Sunday, November 27, 2005


The Alleluia Verse for the Mass of the Second Sunday of Advent is at the heart of the ChurchÂ’s message: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths! All mankind shall see the salvation of God.”
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin, Adventus Domini, the Coming of the Lord. The Church prepares for the coming of Christ by exhorting Christ’s faithful to turn away from sin and live a new life of grace.
The Prophet Isaiah tells us to cry out at the top of our voices for the coming of the Messiah is at hand. “Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: `Here is your God’”!
Yet, many people now do the exact opposite. More and more each year, Jesus Christ is expelled from Christmas. Despite the pleadings of the Church, we witness the world's pagan, godless preparations for Christmas. The `Holiday’ is identified with a string of parties and preparations devoid of Jesus Christ. Now, more than ever, “There is no room at the inn.”
Yes, the Holy Season is a time of joy. Followers of the Lord enjoy sending out cards, looking forward to the family gatherings and the exchange of gifts. However, the smell of trees and holly must thrill us with a true sense of Christmas, one that is in the Lord! We must do these things in a godly way. We must identify with Christ and not with the pagan world, which knows Him not.
Every year we hear the same sorry, silly scenario: "It just doesn't seem like Christmas this year." Of course it cannot seem like Christmas! Christ is absent! He has been expelled! The Church's holy days are mindlessly transformed into pagan festivals. For Christians, advent must be a time of penance & conversion in preparation for the Lord's coming. The faithful follower of the Lord must be more holy on Christmas Day than he was on the First Sunday of Advent. We can have no part of Christmas preparations without Our Lord, Jesus.
The liturgy constantly reminds us of the seriousness of the sacred mysteries. Reflect on the Opening Prayer of today's Mass: "Father, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things (sin, paganism, materialism) that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy." The closing prayer pleads: "Father, you give us food from heaven. Teach us to live by your wisdom and to love the things of heaven."
Seek the things of God, which are above! Be holy! Avoid the pagan mentality of the world! Seek the peace of Christ in heaven through the Catholic Church, founded by our Divine Savior. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World. This is the constant message of the liturgy in today’s Advent Mass. Indeed, it is repeated in one form or another in every liturgy throughout the entire liturgical year.
We read in the Communion Antiphon: “Rise up Jerusalem, stand on the heights and see the joy that is coming to you from God.” When the liturgy refers to Jerusalem, it signifies the Church. Every member of the Mystical Body is exhorted to “stand on the heights,” the heights of a holy life! The joy will come to us is Christ, the Savior of the world. He is the One who will lead us to the Kingdom of Heaven. That Kingdom has already begun in the Church on earth. It will reach its full realization in heaven, in the Vision of God for all eternity. My prayer at Mass for you is that the holy Mother of God will be with us on our journey to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


The Season of Advent is once again upon us. It is the Advent of our Messiah-Savior-Redeemer. Our Divine Lord came to save us in the past by His birth at Bethlehem. He comes to save us in the present, through the saving mission of the Catholic Church. He comes to save us in the future by His Second Coming at the end of time.

During November, the liturgy exhorted us to prepare for the Day of Judgment. We must be among those, "who have survived the great period of trial, who have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb" (Apoc 7:14). The Advent liturgies prepare us for both comings of Christ. From the 1st Sunday in Advent to December 16, the stress is on His Second Coming. Then, the emphasis shifts to Our Lord's First Coming and His humble birth.

Jesus Christ’s Second Coming should fill our hearts with joyful anticipation because then, He will complete His work of Redemption. He will raise each and every human person from the dead and reunite us with our bodies. In Christ’s glory, we will be clothed eternally with incorruptibility (se1Coror 15:50f).

The preface of the Mass for the first part of Advent exhorts us: "Now we watch for the day, hoping that the salvation promised us will be ours when Christ our Lord will come again in His Glory."

Our, watch, must always include three basic ingredients:
a) Live a Catholic liturgical life through the Mass and the frequent reception of the sacraments,

b) Live Catholic faith by humbly accepting all that our holy religion teaches,

c) Live Catholic morality (i.e., our moral behavior) by rendering, a religious submission of mind and will to everything taught by the Holy Father and Catholic Tradition.

The Advent Season is a time when we meditate on the justice and the mercy of God. At the Second Coming of Christ, He will come in justice. The time for mercy will have passed. Thus, these early Advent liturgies exhort us to prepare to render an account of our lives on the Day of Judgment.

