Tag Archives: Fr. David Kozak

Lent & Fasting

My Dear Parishioners, Let us ask whether the fasting and penitential disciplines we have planned for ourselves this Lent are not TOO easy. Are they rooted in custom and tradition that have become almost automatic, second nature to us? Food, drink, entertainment have so often been the focus of our penitential attention. I would like to suggest another are of our life as a potentially fruitful are in which to improve. Ourrelationships! How we relate to others in our family, school, at work, at church could always be improved. We need to treat others as persons of dignity and worth for whom Jesus suffered and died on the cross. Any word or action that demeans or disrespects or judges them is an insult to Jesus. Holding my tongue before criticizing is a great penance which God will surely accept as a pleasing sacrifice when we link it to the Sacrifice…

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Blind Leading the Blind

What reassuring words these are as we prepare for the holy season of Lent. Have past penitential seasons really changed us or was it all for “show”? The cross of ashes on our foreheads, the purple décor in church, the more solemn music at Mass should reflect what is transpiring inside our hearts. If it does not; then the “H word” (hypocrite) that Jesus uses in today’s Gospel reading should also sting our conscience. Looking for splinters in others eyes than our own needs to stop. We can only do it through God’s grace and our willing cooperation with it through penitential practices. I recommend to you: •The Sacrament of Confession •Frequent celebration of Holy Mass •Fasting •Attending Stations of the Cross •Attending our “Healing God’s Church” sessions •Giving up excessive concern that others notice our piety. If we are faithful to this program we can “bear good fruit” as…

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Are We on God's Side

My Dear Parishioners, Jesus teaches us to have mercy and compassion, even towards people whom we consider to be unworthy. It was possible years ago to politely disagree about politics, religion and what is the best flavor of ice cream. Today it too often turns into a resentful battle to see who is right. Often it is shouted “God is on our side!”. Abraham Lincoln said the better question would be, “Are we on God’s side?”. Judgmental accusations hurled against those who disagree with us are directly contrary to the word of our Savior in today’s Gospel reading. Loving our enemies is perhaps the most difficult commandment of Jesus. Let us re-member that He died praying for his enemies and forgiving them, as did St. Stephen the first martyr. Let us make our faith a reality through our words and actions. O Sacred Heart of Jesus make our Hearts more…

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No Prophet is Accepted in His Own Native Place

How should faithful Catholics respond to this refusal of God’s love? In the February 3rd Gospel reading, Jesus is turned away by His own people at Nazareth. He almost was killed because of this tragic response. The same thing is happening in today’s society. The Church’s message: God’s love shown us in Christ Jesus, is refused. Our reaction to this refusal cannot be turning away in despair and consigning the world to its fate. We must redouble our efforts to bring back the lost sheep through words and dialog, but, above all, through good example! What should we be doing to reconcile them with the Body of Christ? God bless all of you who join in the effort of healing and reconciliation! —Fr. David Kozak

Holy Family

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, HOME IS WHERE THE FAMILY IS The idea, dream, and reality of family is so strong and durable that we use it to describe all that is best about human gatherings. We speak of the family of nations, of our church and parish families. The greatest compliment we can pay a friend or gracious host is to say that we feel at home with them, we feel part of the family. Families are the first crucibles in which love is tested and tempered. Jesus himself was one of three people who lived in the shadow of each other. This family, like our own, did not always “get it right,” but they always tried to. These three “amateurs” were on holiday, and one of them got lost. Two were worried sick and took great measures to find the third, a boy after all, who…

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Gaudete Sunday

My Dear People, Are you really rejoicing at the coming of Jesus, or are you filled with anxiety and apprehension? The answer depends on our attitude toward Christmas; and more deeply, on our view of Jesus and our relationship to Him. If the celebration of the birth of Christ is only a set of tasks to be done and obligations to fulfill; no wonder we are anxious! How often do we say “What time is Mass for the holiday? I would like to find a convenient time, to get it over with, to get my obligation completed. That way of thinking exposes the roots of why many of us do not enjoy this season of the year. The 3rd Sunday of Advent is Gaudete! or Rejoice! Sunday. We can only rejoice in the cold and dark of winter if we see a Light that is tiny and flickering, but growing…

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1st Sunday of Advent

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, “The days are coming!” God’s Word is insistent in today’s liturgy for the opening of the Advent Season. XXX number of shopping days left till the “holidays”, says our secular society. Often they do not use the term Christmas. That’s probably for the best in order not to confuse things. The new age we expect is one in which love, charity and justice are the top priority; not balance sheets and sales records and the accumulation of things. Jesus was born among the poor and destitute to teach us to reorder our priorities. What we are preparing for is a moment when the “losers” (shepherds and carpenters) come out ahead and the “Big Shots” (Herod and the Romans) suffer want and are left out? The “Day of the Lord “ will really shake things up! Are you ready? To be sure, let us…

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Mark 10:17-30

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Jesus challenged the young man in Mark 10:17-30 to make a choice about values. What is important in life? Am I willing to leave everything to obtain it? As our eyes rest on the family members with whom He has blessed us, are we truly grateful? As we think about our Catholic Faith, do I thank God that I do not need to grope about tn the dark searching for truth? So many precious gifts! So many blessings! We need to value the good things in life which go beyond material things and pleasures. Others are not as fortunate as we are. God has blessed us with a faith-filled parish community. Show your gratitude by participating actively. May Jesus bless you and your families! Fr. Dave

Friendship_with_Jesus

“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them.” Jesus’ words in today’s Holy Gospel are a challenge to all of us. We must ask how effective are we as a church in introducing new generations of Catholics to a friendship with Jesus. Do we pass on only rules and dogmas or do we help them find a living PERSON who unconditionally loves and accepts them. Once they get to know that Jesus, then they will uncover the truth of our Christian way of life and act accordingly. Let us try to repair the damage bad example causes when we do not live as true disciples of Jesus. When children and you see their elders conducting themselves as true followers of Him who loved children the will grow into fine children. We strive to provide solid religious formation in the Catholic School system and in parish religious…

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Laws observed for their own sake.

From time to time, newspapers and magazines will offer, as an item of “filler”, various laws that are still on the books but seem silly to us in our day and age. In one California city, it is illegal to have two indoor bathtubs in one house. Clean water, a precious commodity when the law was written, is now readily available, so the law seems silly. But the human value of protecting and preserving precious resources is still around, evident in many conservation laws that seem sensible to us. So it is with the laws of religious tradition. What Jesus scorns today is others’ attitudes toward ritual laws, an attitude that becomes nearly idolatrous when laws are observed for their own sake. Jesus teaches that observation of external ritual laws is of value only when they are emblems of our internal disposition toward the will of God: to love God…

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