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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

All Things New

“I, John, saw a new Heaven and a new Earth.” Revelation 21:1

"And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds' with great power and glory." Mark 13:26

We are introduced to the book of Revelation’s great concluding vision in our second reading. The completion of God’s project of salvation is described as a new Jerusalem coming from heaven, to form a new heaven and new earth. The image of a marriage articulates this a vision, in which the two sides of God’s good creation, earth and heaven, are joined in a final union. Earth (the physical universe) will not be destroyed, but instead be fully renewed.

This vision rejects any notion that the physical and the spiritual are ultimately separate and opposed to each other. It rejects the idea that heaven is an escape from a prison of earthly life. Like a marriage partnership, these two sides of reality are fundamentally made for each other. Life in heaven and life on earth are quite different now. But the life of faith, here and now, offers a foretaste of God’s promised future.

The new heaven and new earth described by Revelation is where God will dwell fully among God’s beloved creation. God’s reign will be a reign of love, where death will be no more. In Revelation, death fuels fear and resentment, which turn to cycles of violence and destruction, and to social systems that sustain injustice. These cycles of death will one day be broken by love. In Gad’s reign of love, new energies of creativity and human fulfillment can be released.

When God says “behold, | make all things new,” God is speaking of both the present and the future. God is working now, in every person and community, in every part of creation, to bring about this new reality. We the Church must learn to see God working in our lives, our workplaces, and our neighborhoods, breaking cycles of death. We are summoned to join in what God is doing, releasing new energies of love, anticipating the final fulfillment of God’s work.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Acts 14:5-18; Ps 115:1-4, 15-16; Jn 14:21-26
Tuesday: Acts 14:19-28; Ps 145:10-13ab, 21; Jn 14:27-31a
Wednesday: Acts 15:1-6; Ps 122:1-5; Jn 15:1-8
Thursday: Acts 15:7-21; Ps 96:1-3, 10; Jn 15:9-11
Friday: Acts 15:22-31; Ps 57:8-10, 12; Jn 15:12-17
Saturday: Acts 16:1-10; Ps 100:1b-3, 5; Jn 15:18-21
Sunday: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Ps 67:2-3, 5-6, 8; Rv 21:10-14, 22-23; Jn 14:23-29

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Wednesday: St. John I
Friday: St. Bernardine of Siena
Saturday: St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions; Armed Forces Day

White Robes

Fourth Sunday of Easter

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

Good Shepherd

Today’s passage from the Acts of the Apostles is one of several turning points in the self-under-standing of the early Church. Paul evokes the image of “A light to the Gentiles.” Some thought that Gentiles, non-Jews, were somehow marginal in God’s eyes. The Gentiles in Paul’s audience rejoice, because they now see that they are not “second class” members of God’s family, but fully part of God’s beloved people. The story continues by noting the resistance from those who enjoy “first class” status in the community, as inclusion of the Gentiles was perceived as a threat to their self-image and privilege. The book of Acts continues to challenge today’s societies, churches, and organizations. Luke’s vision of God’s family, unit-ed as equal heirs to the Kingdom of God, confronts our many barriers of wealth, race, gender, and much more. We are invited to give witness to this vision in our life together as the Church.

Our reading from the Book of Revelation presents the image of God’s people before God’s throne, wearing robes that are washed white in the blood of the Lamb. A robe, especially when worn in God’s presence, is meant to express the real truth about the person. A white robe indicates their purity. The washing in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) suggests that the people have met much suffering, and in some manner, have participated in the suffering of Jesus. These passages were written to a people experiencing great tribulations in living their faith. But the author of Revelation does not suggest that anyone should seek out suffering for its own sake. He does not make suffering somehow a necessary entry pass for salvation. Our sufferings come from many sources, and suffering is a profound mystery. The image of washing in blood suggests that God is present within our suffering. God accompanies our suffering, leads us toward refreshment, and will wipe every tear from our eyes.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Acts 11:1-18; Ps 42:2-3; 43:3, 4; Jn 10:1-10
Tuesday: Acts 11:19-26; Ps 87:1b-7; Jn 10:22-30
Wednesday: Acts 12:24 — 13:5a; Ps 67:2-3, 5-6, 8; Jn 12:44-50
Thursday: Acts 13:13-25; Ps 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27; Jn 13:16-20
Friday: Acts 13:26-33; Ps 2:6-11ab; Jn 14:1-6
Saturday: Acts 1:15-17; Ps 113:1-8; Jn 15:9-17
Sunday: Acts 14:21-27; Ps 145:8-13; Rv 21:1-5a; Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Fourth Sunday of Easter; Mother’s Day; World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Tuesday: St. Damien de Veuster; St. John of Avila
Thursday: Ss. Nereus and Achilleus; St. Pancras
Friday: Our Lady of Fatima
Saturday: St. Matthias

News for May

Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry is now enrolling for our Youth Programs of EDGE and LIFETEEN. There is no cost to attend these programs. EDGE is our Middle School Ministry that meets on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00pm. LIFETEEN is our High School Ministry that meets on certain Fridays from 6:30-8:00pm. Please call the Youth Ministry office for more information on how to sign up for these programs (818) 899-0278 Ext 7.

Did You Know?

Emergency tips for preschoolers

Even at a young age, children are capable of much more than we might believe, including the development of certain skills that could keep them safe in an emergency. As soon as your child is able to distinguish numbers, teach them how to dial 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. Go over safety exits and how to open or unlock doors and windows on the ground floor if they need to get out of the house. For more tips, request a copy of the VIRTUS® article, “Teaching Your Children Some Valuable Home Security Lessons” at lacatholics.org/did-you-know/.

