All of Us – #197

All of Us – #197

I had a great Easter Sunday. I enjoy celebrating the Mass for all who come to profess their faith in the Risen Lord. It was a pleasure to meet and greet the folks at all the Masses that came through our church doors to pray and celebrate with us. I noticed that our visitors were family and friends from our local neighborhood and also some who flew in from places like Pittsburg, San Diego, Portland and Washington D.C. Those who were with us for the first time really noticed a strong spirit of warmth and hospitality. Their first impression was very positive and they wanted to come back again and pray with us. 

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All of Us – #196

All of Us – #196

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! – Happy Easter to all! Thank you for being with us this Easter as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Your presence at Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph parish today is a precious gift to our parish community. How good it is for us to gather and share in this Holy Eucharist. I am sure God is smiling down from heaven upon us today. 

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All of Us – #195

All of Us – #195

“Hello, A D watch repair. This is Mabel. How can I help you?” “Good morning Mabel. This is Father Larry.” “Father Larry. Not again? Don’t tell me.” Mabel said after she recognized my voice. “Yes. I did it again,” I humbly confessed to her over the phone. I needed my cheap wristwatch repaired again. I got it about four years ago at Target. Every time I drop it, one of the markers for the hour falls off and needs to be carefully glued back into place. 

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All of Us – #194

All of Us – #194

“Father, What’s That Doing Here?” — Several years ago, I had to preach on the exact same gospel that we hear proclaimed at Mass this weekend. It was the power story of Lazarus who dies, and then Jesus shows up on the scene, and brings him back to life. Lazarus was a real lucky guy because he was given an unbelievable opportunity to have a second chance on life. I don’t know a lot of people who have come back from the dead to pick-up where they left-off like he did.

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All of Us – #193

All of Us – #193

Amazing Grace – Like last Sunday’s Gospel reading about the woman at the well, this story about the blind man contains four distinct elements: a person is touched by Jesus; the person accepts Jesus; the person witnesses about Jesus; and other people react to the person’s witness. The experiences of the blind man and the woman are especially similar when we look at the first three points. Both the woman and the blind man encounter Jesus and are healed by him. She was healed from her past sins, and he from physical blindness. Both came to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. And both began to witness about him.

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All of Us – #192

All of Us – #192

Happy Feast Day! March 19th is the feast of St. Joseph, the patron saint of our parish, of family life. We proudly celebrate with Catholics world-wide: with Holy Mass, followed by great food and good fellowship. We honor St. Joseph with an age-old tradition called, “The St. Joseph Table.” History has it that this tradition began on the Italian island of Sicily. There was a drought that ruined the harvest and caused a famine. The Sicilians prayed to St. Joseph, the patron saint of the family, and their prayers were answered when the famine and the drought receded.

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All of Us – #191

All of Us - #191

A Truly Amazing Transformation – We hear about the transfiguration of Jesus in the gospel proclaimed on this the Second Sunday of Lent. For Peter, James and John this was a truly amazing moment on top of the mountain. They were able recognize Jesus for who he really is. On the mountain, Jesus shines as the true source of light that he is, and the Father affirms his delight in him and the trust he has placed in him. Through Jesus’ transformation, the disciples see the true face of Jesus, and there is not a thing they would change. They are given this sacred glimpse that helps them to understand that Jesus is fully human and fully divine. What happened on the mountain will be an inspiration of countless generations to come.

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All of Us – #190

All of Us – #190

Getting Heart Healthy This Lent – When I go shopping for groceries I find myself taking more and more time to actually read the labels on the can, box or bottle. This added research probably comes with an aging body. You begin to notice such ingredients like salt, fat, gluten and sugar that can affect your overall health. People have found that eliminating certain foods can have a profound effect upon one’s weight, blood pressure, and level of energy.

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All of Us – #189

All of Us – #189

We Got “Yelp-ed” – I received a real nice letter from Jeremy Stoppelmen who is the CEO of Yelp. He writes: Dear Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Church, We are proud to recognize Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph for the positive ratings and reviews you’ve earned on Yelp in the last year; a 4.5 out of a 5 star rating and 14 reviews. Our visitors love Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Church!

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All of Us – #188

All of Us – #188

Congratulation to Tyler! – It was a pleasure and an honor for me to give Tyler Hakala his First Holy Communion at our school Mass on Tuesday. Tyler is in 2nd Grade. His parents are Uriah and Mona Hakala, and his younger sister is Violet. Tyler’s parents wanted their son to receive the sacrament before their family transfers to New Jersey next month. (Our First Holy Communion this year will be celebrated in May.) They were able to share the experience with Tyler’s classmates and teachers. Congratulations to Tyler and his family.

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