St. Joseph's Parish

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Seventeenth Sunday In Ordinary Time -A

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

 

(1 Kings 3: 5, 7-12     Romans 8: 28-30     Matthew 13: 44-52)

God made us perfect in his image and likeness without any fault; it was us who, because of the reliance on the satisfaction of the flesh, rather chose to wound our perfect nature. As a result, we could not help ourselves; everything we did went from bad to worse in a topsy-turvy manner. At an appropriate time, God sent us help by making Jesus pay for the price of our iniquities and transgressions that ever-worsened the already incurable wounds caused by our inordinate desires. Thus, a process to bring perfect healing through Redemption by the precious blood of Christ was given to each one of us. Those who acknowledge the problem of our imperfection and the need to rectify the problem always seek the help of God to achieve that goal; others who do not care about the future of their souls keep on holding fast to the ever-deceiving and fake satisfaction of the flesh.
We are a Church Militant pulled in direct opposite directions by the grace of God and the temptation of concupiscence, like someone being pulled by two strong horses in two opposite directions. Sometimes we settle that we are what and who we are because we have been destined to be so.  But this is the defeatist approach by someone who has no faith, trust, and hope in God’s graces. With such an approach we shall not even dare to ask for God’s favors. No wonder many people are not having private prayers, let alone having communal prayers as a church! We ought to trust in the power of the grace and mercy of God we have received through Jesus’s redemption and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The moment we come to this realization of totally placing our trust and will in the Lord, we shall begin to have a foretaste of the life of heaven, for nothing mundane will ever be an obstacle to deter us from the love of God.

 

 

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The Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time -A

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

(Wisdom 12: 13, 16-19     Romans 8: 26-27     Matthew 13: 24-30)

 

Since our lives are full of choices with their attendant consequences, there is not much we can do to force people to be like us; we can only teach and encourage them to be better than what their current situations are.  Any appearance of forcing anyone to live a life based on our designs will be an affront exhibition of turning ourselves into gods, for we shall be taking the place of God as the ultimate judges over people’s lives.  But, who can be like God?
If we fail to pursue holy lives, how do we expect others to be holy? What efforts have we made ourselves to live the life of Christ so as to cause a positive change in people’s lives?  The energy we use in trying to change and rearrange others can be put into a better use if we were to spend the same energy to change and rearrange our personal lives towards God. In this case, our lives will be a beacon of hope, faith and charity to those we consider lost. We should never undermine the clemency of God, for God’s favors are never exhausted, as we learn from the Book of Lamentations. It is only by a life of serious prayer that we can come to this understanding.

 

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The Fifteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time -A

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

(Isaiah 55: 10-11     Romans 8: 18-23     Matthew 13: 1-23)

 

As humans, we have the gifts of free will and free choice; but these gifts also come with obvious consequences. Therefore, we ought to make good use of the gifts we have. The consequences of what we do with these gifts are already known to us before we make any choices; they are proportionate to how much trust we place in the One who endows us with the gifts, and how we put the gifts into use. There is always some truth in the saying: “the harvesting is in the planting”.
We ought to play it safe by allowing God’s will be done in our lives as we trust in his goodness and kindness. It is when we doubt the certainty of what God has in store for us that we strive to create our own god and religion, for we are so impatient to an extent that we get so blinded to the signs and messages God has for us in our lives. Unfortunately, when we fail in the pursuit of true and lasting happiness because of our constant insistence on our weak, unreliable and unaided free wills, we tend to blame it on either the devil’s lure or on God’s inability to help us. But the truth is that we have been endowed with all that it takes to be successful in life, for God has already provided us with all that we need for the happiness and joy of our survival and existence. It is our arrogance and folly, taking away God from the equation of our daily lives, that has become the bane to our growth in the Spirit. Therefore, we will have no one to blame but ourselves if nothing seems successful in our lives as a result of our failure to trusting in the Lord and allowing his will be done in our lives.

 

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Fourteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time -A

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

(Zechariah 9:9-10     Romans 8: 9, 11-13     Matthew 11: 25-30)

 

A life of gross insubordination to an authority borne out of plain arrogance is the downfall of every human being. We prefer living in a vacuum, so to speak; yet, by common sense, we are so dependent on everything for our existence and survival.  God is the highest authority in our lives; we have a choice to do his bidding in his presence and enjoy a peaceful life, or distance ourselves from him and experience a constant melancholic life. The choice is ours to make!
The call to live Christ’s life, though it may appear to deny us any sensual pleasures, is for our own good. Our God is Immanuel; he has made the first step to invite us to savor the sweetness of his life. Of what are we afraid? Why are we still sticking to a life that yields no true lasting peace and happiness? Have we forgotten we have been consecrated and configured in the person of Christ? Perhaps we do not believe in the life of the world to come, and for that reason live as if our lives will end in the grave; but, we all just celebrated the triumph of the empty tomb. We have nothing to fear by turning to the Lord and have quality life because God is the source of all life and holiness in whom all things exist.

 

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The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

(Acts 12: 1-11     2 Timothy 4: 6-8, 17-18     Matthew 16: 13-19)

 

We celebrate with joy the solemnity of the two great Saints who are the main pillars on whom Christ founded the Church. St Peter, by Divine assistance, proclaimed Christ’s divinity. He was entrusted the keys of heaven as he was made to be the Shepherd of Christ’s flock on earth. St Paul, on the other hand, was chosen by Christ to spread the Good News to the Pagans so that all might be co-heirs of the Kingdom of God. Both St Peter and St Paul suffered martyrdom to give true witness to Christ.
Despite their human weaknesses, these men were chosen by the Lord to proclaim and teach the Good News. We, too, notwithstanding our obvious weaknesses, have been chosen to bear witness to Christ in the world by word and deed, even if that costs our mortal lives.
May we, therefore, emulate these brave Saints who placed their trust and hope in the Lord’s promise of eternal life so as to make the Good News of Salvation ever meaningful at all times and places. If we, too, are resolute in the Lord’s mission, the grace of the same Lord will carry and see us through, even in the face of persecution and death, for “if the Lord is for us, nothing can be against us”.

 

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Fortnight for Freedom

  • Written by St. Joseph's Parish

Dear Brother Knights,

On June 21 – July 4, Catholics throughout the nation will commemorate the annual Fortnight for Freedom. This period of prayer, fasting, and advocacy will be a time for faithful Americans to respond to the many threats to religious liberty our country currently faces. This year’s theme is the “Freedom to Serve,” which highlights the good that Catholic apostolates do for the poor.

For information on this year’s fortnight and suggestions on what you can do on behalf of our religious liberties, we encourage you to visit www.fortnight4freedom.org. As leaders in your parish communities, we encourage you to organize and participate in activities in cooperation with your priests and parish leadership. Individually, we ask you to offer special prayers and sacrifices on behalf of our precious First Amendment religious freedoms during the Fortnight.

The Knights of Columbus throughout the years has been steadfast in its defense of our First Amendment right to religious freedom. In union with our priests and bishops, we can continue this legacy through our enthusiastic support of the Fortnight for Freedom.


Carl A. Anderson
Supreme Knight

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