Repeated Questions

Third Sunday of Easter

“Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, Son of John, do you love me more than these?'” John 21:15

In the first chapters of Acts, the apostles venture out energetically, soon after Pentecost, to proclaim the risen Jesus. Today’s reading shows the Sanhedrin, the formal religious body that had condemned Jesus shortly before, now threatening the apostles. The Sanhedrin likely feared that Jesus’ followers would, in vengeance for the Crucifixion, stir up a riot or even a violent revolt. The apostles, consistent with Jesus’ own dealings with the authorities, proclaim Jesus’ message of God’s forgiveness of everyone, and refuse to incite violence.

It is a great challenge, as Peter said, to “obey God rather than man.” Throughout history, when groups of God’s people, inspired by God’s dream for a just and free world, have spoken out non-violently against injustice and oppression, they have sought to obey God’s summons. We the Church, while always mindful of the dangers of self-deception, are similarly called to discern and obey God in our own time and place.

In today’s Gospel, John sets the scene for Jesus’ encounter with Peter, sitting by a “charcoal fire.” There is just one other mention of a charcoal fire in John’s Gospel: when Peter warms himself while awaiting Jesus’ trial, and Peter goes on to deny knowing Jesus, three times. The evangelist directly links Jesus’ three questions of Peter, “do you love me?”, to Peter’s three denials. Through his repeated questioning, Jesus helps Peter to face his actions fully, and to accept forgiveness fully as well.

When God invites us into prayer, we may be invited to enter into deep conversation with God about our lives. God can pose the same questions to us, again and again over time, to face what we might prefer to avoid: Can you forgive someone who has hurt you? Can you be more generous? Can you let go of obstacles to becoming more loving? And even: Do you love me? Jesus’ encounter with Peter suggests that we can face such questions with deep trust in God.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Acts 6:8-15; Ps 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30; Jn 6:22-29
Tuesday: 1 Cor 15:1-8; Ps 19:2-5; Jn 14:6-14
Wednesday: Acts 8:1b-8; Ps 66:1-3a, 4-7a; Jn 6:35-40
Thursday: Acts 8:26-40; Ps 66:8-9, 16-17, 20; Jn 6:44-51
Friday: Acts 9:1-20; Ps 117:1bc, 2; Jn 6:52-59
Saturday: Acts 9:31-42; Ps 116:12-17; Jn 6:60-69
Sunday: Acts 13:14, 43-52; Ps 100:1-3, 5; Rv 7:9, 14b-17; Jn 10:27-30

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Third Sunday of Easter
Monday: St. Athanasius
Tuesday: Ss. Philip and James
Thursday: National Day of Prayer; Cinco de Mayo
Friday: First Friday
Saturday: First Saturday

Primary Dimensions

Second Sunday of Easter

“Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.'” John 20:19

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, Hendrickter Brugghen, c. 1622

In today’s Gospel, we notice there was a week between Jesus’ first appearance (without Thomas), and the following appearance (with Thomas). During this week, Thomas chose to stay with the community. But why? Perhaps he trusted his friends in some way. Perhaps he reflected on their life with Jesus and on the possibility their account was true. In the week between, Thomas stayed and lived with the questions, and with his doubts. Importantly, the disciples did not cast him out as an unbeliever. It seems they accepted and loved him, just as he was.

Perhaps many of us live in this “week between.” We have questions and doubts. We can choose to leave or to stay. We can either engage or ignore our deepest questions. If we embrace our questions with courage, we can live into them. Perhaps we will encounter, through God’s initiative, and with the help of our companions in faith, some of the answers— and new questions along the way.

We are currently in Year © of the three-year lectionary cycle. For the Second Sunday of Easter, in all three years, the first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. Year A (from Acts 2) tells of the new Christian community’s dedication to prayer. Year B (from Acts 4) tells of their sharing of goods and deep bonds of trust in each other. Today we hear in Acts 5 of the early Church’s ministry of healing to the community, performed by Peter and the apostles.

These represent three of the primary dimensions of those first Christian communities: prayer in relationship to God; sharing in relationship to each other; and service in relationship to the world around them. We are reminded that all three are fundamental to our identity as Church. We fail to live fully as Church when we neglect any of these relationships. We are called to encourage their full flowering in our own parish’s life.

Readings for the Week

Monday: 1 Pt 5:5b-14; Ps 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17; Mk 16:15-20
Tuesday: Acts 4:32-37; Ps 93:1-2, 5; Jn 3:7b-15
Wednesday: Acts 5:17-26; Ps 34:2-9; Jn 3:16-21
Thursday: Acts 5:27-33; Ps 34:2, 9, 17-20; Jn 3:31-36
Friday: Acts 5:34-42; Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14; Jn 6:1-15
Saturday: Acts 6:1-7; Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19; Jn 6:16-21
Sunday: Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41; Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13; Rv 5:11-14; Jn 21:1-19 [1-14]

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Second Sunday of Easter; (or Sunday of Divine Mercy); Julian Calendar Easter
Monday: St. Mark
Wednesday: Administrative Professionals Day
Thursday: St. Peter Chanel; St. Louis Grignion de Montfort; Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
Friday: St. Catherine of Siena; Arbor Day
Saturday: St. Pius V

Both Peter and Cornelius

Easter Sunday

“On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.” John 20:1

Our Gospel reading from John captures the initial confusion of Jesus’ followers on Easter morning. Mary thinks the body has been stolen, and the two disciples see an empty tomb, but do not understand. We can sympathize with their initial misreading, as they are interpreting what happened within how they understand the way the world works: Jesus was crushed by the authorities—end of story. Jesus’ later appearances to them will dramatically shift their perception of God, the world, and themselves.

