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Monthly Archives: February 2020

Ash Wednesday Mass and Liturgy Schedule

Ash Wednesday

Mass & Liturgy Schedule

6:30 AM – Liturgy of the Word (with distribution of ashes)

8:30 AM – Ash Wednesday Mass (with distribution of ashes)

12:15 PM – Liturgy of the Word (with distribution of ashes)

5:00 PM – Holy Hour

6:00 PM – Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

6:15 PM – Ash Wednesday Mass (with distribution of ashes)

7:45 PM – Mass in Spanish (with distribution of ashes)

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 16, 2020

Fr. Joseph Jacobi


We get a lot of instructions from Jesus today, part of his continued commentary on the Beatitudes which we might have heard on the 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time had we not celebrated the Feast of the Purification two weekends past. Matthew is really clever with the way he starts this section, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law, BUT.” That word, “but”, is a really clever way of teasing our expectations. It makes us stayed tuned for what is to follow. Yet, when he goes on, I’m left scratching my head over what it means to fulfill, and that is exactly where Matthew wants us to be today: wondering about what it means to fulfill the law.

Perhaps we might think about it this way. Most of us think that when we are obeying the law, whatever law it is, we are doing the right thing and doing what is expected. That is what the Scribes and Pharisees thought and taught; just keep the law. That is why they got so bent of shape when Jesus cured someone in a synagogue on the Sabbath. He broke two laws! He did some work on the sabbath, and he touched someone who was sick.

The conflict that gets in your face over this is whether or not just keeping the law is fulfilling the law, since the purpose of the law is to express the Will of God. What this Word of God calls into question is the minimalism of keeping the law when there are greater needs. A law is fulfilled when we do more than the law requires. The fulfillment comes from recognizing that doing the minimum is not enough. It’s just enough to squeak by and not be accused of anything, certainly to be accused of any greatness.

The law says: “Do not steal.” Well, ok; I don’t take anything that isn’t mine. What greatness is there in that? How does that fulfill the law? How about not stealing, but at that the same time giving something away to someone who might steal because of their need? The law says: “Do not Kill.” Well, OK. It doesn’t look as though there is anyone who has murdered in here, but does that fulfill the law? How about giving life, or doing something that makes life more bearable for someone on the margins of life? Is it really God’s will that we just pass through this life on earth and never kill anyone? Is that all God asks of us? We know better.

Matthew knew that in every religious community there are scribes and Pharisees, learned but self-serving people. Matthew warns against such hypocrites whose external religious masks can hide an irreligious heart. We are a people called and taught to surpass the scribes and Pharisees.

There is a call here to righteousness that is not achieved by just keeping the rules. There is only one Righteous One. It is God. In seeking righteousness, we are on a path to become like God.

At the beginning of this chapter, Jesus revealed to us what God is like and how we might become like God – by practicing and living in Beatitude. That is why when you come into church you see the 10 commandments on the granite monument by the front door, and then when you leave, you see the Beatitudes on the same monument.

When we become poor in spirit, meek, merciful, and clean of heart, the law will be fulfilled, and there will be no more killing, no more infidelity, lust, lies, or broken promises. Best of all, we will be living without anger, and will be at peace with ourselves and with one another just as God intended.

The Presentation of the Lord

February 2, 2020

Deacon Bill Hough


Forty days ago, we celebrated the great feast of the birth of Christ. Now, as the Jewish custom proscribed in the Book of Exodus, Mary is presenting her firstborn son to God. Firstborn male children belonged to the Lord and were to be taken to the temple so that parents could ransom them back with money – in this case with the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. It was also a rite of purification for Mary after the delivery of her baby.

So, as she was faithfully following the law, you can imagine her surprise when Simeon, a man she doesn’t know, takes Jesus in his arms and starts praising God and proclaiming Mary’s son as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel.”

God had promised Simeon that he would not see death until he saw the Messiah, the Savior of the world. In his proclamation he is sharing with all people that – here He is – the visible sign of God’s saving presence.

As Simeon held Jesus in his arms, you can just sense his feeling of peace and consolation as he is holding his Savior. Now everything is going to be alright. For Mary, also, these words of Simeon would have been of great comfort to her. They confirmed what the angel Gabriel revealed to her at the Annunciation.

“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of David his father, and He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there will be no end.”


But then, Simeon begins to speak directly to Mary, and the message to her doesn’t seem quite so joyful. Jesus is “to be a sign that will be contradicted – and you yourself a sword will pierce.”

St. John Paul II called this the second Annunciation. In the first Annunciation we have the revelation of the great Messiah. In the second, we get a clearer picture of what this will mean. The message of Jesus will bring about turmoil. The sword foreshadows the violence of the crucifixion where Jesus will literally be pierced by a sword on the Cross.

In this second Annunciation, Mary is invited to participate in everything – the glory and the sorrow that comes from following Christ. She does – and it seems almost without questioning. She is right there at the Cross when almost everyone else has run away and denied or betrayed her Son.


You know, the Gospel message is always about Jesus. In the past, this feast was called Candlemas recalling Simeon’s proclamation that Christ will be a light to the world. We are always called to be like Jesus, bringing His compassion and unconditional love to the world around us. He gives us His Body and Blood in the Eucharist to strengthen us for this task.