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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

The Beloved Son

Second Sunday of Lent

“And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white.” Mark 9:2-3

Today’s first reading, known as “the Binding of Isaac,” refers to the way Isaac is bound and laid upon the wood of the altar of sacrifice. God directs Abraham to offer his son in sacrifice, killing the beloved son that had been a special gift to him and Sarah in their old age. How could God ask Abraham to do such a thing? Abraham offers no resistance, but in preparing for the sacrifice, Abraham may have agreed with the psalmist that he was “greatly afflicted.” Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans refers to Jesus as God’s beloved Son, which is also how God identifies Jesus to Peter, James, and John at the Transfiguration. Afterward, Jesus tells those disciples not to mention the event to anyone until after his resurrection from the dead. The event, together with Jesus’ comments, leaves the disciples thoroughly confused.

How Could God Ask Abraham to Do That?

Through the centuries, Christians and Jews alike have found the Binding of Isaac one of the most difficult passages in the Bible. Even though God intervenes to save Isaac, the whole episode strikes some readers as cruel. However, Abraham, the ultimate man of faith, raises no objection, offers no resistance as he simply goes about preparing for the trip and the sacrifice.

Today’s other readings might help us see that text differently. In Mark’s description of the Transfiguration, Jesus’ clothes become white and shining, and Moses and Elijah appear with him. Moses was the great liberator and lawgiver who led the Jews out of bondage in Egypt and into the wildemess, forming them into the people of Israel by giving them the Law he received from God. Elijah was among Israel’s greatest prophets, so close to God that, at the end of his life, he was taken up into heaven by a fiery chariot. Together, Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets,
the ultimate authority for the Jews in the conduct of their daily lives.

Love and Generosity

The Law, the Prophets—and Jesus. For Paul, Jesus is someone quite different from the other two. The reading from his letter to the Romans is short, but rich in meaning. When Paul declares that God “did not spare his own Son,” and when God praises Abraham “who did not withhold from me your own beloved son,” it is the same Greek word for “spare” and “withhold.” God’s voice at the Transfiguration identifies Jesus as his “beloved Son”—the same way God refers to Isaac as Abraham’s beloved son. Ultimately, God spares Isaac but not his own Son, whom he “handed over for us.” Even if we are disturbed that God tested Abraham like this, Paul says we should be overwhelmingly grateful that God did for us what, in the end, he did not require of Abraham. Jesus, God’s Son “handed over to us” in love and generosity, is already a sacrificial gift, signifying that God wants to give us “everything else along with him.”

Reading of the Week

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: Mi 7:14-15, 18-20; Ps 103:1-4, 9-12; Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
Sunday: Ex 20:1-17 [1-3, 7-8, 12-17]; Ps 19:8-11; 1 Cor 1:22-25; Jn 2:13-25
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; Penitential Rite for Candidates for Full Communion
Wednesday: St. Katharine Drexel
Thursday: St. Casimir
Friday: First Friday; World Day of Prayer; Abstinence
Saturday: First Saturday

Baptism

First Sunday of Lent

“The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.” Mark 1:12-13

Today’s readings suggest two different meanings and experiences of baptism. The second reading (from 1 Peter) makes an analogy between Noah’s ark and Christian baptism: just as Noah and his family were saved from death by going through the waters of the flood in the ark, Christians are saved from sin and death by going through the waters of baptism. The first reading, from Genesis, portrays the world after the flood: washed clean of its prior wickedness, embraced by God’s promises that the world will never again be destroyed by water. The psalmist expresses a desire to follow the ways of God, as if re-establishing the harmony between God and humanity destroyed by sin. This peaceful scene is very different from the drama and urgency in Mark’s description of Jesus after his baptism. Jesus battles demons, receives sustenance from angels, and begins preaching: “Repent. The kingdom of God is at hand.”

Good Morning! Welcome to Lent!

You probably did not get that greeting from your priest today, and you probably did not expect it. Isn’t Lent a time of reflection and repentance? Somber purple, no “Alleluias”? Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; attending to one’s relationship with God? True enough; however, there are Lenten practices that have a festive air woven into these penitential elements. One example is in the Church’s retrieval of ancient Lenten practices that made up the final preparation of persons elected to receive the Easter sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and eucharist. Jesus’ urgent preaching in today’s passage from Mark comes soon after his own baptism and reminds us that these sacraments still signal a dramatic change in a person’s life: they have responded to Jesus’ preaching of the kingdom and are now publicly professing themselves to be disciples of the Lord and fully initiated members of his visible church. The prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during Lent were part of that preparation. Repentance was then, and remains today, important also for those already fully initiated; the work of repentance, of prayerfully examining our lives and making changes in anticipation of God’s reign, is an ongoing aspect of our life in Christ.

A Second Chance to Make a First Impression

Other changes with baptism are more subtle and personal. When Noah and his family emerged from the ark, they saw that the floodwaters had receded after cleansing the world of human sinfulness. Everything was clean and fresh—a new creation, with a rainbow to guarantee God’s promise to never again destroy the world with water. So, too, will the newly baptized emerge from the font and be anointed with chrism. Like the earth after the great flood, they area
new creation. Washed clean of sin and anointed with chrism, they are renewed in the embrace of the God of covenant love. This is why Lent is always a festive anticipation of Easter and always about baptism, just as it is always about the repentance that draws us more deeply into God’s kinqdom.

Readings for the Week

Monday: 1 Pt 5:1-4; Ps 23:1-3a, 4-6; Mt 16:13-19
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 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18; Ps 116:10, 15-19; Rom 8:31b-34; Mk 9:2-10

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: First Sunday of Lent; Rite of Election; Rite of Calling the Candidates to Continuing Conversion; Rite of Sending
Monday: Washington’s Birthday; Julian Calendar Lent begins
Tuesday: St. Polycarp
Thursday: Purim (Jewish observance) begins at sunset
Friday: Abstinence
Saturday: St. Gregory of Narek

Reflect. Repent. Restore.

Lent is a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It’s a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter. During Lent, we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture; we serve by giving alms; and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ’s will more faithfully. We recall the waters of baptism in which we were also baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.

