Advance Man

Dear Parishioners,

Back in ancient times when a king planned to visit a certain town, he sent an “advance man” ahead of him. Because few ancient roads were paved with gravel or stone, the advance man would have the people fill up mud holes and straighten out the paths. Another thing the advance man did was instruct the people in the proper protocol for receiving the king.

In the season of Advent, the Church is the advance man. It focuses our attention on Jesus. It tells us Jesus is coming and discusses how to prepare for Him.

In today’s gospel, John the Baptist was Jesus’s advance man. He saw that the roads were prepared and told the people to be kind to one another, just as Jesus teaches us.

As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’s coming, we too want to follow Jesus’s teaching of kindness to one another. Along with preparing to celebrate Jesus’s birth, we’re also preparing for Jesus’s second coming when we receive our final judgment.

So let’s see the church as Jesus’s advance man. In our kindness to one another, we’re following Jesus’s message of love. Then we will be preparing to celebrate Jesus’s birth at Christmas. We will also be preparing for His second coming at the end of time.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick


Preparation

Dear Parishioners,

The season of Advent has begun. At this time of year, it is getting darker earlier and the temperature outside is colder. It is also the time of year when we enjoy coming home in the evening to the warmth of our home and to be with our family.

The season of Advent is a season of preparation. We are preparing to celebrate the birth of our Savior. On the first Sunday of Advent, the first candle on the Advent wreath is lit. Each Sunday in Advent, an additional candle will be lit symbolizing that we are closer to Jesus’s coming into the world.

It is important to remember that every day for us is a time of preparation. In the season of Advent, we prepare to celebrate when Jesus first came into the world. But every day we are preparing for when Jesus comes a second time and we face our final judgment.

During the season of Advent, we may feel closer to one another as we buy gifts and plan for our Christmas celebration. We may also find ourselves being kinder to one another as we prepare for our special day. But the extra time we give to God and the extra goodness we show to one another is not only to happen during Advent. This is how Jesus asks us to live every day.

We truly show our love for God and others in Advent as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Let’s be sure to remember that every day is a time of preparation. So after we celebrate Christmas, nothing needs to change. Jesus will come again. Let’s prepare for His coming that day the same way we prepare to celebrate His first coming – through our love for God and one another.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

A Humble King

Dear Parishioners,

Today in the Catholic Church, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Jesus’s kingship represents the greatest gift for which we are thankful, the gift of eternal life.

Jesus was a humble king. He showed His greatest power by giving His life for us. By His dying and rising, He gained for us forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.

‘When we go to the Lord in prayer, we thank Him for everything He has done for us. Let’s always remember to thank Him for the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Parishioners,


This coming Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together with family and loved ones and reflect about everything for which we are thankful.

We can all think back to people who have been important to us, along with special events that have taken place. As we do this, we can recognize so much for which we are thankful. When we gather around the table, we can share with one another something for which we are particularly thankful.

Mass will be celebrated here at St. Joseph’s Church at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. As we look back throughout this past year as well as our entire life, we can come to Mass and thank God for the many gifts He has given us.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our parishioners and your families!


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Giving From the Heart

Dear Parishioners,

One night years ago, a cloudburst stranded a newlywed couple on a remote country road. Unable to go any farther, they got out of their car and set out on foot toward a dimly lit farmhouse.

When they reached the farmhouse, an elderly couple carrying a kerosene lamp met them at the door. Explaining their predicament, the young man asked, “Could you put us up until morning? A place on the floor or a few easy chairs would be fine.”

Just then a few grains of rice slipped from the young lady’s hair and fell to the floor. The elderly couple glanced down at it and exchanged a knowing glance. “Why surely, children,” said the elderly woman. “We just happen to have a spare bedroom. You get your things from the car while my husband and I freshen it up a bit.”

The next morning the newlyweds got up early and prepared to leave without disturbing the elderly couple. They dressed quietly, put a ten dollar bill on the dresser, and tiptoed down the stairs. When they opened the door to the living room, they found the old couple asleep in chairs. They’d given the newlyweds their only bedroom.

This story is a modern illustration of the beautiful story of the widow in today’s gospel. Like the widow in the gospel, the elderly couple didn’t give from their surplus and what they could spare. Rather, they gave from their own meager resources. In both cases they have not only generously but also joyfully and from the heart.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Words into Deeds

Dear Parishioners,

Dr. Tom Dooley excited the imagination of the world in the 1950s. He was a young navy doctor fresh out of medical school. One afternoon, Tom’s ship picked up a thousand injured men and women.

Tom was the only doctor on board, so he began the backbreaking job of helping these people. Soon an excitement grew inside him. He saw how a simple cast soothed a broken arm. He saw how a simple lancing relieved a swollen hand. He saw how the simplest medical treatment brought smiles to pain-filled faces.

Tom saw something else. He saw that helping these people made him happier than he had ever been in his entire life. When Tom’s time in the navy was over, he went back to Asia to work among the poor.

In the gospel today, Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The next is to love your neighbor as yourself.

Dr. Tom Dooley put these words onto practice with every patient he cared for and with every smile he put on a patient’s face. We can all do the same thing, through our love for God and our love for one another.

 

                                              Sincerely in Christ,

                                           Father Dominick

 

Helping? Or hurting?

Dear Parishioners,

God put each of us on earth to do good and bring joy to one another. It’s important that we keep these words in mind, especially after hearing a gospel like the one we heard today.

Today’s gospel says that when the blind man who was begging called out to Jesus, “Son of David, have pity on me,” many people yelled at him and told him to keep quiet. In other words, instead of taking the blind man by the hand and leading him to Jesus, they shoved him farther away from Jesus.

Only one person came to his aid and that was Jesus, Himself. When Jesus heard the people shouting at the blind man, He stopped and asked that the blind man be brought to Him. Only then did the people change. Only then did they help this unfortunate man.

This gospel prompts us to ask ourselves, “How many blind beggars are there in the world today? How many of these blind beggars are trying to reach out to Jesus? How many of them are being treated the way the people treated the blind beggar in today’s gospel?”

After hearing today’s gospel, let’s remember that it’s important to keep these words in mind: God put each of us on earth to do good and bring joy to one another.


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Ransom

Dear Parishioners,

There was a boy who consistently came home late from school. There was no good reason for his tardiness and no amount of discussion from his parents seemed to help. Finally, in desperation, the boy’s father sat him down and said, “The next time you come home late from school you are going to be given bread and water for your supper – and nothing else. Is that perfectly clear, son?”

The boy looked straight into his father’s eyes and nodded. He understood perfectly. A few days later the boy came home even later than usual. His parents didn’t say anything to him, but that night at supper, the boy’s heart sank down to his feet.

His parents’ plates were filled with food but his plate contained only one piece of bread. Next to his plate was a lonely glass of water. This was the punishment his parents had warned him about. To make matters worse, this night he was starving.

The father waited for the full impact to sink in, then, quietly took the boy’s plate and placed it in front of himself. He took his own plate and put it in front of his son. The boy understood what his father was doing. The father was taking his son’s punishment upon himself.

This story illustrates perfectly what Jesus meant when He said in today’s gospel, “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus came into the world to do for us what the father did for his son. He came to pay the price for our sinfulness. The price He paid was His own death on the cross. By taking our sins upon Himself, Jesus gained for us forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick