Dear Family of God,
What is discernment? Why do we need to do it?
This weekend Saint Paul urges us, “by the mercies of God, offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.” He continues, “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2).
According to Father Timothy Gallagher, OMV, in his book The Discernment of Spirits, “discernment is to be aware, to understand and to take action” on the truth, event or situation that God has presented with, in a given moment. Prayer and the wisdom of the Church with her 2000 years tradition will help and guide us and lead us to the truth, to peace and joy that our hearts long for.
Discernment is needed because the enemy is so subtle and cunning, if we are not careful we can easily be deceived as many of our brothers and sisters are. There is a saying: “The way to hell is paved with good intentions”. When Saint Peter trying to dissuade Jesus from the cross, Jesus rebukes Saint Peter and calls him “Satan”. Although a good intention, Peter was not discerning God’s will. He was putting his own human will and comfort above the will of God. That is why even with the best of intentions, we can say or do things that help the enemy instead of God.READ MORE
Dearest Brothers and sisters,
ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY INTO HEAVEN
What is it? What does the Assumption mean for us? Revelation chapter 12:7 reads “the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus”. Mary is the women referred to here and we are “those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus”.
Pope Pius XII said, in 1950, “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” Our Catechism says, “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s resurrection and the anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #966).
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is the advance fulfillment of the promise of Jesus to all of us His disciples, “And if I go and prepare a place for you. I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:3).
With this very important feast, also known as a Solemnity, our Holy Mother Church, is telling us the full story, proclaiming to us the FULL GOSPEL, the whole truth of God’s Plan of Salvation. Saint Paul said, “For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life” (1Cor. 15:22). But the fall is not about Adam only; it is about Adam and Eve. So, when we call Christ the New Adam, we know that there is a New Eve too. She is the Blessed Virgin Mary. Just as the fall story cannot be told without Eve, so also the Full Story of Redemption cannot be told without Mary.
In the old order Adam and Eve shared immediately in the resulting consequences of the fall. In the new order, similarly, both Jesus and Mary shared immediately in the resulting consequences and blessings of Redemption, the fullness of life with God, Jesus through the Ascension and Mary through the Assumption.
This feast shows us the sacredness and eternal destiny of the human body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. May we never forget the perfect harmony of wills and hearts of Jesus and Mary, as she is telling us now; “Do whatever my Son tells you to do” (John 2:5). May our Mother intercede for us all.
In Christ and Mary,
Fr. Jess Ty
My dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ:
Our beloved Holy Father, Pope Francis, has said: "Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone. Instead of seeming to impose new obligations, they should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet." It is with these words in mind that I ask your support as, beginning this fall, I redirect and refocus our efforts as a parish to fulfill the mission of the Church as commanded by our Lord Jesus: to make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19)
We have already begun this mission. Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration helps us come closer to Jesus by being in His presence. The Parish Council has spent a great deal of time and effort (for which I am very grateful) formulating a Pastoral Plan and a mission statement for the parish:
We welcome all people to share in the worship of Jesus Christ through the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Some of our members have viewed and discussed Fr. Robert Barron's inspiring video series on the New Evangelization mentioned by the Holy Father in his apostolic exhortation.
In order to respond to Jesus' command to make disciples, we must first become disciples ourselves. We must understand our faith, live that faith, and develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Our Lady of Joy Office of Faith Formation, with my guidance and approval, will be working earnestly to give all of us opportunities to grow in our faith and relationship with Our Lord. Confident in our Catholic faith, we can then reach out to others who do not share this faith, or have grown apart from it, and evangelize as Pope Francis calls us to do:
"An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first (cf. 1 John 4:19), and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast."
It is with great joy that I look forward to working with you, through the leadership of the Office of Faith Formation, with the collaboration of the Parish Council and our dedicated staff, to take on this challenge and vital mission. May Our Lady of Joy intercede for us, and may the Lord bless our efforts.
Dear Family of God,
What is the most important treasure you have in life? How much are you willing to sacrifice to have it? If given a chance by God, what is the one thing that you will ask from Him?