Many know of the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, but we are also called to practice self-discipline and fast in other ways throughout the season. In addition, the giving of alms is one way to share God’s gifts—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents. As St. John Chrysostom reminds us: “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2446).

In Lent, the baptized are called to renew their baptismal commitment as others prepare to be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a period of learning and discernment for individuals who have declared their desire to become Catholics.

Healing and Hope

Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“I do will it. Be made clean.” Mark 1:41

The readings from Leviticus and from the Gospel of Mark today speak of healing and hope. Leviticus outlines procedures to prevent the spread of leprosy, a skin disease understood to be a great danger to the community. Those with the disease were isolated and ritually impure. Absent some cure from God, they were considered beyond hope. Their lives were like a living death, and likely they saw no future hope in their lives. Jesus’ healing of a leper was thus a profound sign of the promised reign of God, which Jesus had earlier announced. The healing was like raising the leper up from death, and thus a hint of Jesus’ resurrection. Where are there “lepers” today, those isolated or outcast from our communities? Who are those our society considers beyond hope, or deems not worth the trouble to offer hope? How can we imitate Jesus in offering a healing touch to them?

Surrending Control

The Gospel today concludes the first chapter of Mark, which traces the rapid expansion of Jesus’ ministry. Excitement about Jesus grows so much that he can’t enter a town without being besieged. His healing of a leper results in a reversal: the leper, who had been isolated from the community, is now free to speak with everyone. Jesus, who before could speak freely, now must isolate himself from the crowds. By serving others, Jesus lost some control over his ministry. This is the first hint of what happens later in Mark. Jesus’ displays of power—over illness, over evil spirits, over nature— eventually lead him to the “powerlessness” of the cross. The experience of Jesus guides us in our own efforts to be of service. Surrendering control is often very difficult. To be a servant is to engage with others, where frequently we lose some control over our freedoms, time, and energies. Often there is a cross or two to bear. As Jesus let go of control in his life, he also placed his trust in his Father. He invites us to do the same.

For the Glory of God

In today’s passage from First Corinthians, Paul concludes his extensive reflections on a variety of issues in Christian life, summarizing with “whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” Beyond the specific problems he addresses, Paul invites his listeners deeper, to consider the primary orientation of life in Christ. We live “for the glory of God” when we organize our lives around God’s values and purposes. We find our identity within Goa’s story as described in the scriptures. We are called to join God’s work in care for others. Just like Paul, we wrestle with many difficult problems emerging from the messiness of daily living. As Lent approaches, we might claim some time to reflect upon how life’s messiness connects with our identity and calling.

Readings of the Week

Monday: Gn 4:1-15, 25; Ps 50:1, 8, 16bc-17, 20-21; Mk 8:11-13
Tuesday: Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10; Ps 29:1a, 2, 3ac-4, 3b, 9c-10; Mk 8:14-21
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: Gn 9:8-15; Ps 25:4-9; 1 Pt 3:18-22; Mk 1:12-15

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time; World Marriage Day; Valentine’s Day
Monday: Presidents’ Day
Tuesday: Mardi Gras; Shrove Tuesday
Wednesday: Ash Wednesday; Fast and Abstinence; Almsgiving
Friday: Abstinence

Joining in God’s Healing of the World

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Jesus cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons.” Mark 1:34

Our readings today summon the Church to embrace its calling, to join in God’s healing of the world. As we hear of Job’s anguish, in which all hope and purpose have disappeared, we are reminded of the depth of suffering in the world around us, and perhaps also within our own hearts. We hear of Jesus bringing healing and hope to Simon’s mother-in-law and to the community around Capernaum. And we hear of Paul’s commitment to “become all things to all’, that is, to walk alongside all kinds of people, offering good news of the love of God. We need to be a people who do not hide from broken hearts, including our own. We are to share in the suffering of our world, but also to live as those who can tell the world of a God who brings hope. At our best, we the Church embody God’s great desire to heal the brokenhearted.

A Time to Lament

The poignant description of human suffering in our reading from the book of Job echoes the cries we have heard throughout the world with the coming of the coronavirus. We grieve many losses: of life and health, of jobs and security, of freedom to be with those we love. We are reminded that many of the psalms are prayers lamenting that the world is often not what it ought to be. In these coronavirus times, we the Church are first called to prayerfully lament: to weep with those who are weeping and to ache for a better world. Our prayer can remind us that, as Paul described
in Romans 8, all creation is groaning, and the Holy Spirit is groaning in wordless, shared suffering.

We also live in God’s promise to transform our tears into joy. God is eager to bring healing to the world, and we are God’s instruments in doing so. We bring God’s gifts of creativity, resourcefulness, and perseverance to the task. Our prayerful lamentation reminds us of the urgency of God’s work through us.

Freed to Serve

The first chapter of Mark’s Gospel is very fast-paced, as Jesus begins his ministry on the move. The first scene in today’s passage happens so quickly that it’s easy to miss: Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law, and she promptly begins to serve Jesus and the disciples. This woman is never named, and only noted by her relationship with Simon. But she is the first person in Mark, once healed by Jesus, to clearly respond as a disciple. Her healing frees her to serve Jesus and others, and sparks the healing of many others.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus’ healings restore health, dignity, and a place in the community. They are also a summons to service. Mark’s brief story highlights that God is always raising up persons and communities, healed of illness or sin or sadness, to join in God’s healing work for others.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Gn 1:1-19; Ps 104:1-2a, 5-6, 10, 12, 24, 35c; Mk 6:53-56
Tuesday: Gn 1:20 — 2:4a; Ps 8:4-9; Mk 7:1-13
Wednesday: Gn 2:4b-9, 15-17; Ps 104:1-2a, 27-28, 29bc-30; Mk 7:14-23
Thursday: Gn 2:18-25; Ps 128:1-5; Mk 7:24-30
Friday: Gn 3:1-8; Ps 32:1-2, 5-7; Mk 7:31-37
Saturday: Gn 3:9-24; Ps 90:2-6, 12-13; Mk 8:1-10
Sunday: Lv 13:1-2, 44-46; Ps 32:1-2, 5, 11; 1 Cor 10:31 — 11:1; Mk 1:40-45

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time; World Day for Consecrated Life; Scout Sunday
Monday: St. Jerome Emiliani; St. Josephine Bakhita; International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking
Wednesday: St. Scholastica
Thursday: Our Lady of Lourdes; World Day of the Sick
Friday: Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday; Lunar New Year 4719
Saturday: Blessed Virgin Mary

News for February 2021

RCIA

The Rite of Election marks the final, more intense period of preparation of catechumens for the sacraments of initiation, known as the Purification and Enlightenment. Acknowledging God’s choice of the catechumens, the Church accepts their readiness for the sacraments (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) nos. 118-119. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez delegated the Pastors and Administrators to preside the Rite of Election on Sunday , February 21, 2021.

