I find myself filled with profound gratitude, reverence, and awe as I pause to celebrate a remarkable milestone in my life's journey—seventeen years since my ordination to the priesthood. I owe it all to the ceaseless guidance of our loving God and the unwavering support from all of you, my family, and my friends.
Every baptism I've administered, every confession I've heard, every Eucharist I've celebrated, every funeral I have officiated, every wedding I have presided over—these sacred moments have been steppingstones along my journey, shaping me, teaching me, and humbling me. The smiles of our parish children, the wisdom of our parish councils, the shared prayers, the comforting silence, and the resonating hymns are all threads that weave the beautiful tapestry of my priesthood.READ MORE
Traditionally, the four writers of the Gospels are symbolized by four creatures that make their way into Church art and architecture: Matthew, an angel; Mark, a lion; Luke, an ox; and John, an eagle. These images can be found in churches across the world, a nod to those who recorded the stories of Jesus for us, thousands of years ago.
Today’s Gospel was written by John. There are a few reasons why John is symbolized by an eagle, but my favorite explanation is that his writings soar like an eagle into the sky with their beautiful, poetic language.
The prayer we hear today is no different — Jesus invokes God in a long discourse that might seem mystifying at times, the same way that a poem can be perplexing to understand when we are unfamiliar with the pacing or format.READ MORE
For some time, I have worn a brown scapular. If you don’t know much about this devotional practice, here is a very quick-and-dirty version, greatly lacking in detail: it’s two little pieces of brown cloth, connected by a cord and worn around the neck beneath one’s clothing. One of the cloth pieces depicts Our Lady of Mount Carmel appearing to St. Simon Stock, and the other piece — the one that is sometimes visible at the nape of my neck — depicts Our Lady’s “scapular promise:” Whosoever dies clothed in this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.READ MORE
If you had to summarize the essential core of the Christian life, what would it be? Mercy, truth, or love, perhaps? The readings today suggest another word which may surprise you. That word is priesthood. St. Peter says to us, “You are a ‘chosen race, a royal priesthood…’” To be part of a priesthood is to offer a particular sacrifice in order for the community to survive and thrive.READ MORE