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Rosary and Chaplet of the Divine Mercy - Monday thru Saturday after the 8:30 am Mass
Holy Hour and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament - Every Wednesday 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Mother of Perpetual Help: Every Thursday after the 8:30 am Mass
Hispanic Prayer Group - Every First and Third Thursday 7:00 pm
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament - Every First Friday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Benediction 3:00 pm
Click here for
Bishops Letter May 13, 2020 (English)
Click here for
Bishops Letter May 13, 2020 (Espanol)
PREVIOUS READINGS and MESSAGES
Sunday August 2nd Reflection:
In today’s gospel, Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 men, after which they had lots of leftover food. In the beginning, there were only five loaves of bread and two fishes. After Jesus blessed the bread and the fish, there was more than enough food for everyone. A miracle? Yes, but it was more than a miracle. Jesus showed that the real miracle in that gathering was the miracle of sharing, that if people share, there will be enough for everyone. Wonder why a big number of people in the world live below the poverty line? That’s because a very select few have not really learned to share or give.
Why is it that some people have too much and some have not enough? Greed. Some people are never satisfied. How much money do you need in life to be happy? When does the raking in stop? When does one say, “enough!” The bottom line is that we take nothing with us when we leave this world except the love that we have shared and the goodness we have done.
Someone said that the real test of love is to give not only when it is comfortable and convenient. Do I give till it hurts? Do I allow my compassionate heart to be crushed by my rationalizations and procrastination? How often do I shut out the presence of the suffering around me? Do I give up sharing just because it is uncomfortable or inconvenient?
Prayer: Lord help me to share or give till it hurts and even when it makes me uncomfortable or inconvenient. Amen
Sunday July 26th Reflection:
I don't think anyone likes rules and regulations. We want to be free, able to do what we want. If anyone has doubts about it, just look at the many people out in public in this severe corona virus situation, without even wearing a mask, in spite of the directives by the state/county!
Against this background today's responsorial psalm says, "Lord, I love your commands". Why? Because "the revelation of your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple".
Read along with the above words, we can easily see why the young king Solomon prayed for wisdom. He could have asked for more wealth, more power, or a very vast kingdom. But he seeks only "an understanding heart .... to distinguish right from wrong". God is very pleased with his request and grants in abundance what he wanted. No wonder Solomon was such a wise ruler.
We need to learn to love God's commands and live by them, because they are "the pearls of great price". When we go our way we meet disaster and misery. But when we walk by God's laws, we find peace and joy in this world and eternal life in the next.
Sunday July 19th Reflection:
Someone once said that people who keep saying “Shoot” and “Darn” will eventually go to “Heck.”
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus tells us in the Parable of the Sower that the good seed and the weeds are often intertwined, and it is difficult to distinguish one from the other. But Jesus assures us that in due time, there will be a final selection and definition. He further tells us that goodness will triumph over evil.
When we look at the evil going on around us, we can’t help but echo the age-old question: “Why does evil seem to prosper and the good seem to suffer?” Yes, the parable assures us that God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He knows and sees everything, and He is in control. Let us not lose patience or hope. There is a time for reckoning. All in His time.
One time someone texted me: “Fr Dante, I pray that you have a long, quality and happy life!” I thought about it and prayed over it. I responded: “Thank you for your prayers. Quality and happy life are good enough for me. Long life? That is for God to say.” More than quantity, let us go for quality. Life is short, death is certain. Let us persevere in prayer, patience and good deeds till the very end, wherever the end.
Question: Are we weeds or wheat for God? Are we weeds or wheat for others?
Prayer: Lord, may I never forget to be patient, to be prayerful and to be persevering in doing good deeds as I go on with my life till the end. Amen.
Sunday July 12th Reflection:
Today and the next two Sundays we hear some of the parables Jesus said about the Kingdom of God. "Parable" comes from the Greek word 'parabole' and is a figurative speech. Its meaning can be understood only with serious reflection.
Today we have the parable of a sower sowing seeds: a very simple thing of ordinary life, but its meaning is profound. The seeds are all the same, of the same good quality. But what it produces, or does not produce, depends on the quality of soil: well prepared, barren, hard, ..., etc.
Jesus was immediately referring to his own preaching, the word, its productivity or otherwise. Some were enthusiastic and eager and they received his message and followed him, some were indifferent and they couldn't care less, some were outright hostile and they wanted only to do away with him. The word was the same, but the result very different.
This parable is often presented as referring to our own receptivity to the words of the Scriptures: open and attentive, indifferent, just casual, etc. But God speaks to us not only in the Scriptures, but through everything that happens to us, even the very ordinary matters of daily life: every new day is a gift of God, take it with gratitude and enjoy it properly; the beautiful sun rise, the flowers in the garden, the blue sky, the smile of a baby, the love of friends, the help we give to others, ..., are all God's gifts and speaks to us of his love and goodness to us. As Jesus said, we need to thank God that 'our eyes see what many did not/ does not see. what many wished to hear but did not hear'.