Baptisms

At this time we are not providing in person classes, but if you want to baptize here at Mary Immaculate church call the parish office for requirements at 818-899-0278. We are accepting the Archdiocese infant baptism course that has been developed by the Office of Worship. Visit the link below : https://lacatholics.org/baptism/

Did You Know?

Identifying risky behaviors online

As virtual learning continues, children are spending most of their days online. With their own jobs and responsibilities, parents likely cannot stand behind them and supervise their every move. So, it is more important than ever to assess your child’s online activities periodically. Make sure you know which sites they are visiting, and who they are talking to on social media sites. Discuss risky behaviors with your children, like posting personal information (full name, age, location, school information, and more) using inappropriate language, or accessing sites with questionable content. For more information, get a copy of the VIRTUS article “Risky Online Behaviors and Young People” from https://lacatholics.org/did-youknow/.

Prophets in Daily Life

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.” Mark 1:22

Jesus Preaching in the Synagogue

Uniquely in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus’ public eye ministry begins with a direct confrontation with an unclean spirit. Today’s Gospel passage reflects a recurring theme in Mark, that Jesus’ coming is part of a cosmic battle between God and evil forces. It was commonly believed that many spirits were present in the world, and some sought to control human beings. Mark asserts that in Jesus, God has come to rescue humanity, to free us from every form of bondage.

In today’s passage, the unclean spirit does not surrender power quietly. After complaints, convulsions, and screams, the spirit finally departs. As we may witness in own experience, that which binds us—fear, injustice, resentment—often departs only after a mighty struggle. Confronting anything “unclean” in our hearts, our institutions, or our society often involves a long journey toward freedom. May we sustain our efforts and our trust in God, during these long struggles.

Moses assures Israel of God’s continued presence by promising a new prophet. Like Moses, the prophet will be raised up directly by God. But how to distinguish a true prophet from a false one? Many claim to speak for God. The task is complicated by the fact that often, true prophets make waves, cause trouble, and disturb how things are normally done. Many simply don’t want to hear what God is saying, because it threatens their privilege, comfort, or sense of identity.

Like the Israelites in today’s reading, it can be hard for us to bear the voice of God. For God calls us out of all the ways we avoid opening our hearts to God and to others. And so, God raises up surprise prophets in daily life. These are all the people and events who summon us to fuller maturity in love and in faith. We are called upon to always be ready for the prophetic word that may emerge from God’s surprises.

Readings of the Week

Monday: Heb 11:32-40; Ps 31:20-24; Mk 5:1-20
Tuesday: Mal 3:1-4; Ps 24:7-10; Heb 2:14-18; Lk 2:22-40 [22-32]
Wednesday: Heb 12:4-7, 11-15; Ps 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18a; Mk 6:1-6
Thursday: Heb 12:18-19, 21-24; Ps 48:2-4, 9-11; Mk 6:7-13
Friday: Heb 13:1-8; Ps 27:1, 3, 5, 8b-9; Mk 6:14-29
Saturday: Heb 13:15-17, 20-21; Ps 23:1-6; Mk 6:30-34
Sunday: Jb 7:1-4, 6-7; Ps 147:1-6; 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23; Mk 1:29-39

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Catholic Schools Week
Tuesday: The Presentation of the Lord; Blessing of Candles; Groundhog Day
Wednesday: St. Blaise; St. Ansgar; Blessing of Throats;
Friday: St. Agatha; First Friday
Saturday: St. Paul Miki and companions; First Saturday

“KAIROS” Moments

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.” Mark 1:18

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, by Raphael, 1515

Our readings today speak of “Kairos” times, of God proclaiming new moments of opportunity of encounter with the Divine. From Jonah, we hear of God’s summons to the people of Nineveh to turn from evil. We hear Paul tell the church in Corinth that those who live in Christ must avoid clinging to anything transient, as all is secondary to God. And we hear of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Mark, as Jesus proclaims a moment of both opportunity and crisis. In these passages, there are no delaying tactics, no getting caught up in life’s distractions. Just a simple moment of choice. Perhaps we have had “Kairos” moments like these, or we may be facing one now. Sometimes, amid the complexities and uncertainties of our lives, clear choices emerge, and God asks us to choose. And our always patient and merciful God will accompany us in our choices.

The Inauguration

Mark describes the beginning of Jesus’ ministry with his proclamation that the “kingdom of God is at hand.” The rest of Mark’s Gospel—all of Jesus’ preaching and healing, his death and resurrection—describes the inauguration of this kingdom of God. For Mark, the life of Jesus is the center point of history, where everything leads up to Jesus, and everything follows from Jesus. Mark then tells us that the first disciples follow Jesus immediately and wholeheartedly. They leave their work and family, all for Jesus. Because compared to Jesus and the life he offers, everything else is secondary. Perhaps our invitations from God do not entail such dramatic life changes. But all who follow Jesus are called to align our life and values with his ways of love. As we continue to mature in love and in faith, we might ask: What needs to be renewed, re-oriented, or discarded in light of our life in Christ?