This work of re-interpreting the world in light of the death and resurrection of Jesus continues today. In his passion and death, Jesus showed that true power, God’s power, emerges through humility and forgiveness. We join in the death and resurrection of Jesus when we surrender the attractions of power, status, and comfort, and embrace non-violence, service, and care for the suffering. The path to bringing peace and goodness to the world is not through seeking control, but through sacrificial love.

Cornelius the centurion kneeling in front of St. Peter

Peter’s speech in today’s passage from Acts summarizes the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The speech occurs within his encounter with Cornelius, a Roman centurion and his household. We can perhaps imagine being Cornelius, led by God to hear the story of Jesus. Or we can imagine being Peter, led by the Spirit to share the Good News of Jesus. As followers of Christ, we are called to embrace both, in our imaginations and our lives.

We are continually called to hear the story of Jesus. We know that God’s Good News has entered us, but also know that it has not. There is much in our hearts that needs conversion and begs for God’s mercy, so we always seek God’s challenging and healing word. We are also continually called to share the story of Jesus, sometimes directly but more often in our actions. Our lives can speak of God’s love, healing and encouraging others. We are both Peter and Cornelius.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-11; Mt 28:8-15
Tuesday: Acts 2:36-41; Ps 33:4-5, 18-20, 22; Jn 20:11-18
Wednesday: Acts 3:1-10; Ps 105:1-4, 6-9; Lk 24:13-35
Thursday: Acts 3:11-26; Ps 8:2, 5-9; Lk 24:35-48
Friday: Acts 4:1-12; Ps 118:1-2, 4, 22-27; Jn 21:1-14
Saturday: Acts 4:13-21; Ps 118:1, 14-21; Mk 16:9-15
Sunday: Acts 5:12-16; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; Rv 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19; Jn 20:19-31

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord; Julian Calendar Palm Sunday
Monday: Monday within the Octave of Easter
Tuesday: Tuesday within the Octave of Easter
Wednesday: Wednesday within the Octave of Easter
Thursday: Thursday within the Octave of Easter
Friday: Friday within the Octave of Easter; Julian Calendar Good Friday; Earth Day
Saturday: Saturday within the Octave of Easter

News for April

Come Find Hope in the Wounds of Christ

A Jubilee Young Adult Gathering

Join Archbishop José H. Gomez for an evening of prayer and fellowship during the “Forward in Mission” Jubilee Year celebrating 250 years of Catholic faith in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS

  • 6:00 p.m. – Self-guided tours of the Cathedral
  • 6:30 p.m. – Witness talks
  • 7:00 p.m. – Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with Archbishop Gomez
  • 8:00 p.m. – Fellowship on the Plaza. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available.

Beginning Experience

Listen. Accompany. Heal

Beginning Experience of Los Angeles invites you to attend a Beginning Experience Weekend for Separated, Divorced & Widowed. A Beginning Experience Weekend is for people who’ve suffered the end of a spousal relationship through death, divorce, or separation. All are invited to take steps to move from the darkness of grief into the light of a new beginning.

April 22-24, 2022

(Friday evening through Sunday afternoon)
Location: Holy Spirit Retreat Center – Encino, CA
Advance registration & $75 deposit required
Retreat cost: $275.00
Call: Maria 909-592-0009. Brenda (alt) 818-352-5265 or email: beginningexp.losangeles@gmail.com
www.beginningexperience.org

Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry is now enrolling for our Youth Programs of EDGE and LIFETEEN. There is no cost to attend these programs. EDGE is our Middle School Ministry that meets on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00pm. LIFETEEN is our High School Ministry that meets on certain Fridays from 6:30-8:00pm. Please call the Youth Ministry office for more information on how to sign up for these programs (818) 899-0278 Ext 7.

Prayer for Healing of Abuse

On the weekend of April 24, 2022, join parishes across the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in praying “A Prayer for Healing” for victims of abuse. You may use the free “A Prayer for Healing” prayer cards or the copy provided below.

Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds and transform
brokenness into wholeness.
Grant us the courage and wisdom, humility and grace, to act
with justice.
Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors.
Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace and justice.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

VIRTUS

If you are in need of taking VIRTUS for the first time, Mary Immaculate Church will be hosting a “Protecting God’s Children” workshop on Sunday, April 24, 2022 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Space is limited. Please call our parish office for reservations.

Did You Know?

“United Together in Prayer”

June 2022 marks the 20th Anniversary of the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. We, as the People of God, continue our commitment to Promise to Protect and Pledge to Heal, we ask you to unite in a special prayer for victims of child sexual abuse.

“A Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse”
Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds and transform brokenness into wholeness. Grant us the courage and wisdom, humility and grace, to act with justice. Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors. Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace and justice. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Copyright© 2014 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, All Rights Reserved.