Will you ask for health or wealth? Or will you ask like Solomon for wisdom to distinguish right from wrong? Next Sunday, July 27th, the first reading is precisely about the story of King Solomon who just succeeded his Father, King David. God said to the young King Solomon, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” Solomon answered: “O Lord, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David… Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong…” (1Kings 3:7, 9).
Solomon gives us an example on how and what to ask from God. First, he humbled himself by acknowledging God as Lord and that He is the One who made him succeed his Father. He knew he is young and need God’s guidance and wisdom. Then, he proceeds to ask for an understanding heart to Judge God’s people and to distinguish right from wrong.
So God said to him: “Because you have asked for this--- not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for life of your enemies, but understanding so you may know what is right--- I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been like anyone like you up to now…” (1Kings 3:11-12).
May we all imitate King Solomon and be humble as we acknowledge God as source of being and truly strive to possess the Kingdom of God. Let us forsake everything that will hinder our pursuit of good. Let us do everything in our power to eradicate sin in our lives and seek Him always. For truly if we, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33).
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Jess Ty
Dear Parish Family,
Our mission statement describes our purpose: "Welcoming all people to share in the worship of Jesus Christ through the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church". This is developed in our "Five Year Spiritual Plan and Physical Facilities Plan". The Spiritual component of the plan renews our commitment to "education, formation and catechization of the entire family; perpetual adoration; and enhancing understanding of liturgical prayer". Our Physical Facilities component commits us to keeping God's house beautified and exercising great care in keeping aging buildings and equipment clean, updated, and wellmaintained.
Last November, we announced that Our Lady of Joy Roman Catholic Church was blessed with a generous gift from the Estate of William G. Poortvliet. As faithfilled Catholics, Bill and Gigi loved the Sacred Music program at Our Lady of Joy. To honor the family's gift and bequest, the parish purchased and installed a new Rodgers Infinity 361 organ in the Church. Later this year, to add further beauty to our church by both their sound and appearance, the organ will have auxiliary pipes in addition to the present speakers. The pipes are being constructed with the goal of installing them by the start of the Advent Season.
Because of the size of the Poortvliet gift, we are challenged to be responsible stewards of their generosity. A significant portion of the funds have been invested to cover future parish needs. As well, a significant portion has been used for new air conditioner units in the Church and for parking lot improvements. Roofing repairs on several buildings will begin before the monsoon season.
We can use extraordinary gifts for extraordinary expenses. Thank the Lord they have been available. We still need the ordinary income from weekly contributions to meet ordinary and budgeted expenses.
In closing, I wish, once again, to express my gratitude to the Poortvliet Family for including Our Lady of Joy Roman Catholic Church in their estate plans. Please consider Our Lady of Joy when creating or updating your own estate and trust plans. God Bless.
In Christ, Fr. Jesus G. Ty
Dear Family of God,
THE BODY OF CHRIST: THE SACRIFICE and the MEAL
The Mass or the Holy Eucharist is the summit and center of our Christian lives. In every Mass, the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary is made present and real through the Holy Spirit for the benefit of the faithful and all of creation. At the same time, the Last Supper of Jesus with the twelve apostles is also mystically made present to us. Here in this meal we are invited by Jesus to eat His Body and drink His Blood in order that we may have Eternal Life, life within us. We are looking forward to partaking in the heavenly Banquet of the “Wedding feast of the Lamb” (The book of Revelation 19:9) or the “Sacred Banquet”. However, we don’t have to wait for the next life to enjoy this great gift from God. Just come to Mass for every Mass is heaven on earth. Preparation is always important, when we unite ourselves, our pain and sorrows, our sufferings and joys with the Lord during Mass, our hope to share His resurrection is strengthened. We have a foretaste of heaven even here on earth.
Jesus is truly present in the Mass, angels and saints are here present with us singing glory and praise to our God. Eucharist as a sacred meal, we do not leave until we are sent by our host, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. It is disrespectful to God, to His angels and saints and to us His faithful gathered together here as One Body, to leave right after communion. We can do better than that.
Let us open our hearts and allow God to dwell in us to dine with us and us with him. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20). Let us give Him the proper honor and respect in every celebration of His Sacrifice for our salvation. May our Lady of Joy intercede for us all.