Jonah and Nineveh

Jonah makes a rare appearance this week. The book of Jonah is a fascinating tale of God, stubborn Jonah, surprising Nineveh, and the famous fish (or whale). Please consider reading the whole book, just 48 verses, together with a good commentary. The book is read at Jewish services at Yom Kippur, as a profound reflection about God and about all of us. Today’s passage takes place shortly after Jonah’s time in the fish’s belly. Jonah finally performs the task that God asks of him, to call the people of Nineveh to repentance. (Nineveh was notorious for its brutality.) Their sudden repentance is bitterly accepted by Jonah, as he resents God’s mercy for Nineveh. God reminds Jonah that the people of Nineveh are God’s beloved too. Like the parable of the Prodigal Son, the story hints at the vastness of God’s mercy, especially forgiveness of those who seem least deserving. We are reminded that all of us are sinners, and we are all in
need of God’s mercy.

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Readings for the Week

Monday: Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9:1-22; Ps 117:1bc, 2; Mk 16:15-18
Tuesday: 2 Tm 1:1-8 or Ti 1:1-5; Ps 96:1-3, 7-8a, 10; Mk 3:31-35
Wednesday: Heb 10:11-18; Ps 110:1-4; Mk 4:1-20
Thursday: Heb 10:19-25; Ps 24:1-6; Mk 4:21-25
Friday: Heb 10:32-39; Ps 37:3-6, 23-24, 39-40; Mk 4:26-34
Saturday: Heb 11:1-2, 8-19; Lk 1:69-75; Mk 4:35-41
Sunday: Dt 18:15-20; Ps 95:1-2, 6-9; 1 Cor 7:32-35; Mk1:21-28

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday: The Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle
Tuesday: Ss. Timothy and Titus
Wednesday: St. Angela Merici; Tu B’Shvat (Jewish new year of trees) begins at sunset
Thursday: St. Thomas Aquinas

God’s Call

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

“John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God.'” John 1:36

The stories of the call of Samuel and of the first disciples in John’s Gospel help us begin to understand the nature of God’s call. It is not a work order from a distant God to carry out a specific task, but an invitation to participate in what God is already doing. The journey begins with God’s intentions and activity. After the initial moment of call, God is shown to be actively leading these ordinary people to partner in God’s work. For ourselves, we might not experience a single or dramatic moment of call. God’s call can take many forms. But like Samuel, and like Jesus’ disciples, we are invited into a relationship of trust and friendship with God. We too are invited to employ the gifts God has given us, always in dialogue with our God, in our daily lives.

Our Deepest Desires

In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus’ first spoken words in the Gospel of John: “What are you looking for?” This penetrating question reverberates throughout John’s Gospel. The disciples who form Jesus’ first community, and many others who meet Jesus during his life, are drawn to him, seeking something they can’t quite name. As Jesus called and formed his community of disciples, he probed their hearts and allowed them to probe his heart. They shared their deepest needs, hopes, and commitments. Jesus’ words might be directed to us, here and now. Sometimes we struggle to name what we really want. In our faith journey, in prayer and in lived experience, we learn to share our dreams and also to open our hearts to know God’s dreams. In time, with lots of practice, with many successes and failures, we learn to trust God to shape and to fulfill our deepest desires.

Your Servant is Listening

We hear of young Samuel today, dedicated to a life of service to God, under the guidance of Eli, a Temple priest. Twice, Samuel hears the call of God and says “Here | am” to Eli. At last Eli recognizes that it is God who is calling Samuel. When Samue! hears God a third time, Samuel does not say “Here | am,” but “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” We can see a subtle shift as Samuel moves away from announcing his intention to serve and more clearly opens himself to God’s voice. Samuel allows God to take the initiative, and attends first to God’s intentions rather than his own. Samuel’s story helps us to remember that accepting God’s call is not only about a new chapter in our personal story. Our acceptance is, more profoundly, a new moment in God’s story. Even in our smallest “yes,” God celebrates our partnership in God’s great work. Through our openness and acceptance, God has new opportunities to bring all of us into loving unity with God.

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Readings for the Week

Monday: Heb 5:1-10; Ps 110:1-4; Mk 2:18-22
Tuesday: Heb 6:10-20; Ps 111:1-2, 4-5, 9, 10c; Mk 2:23-28
Wednesday: Heb 7:1-3, 15-17; Ps 110:1-4; Mk 3:1-6
Thursday: Heb 7:25 — 8:6; Ps 40:7-10, 17; Mk 3:7-12
Friday: Heb 8:6-13; Ps 85:8, 10-14; Mk 3:13-19, or any of a number of readings for the Day of Prayer
Saturday: Heb 9:2-3, 11-14; Ps 47:2-3, 6-9; Mk 3:20-21
Sunday: Jon 3:1-5, 10; Ps 25:4-9; 1 Cor 7:29-31; Mk 1:14-20

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins
Tuesday: Julian Calendar Theophany (Epiphany)
Wednesday: St. Fabian; St. Sebastian
Thursday: St. Agnes
Friday: Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
Saturday: St. Vincent; St. Marianne Cope

In a Nutshell

The Epiphany of the Lord

Three kings presenting gifts to baby Jesus

“Behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.'” Matthew 2:1-2

When I tell a story, | have a friend who prefers the “nutshell version” first. After that she’ll listen to me ramble, but she wants to know the main point right off the bat. When reading and hearing Sunday scriptures one may often find the nutshell by looking at the responsorial psalm or the Gospel acclamation. From Psalm 72 we hear “Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.” The verse for the Gospel acclamation is Matthew 2:2 “We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” As a weary world, we need to see the light, to follow with our actions and our words. This
is the same hope that is echoed in Isaiah 60:2 “See, darkness covers the earth, / and thick clouds cover the peoples; / but upon you the Lorp shines, / and over you appears his glory.” Don’t give up, friends. You must shine!

Searching

In Matthew’s Gospel today we see two extremely different perspectives, two different reasons for searching for Jesus. In some ways, this resembles the polarization of our nation in today’s time. What one group sees as good for the nation, those with opposing views think will wreck the country. The Magi were astrologers who saw a vision in the sky and were trying to find a way to follow it and discover the new king of the Jews. Herod heard about this king, and his reaction was dark and negative. He saw the birth of such a king as a threat to his power as the Roman leader of the country and wanted the Magi to pass on to him what they knew about this Christ child. Similarly, on a more personal level, we can either feel threatened or excited by changes that may come, depending on our perspective.