Palm Sunday

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.” Luke 19:38

Readings for the Week

Monday: Is 42:1-7; Ps 27:1-3, 13-14; Jn 12:1-11
Tuesday: Is 49:1-6; Ps 71:1-6, 15, 17; Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
Wednesday: Is 50:4-9a; Ps 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34; Mt 26:14-25
Thursday:
Chrism Mass: Is 61:1-3ab, 6a, 8b-9; Ps 89:21-22, 25, 27; Rv 1:5-8; Lk 4:16-21
Lord’s Supper: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14; Ps 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Jn 13:1-15
Friday: Is 52:13 — 53:12; Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25; Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9; Jn 18:1 — 19:42
Saturday:
a) Gn 1:1 — 2:2 [1:1, 26-31a]; Ps 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35; or Ps 33:4-7, 12-13, 20-22;
b) Gn 22:1-18 [1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18]; Ps 16: 5, 8-11;
c) Ex 14:15 — 15:1; Ex 15:1-6, 17-18;
d) Is 54:5-14; Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13;
e) Is 55:1-11; Is 12:2-6;
f) Bar 3:9-15, 32 — 4:4; Ps 19:8-11;
g) Ez 36:16-17a, 18-28; Ps 42:3, 5; 43:3-4 or Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6 or Ps 51:12-15, 18-19;
h) Rom 6:3-11; i) Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Lk 24:1-12
Sunday: Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8; Jn 20:1-9 or Lk 24:1-12 or (at an afternoon or evening Mass) Lk 24:13-35

Saints and Special Observances

Sunday: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
Monday: Monday of Holy Week
Tuesday: Tuesday of Holy Week
Wednesday: Wednesday of Holy Week
Thursday: Holy Thursday; Paschal Triduum begins
Friday: Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday); Fast and Abstinence; Income Tax Day; Passover begins
Saturday: Holy Saturday; Vigil of Easter

Welcome Home

Fourth Sunday of Lent

“I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.'” Luke 15:18-19

Some of the first words a two-year-old might say are “Do by self!” It is almost a rite of passage for teenagers to test their parents as much as they can. Every parent who ever lay awake in bed at night waiting to hear the sound of the child pulling the car into the garage or opening the door knows at least as much about praying vigils as any nun in a convent. This is a deep and earnest prayer, and the parents can barely breathe until their child comes home. Usually when we think of the story of the Prodigal Son, we think of the feeling of guilt the son had as he realized how much he had messed things up, or we feel the injustice that the older brother felt, because he wasn’t the rebel child leaving the home.

What we don’t often remember in the story of the Prodigal Son is that God is their welcoming, urging us on. A few years ago there was a funeral for a young man who died of a drug overdose within days of coming out of a treatment center. Many of his young friends came but expected fire and brimstone, and to be told what a bad child that boy was. Instead, the priest preached about God loving this child so much that perhaps the only way God could protect him was to bring him home. That gentle image of God welcoming him with open arms soothed the broken hearts and unspoken questions that were on many minds. Not every situation is that drastic, but God is calling us home this Lent no matter
what mistakes we’ve made, or how many times we have made them.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Is 65:17-21; Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13b; Jn 4:43-54
Tuesday: Ez 47:1-9, 12; Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9; Jn 5:1-16
Wednesday: Is 49:8-15; Ps 145:8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18; Jn 5:17-30
Thursday: Ex 32:7-14; Ps 106:19-23; Jn 5:31-47
Friday: Wis 2:1a, 12-22; Ps 34:17-21, 23; Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Saturday: Jer 11:18-20; Ps 7:2-3, 9bc-12; Jn 7:40-53
Sunday: Is 43:16-21; Ps 126:1-6; Phil 3:8-14; Jn 8:1-11;
Alternate readings (Year A): Ez 37:12-14; Ps 130:1-8; Rom 8:8-11; Jn 11:1-45 [3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45]

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Fourth Sunday of Lent
Friday: First Friday; Abstinence; April Fool’s Day
Saturday: St. Francis of Paola; First Saturday

Growth

Third Sunday of Lent

“Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5

In the Rule of Saint Benedict, the monks are told that their lives should be a “continuous Lent.” At first, this may sound like a negative, difficult thing, or entirely depressing. Rather, it is simply a call to be open and continue growing. In fact, one of the vows that Benedictines profess is Conversatio Morum, that is, “conversion of life.” In a nutshell, that is what Jesus is saying this week. We are being called to change our lives. Some people came to Jesus with gossip and a gruesome story about Pilate; Jesus challenged them with a couple of pointed questions, and then related the parable of the fig tree. To put it in context, usually figs blossom within two years, and then can be harvested twice a year. When a tree has been barren three years, it might be best just to remove it, but this is not the approach that Jesus suggested. Rather, the gardener in the parable chose to nurture the tree, fertilizing it with dung. He was not willing to give up on it.

There are times when we may feel our lives are covered in dung, and we lie dormant through a plethora of difficult and painful moments. But Jesus is calling us to use this time, to draw strength from it, to use the dung in our lives as fertilizer, to begin a slow and steady transformation to a new and better place, until we too can bear fruit. Growth is always a process, and we have to start somewhere. While there is always a call to repentance and conversion, we are blessed with a God who is loving enough and patient enough to wait for us to come to our senses, however long that may take. This Lent we are being called to life. We are called to repent. We are called to be nurtured and fertilized and take the time and effort to grow.