Fr. Jess Ty
In paragraph #284 of The Joy of The Gospel, our Holy Father Pope Francis said: “With the Holy Spirit, Mary is always present in the midst of the people. She joined the disciples in praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14) and thus made possible the missionary outburst, which took place at Pentecost. She is the Mother of the Church, which evangelizes, and without her we could never truly understand the spirit of the new evangelization.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Church and at the same time the model of the Church showing us how to evangelize the world. First, she has an obedient-faith and was the first to hear and receive the Word of God through the Holy Spirit; through her “yes” the Word became flesh in her womb. Secondly, she went in haste to her cousin Elizabeth, to bring Jesus, the Good News and to serve her. Thirdly, she Praised and thanked God for many the great things He has done for His people. She is our intercessor and encourages us all “to do whatever her Son tells us to do.” She is our mother standing beneath the Cross offering her Son to God the Father for our Salvation. Jesus while he was hanging on the cross gave Mary to us, as our Mother.
As Pope Francis said, “There is a Marian ‘style’ to the Church’s work of evangelization. Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness. In her we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong who need not treat others poorly in order to feel important themselves” (#288). She loves God and us to the end, and she even continues to work now with her Son and the Holy Spirit to save all believers of Jesus Christ. May we all value the work of The Mother God and the Holy Spirit for the Sanctification of all creation and the coming of the Kingdom of God in our hearts through His Church. May we all be docile to the Holy Spirit like Mary and be instruments like her in the new evangelization of our time.
Fr. Jess Ty
Dearest Brothers and sisters in Christ,
Loving God is the foundation of loving our neighbors.
In our Gospel this Sunday, Jesus said to His disciples, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth..." (John 14:15ff).
During the time of the Old Testament, the command to love God above all, and to love your neighbor as yourself, was so much harder to follow, because they did not have yet the Advocate to help them. But in our times, after Jesus' resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit, which has been poured out into our hearts, we have no more excuses. We now can love God and our neighbor. God Himself gives us the help to fulfill His New Commandments. He first loves us by sending Jesus to us save us from sin and to restore our broken relationship with God and one another. He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us to love Him in return by obeying His New commandment: "Love one another as I love you." The measure of our love for our neighbor is no longer our love for ourselves but the way Jesus loved us. How did He love us? He died for us. He is inviting us to practice this greatest kind of love. Jesus said to His disciples, "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friend. You are my friends if you do what I command you."(John 15:12).
Brothers and sisters let us invite the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, let us give Him permission to work in our life, so that we can truly love God and our neighbors and the Holy Trinity will dwell in our life, as Jesus said, "and whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him/her and reveal myself to him/her."(John 14:21).
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and our mother too, intercede for us all.
Father Jess Ty
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This Sunday, May 11, 2014, is called "Good Shepherd Sunday", at the same time; this Sunday is "51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations". The theme is: "Vocations, Witness to the Truth". It is also Mother's Day. We thank and pray for all mothers for their self-sacrificing love offered to the whole family.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis said in his message for this occasion said the following: "Everything comes from him and is his gift: the world, life, death, the present, the future, but - the Apostle assures us - "you are Christ's; and Christ is God's" (1 Cor. 3:23). Hence the way of belonging to God is explained: it comes about through a unique and personal relationship with Jesus, which Baptism confers on us from the beginning of our rebirth to new life. It is Christ, therefore, who continually summons us by his word to place our trust in him, loving him "with all the heart, with all the understanding, and with all the strength" (Mk 12:33). Therefore every vocation, even within the variety of paths, always requires an exodus from oneself in order to centre one's life on Christ and on his Gospel. Both in married life and in the forms of religious consecration, as well as in priestly life, we must surmount the ways of thinking and acting that do not conform to the will of God. It is an "exodus that leads us on a journey of adoration of the Lord and of service to him in our brothers and sisters".READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This weekend, a week after Easter, we will be celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. What is Mercy? How do we receive Mercy?
According to Catholic Bible Dictionary, “Mercy is the disposition toward loving-kindness, compassion, and/or forbearance. Mercy impels a person toward concern and a readiness to render assistance. It is also shown to one who offends, in particular the mercy of God to sinners. God’s Mercy is a gift not a right, but it entails a relationship between God and the one who receives it, who is expected to reciprocate by loving God.”