Giving Homage

In our minds, it is easy to mix up bits and pieces from Luke’s account of the shepherds coming to see Jesus in the stable and the story of the magi. Clearly, it has taken the magi time to get here, and the reading speaks of them coming to the house where the star led them. Nevertheless, they “prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures . . .”

How do we do this? Do we continue looking for Jesus, even if takes a while and he is not where we expect to see him? Are we paying attention to the signs showing us the way? What gifts do we have with which to pay him homage? After seeing him, the Magi were warned in a dream not to go back the way they came. But if we have seen the Christ child, how can we go back to where we were? We must continue to respond to God’s call to move forward and grow in our lives. We must seek the right and just path and turn away from the “Herods” and inherent evils in our life.

Nutshell: Seek God. Pay homage. Amen.

Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co. Inc.

Readings for the Week

Monday: 1 Jn 3:22 — 4:6; Ps 2:7bc-8, 10-12a; Mt 4:12-17, 23-25
Tuesday: 1 Jn 4:7-10; Ps 72:1-4, 7-8; Mk 6:34-44
Wednesday: 1 Jn 4:11-18; Ps 72:1-2, 10, 12-13; Mk 6:45-52
Thursday: 1 Jn 4:19 — 5:4; Ps 72: 1-2, 14, 15bc, 17; Lk 4:14-22a
Friday: 1 Jn 5:5-13; Ps 147:12-15, 19-20; Lk 5:12-16
Saturday: 1 Jn 5:14-21; Ps 149:1-6a, 9b; Jn 3:22-30
Sunday: Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Is 55:1-11; Ps 29:1-4, 3, 9-10 or Is 12:2-3, 4bcd-6; Acts 10:34-38 or 1 Jn 5:1-9; Mk 1:7-11

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: The Epiphany of the Lord; National Migration Week
Monday: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Tuesday: St. John Neumann
Wednesday: St. André Bessette
Thursday: St. Raymond of Penyafort; Julian Calendar Christmas

News for January

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. our office will be closed on Monday, January 18, 2020.

Baptisms

At this time we are not providing in person classes, but if you want to baptize here at Mary Immaculate church call the parish office for requirements at 818 899 0278. We are accepting the Archdiocese infant baptism course that has been developed by the Office of Worship.

RICA

Actualmente se extiende la invitación a todas las personas que son catequistas a participar como tales en el programa del RICA (Rito de Iniciación Cristiana para Adultos). Las personas que gusten participar como catequistas deberán tener los siguientes requisitos:

  1. Tener experiencia como catequista
  2. Tener sus huellas dactilares y VIRTUS vigentes
  3. Preferiblemente ser bilingúe (Si no es el caso, no hay ningún problema).

Si desea participar como catequista para el programa de RICA, favor de llamar a la oficina parroquial y dejar su nombre y número de teléfono con el Diácono Martin Orea para contactarles después.

Did You Know?

Building a strong parent-teen relationship

As pandemic lockdowns continue, parents and teenage children are spending more and more time together. It is not always easy to connect with teens, because they often feel their parents do not understand them and prefer to confide in their friends instead. Nevertheless, the time at home offers an opportunity for parent-teen relationships to evolve and for trust to grow in developmentally appropriate ways. Teens need the guidance and support of a parent as an important balance to the permissive understanding of a “friendship” relationship. As children become teenagers, parental authority does not diminish but may be better served by involving the teens in a dialogue about rules and limits. For more information on building relationships with your teenagers, visit https://lacatholics.org/did-you-know/.

Family

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” Luke 2:40

Painting of The Presentation of the Lord

On this feast of the Holy Family, we want to offer all families blessings. “Family” may have a lot of different connotations these days. In the United States, the “father, mother, child” family is less common now, and large Catholic families are not as common as they once were. The concept of family is more fluid with many forms of blended families due to second marriages, multigenerational households, and other living arrangements. In a recent survey by the Pew research center, four in ten babies are born to single mothers. Other children are being raised by grandparents or foster parents. In today’s Genesis story, Abraham was ready to concede to another form of family, making the child of one of his servants his heir. The reading from Hebrews reiterates the story of Genesis, and “your descendants will be more numerous than the stars.” The Gospel relates the story of the presentation in the temple.

Power in Prescribed Rituals

Joseph and Mary presented Jesus in the temple at eight days old, as was prescribed by Mosaic law. For many Catholic families, baptismal gowns were handed down through generations, and a baptism was a time of great celebration. Sadly, in our culture, baptisms continue to decline. There are many reasons for this: fewer practicing Catholics, more interfaith marriages, more secular weddings, fewer weddings by clergy, and problems or misunderstandings that turn people away. Many have left the church altogether because of the way they were treated. For some the parish is not a welcoming place. For others baptism has become just a ritual they go through for the sake of the grandparents.

Examples in Our Elders

When someone does present a child for baptism, it can become too easy for others to pass judgment because the parents don’t know the rubrics well, or aren’t dressed better, or “why is that single mother having her baby baptized during Mass?” Notice that the Gospel says nothing about the priests of the temple and how they received Jesus. Rather it talks about Simeon and Anna. They are worth a study in themselves. Simeon is a devout man who is there waiting for a particular sign, and it is fulfilled when he see the Christ Child. Anna is just in the temple praying, as is her custom. After the presentation of Jesus, she does what she does best—she goes back to praying in the temple. Perhaps these readings teach us how we as a faith community can see the sacredness in those families presenting their children for baptism, and welcome them as did Anna and Simeon. May we all learn from their wisdom!

