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There will be NO CONFESSIONS this coming Monday, February 18, 2019 (Presidents' Day)

Continuing with Pope Francis in his teachings on the Commandments at his General Audience.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Good morning!
In the bible the Commandments do not exist for themselves, but are part of a rapport, a relationship. The Lord Jesus did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. And there is that relationship, the Covenant between God and His People. At the beginning of chapter 20 of the Book of Exodus we read – and this is important: “God spoke all these words.”

It seems to be an introduction like any other, but nothing in the Bible is banal. The text does not say: ‘God spoke these commandments,’ but ‘these words.’ Jewish tradition will always call the decalogue ‘the Ten Words.’ And this is exactly what the term Decalogue means. Yet they have the form of laws; they are objectively commandments. Why, then, does the sacred Author use, precisely here, the term ‘ten words’? Why? Why does he not say ‘ten commandments’?

Is there a difference between a command and a word? A command is a communication that does not require dialogue. A word, instead, is the essential medium of relationship as a dialogue. God the Father creates by means of his Word, and his Son is the Word made flesh: Love is nourished by words, and likewise education or cooperation. Two people who do not love each other are unable to communicate. When someone speaks to our heart, our loneliness is over. It receives a word; there is communication, and the commandments are God’s words: God communicates through these Ten Words, and he awaits our response.

It is one thing to receive an order, and quite another to perceive that someone is trying to speak with us. A dialogue is much more than the communication of a truth. The Commandments are a dialogue. Communication “arises from the enjoyment of speaking and it enriches those who express their love for one another through the medium of words. This is an enrichment which does not consist in objects but in persons who share themselves in dialogue.” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, n. 142).
But the difference is not something artificial. We see what happened in the beginning. The Tempter, the devil, wants to deceive man and woman on this point: he wants to convince them that God has forbidden them to eat the fruit of the tree of (the knowledge of) good and evil in order to keep them submissive. This is precisely the challenge; is the first rule that God gave to man a despot’s imposition which forbids and commands or is it the care of a father who is looking after his little ones and protecting them from self-destruction? Is it a word or a command? The most tragic among the various lies that the serpent tells Eve is the insinuation of an envious divinity – “’But no, God envies you’ – of a possessive divinity – ‘God does not want you to be free’ The facts show dramatically that the serpent has lied; he has made believe that a loving word was a command.

Man is at the crossroads: does God impose things on me or does he take care of me? Are his commandments merely a law or do they contain a word, to nurture me? Is God master or Father? God is Father: never forget this. Even in the worst situations, remember that we have a Father who loves us all. Are we subjects or children? This battle, inside and outside of us, is constantly present:, 1000 times we have to choose between a slavish mentality and a mentality of children. A commandment is from the master, a word is from the Father.

The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of children; he is the Spirit of Jesus. A spirit of slaves cannot but view the Law as oppressive, and this can produce two conflicting results: either a life made up of duties and obligations, or a violent reaction of rejection. The whole of Christianity is the passage from the letter of the Law to the life-giving Spirit. Jesus is the Word of the Father; he is not the condemnation of the Father. Jesus came to save, with his Word, not to condemn us.

One sees whether a man or a woman has lived this transition or not. People realize whether a Christian reasons as a Christian or a slave. And we ourselves remember if our teachers took care of us like fathers and mothers, or if they only imposed rules. The Commandments are the journey toward freedom. They set us free because they are the Word of the Father on this journey.

The world needs not legalism but care. It needs Christians with the heart of children. It needs Christians with the heart of children: do not forget this.
- Pope Francis.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron

Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 



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