Who What is the Gospel of God which Jesus came to preach? The word "gospel" literally means "good news". When a king had good news to deliver to his subjects he sent messengers or heralds throughout the land to make a public announcement - such as the birth of a newborn king or the victory over an invading army or occupied force. God sent his prophets to announce the coming of God's anointed King and Messiah. After Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan and anointed by the Spirit he begins his ministry of preaching the Gospel - the good news that the kingdom of God was now at hand for all who were ready to receive it.

As soon as John the Baptist had finished his testimony, Jesus began his in Galilee, his home district. John's enemies had sought to silence him, but the gospel cannot be silenced. Jesus proclaimed that the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus takes up John's message of repentance and calls disciples to believe in the gospel - the good news he has come to deliver. What is the good news which Jesus delivers? It is the good news of peace, of hope, of truth, of promise, of immortality, and the good news of salvation.

Repentance means to change - to change my way of thinking, my attitude, disposition, and life choices so that Christ can be the Lord and Master of my heart rather than sin, selfishness, and greed. If we are only sorry for the consequences of our sins, we will very likely keep repeating the sin that is mastering us. True repentance requires a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17) and sorrow for sin and a firm resolution to avoid it in the future. The Lord Jesus gives us grace to see sin for what it really is - a rejection of his love and wisdom for our lives and a refusal to do what is good and in accord with his will. His grace brings pardon and help for turning away from everything that would keep us from his love and truth.

Jesus speaks the same message to us today: we will "catch people" for the kingdom of God if we allow the light of Jesus Christ to shine through us. God wants others to see the light of Christ in us in the way we live, speak, and witness the joy of the gospel. Paul the Apostles says, but thanks be to God, who in Christ Jesus always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
(Servants of the word)

Date to Remember

Fr. Phil’s Valentines Roast Beef Dinner and Dance
 (50’s, 60’s and 70’s)

Sunday February 18, 5pm –Cocktails - 6pm Dinner
Adults $25, Children under 12 $10, Under 5 free

I wish you a great week,

Fr. Phil

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Who is Jesus for you? John calls Jesus the Lamb of God and thus signifies Jesus' mission as the One who redeems us from our sins. The blood of the Passover Lamb delivered the Israelites from their oppression in Egypt and from the plague of death. The Lord Jesus freely offered up his life for us on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. The blood which he poured out for us on the cross cleanses, heals, and frees us from our slavery to sin, and from the "wages of sin which is death" and the "destruction of both body and soul in hell".

It is significant that John was the son of the priest, Zachariah, who participated in the daily sacrifice of a lamb in the temple for the sins of the people. In Jesus John saw the true and only sacrifice which could deliver us from bondage to sin, death, and the powers of hell. How did John know the true identity of Jesus, as the Son of God and Savior of the world? The Holy Spirit revealed to John Jesus' true nature, such that John bore witness that this is the Son of God. How can we be certain that Jesus is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God? The Holy Spirit makes the Lord Jesus Christ known to us through the gift of faith. God gives us freely of his Spirit that we may comprehend - with enlightened minds and eyes of faith - the great mystery and plan of God to unite all things in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

John in his characteristic humility was eager to point beyond himself to the Christ (means Anointed One and Messiah). He did not hesitate to direct his own disciples to the Lord Jesus. When two of John's disciples began to seek Jesus out, Jesus took the initiative to invite them into his company. He did not wait for them to get his attention. Instead he met them halfway. He asked them one of the most fundamental questions of life: "What are you looking for?" Jesus asks each one of us the same question: "What are you searching for? Do you know the meaning and purpose for your life?" Only God, the Father and Author of life, can answer that question and make our purpose fully known to us. That is why the Lord Jesus invites each one of us to draw near to himself. He wants us to know him personally - to know what he came to do for us and what he wants to offer us.

