Rejoice in the Lord

Today is Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent in which the church
bids us rejoice for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Around this period, all
families and homes are already decorated for Christmas because everyone expects
family members and friends of our children to visit and share love. In spite of the
ups and downs, sicknesses, loss of our dear ones, we still have a course to rejoice
because we are alive and must be grateful to God for everything. We need genuine
and open hearts to throw away hurt feelings, injuries, pains and disappointments
and need to forgive. It is a time to be more hopeful for a better opportune time to
come because we believe God’s faithfulness.
Isn’t it awesome and wonderful when we are able to reach out to other
people by sharing our cookies, parcels, wrappings and other gifts? Take advantage
now, think of somebody different, don’t hesitate or feel reluctant, go ahead and visit
and share what you plan to offer or give out. Nobody is too big or too small for
gifts, surprise yourself this year and see fantastic outcomes.
Heed the voice of the Lord and Rejoice, again I say Rejoice.
Blessings,
Father Seth

A Vision of Hope

In the words of G.K. Chesterton, “Hope is the power of being cheerful in
circumstances that we know to be desperate.”
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why
we call it the present” Bill Keane
“Listen to the must nots, child. Listen to the don’ts, listen to the should nots, the
impossibilities, the would nots. Listen to never haves, then listen close to me…
Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” Shel Silverstein
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join
us. And the world will live as one.” John Lennon
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to
become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Paulo Coelho
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
-Langston Hughes
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without
the words and never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson
The above quotes are but just few quotes on hope. Nothing can be
completely lost or destroyed if we keep trusting God. From the stump of a tree
germinated a bud to survive the tree, giving hope for survival, What else can’t God
do in our lives. There’s hope for peace, learn to forgive and live in harmony for
peace to reign in the Kingdom of Christ.
Blessings,
Father Seth

SOLEMNITY OF JESUS CHRIST THE KING 

We all seem to know or have some idea about Kinship, Power, and Authority. However, I wish to share with you – Jesus said all authority is His and He shares it with us. When you are firm in faith and know who you are in Christ, it unlocks an inheritance beyond anything you could ever imagine. 

“SEVEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT AUTHORITY AND KINGSHIP” 

“IT IS A DIVINE RIGHT” The Holy Spirit Himself marks the legitimacy of our authority as kings. The Bible tells us that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and by Him we cry out Abba Father. As both members of the body of Christ and beloved offspring, we have a right to walk in the fullness of God’s original idea of dominion in our lives. 

“HAVING IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE ACCESSING IT” Just because God makes 

Kingdom privileges available to us, it doesn’t mean that everyone is claiming that which is theirs. Ask yourself, am I living up to the life Christ claimed for me? Each of us has the spiritual capability to overcome through Christ. Are you yielding or walking in the fullness of your authority? “GOD DESIRES PRIEST-KINGS” God is making us to be a kingdom of kings and priests 

training us to be a people that worship Him in spirit and in truth. Kingship has always been a part of God’s final plan for humanity. He wants Holy Spirit led, rulers that reign with Christ in all truth. “ONLY UNLOCKS WHEN YOU’RE LIVING ON PURPOSE” You can’t toil your way into 

authority and kingship, you can only get there by getting into alignment with God’s will for your life. The Father has a blueprint for each and everyone of our lives. Discovering this and getting into agreement with this unlocks our inheritance. “CAN BE FORFEITED BY SIN” Just like Adam and Eve traded in their dominion and 

rulerships by yielding to sin, we too can find ourselves forsaking higher Kingdom living by making choices that do not live up to who we are in Christ. “IT REVEALS THE FATHER’S HEART TOWARD YOU” Kingship was always God’s idea for mankind. From Genesis to Revelation, there’s a common theme that God wants to be a “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords.” When God looks at you He sees who you are in Christ reigning in the sphere of influence He’s called you to. “JESUS CAME TO BRING THIS TYPE OF LIFE” This is what Jesus Christ came to restore, man’s authority to reign and rule in the earth. Now instead of doing so in the physical, we have the Holy Spirit to overcome sin in the spirit. Salvation made it possible for “abundant life” to become available again to humanity. Christ is the door that leads to it. PAY AND SUBMIT YOUR ALLEGIANCE TO CHRIST THE KING OF PEACE 

Blessings, Father Seth 

Waiting Again

Waiting is a period, a pause, interval, or delay, to stay in place in expectation. Advent comes again soon. A season, a time, and a period to “Wait On” and “Wait For” the Lord. We are charged to depend on the Lord and wait patiently for His return in glory. It is a preparation period for sober reflection in anxiety and expectation.

