Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Jan 11, 2023

Last Monday, January 9, we celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Baptism of Jesus is also an epiphany in the sense that God makes Himself known through Jesus. As Jesus is baptized by John, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are revealed to us. Jesus is baptized, the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove, and the Father speaks, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

This feast is a good time for us to reflect on our own Baptism and what our relationship with God has to do with our daily life. At Baptism, we begin a relationship with God, a relationship that is meant to grow and develop throughout our lives. Baptism is not an end in itself, but a beginning of our life in God. When parents ask to have their child baptized, they are saying that their relationship with God is something important to them and they want to share it with their child. It really makes no sense for parents who do not practice their Catholic Faith to present their child for Baptism. Often, when a child is born it can be an awakening in the parents that maybe they need to take their own faith seriously if they are really going to share it with their child.

At the Baptism of a child, the parents make a solemn promise to God and the Church that they will live their own faith and share it with their child. The only way they can be faithful to that promise is through prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments. This means going to Mass every Sunday. Going to Mass every Sunday should be at the heart of anyone who calls himself a Catholic. So, when we miss Mass through our own fault, we must go to confession before we receive Holy Communion, or we commit an even more serious sin by receiving Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin. This only makes sense because we cannot say to God one Sunday that we do not have time for Him, and the next Sunday show up and act like nothing happened. There needs to be reconciliation when we have made a deliberate choice that separates us from God and the Church.

Baptism in some way defines our vocation because we are called by God to be one with Him now and in the world to come. We are made to be with God for all eternity. This is our calling or vocation. How we respond to this call constitutes our vocation in life, which is one of three possibilities: married, single, or religious life. These three basic vocations call us all to the end for which we were created and that is to know, love, and serve God in this life and be happy with Him in the next.

MAKE YOUR PLANS:  Saturday, February 11, 2023 will be our annual World Marriage Day celebration in McMahon Hall. The dinner will follow the 5 PM Mass and the blessing for married couples. This is a time for all of us to pray for those couples living within the Sacrament of Marriage and to thank God for the gift of this sacrament on which we build our families and the Church itself.  We are planning a very entertaining evening with a lot of laughs.  So, mark the day on your calendar and plan to be there. More information and registration information can be found in this weekend’s bulletin.

Please plan to attend and support the St. Vincent de Paul Society IRON CHEF competition and fund raiser on Saturday, February 4.  This is a fun event that raises funds to support the work of our St. Vincent de Paul Society.  The work of our St. Vincent de Paul Society is very much needed for the people of our community who are in need of assistance.  Charity is the work of the Gospel and the mission of every Christian.  Jesus teaches us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless.  We are all called to be a part of this important work.  This is a great way to put these words of Jesus into practice in our daily lives.  Thank you and God bless you for your support, especially the members of our St. Vincent de Paul Society for all their hard work and devotion.

WARNING! Even though the Supreme Court decision to make abortion legal (Roe vs Wade) was overturned on June 24, 2022, there is much we need to do to protect the unborn children of today.  I just recently learned that as of January 3, 2023, drug stores can sell abortion pills over the counter. The ones that have agreed to this so far are Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS.  However, the employees of these drug stores are able to back away from conducting such a sale if they have moral or religious reservations about being personally involved in such a sale.  In this case, another employee would be asked to complete the sale.  I plan to avoid any business with these drugstores.  I cannot in good conscience support a business that deals in the killing of innocent children.

Fr. Joe Labak