Readings for the Week

Monday: 1 Jn 1:5 — 2:2; Ps 124:2-5, 7b-8: Mt:13-18
Tuesday: 1 Jn 2:3-11; Ps 96:1-3, 5b-6; Lk 2:22-35
Wednesday: 1 Jn 2:12-17; Ps 96:7-10; Lk 2:36-40
Thursday: 1 Jn 2:18-21; Ps 96:1-2, 11-13; Jn 1:1-18
Friday: Nm 6:22-27; Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8; Gal 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21
Saturday: 1 Jn 2:22-28; Ps 98:1-4; Jn 1:19-28
Sunday: Is 60:1-6; Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13; Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6; Mt 2:1-12

News for December

Christmas Schedule

Christmas Eve Mass
Thursday, December 24: 8pm – Christmas Eve Mass

Christmas Mass
Friday, December 25: 10am – Christmas English Mass

Parish Holiday office Hours

Christmas Eve – December 24 – 10am – 2pm
Christmas Day – Office Closed

Did You Know?

Next Sunday, December 27, is the Feast Day of the Holy Family
We have been living in unprecedented times with COVID changing many aspects of our lives. These changes have caused many challenges to families, but they have also affirmed our commitment to safeguarding our children and young people. As the year comes to an end we are reminded of the resiliency exemplified by the Holy Family in their Advent journey – the love Mary and Joseph had for their son, Jesus Christ, and the many ways in which they nurtured His Spirit as a model for our families. Join the Holy Family’s call by taking time next Sunday on the Feast Day of the Holy Family to nourish your own family’s spirituality. Click link to download the Take-Home Resource for Families: The Holy Family – Nourishing your Spirituality and Well-Being.

Looking Again

Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,and you shall name him Jesus.'” Luke 1:30-31

ANGELICO,_Fra_Annunciation,_1437-46_(2236990916)

When we think of today’s Gospel, the image of this meeting between the Angel Gabriel and Mary by Far Angelico (1440-1445) likely comes to mind. In this fresco, Gabriel and Mary are outside sitting among the columns, and Gabriel, with his big wings and hands crossed, gazes upon Mary and gestures towards her. She is well dressed in a traditional blue garment, and though her face shows shock, her folded hands model submission and humility. This work of art is so beautifully executed that we can miss some of its finer details. Similarly, because the Gospel scene is so familiar, we can forget to take in it’s small details. A few years ago, this author found a children’s book called “The Nativity” illustrated by Julie Vivas. Because her drawings were so fresh and charming and simple, she invited new perspective on the story.

Luke says that Mary “was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.” She asks, “How can this be?” These questions don’t fit with how Fra Angelico positioned Gabriel and Mary. In the Vivas illustrations, the Angel Gabriel sits down with battered wings and a balding head and has a cup of coffee with Mary as the two of them try to figure it out together. The text is the same, but the message conveyed is different. There is a different degree of comfort and familiarity to these illustrations.

This “having a cup of coffee” is something we need to learn to do with the scriptures and with our lives. After this event, pregnant Mary traveled into the hill country to be with Elizabeth; an older, wiser, mentor—a mother figure. She spent three months there reflecting and preparing for the birth of her child. In this final week of Advent, take a few moments to find a Gabriel/Mary or an Elizabeth/Mary moment and read the Christmas readings again to see what you might have overlooked, and to find a new way for Christ to dwell in you.

Copyright 2020, J. S. Paluch Company, Inc. 3708 River Road, Suite 400, Franklin Park, IL 60131-2158, 1 800 621 5197

Readings for the Week

Monday: Sg 2:8-14 or Zep 3:14-18a; Ps 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21; Lk 1:39-45
Tuesday: 1 Sm 1:24-28; 1 Sm 2:1, 4-8abcd; Lk 1:46-56
Wednesday: Mal 3:1-4, 23-34; Ps 25:4-5ab, 8-10, 14;Lk 1:57-66
Thursday: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Ps 89:2-5, 27, 29;Lk 1:67-79
Friday:
Vigil: Is 62:1-5; Ps 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Mt 1:1-25 [18-25]
Night: Is 9:1-6; Ps 96:1-3, 11-13; Ti 2:11-14; Lk 2:1-14
Dawn: Is 62:11-12; Ps 97:1, 6, 11-12; Ti 3:4-7; Lk 2:15-20
Day: Is 52:7-10; Ps 98:1-6; Heb 1:1-6 Jn 1:1-18 [1-5, 9-14]
Saturday: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59; Ps 31:3cd-4, 6, 8ab, 16bc, 17; Mt 10:17-22
Sunday: Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 or Gn 15:1-6; 21:1-3; Ps 128:1-5 or Ps 105:1-6, 8-9; Col 3:12-21 [12-17] or Hb 11:8, 11-12, 17-19; Lk 2:22-40 [22, 39-40]

First Sunday of Advent

“What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘SEE'”. Mark 13:37

One of the most beautiful seasons in the life of the Christian has arrived again, the smell of Christmas begins to be felt in the streets, and everything begins to invite us to great and wonderful family moments.

However, this 2020 that we are about to end, it has been a very complicated period of time for each one of us. Our experiences have changed suddenly and we often see side effects of the pandemic, effects that we were not used to seeing, and have generated in us certain fears.

The Gospel presents us on this First Sunday of Advent a very clear message, and invites us to be alert for the change that is coming. The challenge that JESUS proposes to us calls my attention, which is the act of looking, watching, that is WATCHING; all for a reason: BE READY, as the soldier who always has all his senses put to avoid dying in danger.

And it is that: if we see with courage around us, it is not just a pandemic experience, because the danger is always latent around us. It is about having an attitude of courage to overcome in ourselves everything that takes us away from GOD, removing from us everything that does not allow us to live the life of grace that has been given to us since Baptism.

It is ADVENT. It is different, because it is not the same to change than to transform, since it is necessary to generate in us the authentic transformation of our interior to be ready when THE SON OF GOD arrives.

JESUS OF NAZARETH tells us in the Gospel very often, “DO NOT BE AFRAID, “ and “BE PREPARED,” two key phrases to face these times, in the hope of salvation that will soon bring joy to our world. Let us have faith and we will see with certainty, the miracles of love, the miracles of GOD.