Advent prepares us for Christmas, something we are familiar with and may be tempted to consider it normal or common. The question is “Waiting Again?” Let’s begin to think of what we plan to do to wait again another four weeks before Christmas. Yes we have to wait but is it only for Christmas. We might have not thought of the Lord’s second coming so we have to begin to think of it and ask for the graces to enable us wait in patience and in love.

The expectation teaches us to Clean Up

We need to learn to forgive and reconcile

A time to welcome

A time to share not of our surplus but our little

A time to be more serious than before

A time to celebrate joyfully and joyously

Let us remember that each day in Advent is as important as Sundays. Please think of attending a weekday Mass during this season. Another opportunity is here. Let’s wait again for the Lord’s intervention.

Blessings, Father Seth

HANDLE THE YOUTH WITH PRUDENT CARE WHEN THEY MAKE MISTAKES

A young man saw his primary school teacher at a wedding ceremony, and went to greet him with respect and admiration. He said to him: “ Can you still recognize me sir?’ “ I don’t think so, could you please remind me how we met?, was the answer from the teacher. The student recounted:

“ I was your student in the 3rd Grade, I stole a wrist watch belonging to one of my classmates because it was unique and fascinating. When my classmate reported the lost watch to you, you immediately ordered all students in the class to stand on a straight line, facing the wall with our hands up and our eyes closed so you could check our pockets. At this point I became jittery and terrified of the outcome of the search; the shame I will face after other students discovered that I stole the watch, the opinions my teachers will form about me, the thought of being named ‘ a thief ‘ till I leave the school and my parents’ reaction when they get to know about my action. All these thoughts flowing across my heart, when suddenly it was my turn to be checked. I felt your hand slipped into my pocket and my and you brought out the watch. In fact I was gripped with fear, expecting the worse to be announced. To my surprise, I didn’t hear anything, but sir, you continued searching other students’ pockets till you got to the last person. When the search was over, you asked us to open our eyes and sit on our chairs. I was afraid to sit because I was thinking you will call me out soon after everyone was seated. Till today you didn’t mention anything to me and no one ever told me anything. “

The teacher’s answer was that I searched your pockets while I also had my eyes closed so I don’t know whose pocket I got the watch from.

LESSON:

In life we need wisdom for everything we do. As parents, teachers, leaders etc, we should be able to close our eyes to some things. Not all misbehavior requires punishment. Some will need encouragement, some mentoring and some monitoring. Be a leader who impacts not one who shatters. Let the youth explore.

CONTROL YOUR ANGER AND PREJUDICE

While a man was polishing his brand new car, his six year old son picked up a stone and scratched lines on the side of the car. In anger, the man took the child’s hand and hit it many times using wrench. At the hospital, the child lost all his right fingers due to multiple fractures. With painful eyes the child asked the father, dad when will my fingers grow back? The man was so hurt and devastated and speechless.

He went back home, hit his car several times with his leg and sat down with his head down in front of the car. Raising his head up he saw the scratch of his son, “LOVE YOU DAD.” He committed suicide the next day.

Anger and love have no limits, choose the latter. Things are to be used and people are to be loved. But the opposite is true today, people are used and things are loved.

  • Watch your tongue, it becomes words;
  • Watch your words, they become actions;
  • Watch your actions, they become habits;
  • Watch your habits, they become character;
  • Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Learn patience and with love for life, you will treat every human with love.

Blessings, Father Seth

From Father Jerome… 

Dear Parishioners at St. Mary’s and St. Patrick’s, 

First and foremost, I thank the Almighty God who has made it possible for me to encounter a community of love and fraternity like this. 

Secondly, I bless the holy name of God on the Diocese of Des Moines for granting approval of my visit. 

Thirdly, I unreservedly express a very deep and unfathomable appreciation, heartfelt thanks and most sincere gratitude to the parishes of St. Mary’s, Avoca and St. Patrick’s, Walnut for the warm reception I received and enjoyed very well in the course of my maiden visit to the parishes. Suffice to say that your cordial and mutual reception has impacted me richly. I have learned in another dimension the concept of family togetherness-in-faith and sharing in love. I feel so delighted by the collaborative spirit that is operational in the parish. What an engaged and faith propelling community! I urge you with great passion to keep up the rare evangelizing spirit. 

Let me at this point turn my grateful heart to my host, brother-priest and friend, in the person of Fr. Seth Owusu, pastor in charge of the parish. He has done best again what he is used to doing. I thank him for his usual kindness, fraternity, love and cordiality. I confess to it that he went extra miles to make me very comfortable. Indeed, it was a gesture of love and inestimable hospitality. 

I wish to humbly assure you that I would most certainly carry with me the gladsome memories of the adventure home to my people/community. Should I have the privilege to visit here again, I know for sure that I am coming to a home. 

Final admonition: Please keep the faith alive in season and out of season! God Bless you all. 

In Oneness with Christ, 

Father Jerome