When we find something of great value it's natural to want to share the good news of our discovery with our family, friends, and neighbors. When Andrew met Jesus and discovered that he was truly the Messiah, he immediately went to his brother Simon and told him the good news. Andrew brought his brother to meet Jesus so he could "come and see" for himself. When Jesus saw Simon approaching he immediately reached out to Simon in the same way he had done for Andrew earlier. Jesus looked at Simon and revealed that he knew who Simon was and where he came from even before Simon had set his eyes on Jesus. Jesus gave Simon a new name which signified that God had a personal call and mission for him. Jesus gave Simon the name "Cephas" which is the Aramaic word for "rock". Cephas is translated as Peter (Petros in Greek and Petrus in Latin) which also literally means "rock". To call someone a "rock" was one of the greatest compliments in the ancient world. The rabbis had a saying that when God saw Abraham, he exclaimed: "I have discovered a rock to found the world upon." Through Abraham God established a nation for himself. Through faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was - the Anointed One (Messiah and Christ) and the only begotten Son of God. The New Testament describes the church as a spiritual house or temple with each member joined together as living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5). Faith in Jesus Christ makes us into rocks or spiritual stones. The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of faith to know the Lord Jesus personally, power to live the gospel faithfully, and courage to witness the truth and joy of the Gospel to others. The Lord Jesus is ever ready to draw us to himself. Do you seek to grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus Christ?
(Servants of the Word)

I hope you all have a good week.

Fr. Phil

Epiphany of the Lord

I hope you all enjoyed the festivities and celebrations of Advent and Christmas. Many thanks to all those who helped make our liturgies so meaningful.

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany and the great Gospel story of the visit of the Magi. We are familiar with the term Magi, although it is more common to refer to them as the 3 wise men, or the 3 kings.

As people of faith, do we know the names of these important visitors? They are: Balthazar, Caspar and Melchior. The three wise men were called to come and give worship to the child Jesus. They were called by the powerful light of a star and by careful study of Old Testament Scripture. As scholars of non-Jewish heritage, they realized that the messiah has come to visit his people.

The Feast of the Epiphany is the celebration of the manifestation of Jesus the Lord to the Gentiles and indeed, the whole world. And this manifestation is represented by these mysterious kings from the Far East. The visit of these kings will make clear that the King of Kings came to save all people of every nation. This is the manifestation of the New Covenant. This is the beginning of the universality of Christ’s church; that universality we call Catholic.

The Magi journeyed far, and for quite some time, to pay homage to Jesus. This would not be an easy journey. Yet their faith in the promise of new hope motivated them to press on. They did not have the advantage of witnessing Christ’s miracles, reading the stories of Jesus in the New Testament, they hardly could know of the passion, crucifixion, death and resurrection that were to come. Still their faith was enough.

And they came not to say hello, here we are. No, they came to pay Christ worship and to bring him their finest gifts. And these gifts we all know so well; gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold is the most precious of all earth’s metals, frankincense is the incense that is burned in churches down through the centuries to make a pleasing offering to God and myrrh is a by-product that is used in the holy oils for anointing. These precious gifts represent all that the life of Jesus, sent to us through the Virgin to save us, is all about; for He is our priest, our prophet and our King.

What does all of this mean for us today?  These men gave their all and sacrificed much to be able to do so? We can ask ourselves what kind of time to we devote to giving ourselves to Jesus?  If we truly reflect on a typical day or a typical week in our lives what would we discover about our faith commitment to Christ?

Today, we can ponder the example of the 3 wise men, these mysterious Kings from the Far East known as the Magi. God called them, as He calls us, by name.

SKATING PARTY – Queen of Heaven Catholic School and St Dominic Catholic School have extended an invitation to all parishioners to join them for a skating party on January 13th 2018 from 7pm – 8 pm at Carmen Corbasson arena followed by refreshments back in the parish hall. I hope to see a good turn out!!

Once again, I wish you a Happy and Holy new year of 2018!

Fr. Phil