Blog & Pastor Letters

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 27, 2023

08-27-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Joseph Zwosta

In his prophetic 1907 novel Lord of the World, Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson describes a future society dominated by Marxism, atheism, and secular humanism. At the beginning of the book, the Catholic Church is allowed to operate in a limited fashion, though her influence over ordinary life is almost non-existent. Evils such as physician-assisted suicide are commonplace. Eventually, a charismatic politician gains enormous power and leads an outright persecution of the Church. A small group of faithful priests and laity keep the Church on earth alive. Without giving away too much of the ending, the gates of hell do not prevail against her.


Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

08-20-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Joseph Zwosta

There are certain passages in the Gospels in which Christ’s interactions do not unfold the way that many of us would expect. Today’s Gospel certainly qualifies. A sincere Canaanite woman informs the Lord that her daughter is possessed by a demon. By this point in St. Matthew’s Gospel, we’ve heard about Christ performing numerous exorcisms. The afflicted mother even employs words that others have used with success: “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!” (Mt 15:22) In this case, however, He does not respond to her at all. When she later asks a second time for His help, accompanied by an act of homage, He seems to treat her even more harshly. He says: “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” (Mt 15:26) How can we understand Christ’s unusual behavior?


“Do not be afraid! I am with you.”

08-13-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Joseph Zwosta

This Sunday occurs (in the Northern Hemisphere) during the middle of summer. Many families and groups of friends are spending recreational time together near oceans, lakes, and rivers. As human beings, there is something that draws us to such bodies of water, even though we understand the dangers that are also inherent in them.


Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

08-06-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Joseph Zwosta

Today’s feast marks a pivotal moment in Christ’s earthly ministry: the manifestation of His radiant glory to Saints Peter, James, and John in the presence of the Old Testament figures of Moses and Elijah. As the Catechism explains, “Christ’s Transfiguration aims at strengthening the apostles’ faith in anticipation of his Passion: the ascent onto the ‘high mountain’ prepares for the ascent to Calvary.” (CCC 568) In light of this traditional interpretation of the reason for this wondrous event, one may ask: why were only these three Apostles chosen to be present? Why not all of the Twelve? Why not even a larger group of disciples? Every follower of Christ could surely have benefited from a strengthening of faith before witnessing the great trial of the Lord’s Passion and Death.