Readings for the Week

Monday: 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab; Ps 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4; Lk 4:24-30
Tuesday: Dn 3:25, 34-43; Ps 25:4-5ab, 6, 7bc, 8-9; Mt 18:21-35
Wednesday: Dt 4:1, 5-9; Ps 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20; Mt 5:17-19
Thursday: Jer 7:23-28; Ps 95:1-2, 6-9; Lk 11:14-23
Friday: Is 7:10-14, 8:10; Ps 40:7-11; Heb 10:4-10; Lk 1:26-38
Saturday: Hos 6:1-6; Ps 51:3-4, 18-21ab; Lk 18:9-14
Sunday: Jos 5:9a, 10-12; Ps 34:2-7; 2 Cor 5:17-21; Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
Alternate readings (Year A): 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a; Ps 23:1-6; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41 [1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38]

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Third Sunday of Lent; Spring begins
Wednesday: St. Turibius of Mogrovejo
Friday: Annunciation of the Lord; Abstinence

This Week’s Episode

Second Sunday of Lent

“The Lord God said to Abram, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so shall your descendants be.'” Genesis 15:5

When you watch a TV series, they will often provide a quick synopsis of key events from the last couple of shows to set the stage for the current episode. If we do a quick review of the Gospel of Luke, earlier in chapter nine Jesus was sending the disciples out in ministry for the first time, and we had the feeding of the five thousand. Peter realizes that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus gives us the first hint of his own death and tells the disciples to take up their cross and follow him. After all that physical, spiritual, and emotional stress Jesus goes Out to pray on the mountain, taking Peter, John, and James with him.

Once they were settled on the mountaintop, Jesus began to pray in earnest and, as usual, his wingmen fell asleep. The disciples did not yet have the strength or insights of the Master. Peter, James, and John did not yet have the stamina or the depth to be able to focus during long periods of silent, contemplative prayer, especially after their long hike. One might see visions simply due to exhaustion! As Jesus was transfigured before them, Peter might have bumbled around it in typical Peter fashion, but he realized the significance of what they saw, and he wanted somehow to capture the sacred, to capture the moment, so he asked to build some tents. If we imagined this today, we’d all be there with our phones and selfie sticks trying to get an amazing picture of it, to capture the moment, and to share with everyone on social media. But all the disciples could do was remember it, capture it in their hearts—and tell no one at the time. They were silenced by the sacred. We too must let our busy worlds and minds and hearts enter into the silence. Start out with a few minutes daily and continue to add a minute or two more each day. Listen for the sacred in the silence, and let the voice of God fill your heart.

Weekly Readings

Monday: Dn 9:4b-10; Ps 79:8, 9, 11, 13; Lk 6:36-38
Tuesday: Is 1:10, 16-20; Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21, 23; Mt 23:1-12
Wednesday: Jer 18:18-20; Ps 31:5-6, 14-16; Mt 20:17-28
Thursday: Jer 17:5-10; Ps 1:1-4, 6; Lk 16:19-31
Friday: Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a; 17b-28a; Ps 105:16-21; Mt 21:33-43, 45-46
Saturday: 2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16; Ps 89:2-5, 27, 29; Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22; Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a or Lk 2:41-51a
Sunday: Ex 3:1-8a, 13-15; Ps 103:1-4, 6-8, 11; 1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12; Lk 13:1-9
Alternate readings (Year A): Ex 17:3-7; Ps 95:1-2, 6-9; Rom 5:1-2, 5-8; Jn 4:5-42 [5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42]

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Second Sunday of Lent; Daylight Saving Time begins
Wednesday: Purim (Jewish observance) begins at sunset
Thursday: St. Patrick
Friday: St. Cyril of Jerusalem; Abstinence
Saturday: St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

News for March 2022

Donate to Ukraine

In solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters, Archbishop Gomez has asked all parishes to consider donating to help support Ukraine. All checks should be made payable to The Society for the Propagation of the Faith- memo: Ukraine Disaster. Donations may be mailed to Society for the Propagation of the Faith, 3424 Wilshire Blvd- 3rd Floor, Los Angeles CA 90010. If anyone wishes to make an online donation, they may do so at https://missionsla.org/ and specify Ukraine Disaster in the memo box. 100% of the collection will go towards those affected by this horrible situation. Thank you for your donations of $8225 collected last weekend.

SCRC: Protect Us, Oh Lord!

A Special Event Celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph – “Guardian of the Redeemer”

  • Why St. Joseph is Called the Terror of Demons
  • God’s Many Provisions of Spiritual Protection
  • Holy Weapons for Battling Dark Forces
  • Prayers for Spiritual Protection
  • Mass Included
  • Catered Chicken Lunch

Saturday, March 19, 2022

10:00am – 4:00pm
St. Didacus Parish Hall
14325 Astoria St., Sylmar, CA

Register Now

Did You Know?

Understanding appropriate behaviors

Most children engage in age-appropriate behaviors, exploring their bodies to understand how they work. It is important for parents and caregivers to understand the difference between natural, healthy curiosity and inappropriate behaviors that would raise red flags suggesting possible abuse. Any sexual behaviors that a child exhibits in a way that is hostile, aggressive, or overtly sexual should raise concern. Learn more about these differences in the VIRTUS® article “The Issue of Child-on-Child Sexual Abuse” at lacatholics.org/did-you-know/.

Knowing Your Touchstones

First Sunday of Lent

“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test. Luke 4:12

In the chapter of Luke preceding today’s Gospel, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan and began his adult ministry. Immediately afterward he was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tested. While this might seem almost surreal as we imagine the devil taking Jesus from place to place, it is really much more simple and common than that. For many of us, as we strive to live our lives, we deal with many temptations. Sometimes it is a matter of having the zeal and desire, but not the practical experience or knowledge to carry out a goal. Other times, we are afraid to ask for the assistance that we need to carry a project through to completion. Or we might think that we deserve more, or that our results should be happening more quickly. Our egos can be destructive.

