, Jesus himself asked that the cup of suffering “might pass from me.” Jesus shares our very human and very good desire to avoid pain when it makes sense to do so. He commanded us to rejoice when in pain for his sake.
“If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you,” he candidly reminded those following him (John 15:20). Pain comes to those who follow him. That’s the bad news. The good news is it will eventually be okay—more than OK. We will possess him in perfect beatitude one day. It’s worth anything this valley of tears can throw at us because the valley has an end. Today, Jesus entrusts our parish with the mission to help local Christians make it there. With your help, our Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal will enable us to reach those Jesus asks. Jesus is meek, merciful, pure of heart, and himself persecuted like no one else. Please help us to shine as brightly as Jesus’ face did when he first revealed the beatitudes. Jesus is the way, and he will show you which way to help.
February 4-5, 2023
The world can get inside us, often affecting how we feel. Living in the 21st century involves wading through a spiritual slog. The world is filled with as many opportunities for vice as virtue. We swim in a sea of ads, agendas, and social pressures. It subtly wears on us.
Jesus says that we, his followers, are the world’s way out. “You are the light of the world” is a weighty metaphor to describe us (Matthew 5:14). Jesus’ description of his followers might energize us, sober us, or make us want to run away, like Jonah the prophet.
Jesus believes that when we work through him we are the world’s best hope. Our parish takes him seriously. We trust that his words in today’s Gospel carry power. We’re going to draw from it. We know from experience that we can shine the light of Christ through good deeds. We need your help to be able to continue doing that for our local community. Our Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal is a significant opportunity for you to help us advance our mission to bring the light of hope to our little corner of the world. Maybe, with your help, our Call to Share will be a link that will get at least one soul to the light of Christ. We hope for more than one. Give without counting the cost, and watch how God outdoes you. May he bless us!
February 11-12, 2023
God doesn’t un-say anything. Today, Christ asserts that for those hoping for a ‘free pass,’ “Not… the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law” (Matthew 5:18). The law is God’s unchangeable word, and all will be judged according to His law.
Yet, inasmuch as God will not recant his law, neither will he recant his mercy. Technically speaking, our hope should abound because, according to Saint Thomas Aquinas, “It is more proper for God to spare and to show mercy than to punish. For the former belongs to him by reason of his nature, the latter only by reason of our sins” (Summa Theologica II, II, 21, 2).
Yet some people don’t know his law. While God’s mercy may account for this, they will still suffer judgment under the law. Jesus gave our parish the task of sharing the good news that he came to save us from the law. Our Catholic parish is the most direct local route for our community to reach Him and our Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal seeks to help more people get access to Him. Please support Call to Share today. We need your generosity, prayers, and advocacy. Let’s bring souls from our community to his merciful feet!
February 18-19, 2023
In today’s Gospel, Jesus gave a radical commandment – “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well” (Matthew 5:39). Today, it is cliché and remains radical, because it has the power to change hearts and nations.
Ask Gandhi. Even though he wasn’t Catholic, Gandhi leveraged the power of nonviolence to bring about a new kind of revolution. His peaceful tactics inaugurated a massive movement which eventually resulted in economic independence for India.
With that we might also reveal the power of such a disposition in our lives! Christ himself did not hide his face “from insults and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6). We all experience being “struck on the cheek” in various ways. We want our parish and archdiocese to be a haven where people can find the strength to face the evils in their lives. When you support our Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal, you help increase our ability to heal and sustain the bruised and weary. Through your generosity of prayer, gifts, and good words, we can continue to offer the bread of angels to the hungry and make Call to Share shine brightly! God bless you.
February 25-26, 2023
In today’s Gospel, Jesus claims, “One does not live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus forewent food in the wilderness for forty days to prove it was possible. Because he is so abundant, God’s spirit can sustain any need.
Our fasting shows us that this is possible in a personal, experiential way. Fasting is an act of faith that “No, I don’t have to satisfy every urge.” Relying on God, we aren’t subservient to our urges.
Jesus tasked our parish with the mission to reach hungry souls with Jesus’ sustaining bread of life. Through your generosity, you can help our Archbishop’s Call to Share appeal feed those who hunger—physically and spiritually. Jesus’ angels ministered to him at the end of his fast and we, too, need your help to minister to the weak. Some souls have been fasting from His love for far too long. This Lent let’s work together to end that fast. They need to know His name. May the name of Jesus be glorified through our appeal!