Fr. Alberto Chavez Duran, Associate Pastor
English translation: Jesus Jimenez

Readings for the Week

Monday: Rom 10:9-18; Ps 19:8-11; Mt 4:18-22
Tuesday: Is 11:1-10; Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17; Lk 10:21-24
Wednesday: Is 25:6-10a; Ps 23:1-6; Mt 15:29-37
Thursday: Is 26:1-6; Ps 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a; Mt 7:21, 24-27
Friday: Is 29:17-24; Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14; Mt 9:27-31
Saturday: Is 30:19-21, 23-26; Ps 147:1-6; Mt 9:35 — 10:1, 5a, 6-8
Sunday: Is 40:1-5, 9-11; Ps 85:9-14; 2 Pt 3:8-14;Mk 1:1-8

Inherit the Kingdom

Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” Matthew 25:35-36

Perhaps it is important to remember that while the image of Christ as King has been known throughout Christianity, this feast was founded in 1925 as a reaction and a response to growing secularism, communism, and atheism that were becoming prevalent after World War I. If we pull back the lens even further, we will remember that throughout history there has seldom been a peaceful time in the Christian world. The Holy Land itself has frequently been a battle ground. There have been schisms and divisions in the history of the church itself, and every church council was convened to try to correct some mistaken notion, world event, or church heresy. Nor has church leadership always had clean hands, and there have been wars, genocides, and insurrections “in the name of Christ.” Today, when more and more people are leaving organized religion altogether, and people identify themselves as “spiritual but not religious” or “nones”, the need for Christ as leader and ruler and guide is more pressing than ever.

The world in which we live is complex. We are a diverse, global society and there are many issues and opinions ranging from climate change to politics to creed. Sometimes we try and sort it all out, and it is hard to know who and what to believe. One can find multiple takes on the same news story, and social media can easily sway us. Yet when we focus on the Gospel story, it seems very simple indeed. We do not have to know it all or figure it all out. We are not the one on the throne during the Last Judgement. When God starts separating the sheep from the goats, the formula is a simple rule of thumb. “When did you see Christ in others? When did you respond accordingly?” It does not ask if you are Catholic or even Christian; whether you had a police record or an incurable disease; whether you had a PhD or a fifth-grade education, or what languages you spoke. The call is to remember that “Whatsoever you did to the least you did for me.” And then there will be the invitation, “Come you who are blessed. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

Readings for the Week

Monday: Rv 14:1-3, 4b-5; Ps 24:1bc-4ab, 5-6; Lk 21:1-4
Tuesday: Rv 14:14-19; Ps 96:10-13; Lk 21:5-11
Wednesday: Rv 15:1-4; Ps 98:1-3ab, 7-9; Lk 21:12-19
Thursday: Rv 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a; Ps 100:1b-5; Lk 21:20-28.
Thanksgiving Day (suggested): Sir 50:22-24; Ps 145:2-11; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Lk 17:11-19
Friday: Rv 20:1-4, 11 — 21:2; Ps 84:3-6a, 8a; Lk 21:29-33
Saturday: Rv 22:1-7; Ps 95:1-7ab; Lk 21:34-36
Sunday: Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7; Ps 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Mk 13:33-37

Lamps Trimmed and Burning

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Parable of the Ten Virgins - Phoebe Traquair Mansfield

“The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.” Matthew 25:1

In the old spiritual, “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” we hear the imperative to wait and be ready, and while there are many variations, it usually ends “The world is nearly done.” “The time is drawing near.” or “The day is dawning nigh.” The liturgical year is near its end, and we begin to feel that tension of “already but not yet” as the readings become more eschatological (about the end-times) in nature. We are called to wait patiently. Yet, like the wise and foolish virgins, we run the risk of falling asleep, and or running out of oil. Waiting for God, preparing for God, requires much hope, much preparation and discipline, and at times it is counter-intuitive. We must put aside impatience or the desire for immediate gratification and keep the end in sight. In running terms, it is not a sprint, but a marathon.

So how do we do this? Whether we are sitting in the pew or one of those involved more intimately in liturgical ministry, this is a call for spiritual self-maintenance. None of our scriptures today is passive. Seeking and waiting for God requires work. Presence and participation in the liturgy are among the easiest and most natural ways to provide fuel for our spiritual lamps. But like a car, we need to do more than just put in gasoline. There are other needs to attend to for upkeep. Just read the opportunities in this bulletin! Perhaps you may want to attend a parish scripture class or find a spiritual book to read. Sign up online to receive the daily readings or some sort of daily reflection. Find a spiritual podcast to listen to on your commute home from work or turn off the news and music and drive in morning silence. Share simple, regular prayer times as a family such as at meals and bedtime. Experience the sacrament of Reconciliation. Or maybe you do too much, and the call is to let go of something. Do not become burned out or lose heart. Take courage and remember, “The day is drawing nigh!” Amen.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9; 1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17; Jn 2:13-22
Tuesday: Ti 2:1-8, 11-14; Ps 37:3-4, 18, 23, 27, 29; Lk 17:7-10
Wednesday: Ti 3:1-7; Ps 23:1b-6; Lk 17:11-19
Thursday: Phlm 7-20; Ps 146:7-10; Lk 17:20-25
Friday: 2 Jn 4-9; Ps 119:1-2, 10-11, 17-18; Lk 17:26-37
Saturday: 3 Jn 5-8; Ps 112:1-6; Lk 18:1-8
Sunday: Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; Ps 128:1-5; 1 Thes 5:1-6; Mt 25:14-30 [14-15, 19-21]

News for November

Confirmation for Teens

The Confirmation Program at Mary Immaculate Church is designed for teens between the ages of 14 to 16,
to prepare them to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is a 2-year program. Prospective candidates must have proof of their Baptism and First Communion in order to register. To register please log in here. If you have any questions please contact Lissette Villalobos at 818-899-0278 ext.1018 or press 7.

Did You Know?

The devastating effects of verbal abuse

A study by Florida State University found that children who were verbally abused are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. They are also twice as likely to suffer with mood and anxiety disorders throughout their lifetime. Children who suffer such abuse can go on to repeat the same parenting styles they experienced thereby continuing the cycle of abuse. Pay attention to the language you and others use with your children. Breaking the chain of negative behaviors starts with positive, healthy parent-child relationships. For a copy of the VIRTUS article “The Devastating Effects of Verbal Abuse,” visit https://lacatholics.org/did-you-know/.

The Reward

Solemnity of All Saints

Resurrection of Jesus

“Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed.” 1 John 3:2

Successful organizations live by strong mission statements. All Saints’ Day reminds the Church of her mission: to know the love of God on earth in order to experience the fullness of God’s happiness forever in heaven. The Church herself—and each one of us, her members—can use this celebration to give thanks and to renew our commitment to evangelization. If the heart of Jesus desires to unite all souls in heaven, then we must spend time every day actively praying for and serving God’s people. In our word’s and actions, we can pour Christ’s love into the world. We can be the light of the world, reminding everyone that this life is a foretaste of what is to come.

God’s enemy, Satan, does not want us to think of heaven, prepare for heaven, or long for heaven’s peace. Satan wants us to forget about our connection to the Lord and live only for the glory we can find here and now. We feel that hellish pull whenever we grow tired of doing good, especially when no one appreciates or thanks us. We know the temptation to despair when we hear skeptics ridicule believers, especially if we can’t point to convincing evidence that God provides for us that there is a life after this one. These shaky, uncomfortable experiences may come to us once in a while, or they may take root in our hearts and burden us for years. This is precisely why we must celebrate All Saints’ Day with hearty gladness, because every single blessed soul in heaven is praying for us. The Communion of Saints is real, and the strength that Jesus sends to us through their prayers makes an actual difference in our lives. Just as we pray for one another here on earth, our big brothers and sisters in Christ continue to pray for us , inviting us to know and share the love of God.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Wis 3:1-9; Ps 23:1-6; Rom 5:5-11 or 6:3-9; Jn 6:37-40, or any readings from no. 668 or from Masses for the Dead, nos. 1011-1016
Tuesday: Phil 2:5-11; Ps 22:26b-32; Lk 14:15-24
Wednesday: Phil 2:12-18; Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14; Lk 14:25-33
Thursday: Phil 3:3-8a; Ps 105:2-7; Lk 15:1-10
Friday: Phil 3:17 — 4:1; Ps 122:1-5; Lk 16:1-8
Saturday: Phil 4:10-19; Ps 112:1b-2, 5-6, 8a, 9; Lk 16:9-15
Sunday: Wis 6:12-16; Ps 63:2-8; 1 Thes 4:13-18 [13-14]; Mt 25:1-13

News for October

Confirmation for Teens

The Confirmation Program at Mary Immaculate Church is designed for teens between the ages of 14 to 16, to prepare them to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is a 2 -year program. Prospective candidates must have proof of their Baptism and First Communion in order to register. Register Here

If you have any questions please contact Lissette Villalobos at 818-899-0278 ext.1018 or press 7

Did You Know?

Is your caregiver safe?

Many families are stretched thin during this pandemic and may be relying on childcare from different places — family members, neighborhood swaps, or in-home care. Any time you leave your child in someone else’s care, make sure you do your due diligence on the safety of the caregiver. Fundamentally, you must trust the caregiver is a safe person –ask
for references, conduct interviews, survey the physical space(s) where your child will be playing, sleeping, eating. Discuss the level and kind of supervision your child needs to be sure the caregiver understands what you expect, given your child’s age(s) and activity level(s). It may also be important to consider whether the caregiver is able to physically and emotionally care for your child? For example, older family members may not be able to chase energetic young children for a full day. Even if it feels like your options are limited, your child’s safety is critical. For more information, visit https://lacatholics.org/did-you-know/.

Restoring Relationships, Building Bridges

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

feast

“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.” Isaiah 25:6

Jesus’ parable of the king’s wedding feast sounds extreme to our modern ears. After all, if a king—a beloved celebrity, say—were to invite us to his son’s party, which one of us would refuse, much less murder the messenger? In Matthew’s Gospel, the chief priests and elders obstinately refuse to acknowledge Jesus’ mission as the anointed Son of God. Today’s parable suggests, that God will punish this stubbornness by burning their city. The extreme violence of this parable seems to be aimed at Jesus’ stubborn first-century audience, but falls short of hitting us.

Instead of dismissing or quaintly smiling at today’s parable, we can let the word of God work in our hearts. Jesus, who is the Word of God, exists in all time and knows each of us intimately. He speaks to us today through this very parable. The king’s invitation applies to us. The Creator of the universe calls us, and we must respond. Eternal life is at stake.

Today’s liturgy is a rich opportunity to identify the invitation extended by God. The liturgy itself is our collective glimpse into heaven. Perhaps the Lord is calling us to be more attentive to the liturgy, or to enter more deeply into a parish’s weekend experience. Or perhaps our liturgical prayer time today will reveal a call to service, an invitation to care intentionally for strangers in need or for people we know. Perhaps, too, we might discern a call to repair brokenness. Most of us do not witness murder or burning cities on a daily basis, but we surely know of relationships in need of repair. Once we hear the invitation to reconcile with others, we can pray for the strength to respond. Instead of ignoring the summons by filling our time with busyness, we can ask the Lord to help us apologize, or forgive, or begin a difficult conversation. “Many are invited,” Jesus tells us. He will help us respond.

Copyright © 2020, J. S. Paluch Company, Inc., 3708 River Road, Suite 400, Franklin Park, IL 60131-2158, 1-800-621-5197. With Ecclestiastical Approbation.

Readings of the Week

Monday: Gal 4:22-24, 26-27, 31 — 5:1; Ps 113:1b-5a, 6-7; Lk 11:29-32
Tuesday: Gal 5:1-6; Ps 119:41, 43-45, 47-48; Lk 11:37-41
Wednesday: Gal 5:18-25; Ps 1:1-4, 6; Lk 11:42-46
Thursday: Eph 1:1-10; Ps 98:1-6; Lk 11:47-54
Friday: Eph 1:11-14; Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-13; Lk 12:1-7
Saturday: Eph 1:15-23; Ps 8:2-3ab, 4-7; Lk 12:8-12

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