When Jesus found himself tested by the devil, he was given several different scenarios. The devil brought up situations that he knew could specifically test Jesus, but similar situations would test any of us. Physical hunger is a real need, and many of us might yearn for success, or better paying jobs, or power, or the like. The difference is that when Jesus was tempted, he had some strong “touchstones” to hold onto, secure answers to lead him. He went to simple, basic scriptures that he could call upon in his time of need. For many, one of those basics would be Jeremiah, “I know the plans | have in mind for you—plans for peace and not disaster.” For another it might be the Beatitudes or the twenty-third Psalm. Whatever it may be, have ready those touchstones, those “go to” prayers or phrases that you can hold onto during the times when you are sorely tested in your life. Let those stones be your firm foundation.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Lv 19:1-2, 11-18; Ps 19:8-10, 15; Mt 25:31-46
Tuesday: Is 55:10-11; Ps 34:4-7, 16-19; Mt 6:7-15
Wednesday: Jon 3:1-10; Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19; Lk 11:29-32
Thursday: Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25; Ps 138:1-3, 7c-8; Mt 7:7-12
Friday: Ez 18:21-28; Ps 130:1-8; Mt 5:20-26
Saturday: Dt 26:16-19; Ps 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8; Mt 5:43-48
Sunday: Gn 15:5-12, 17-18; Ps 27:1, 7-9, 13-14; Phil 3:17 — 4:1 [3:20 — 4:1]; Lk 9:28b-36

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: First Sunday of Lent; Girl Scouting Sunday
Monday: Ss. Perpetua and Felicity; Julian calendar Lent begins
Tuesday: St. John of God
Wednesday: St. Frances of Rome
Friday: Abstinence

Talking Hearts

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit.” Luke 6:43-44

"Every tree is known by its own fruit." – Luke 6:44

Today’s reading from Sirach reminds us not to praise others before they speak, “for it is then that people are tested.” Jesus, in Luke’s Gospel, takes it a step further, reminding us that we are — also known by the fruit borne in our lives. It doesn’t take long to think of a person or group of people who speak beautiful, praiseworthy words, and yet their lives are unfruitful, or their lives outright contradict their speech. This is the class of people we call “hypocrites,” and it’s clear in all the Gospels that Jesus has no time for them. Our speech does test us, but the test is really to demonstrate that there is a connection between what we say and how we live. Expressed another way, this is the age-old discussion about faith and works. A truly deep-rooted faith will bear fruit in the works, in the actions of our lives. As happens so often in discipleship, we are dealing with the both/and, not either/or.

As disciples who follow Jesus, we believe that we are following God’s very Word-made-Flesh. The theological term for this is In-carn-ation, the “in-flesh-made” second person of the Trinity. As followers of the Word, our words are truly important. Our hearts and mouths are wired together, as Jesus tells us today: “from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” This is yet another echo of the wisdom of Sirach: “Speech discloses the bent of a person’s heart.” Eventually, our words— and the other actions of our lives—will convey what is truly in our hearts. Perhaps the ultimate test of our discipleship is not merely our words, or even our actions, but on a deeper level the test is whether or not others will find in us God’s word “in-flesh-made.” Our mission is to be the Word-made-flesh, in the flesh again in our own place and time.

Copyright © 2022 J. S. Paluch Company, Inc. 3708 River Road, Suite 400, Franklin Park, IL 60131-2158. 1-800-621-5197. With Ecclesiastical Approbation.

Readings for the Week

Monday: 1 Pt 1:3-9; Ps 111:1-2, 5-6, 9, 10c; Mk 10:17-27
Tuesday: 1 Pt 1:10-16; Ps 98:1-4; Mk 10:28-31
Wednesday: Jl 2:12-18; Ps 51:3-6ab, 12-14, 17; 2 Cor 5:20 — 6:2; Mt 6:1-6, 16-18
Thursday: Dt 30:15-20; Ps 1:1-4, 6; Lk 9:22-25
Friday: Is 58:1-9a; Ps 51:3-6ab, 18-19; Mt 9:14-15
Saturday: Is 58:9b-14; Ps 86:1-6; Lk 5:27-32
Sunday: Dt 26:4-10; Ps 91:1-2, 10-15; Rom 10:8-13; Lk 4:1-13

Saints and Special Observances

Sunday: Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Tuesday: Mardi Gras; Shrove Tuesday
Wednesday: Ash Wednesday; Fast and Abstinence; Almsgiving
Thursday: St. Katharine Drexel
Friday: St. Casimir; First Friday; Abstinence; World Day of Prayer
Saturday: First Saturday

Ash Wednesday Schedule

Mass Times

7:00am – Spanish – Church
9:00am – English – Church
7:00pm – Spanish – Church

Service Times

8:00am – Spanish – Church
10:00am – Spanish – Church
1:00pm – Spanish – Church
2:00pm – Spanish – Church
3:00pm – Spanish – Church
4:00pm – Spanish – Church
5:00pm – Spanish – Church
6:00pm – English – Church
6:30pm – Spanish – Parish Hall
7:30pm – English – Parish Hall
8:30pm – English – Parish Hall
9:00pm – Spanish – Parish Hall
9:30pm – Spanish – Church

Love Your Enemies

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

“To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27

Readings for the Week

Monday: Jas 3:13-18; Ps 19:8-10, 15; Mk 9:14-29
Tuesday: 1 Pt 5:1-4; Ps 23:1-3a, 4-6; Mt 16:13-19
Wednesday: Jas 4:13-17; Ps 49:2-3, 6-11; Mk 9:38-40
Thursday: Jas 5:1-6; Ps 49:14-20; Mk 9:41-50
Friday: Jas 5:9-12; Ps 103:1-4, 8-9, 11-12; Mk 10:1-12
Saturday: Jas 5:13-20; Ps 141:1-3, 8; Mk 10:13-16
Sunday: Sir 27:4-7; Ps 92:2-3, 13-16; 1 Cor 15:54-58; Lk 6:39-45

