Palm Sunday

April 14, 2019

Today we celebrate the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, and in doing so we begin the holiest week of the liturgical year. Today we carry palms, hearkening back to the reception Jesus got when He entered Jerusalem to the crowds adoring Him. As Holy Week progresses, we will follow our Lord as He approaches the Crucifixion. We will be present in the Upper Room when Jesus institutes the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders. We will follow Jesus as He carries His Cross, and we will worship in vigil awaiting His Resurrection.

These are the highest liturgies of our Church, and the greatest Mysteries of our Faith. Strive to attend as many of this liturgies as you can, and may we all be inspired to know these Mysteries better, to love God ever more, and to strive always for Eternal Life.

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 11)

April 7, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after Bartholomew we find Matthew.

St. Matthew is both Apostle and Evangelist. He was a tax collector when the Lord called him. He penned the Gospel which begins with the human genealogy of Jesus. Of his apostolic labors almost nothing reliable is known, however he is reputed to have ministered in Arabia and Ethiopia. According to some authors he was burned alive, according to others he was killed with a spear. Since A. D. 930 his holy body has reposed in the metropolitan church at Salerno, where he is also honored as the patron of the city.

St. Matthew, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 10)

March 31, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after Philip, we find Bartholomew.  While records are scares, St. Bartholomew is probably the Nathaniel mentioned in the Gospel, who was led to the Lord by Philip. He preached in Arabia Felix, in India and in Greater Armenia, where at Albanopolis he was flayed alive and decapitated. Relics of his holy body are preserved under the high altar of the Church of St. Bartholomew, in the isle of the Tiber, at Rome. They were brought to this church by the Emperor Otto III.  St. Bartholomew is often represented with a knife in his hand, as the instrument of his cruel death.

St. Bartholomew, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,

Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 8)

March 24, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after James the Less, we find Philip.

St. Philip was the fourth of the fishermen of Bethsaida in Gallilee called by the Savior to the Apostolate.  In the Gospel he is frequently mentioned with distinction. His touching supplication is well known: “Lord, show us the Father and we shall be satisfied” (John 14:8) and the reply of Jesus: “Philip, he that as seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).  He exercised his apostolate in Phrygia, and died in Hierapolis on a cross, stoned to death by the enraged populace. The bodies of the holy Apostles Philip and James repose under the high altar of the Church of the Twelve Apostles in Rome, where quite recently they were exhumed and examined. Pictures of St. James represent him with the instrument of his martyrdom, the cross, formed like a Latin T.

St. Philip, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,

Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 8)

March 17, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after Thomas, we find James the Less.

St. James, the Less (Minor), being a relative of the Lord, is called His brother. With
Saints Peter and John, he is designated by St. Paul as a “Pillar” of the Church. He is the
only Apostle who did not preach the Gospel to the Gentiles; James was raised by St.
Peter to be the first Bishop of Jerusalem. On account of his piety and austerity James
was surnamed “the Just” and highly esteemed even by the Jews.

Because of his courageous confession of the divinity of Christ, he was thrown down
from the battlements of the Temple. He was still able to rise to his knees, but the crowd
attacked him with stones, and a fuller gave him the death-blow by hitting him on the
head with his club, such as was used in dressing cloth (between AD 60-64). The fuller’s
club is his distinctive mark. His feast occurred originally on May 1, but was transferred
by Pope Pius XII to May 11 in favor of the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

St. James, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,

Fr. Matt

Lent

March 10, 2019

Today is the first Sunday of Lent.  It’s time once again to take spiritual combat to task, and the battle began with ashes on our foreheads.  The ashes, made from last year’s palms, were imposed with the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  These words are a stark reminder of not only the relative brevity of our lives, but of what follows: the Four Last Things.

The Four Last Things are Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell, the last two being mutually exclusive (you can’t have it both ways).  That means that we will be faced with a once-and-for-all decision, and there will be no going back. The mistake most people make, however, isn’t the choice itself.  Rather, the mistake is when people make that decision.  Far too many people put it off, and just live their lives as they please, trying to be a “good person.”  They fail to realize that the moment of death is not the time to make the decision. The time is now, and that is what spiritual combat is all about.

We have to choose now to reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin.  We have to choose now whom we will serve, God or something else. While it is true that we will be faced with the decision at the moment of death, it is also true that how we live our lives right now – each and every day – will prepare us for that decision.

Lent is a good time for us to double down on our commitment to God.  Let Him guide every decision in your life, for that is the best possible way to prepare for that final decision.

For the Greater Glory of God,

Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 7)

March 3, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after John, we find Thomas.

St. Thomas, called the Twin, was slow to believe in the Resurrection of the Lord; but he afterwards proved himself a fervent advocate and propagator of the faith among the Parthians in the East; on his way there he is said to have baptized the three Magi. He went as far as India, where, by the command of the king, he was killed by a stroke of the lance, or, according to another story, stoned and clubbed to death.  As a spiritual architect, he is regarded as the patron of architecture and is, therefore, represented as holding a hewn stone or a square.

St. Thomas, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 6)

February 24, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after James, we find John.   John is “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” and was privileged above the other Apostles for his innocence and chastity.  John was younger than the other Apostles, and so was not as jaded by society as others.  This disposition made him more like Jesus than the others, closer to the ideal life Jesus proposed, more in tune with what we today would call holiness, and the perfect candidate to care for the Blessed Mother of Jesus.

John began his public ministry in Palestine, then in Ephesus, then Asia Minor.  John was the last surviving Apostle, and underwent a different type of martyrdom than the others.  During his life, John experienced the martyrdom of all of the other Apostles.  At one point John himself was dragged to Rome by order of the emperor Domitian and thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, from which he miraculously emerged purer, stronger, and more vigorous for the spread of the Gospel message.  He was then banished to the island of Patmos.

St. John, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,

Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 5)

February 17, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after Andrew, we find James.  In fact, we find James twice in the Roman Canon, but it’s not the same James.  The James listed first in the Canon is James the Greater (Major), and is a brother of St. John.

Peter, James (the Greater), and John were distinguished and privileged by the lord above the other Apostles, because these three alone Jesus took with Him when he raised the daughter of Jairus to life again.  It was these same three Apostles who witnessed the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, and it was these three who were with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

After the Resurrection of Jesus, James preached in Judea and Samaria, then going to Spain.  James the Greater was the first of the Apostles to be Martyred, only a few years after the Resurrection, and his remains were carried to, and still rest at Santiago de Compostella in Spain.  A great many pilgrims make the long walking journey to visit every year.

St. James, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,

Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 4)

February 10, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after Peter and Paul are mentioned, we find Andrew.

Andrew was the first to recognize the Messiah through St. John the Baptist, and full of joy he at once led his brother Simon Peter to the Lord. His arduous and successful missionary labors were among the Greeks, ending in Achaia, where he suffered an heroic martyrdom (Nov. 30, 62).

When the governor Aegeas interrogated him, the Apostle made a solemn profession of the Sacrifice of the Cross and of the Altar, whereupon he was condemned to die fastened to the Cross. St. Andrew is the Apostle of the Cross. He salutes the Cross thusly: “Hail, precious Cross, Thou hast been consecrated by the body of my Lord, and adorned with His limbs as with rich jewels. How long have I yearned for thee! At length thou art granted to my desires! Receive the disciple of the Master who hung upon thee; take me from among men, and present me to Him, who through thee redeemed me!”

St. Andrew, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt