We got to kick off Advent in 2018 with 5 (five!) baptisms. We gather around the font as a parish to welcome the new members to our family in Christ. What a wonderful way to prepare for the Feast of Guadalupe & Christmas! See all those pictures in our gallery.
We got a lot of work done today, getting the church prepared for Christmas Eve while hanging on to that last bit of Advent contemplation! We think you’ll love what we’ve done with the place, & will really love the full changeover to Christmas.
Not pictured: Janice, who polished a lot of brass but had to leave early, & Theresa, who sent over sandwhiches.
If you are participating in the St. Nicholas Day Baking Contest on 12/02/2018, please print & fill out the following form. Fill out the bottom & turn it in with your baked Christmas treat before our 9:30 AM bilingual mass to have your entry counted. Good luck & blessed baking!
St. Nicholas Christmas Baking Contest
Bake your best Christmas sweet for the St. Nick’s priests to judge and eat!
Grocery gift certificates will be awarded to first, second & third place, but first place will also get a feature on the web page with the option to post their recipe.
-Fathers Michael, Vladimir, & Ivanildo will be given a bite or small portion of your dessert.
-They will score each dessert on a scale of 1-10. Lynn & Kellie will add up the scores at the end, & the top 3 will win!
-The rest of your Christmas treat will be shared with the parish during the St. Nicholas Day festivities.
PLEASE FILL OUT THE ENTRY FORM BELOW & CUT ON THE LINE. FORMS MUST BE TURNED IN TO THE OFFICE NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 25. Your name & dessert will NOT be shown to the judges. This form is only so we can assign a random number and award prizes to the correct person.
Today we celebrated Christ the King with our guest, Franciscan Brother Desmond. He delivered a beautiful homily about the kingdom of God on Earth, citing the homeless feeding program and Count Your Blessings campaign among some of the things we do at St. Nicholas in service of the Kingdom.
He drew comparisons and made contrasts with the legend of King Arthur, highlighting that the pinnacle of Christ’s glory in the Gospel of John is Christ asserting the Kingdom of God to Pilate.
Here are 2 very similar pictures from the day, because we couldn’t get 2 smiling holy men to keep their eyes open at the same time.
We are grateful for our clergy and visiting clergy! It was quite a festive Thanksgiving Mass when Father Ivanildo turned up with two Roman Catholic priests. We all went home with blessed wine and bread for our Thanksgiving table, calling to mind the one out of ten healed lepers who came back to thank Jesus.
Father Michael recounted all the many heath benefits of gratitude, & told the parish how grateful he was for them — especially for Father Vladimir Divas, who also delivered a stirring homily.
James and John were anything but humble in the account recorded in the Gospel Of Mark, 10:35-45. The Sons of Thunder wanted to have places of importance with Jesus in his glory.
Father Michael asked us how we would respond if Jesus asked us, as he did those two apostles, “What do wish me to do for you?” He also asked who is the most humble person you know, & what did they teach you?
When have you found it most difficult to heed Jesus’ words “It shall not be so with you?” Following Christ isn’t always the easiest road, and we frequently do things for others without credit or reward. In this world, this is seen as weakness, but with Christ, “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant.”
Father Ivanildo Cavalcante delivered the homily today on the Gospel reading from Mark 10:17-30, combined with the reading from Wisdom 7. This is an oft quoted Gospel teaching because it is so memorable: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”
People usually forget the next section, where Jesus says that with God, all things are possible. Father Ivanildo discussed this and the love of wisdom leading to a better understanding of God’s love for us.
Father Cooper and Father Vladimir Divas also marked the canonization of Oscar Romero today by passing out prayer cards in Spanish and English. Father Vladimir was honored to know Saint Oscar Romero personally, and our parish enjoys visits from another associate, Bishop Barahona, at least once a year. Saint Oscar Romero, pray for us.
The Pharisees test Christ in Mark 10:2-16, asking him about divorce. In conjunction with the reading from Genesis today, Father Michael seized the opportunity to teach on the sacrament of marriage.
Christ’s reply to the Pharisees was revolutionary for its time. When Christ said, “They are no longer two, but one flesh,” he was declaring man and woman equal in marriage — not property as wives were seen at that time. The covenant mirrors that of God’s with Israel or Christ’s with the Church, for whom he died.
Marriage requires faithfulness in every sense of the word. The sacrament is a living sign of God’s presence and grace in our midst — the manifestation of God’s unconditional love.
Father had 3 questions for you to ponder this week:
1. How does a covenant relationship differ from a contract arrangement?
2. How is your marriage a source of life & a gift from God?
3. How do you live the sacrament of marriage?
The Gospel of Mark 9:38-48 is a difficult one. Jesus is telling us that the Kingdom or God is worth any price...including your own hand, foot, or eye — if they cause you to sin. Jesus even goes so far as to say it is better to drown than to cause “little ones who believe in me to sin.”
Father Cooper had three main questions to help us all apply this teaching to our lives:
1. How do non-teachers lead others to God?
2. When have you experienced the Spirit of God at an unexpected time, from an unexpected source?
3. What leads you to sin? How do you cut it off or remove it? How do you remove the “millstone” from your neck? It could even be a relationship that needs to be severed.
We must also remember “big tent Christianity”. We may not understand what another denomination does, but “whoever is not against us is for us.”
Father Cooper asked us today, “Has a child ever taught you anything about Gospel values?”
Jesus told the disciples, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me” (Mark 9:37). To love a child is a full reflection of Christian love and service. Parents don’t count the cost of late nights, nor extra food or expenses because they move beyond self love to care for another.
The disciples are talking about which of them is greatest, but Jesus makes clear the great paradox of discipleship. If you wish to be first, you must be last. To be great, you must be small. To be master, you must be the servant of those you wish to rule. Receive a child, and become self-giving.
Children are not cynical or jaded, and they never cease to be amazed. The faith of a child is anything but childish. The uncomplicated and genuine faith of a child leads them to love God and others without condition.
How can you be more childlike?
Father Michael Cooper, SCP
Pastor at St. Nicholas of Myra, an Anglo-Catholic community in the Episcopal tradition, since February 2010.