JANUARY 20, 2019
SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Santa Barbara parish - bible study on tuesdays
Parishioners listen attentively during Bible Study classes. All are welcome to attend every Tuesday at 6:40pm in the upper parish hall.
Spiritual Reflection: Presents and Presence
During Christmas time we give presents to different people and others give presents to us. What’s it all about? It all goes back to the story of the wise men going to Bethlehem, falling down on their knees, and offering the best gifts they could afford to the Baby King. But Christmas is not just about giv-ing present. It’s more about being present, i.e. sharing ourselves with warmth, affection and sincerity. The quality of our personal presence is eve-rything. In practice, gift-giving may sometimes be aimed more at keeping on one side and keeping the peace than being really present. In fact, gift-giving may at times be part of the commercialization of Christmas instead of an ex-pression of unconditional love. Read more in Reflection
How Holy Can My Family Be?
Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
It is probably fair to say that none of us feels that our family is just like the Holy Family. Jesus, Mary and Joseph can at first seem to be too unreachable an ideal for our own family. Perhaps, especially at this time of the year, we are most intensely aware of the limitations of our family—of the various families we are a part of. Selfishness, stubbornness, independence can appear to be so great that we can question the integrity of our family as a family, let alone see any real holiness there. How holy can my family be? What help can a reflection upon the Holy Family have for me today?
The first thing to consider is to humbly acknowledge the humanity of our family—including my own humanity and that of everyone in the group. Human being are capable of great things, but every human being is capable of great selfishness. This kind of acknowledgement isn’t an ac-ceptance of the behavior or dynamics of my family as good, or even that all of it should be tol-erated. This first step is a step away from denial. We can’t cope with what we don’t even admit is there. The second step is to acknowledge that each person in the family is seeing things, and responding to them, from his or her own perspective. Nobody really wakes up in the morning and says,” How can I be selfish and difficult for everyone today?” We all are choosing some-thing that seems to us to be good—perhaps good for me and not for you—but my choice is for something I see as good. This acknowledgement isn’t very inspiring, but it can be helpful if it leads us to a growing understanding of what each of us in our family are looking for.
Real understanding can lead to real compassion. Maybe someone in the family is like a barking dog or a self-absorbed princess or is into self-protective control by not investing in conversation or self revelation or even simple help around the house. The more we see what is going on the more easy it will be to try to see it with compassion. What fear is at work here? Dogs bark when they are afraid. Self-absorbsion and passive-aggression are so often rooted in fearful self-protection. Once we can see the underlying needs or hurts that seem to be shaping our behav-iors, we can more easily love those family members. Love is what will heal us. Love will make us stronger. Love will lead to greater gratitude. And grateful people can more easily notice the needs of others and love them.
Contemplating Jesus, Mary and Joseph at this time of the year can help us. Joseph had to be so afraid when he was told Mary would be with child. The one thing he knew for certain is that he was not the father. Just imagine the temptation to judge Mary! But, Joseph believed and trusted. He accepted the role of servant. He took Mary as his wife, accepting the shame and embarrassment that the people of their village must have placed on him. Mary couldn’t have fully understood God’s plan for her or for her son. But she believed and trusted. She accepted the role of servant. Their child, Jesus, became the Servant of God’s mission in our world.
How can our family become more holy? Through compassionate love and growing trust in God, so much which leads to tension, ongoing stress and outright conflict can be healed.
St. Ignatius tells us that Love is a mutual exchange of gifts. The lover gives gifts to the loved one and the loved one becomes a lover in giving gifts to the beloved. Ignatius also says that Love is expressed in deeds rather than in words. So, in these days ahead, let us give gifts of understanding, compassion and healing love to each member of our family. Let’s listen, pay attention, acknowledge gifts and affirm them. Some things very holy will be affirmed. Let us find gestures, acts of kindness, time and support to give each other. Let us model for our children how to think of each other’s needs first.
Every step we make in this direction of greater healing and love will help our family grow in holiness. How holy can we become? The real answer is that we can become as holy as we free each other to become. In this environment of openness to God’s grace, God can do more than we can ask or imagine. And, like the Holy Family, we can be living witnesses, that “nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 2).
Pope Francis’ 10 New Year’s Resolutions for You
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? If not, there’s still time, and Pope Francis has some ideas for you. Alt-hough he offered these resolutions to the Vatican employees in 2017, we can use apply them to our lives today.
1. Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and every-thing we are.
2. Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.
3. Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.
4. Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.
5. Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.
6. Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.
7. Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that de-vour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.
8. Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.
9. Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker...the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.
10. Make sure your Christmas is about Jesus and not about shop-ping.
Santa Barbara Parish Prayer Ministry
prays the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet
for prayer intentions.
May you strive to a better Catholic and closer to God than you did in the past year.
God Bless You & Your Family!
Saturday: 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm
6:00 am (Chamorro)
9:00 am (Astumbo)
12:00 pm (Filipino)
2:00 pm (Chuukese)
Daily: 6:00 am &
Tuesdays & Fridays also: 11:30 am
Saturday: 6:00 am
For baptisms, Please visit the Parish Office for guidelines and scheduling.
Monday to Friday: 15 mins before the 6:00 am and 6:00 pm masses (at the chapel)
Saturday: 4:30 pm (at the upper church)
Divine mercy adoration chapel:
Monday to Friday:
7:00 am - 6:30 pm
7:00 am - 3:30 pm
Monday to Friday except Thursday:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm (CLOSED 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm)
Closed on Sundays, Thursdays, Holy Days & Holidays.