Sunday July 5th Reflection:
During my short vacation last week, I visited a former parishioner who was very sick. It was a very touching experience not only for the patient but for his family as well, especially when I asked them to be humble and ask for forgiveness from one another. Amid hugs and tears, the walls that separated them all these years just crumbled and melted away in that one moment of peace and reconciliation. Praise God who made it all possible.
Why do we have to wait for the last “minute” before we break the walls that divide us and really reach out in humility and love? Please don’t wait for sickness or death to come before we visit or reach out.
In today’s gospel, Jesus reminds us to be childlike, to be meek and humble of heart. Those who claim or think they are wise and learned would do well to listen to this. Look at our lives, and the decisions we make. If only we were less proud and more humble, if only we were less complicated and simpler, we would have more meaningful and joyful lives.
Right now, is there any burden that is pressing on you? Is there any problem, any person, any situation that is bothering you? You have tried everything, right? Try humility. It is the key. You’ll be amazed how things fall into place, and how you yourself fall into your proper place if you have humility.
Prayer: Lord, remind me that I am your child. Help me remain humble, meek and mild. Amen
Sunday June 28th Reflection:
There are two central themes in the readings of this Sunday: the supreme need of our dying to ourselves and living for Jesus and of eagerly receiving God's messages and messengers. Both the themes are interrelated.
The prophet Elisha lived about 800 years before Christ. He used to go often to Mount Carel to pray. Those were days when there were no hotels or motels. So travelers often had to depend upon the hospitality of the people along the way. Thus Elisha would often stay at the home of an elderly couple who lived near Mount Carmel on his way there. The couple were extremely gracious to him. The first reading speaks of how they were richly rewarded for their kindness to him.
Paul reminds us that through baptism we were buried with Jesus and so we must live in the newness of that life. The meaning of Jesus saying that we should not love anyone or anything more than him is the same. Todays' gospel passage is part of the instructions Jesus gave the apostles before sending them to preach in his name. He says: "whoever receives you receives me." It is extremely important that we welcome God's messengers - the Pope, the Bishops and the priests - and listen to their messages and humbly live according to them.
Wednesday July 1st, we celebrate the feast of St. Junipero Serra.
Statues honoring him have become a point of tension in recent days. I encourage all to read this profound letter to the faithful by Archbishop José H. Gomez.
With the assurance of my continued prayers,
The Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, S.J.
Bishop of Oakland
Sunday June 21st Reflection
“Do not be afraid”
Surgeon: “Just relax, Michael. Do not be afraid. It’s just a simple surgery.”
Patient: “My name isn’t Michael.”
Surgeon: “I know, my name is Michael.”
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because “nothing is concealed that will not be revealed.” Jesus goes on to assure His disciples not to be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Indeed, fear can cripple or even silence us. The bottom line is that we have a Father who loves us, provides for us, and protects us.
Have we kept quiet or kept our distance because of fear? Have we taken the safe way in the face of danger, inconvenience, or intimidation? Let us look into our hearts today if we have denied the Lord and His Gospel truths in any way whatsoever. The Lord’s encouragement is clear: “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.” The Lord’s warning is equally clear: “But whoever denies me before others I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
The best way to overcome our fears is to surrender everything to the Father with trust. We all have fears, real or imagined. A strong relationship with God can help us face and overcome our fears, and it is in prayer that we begin to see the light and gain courage.
Today we pray: “Lord, help us to trust more and fear less, to hope more and despair less, to believe more and doubt less, to pray more and talk less, to praise more and criticize less.” amen.
Sunday June 14th Reflection:
Unless we eat we die. This is true not only of our body but also of our soul. Jesus gives us the food we need for our souls. That is what we celebrate this weekend: the Feast of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
The people of Israel had a long journey of 40 years before they could reach the Promised Land. Along the way they faced all kinds of afflictions: hunger, thirst, heat, exhaustion, disease, serpents, and so on. But God took care of them in spite of all that, especially with the Manna. Now that their journey is about to be over and they would soon take possession of the land God had promised to give them, Moses is concerned that the new found prosperity and comfort of that land might make them forget the Lord's mercies and goodness to them. So he reminds them of the various dangers and difficulties they had along the way, but how God protected them, especially of His feeding them with the manna.
We too are on a long journey, a life-long journey until we reach our Promised Land, heaven. We too face difficulties and 'afflictions' along the way. We too need help and strength in this perilous and hard journey. Just as for the Israelites, for us too, the Lord is the one who provides what we need. That help and food is the Eucharist. Jesus who gave his life for our sake on Calvary also gives us his own Body and Blood as our nourishment along the way. He assures us that His Body and Blood guarantees our eternal life. "The one who feeds on me will have life because of me. .... whoever eats this bread will live forever". The Eucharist is our life and salvation. Let us have a deep love and devotion to the Holy Eucharist.
Sunday June 7th
1st: Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9
Response: Glory and praise for ever!
2nd: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Gospel: John 3:16-18
Today is Trinity Sunday. In today’s gospel, we hear the most important verse in the Bible: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” What a consolation, what a joy, to know that we are loved, and that we are called to share in the life and love of the Trinity- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The good news also is that we are all welcome into the Trinitarian circle of love. We are all unworthy servants, but we all have been invited to God’s very heart. What a blessing, what a privilege!
It is a privilege to be connected with the Trinity. We have not only instant but also unlimited access. And not only that, we have an interactive access within our reach. With the Trinity, a network is always available, unlimited and toll-free.
Please remember that life is a journey. The journey can be difficult filled with tears and fears, and it can also be a very lonely journey. The biggest assurance and consolation in our journey through life is that we are journeying with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit are always with us.
Our journey then is a journey with the Trinity and to the Trinity. Our life has a direction. We have a final destination, Heaven, where we will be fully united with the Trinity. So may the Holy Triune God live in our hearts now and in eternity. On the road WITH the Trinity, TO the Trinity.
Hi, St. Callistus parishioners,
Once again, let me remind you that today is Pentecost which is the third most important feast in the Liturgical calendar of the Church. We remember the Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles transforming them entirely and once for all into solid, committed disciples on fire for their Master, ready to lay down their life for Him and for His gospel. I ask you to pray to the Holy Spirit fervently to change us also into disciple of Jesus who love him more than anything and anyone else and Jesus becomes all in all for us.
Today is also the last day of May, and May is the month specifically dedicated to devotion to our Blessed Mother. Mary's role in the salvation history is unique; she is the one God, the Father, designated as the Mother of all believers in Jesus and she has been fulfilling that role so well ever since. During the last several years we used to pray the rosary in front of our grotto here for her, remembering her apparitions and message at Fatima. Due to corona we could not do that this year. But on this final day of May I would ask and hope that you will pray the rosary in her honor in your homes and pray for her intercessions for you and for the parish and for me and for Fr. Dante.
I hope to see many of you today here at the Church to receive Holy Communion. Remember also to pass the info to your friends and family that we are giving Communion outside the Church until we are able to open our Church and celebrate Mass there. Please also pray that the day when we can worship God inside our Church comes sooner than later.
With all the grace and blessings of the feast of Pentecost,
Reflection Sunday May 31st
This Sunday we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost. It is the third most important feast of the Christian Faith, next in line after Christmas and Easter.
The 'story' of Pentecost is very familiar to us: the apostles are gathered together; there is the sudden, powerful wind, the Holy Spirit descending upon them in the form of tongues of fire; the timid apostles are on fire for Jesus and they immediately start preaching about Jesus and his gospel. The practically illiterate apostles speak in different tongues and everyone in the huge audience hears the message in their own language! Three thousand people right away accept Jesus as their Savior and are baptized; the inauguration of the Church as the Body of Christ.
We may not have the gift of tongues. That is not important. The ability to speak languages which one never learned is a special gift of the Holy Spirit. But we all have been given different abilities, qualities and talents. What is important is that we use whatever gifts God has given us for the cause of the message of the gospel, the same message the apostles preached to the people on the day of Pentecost and ever after: that is, let other people come to know of the love of God for them and thus follow God's ways and so reach eternal life in heaven, the purpose God created all human beings for.
Jesus calls us also to be his witnesses. We too received the Holy Spirit at our baptism and our Confirmation; we too received the gifts of the Spirit. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to live as faithful and good witnesses of the Lord.
Sunday May 24th reflection:
There is a story about a priest who talking about heaven in his homily said, "We bring nothing with us when we die. There is no money in heaven! People in heaven have no money!"...The whole congregation was quiet, till a little girl whispered to her mother loud enough for all to hear, "Mama, mama, we're in heaven already!"
The Ascension of Jesus to heaven is a Christian teaching found in the New Testament when the resurrected Jesus was taken up to heaven in his resurrected body,[Acts 1:9-11] in the presence of eleven of his apostles, occurring 40 days after the resurrection.
Before Jesus ascended, he entrusted his mission to the Apostles saying, “Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations...” (Matt 28:19) Jesus passed on to his disciples the ‘baton’ – the responsibility of proclaiming the Kingdom of God. He commissioned them to continue the work He had begun. Jesus told His disciples to be His witnesses to the ends of the world. He told them to be His teachers to the nations. As he commissioned them, he also enjoins us today to do the same. With this feast of the Ascension we are commissioned by our Lord Himself… “Go and make disciples of all nations”. We can do this by simply becoming the person God meant us to be. We can become witnesses and teachers of God’s message in our homes, in our work, in our school, in our neighborhood. This is the simple message of the Feast of Christ’s Ascension – it is to make the mission of Christ our mission and carry it out wherever we are.
Prayer: Lord empower us to do your mission, our mission, so we can spread the good news to all creation.