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday: St. Peter Damian; Presidents’ Day
Tuesday: The Chair of St. Peter the Apostle; Washington’s Birthday
Wednesday: St. Polycarp
Saturday: Blessed Virgin Mary

Look ‘Em in the Eye

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied.” Luke 6:20-21A

There are times when the smartest, but most difficult, thing we can say is, “I don’t know.” While we often think of this as a sign of weakness, the amount of humility it takes to say this means that the word of God is alive and well in us. To say “I don’t know” means that we look outside of ourselves to learn, and to find those who do know, and—ultimately—accept that we have to look to others and to God to help us, to guide us through life. To place our trust and hope only in this world, Paul tells the Corinthians (and us!), makes us people to be pitied. Jesus echoes this in the “woes” section of Luke’s Beatitudes, when he points out that trusting in earthly wealth, full bellies, entertainments, and reputation will, eventually, not be enough when we are called beyond this life.

Prior to delivering the blessings and woes of his “Sermon on the Plain” in Luke, Jesus had been on top of a mountain in prayer, after which he selected the Twelve to go on his mission with him. Coming down from the mountain, the first thing Jesus does is show them what is at the heart of his—and their—mission: preaching to the multitude, healing all who were in need of it, no matter where they had come from. Luke then carefully notes that Jesus raises his eyes, not to look toward heaven again in prayer, but he raises his eyes to look directly at his disciples, to share the message of blessings and woes. This scene echoes Moses coming down from the mountain to give Israel its command as to how they should live in God’s covenant. As followers of Jesus today, we are called to live out his mission to the world, while we also look beyond this world to trust in God, our only hope.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Jas 1:1-11; Ps 119:67-68, 71-72, 75-76; Mk 8:11-13
Tuesday: Jas 1:12-18; Ps 94:12-13a; 14-15, 18-19; Mk 8:14-21
Wednesday: Jas 1:19-27; Ps 15:2-4ab, 5; Mk 8:22-26
Thursday: Jas 2:1-9; Ps 34:2-7; Mk 8:27-33
Friday: Jas 2:14-24, 26; Ps 112:1-6; Mk 8:34 — 9:1
Saturday: Jas 3:1-10; Ps 12:2-3, 4-5, 7-8; Mk 9:2-13
Sunday: 1 Sm 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23; Ps 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13; 1 Cor 15:45-49; Lk 6:27-38

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time; World Marriage Day
Monday: Ss. Cyril and Methodius; Valentine’s Day
Thursday: The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order
Saturday: Blessed Virgin Mary

News for February

President’s Day

In Observance of Presidents Day Our Parish office will be closed on Monday, February 21, 2022.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday English Services

12:00 pm and 6:00 pm in the Church

School Mass

9:00 am

Deepening the Experience of Healing Your Family Tree

Saturday, February 26, 2022 at St. Dominic Parish Hall in Eagle Rock

2002 Merton Ave. Los Angeles, CA

  • Freedom and deliverance through the Eucharist
  • Does ancestral sin affect the living?
  • Prayer for Breaking Family Bondage
  • Passing Blessings to Future Generations
  • Mass for Healing Your Family Tree
    • To register, go to https://scrc.org/hft or call 818-771-1362 (9-4 M-F)

      Rachel’s Vineyard

      Retreat Weekend for Healing after Abortion

      Rachel’s Vineyard retreat is for men and women struggling with the emotional and spiritual pain of abortion. The retreat is designed to help participants work through repressed grief and anger in a safe, nonjudgmental setting and come to acceptance, healing, and hope for the future. Developed in the Roman Catholic Tradition, it utilizes spiritual exercises and rituals to help grieve the loss of unborn children and to accept God’s forgiveness. All inquires and registrations are confidential.
      www.youtube.com/user/rachelsvineyard

      March 4-6, 2022
      San Fernando, CA
      Cost: $300. per person

      For registration or more information please call 323-577-5693 or email RVLA.christine@gmail.com
      www.rachelsvineyard.org

      Youth Ministry

      Youth Ministry is now enrolling for our Youth Programs of EDGE and LIFETEEN. There is no cost to attend these programs. EDGE is our Middle School Ministry that meets on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00pm. LIFETEEN is our High School Ministry that meets on certain Fridays from 6:30-8:00pm. Please call the Youth Ministry office for more information on how to sign up for these programs (818) 899-0278 Ext 7.

      Did You Know?

      Simple touching rules for children

      Adult apprehension about discussing touching safety can get in the way of creating a safe environment for children, but doing so is critical to children’s well-being. Keep the touching rules short and sweet: No one has the right to touch a child’s private parts except to keep him or her safe and healthy. If someone tries to touch a child’s private parts, the child should say “No!”, run away, and tell a trusted adult. For more information, request a copy of the VIRTUS  article “Teaching Touching Safety and Preserving Innocence” at lacatholics.org/did-you-know.

