In this week’s Gospel, Jesus uses several parables to get His points across. (According to Google, a parable is “a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.”)
Jesus’ use of parables in itself is a great lesson to those of us who follow Him. After all, what good is a brilliant teacher who doesn’t have the ability to translate his or her brilliance into understandable terminology?
Most of us have had classes at the junior high, high school, or university level where the teacher seemed more concerned with sounding intelligent than actually transferring knowledge. This is a waste of everyone’s time.READ MORE
“Lord, I love your commands.” Only those who have experienced God’s love will be able to say these words, “Lord, I love your commands.” Only those who have understood the ways of God can say these words with conviction. Only those who have tasted the love of God can truthfully proclaim these words of wisdom. Solomon asked not for power, wealth, or health but for wisdom and understanding and the Lord was pleased to give them all.READ MORE
As the parent of a newborn, sleep becomes a treasured commodity. You might get a good night’s sleep one night and you might only get two hours the following night. Even if you get six hours of shuteye, it might come in increments of 100 minutes between adventures involving crying and toxic diapers.
Do not misunderstand me. I am blessed beyond description and love every second of fatherhood. ...but sleep deprivation can manifest itself in some pretty interesting ways…READ MORE
This weekend, there is a phrase toward the end of the second reading that has particular meaning for me. “...as we wait for adoption...”
Many of you know that my wife and I have tried to adopt for the last four years. The first attempt fell through early in the process. The second attempt ended on the anticipated delivery date when our lawyer broke the news that the birth mother changed her mind. The third attempt ended only after a ten month protracted and complicated legal battle that bankrupted our finances and broke our hearts. We had to give Liliana - our baby girl who was already calling us momma and dada—back to her birth mother. Losing my infant daughter was the hardest event of my life. ...but I have good news...READ MORE
By this time the three shepherd children were feeling quite a bit of opposition from their family, the village elders, their neighbors and local leaders. Some believed the little children were lying to gain attention or fame. Even Lucia’s Mother begged her to “tell the truth” and made her again, visit the local priest to confess her lying. Added to this turmoil, many people were flocking to the little village, congregating in or near the homes of the children and disrupting the peace and harmony of their homes and the routine of the village.
As the oldest of the children, Lucia had a heavy heart and felt the enormous responsibility of what she had seen. In fact, she was reluctant to visit the Apparition site on July 13th. Nevertheless, she felt the burden lift when she decided to go. She gathered her two cousins and they walked to the holm oak tree, the site of the two previous Apparitions.READ MORE
This Sunday’s Gospel says, “Jesus said to his apostles: Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
This was always a very difficult Bible verse when I was in youth ministry. Why? Because it stretched parents of high school teens further than they wanted to go.
The vast majority of the parents of teens in my programs wanted their kids to be nice, to treat their elders with respect, get good grades, only date saints, and always make their bed in the morning. If I could have accomplished that...the parents would have been thrilled with me! Here is the problem: Jesus is asking of more of them than only those few things.READ MORE
A Conversation with Father Felix
During June, you may have celebrated Mass with Father Felix Odesanmi, who graced OLOJ with a one-month visit from St. Michael’s parish in the town of Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. A parish priest since 2004, Fr. Felix’s flock at St. Michael’s now includes 125 families. Father Felix also serves as Vicar General for the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, and oversees the Diocesan Project Committee, implementing charitable works throughout his Diocese.
“Odesanmi” means “hunting pays well” in Fr. Felix’s native Yoruba language. True to that name, he has “hunted” for souls for Christ in Nigeria and in the Phoenix area, where he has visited the last few years. We recently caught up with Fr. Felix and asked a few questions.READ MORE