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Dear Friends,
In light of the tumultuous celebrations (demonstrations) of the last few days, I thought I would reproduce the Homily of Cardinal Joseph Tobin at the Mass of his Installation as the 6th Archbishop of Newark. It shows us a path in these conflicted times. I present it in two parts, beginning this week and concluding next week.

“At a dinner party, recently, I was asked what is the greatest challenge the Church faces today. I thought a moment and replied: the chasm between faith and life. My questioner looked at me quizzically and remarked that she didn’t expect that answer. I imagine that she was ready for any one of the so-called “hot-button” issues that dominate the discourse, both inside and outside the Church. As noisy and divisive as those questions might be, they don’t worry me as a growing trend that seems to isolate us, convincing us to neatly compartmentalize our life, subtly seducing us to go to Mass on Sunday, and for the rest of the week, do whatever we think we need to do to get by.

“During this Christmas season, God makes every effort to convince us that faith has everything to do with life – all of life. The proclamation of the birth of Emmanuel announces God-with-us. We do well to listen to that proclamation again and again; to hear over and over again that God is present in the midst of God’s people. This certainty, which we renew each year, is the source of our joy and hope. We just heard in the reading from the First Letter of John:

And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life.

“The gist of the proclamation of Emmanuel is that eternal life is given in Christ and nowhere else. More important, to possess the Son is not acceptance of a doctrine, a moral code, but of a person who lives now and is the source of life – and not just on Sunday morning!
“Jesus lives in the Church.

The words of John the Baptist in today’s Gospel remind us that through the life-giving baptism with the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8), Jesus will create a new people of God. But first he identifies himself with the people of Israel in submitting to John’s baptism of repentance and in bearing on their behalf the burden of God’s decisive judgment. The decisive judgment is this: in Jesus we all become the beloved daughters and sons of God.

“Jesus Christ lives today in His Body, the Church, which is neither an elite club nor static container of truth. The Church is a set of interlocking and dynamic relationships among people and with the Triune God.

“The Church is the place where believers speak and listen to each other, and it is the community of faith that speaks with and listens to the world. The Church senses a responsibility for the world, not simply as yet another institutional presence or a benevolent NGO, but as a movement of salt, light and leaven for the world’s transformation. For this reason, our kindness must be known to all.”

The conclusion next week.
God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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