      Sinful Man, Holy Man

      Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

      “Jesus said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.'”Luke 5:4

      All three readings today feature what are known as the “call” stories of famous figures of our faith: Isaiah, Paul, and Simon Peter. Each story shares features common to scriptural stories: First, an encounter with God or a messenger of God. Second, there is some sort of resistance, usually framed as a claim of unworthiness. Third, the one who has been called receives an assurance that they are, indeed, fit for the mission. In this way God has continued to call prophets, apostles, saints, and everyday women and men throughout time. It is unlikely that any of us will receive a “call” as dramatic as fiery angels in the temple, a booming voice from heaven striking us down, or sitting side-by-side in a boat with Jesus of Nazareth. This doesn’t mean we can’t, or won’t, or haven’t received a call from God. It may even be a “spillover” from somebody else’s, the way James and John are called through Jesus giving Simon Peter his mission.

      We can likely identify with Simon Peter who, in today’s Gospel passage, is really having a bad day at work. When your job is to catch fish, and you’re not catching fish, it’s a bad day. To top it off, he knows he is in the presence of a holy man in the person of this Jesus of Nazareth, who had just commandeered his boat to do some spontaneous preaching. As good as the preaching may have been, it surely didn’t put fish in the nets. So, as he will throughout the gospel, Jesus rectifies the situation. Simon Peter knows he’s not merely in the presence of a holy man, but of holiness itself, and declares his sinfulness. Nevertheless, he is commissioned for the work of the Gospel. No matter how bad our day may be going, or how incompetent we think we are, we are receiving the call. Our role in the story? Listen.

      &copyright; Copyright 2022. J. C. Paluch, Inc. 3708 River Road, Suite 400, Franklin Park, IL 60131-2158. 1-800-621-5197. With Ecclesiastical Approbation.

      Readings for the Week

      Monday: 1 Kgs 8:1-7, 9-13; Ps 132:6-7, 8-10; Mk 6:53-56
      Tuesday: 1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30; Ps 84:3-5, 10-11; Mk 7:1-13
      Wednesday: 1 Kgs 10:1-10; Ps 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40; Mk 7:14-23
      Thursday: 1 Kgs 11:4-13; Ps 106:3-4, 35-37, 40; Mk 7:24-30
      Friday: 1 Kgs 11:29-32, 12:19; Ps 81:10-15; Mk 7:31-37
      Saturday: 1 Kgs 12:26-32; 13:33-34; Ps 106:6-7ab, 19-22; Mk 8:1-10
      Sunday: Jer 17:5-8; Ps 138: 1-5, 7-8; 1 Cor 15:12, 16-20; Lk 6:17, 20-26

      Saints & Special Observances

      Sunday: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Scouting Sunday
      Tuesday: St. Jerome Emiliani; St. Josephine Bakhita; International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking
      Thursday: St. Scholastica
      Friday: Our Lady of Lourdes; World Day of the Sick; National Shut-in Visitation Day
      Saturday: Lincoln’s Birthday

      Jesus, Son of Jeremiah

      Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

      “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.” Luke 4:24

      The opening of the reading selected from Jeremiah is surely one of the most comforting in scripture. Imagine! God knew me before my bodily conception; God dedicated me before my birth or any human dedication rites; God appointed me a prophet! Then comes the uh-oh. Jeremiah is warned that his appointment as a prophet will bring opposition, against which God’s prophets must stand up. Somehow the appointment as God’s prophet seems like it should be a bit happier, with the glamor that we might think will come from having friends in high places. Yet, just as there are many forces in the world arrayed against the divine will and divine goodness, so too are they arrayed against God’s prophets. A second round of assurances comes to Jeremiah, a pledge that God will be with Jeremiah to strengthen him. God doesn’t promise a turmoil-free life, but does vow to be Jeremiah’s strength.

      In the synagogue at Nazareth, a similar turn of events takes place. When Jesus speaks of the Spirit’s anointing being upon him, the anointing described in Isaiah, the crowd is amazed, and seems like they even want to take credit, since he’s a local boy. Then Jesus speaks some words of tough love, and “local boy” pivots to “who does he think he is?” You couldn’t blame Jesus, in that moment, if he recalled the words of Jeremiah, his prophetic ancestor. Though the crowd drove Jesus out of town and up a hill to throw him to his death, his time had not yet come. The strength and protection that God promises to prophets came for Jesus that day, as he passed through the mob’s midst, unharmed. He passed through their midst to continue the work for which the Spirit had anointed him. For us who follow the prophetic heritage of Jesus this day, we’ve been warned. But we’ve also been assured of God’s care.

      Readings for the Week

      Monday: 2 Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13; Ps 3:2-7; Mk 5:1-20
      Tuesday: 2 Sm 18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30 — 19:3; Ps 86:1-6; Mk 5:21-43
      Wednesday: Mal 3:1-4; Ps 24:7-10; Heb 2:14-18; Lk 2:22-40 [22-32]
      Thursday: 1 Kgs 2:1-4, 10-12; 1 Chr 29:10-12; Mk 6:7-13
      Friday: Sir 47:2-11; Ps 18:31, 47, 50, 51; Mk 6:14-29
      Saturday: 1 Kgs 3:4-13; Ps 119:9-14; Mk 6:30-34
      Sunday: Is 6:1-2a, 3-8; Ps 138:1-5, 7-8; 1 Cor 15:1-11 [3-8, 11]; Lk 5:1-11

      Saints & Special Observances

      Sunday: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Catholic Schools Week
      Monday: St. John Bosco
      Tuesday: Lunar New Year 4720
      Wednesday: The Presentation of the Lord; World Day for Consecrated Life; Groundhog Day
      Thursday: St. Blaise; St. Ansgar; Blessing of Throats
      Friday: First Friday
      Saturday: St. Agatha; First Saturday

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