As in the Old Testament, the word mercy is always used in connection with the covenant that God established with Israel, so as Catholics we are suppose to be faithful as Children of God, to do His will, but we are not yet. That is why, we need God’s Mercy to fulfill the justice that the covenant’s demands.
Jesus Christ, saved us from this justice, He redeemed us by His Sufferings, Death and Resurrection, or what we call Paschal Mystery. “The Mercy of God pours forth to its fullest extent through the person and mission of Jesus Christ.” He came to restore this broken relationship with God. He gave to the Church, through the apostles the means where we can receive God’ Love and Mercy, when Jesus said to them after resurrection, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. And when he had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, whose sins you retain are retained.”(John 20:21-23).READ MORE
The Paschal Mystery is the suffering, death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ in order to redeem us from slavery to sin and to restore our broken relationship with God, making us adopted children of God.
We remember this coming Holy Week, how Jesus, a pure victim, an “unblemished lamb”, chose to die in our behalf to save us from sin and death. He willingly sacrifices Himself as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” We remember that He has come to lay down his life for us his friends in perfect obedience to the will of the Father in order to reverse the disobedience of Adam and Eve. We also remember the Passion was not an injustice forced on a helpless victim but a willing sacrificial offering, the supreme act of Love of Jesus, God-man who is madly in love with us and His creation.
With the Paschal Triduum, that is, the Celebration of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday and the Celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, we remember how the New Covenant was instituted by Christ Himself and He commanded His Apostles to “Do this in Memory of me”. He also gave authority to the Apostles to forgive sins breathing on them the Holy Spirit and telling them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Jesus has made it possible in His Church to make these three celebrations into one in the Celebration of the Eucharist wherein His One Holy Sacrifice is truly made present through the Holy Spirit. We who were not present at His Passion will now be present every time we celebrate Mass, and receive the Grace He merited for our Salvation.
Brothers and sisters, our response to this supreme act of Love of our God is to thank Him, to acknowledge Him by coming to the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist at least once a week. And we can offer now our bodies as a sacrifice in union with Him for the salvation of souls. Jesus gave us this privilege to suffer with Him and help Him reign in our hearts and in the hearts of all the people He sends us to.
May we all have meaningful and fruitful celebrations of these Holy Days.
Dear People of God,
I recently shared a pilgrimage to Holy Land with fellow parishioners. It was a privilege to walk where Jesus walked, but it is more important to be where Jesus sits, that is, in Heaven. I will add, at every Mass we participate, we are present where Jesus is truly present too. He gave us the Eucharist, so that we who could not be present during His Passion, Death and Resurrection, are now present with him at the Mass and receive His truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. What a privilege for all of us who have faith. May we all strive to be present at as many Masses as possible in our lifetime, so that we will be prepared to spend our life eternal with our Lord and Savior.
This week, Pope Francis spoke about the infidelity of the People of God, a generation that does not accept His messages, and instead seek justification for their sins. "It was a very great task to drive idolatry from the hearts of His people, to make them docile to His Word. But they followed this route for a little while, before turning back".READ MORE
Dear Beloved People of God,
Today many people celebrate Valentine’s Day or “Hearts Day”, indeed true love or charity is a matter of the heart, the innermost being of a person. And the model and source of charity is no other than the Sacred of Jesus, Jesus Himself, whose heart is eternally burning for love of us all. This selfless love, this self-sacrificing love of Jesus is “made present” for us at the Holy Eucharist, during Mass and continues to be present at our Perpetual Adoration Chapel or at the Tabernacle.
Pope Francis said in his catechesis during the Wednesday’s general audience (Feb. 12, 2012), there are three signs for understanding how we experience our relation with the Holy Eucharist:
First is our way of living with others. “In the Eucharist Christ renews the gift of Himself that He made on the Cross; His entire life is an act of the fullest sharing of Himself for love. This is why He loved to stay with the disciples and those He met. For Him, this meant sharing their yearnings, their problems, that which stirred their soul and their life.” So for us when we come to participate in the Holy Mass, we find ourselves with many people, this should lead us to consider them as brothers and sisters and be inspired to reach out the poor, the sick, the marginalized. We should be able to recognize the face of Christ in them.READ MORE