The second half of the Advent Season prepares us for the First Coming of Christ. At Bethlehem, Jesus comes to us in mercy. Jesus Christ is the mercy of God Who has become Man. He comes to us as the poorest of the poor and the most humble of the humble. He comes to us as a Babe in the arms of His Virgin Mother. As we marvel at the Crib of Bethlehem, our hearts are filled with great joy. We see a helpless Babe in the arms of His youthful mother. He is completely dependent on His mother’s love, just as you and I were dependent on our mothers. We have nothing to fear in Jesus Christ. Now, He is our Brother, our Divine Brother!

Kneeling by the Crib, we find Joseph. He is the intimate and indispensable part of this inner circle of love. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Even the animals sense the profound peace that pervades the gentle serenity of the stable.

Let us begin Advent with a holy confession. Resolve to turn from sin, never to return. Let not the Christmas Season become a pagan festival filled with useless sentimentality. Put on instead the true sentiments of Advent. Prepare for both comings of Christ. On this first Sunday of Advent the Church exclaims in the Gospel verse: "Lord, let us see your kindness and grant us your salvation." Alleluia! JESUS CHRIST, OUR SAVIOR IS COMING!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


With the glorious feast of Christ the King, the Church brings to a close its liturgical year. As we try to make our way in a world that is filled with paganism, let us remember always that Jesus Christ is our King. He is the one Lord and Savior of all. Despite the apparent victory of evil in the world, in the end, Jesus Christ will triumph. On the final day, our Divine Savior will have won complete victory over sin, Satan and death. Saint Paul says: "Christ must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed will be death" (1Cor 15: 25-26).


As King, the liturgy tells us, Our Lord claims dominion. From whom did He claim this dominion? Satan! When our First Parents sinned, man lost son ship with God and the gates of heaven were closed. Mankind thus became subject to the bondage of sin, the dominion of Satan, and the punishment of death. Adam and his descendants came under the dominion of Satan. In His infinite mercy, however, God promises to send a Redeemer. "I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, between your seed and her seed (Christ). She shall crush your head and you shall lie in wait for her heel” (Gen 3:15). God did not abandon us.

Jesus Christ's mission was the Redemption, atonement to the Father for the sins of the world. Jesus said: "I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but to do the will of Him Who sent me" (John 6: 38). In perfect conformity to the Will of the Father, the Savior "humbled Himself and became obedient even unto death on the Cross" (Philippians 2: 8). By the power of Christ's redemptive act on the Cross of Calvary, the dominion of the evil one is vanquished. When Our Blessed Lord died on the Cross of Calvary, the gates of heaven were opened. Man was again restored to son ship with God. WE ARE SAVED!

If we are faithful to Our Blessed Lord by fidelity to the teachings of His Holy Church, we have the sure hope that heaven awaits us. At the Second Coming of Christ, we will be reunited with our glorified bodies. Then we will see each other as God has always seen us, in His own image and likeness. For all eternity, we will be with Christ, our King. Enraptured in the ecstasy of the Beatific Vision, we will share eternal life with Our Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph, all of the angels and saints, and our beloved families and friends.

Lord Jesus, we want to be eternally yours! You are the Savior of the World! You are our Lord and our King! We worship you and adore you, Our Eternal King! Amen!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Friday, December 2, 2005 is the first Friday of the month. Thus, let us review the importance of First Friday Devotions.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart is all about love, the inexhaustible love that Jesus has for, as He said, “you in particular.” He holds His Sacred Heart out to you just as He did to St. Margaret Mary. On December 27, 1673, Our Savior told Saint Margaret: "My divine Heart is so passionately in love with the human race, and you in particular, that it can no longer keep back the flames of its burning charity."

Our Lord asked St. Margaret to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart throughout the world. Practically every Pope since then has exhorted the faithful to develop a deep devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In his marvelous encyclical on the Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XII asked: "Is there a devotion more excellent than that to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, one which is more in accord with the real nature of Catholic faith or which better meets the needs of the Church and the human race today?"

Our Blessed Lord made twelve remarkable promises to those who accept His divine invitation. Our Lord, Jesus, wants to make His love known. Moreover, He wants you to love Him in return! In this divine and human exchange, Our Lord made twelve remarkable promises to all who would love and honor His Sacred Heart. Read them well for they are His divine plan for peace and happiness both in this life and the next:
1) I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
2) I will give peace in their families.
3) I will console them in their troubles.
4) They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially in the hour of death.
5) I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6) Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
7) Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8) Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9) I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10) I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11) Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart and it shall never be erased.
12) The all powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, or without receiving their sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

We have, directly from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a divine guarantee of blessings, graces, conversions, peace in the family, and the Last Sacraments at the hour of death. All Our Lord asks in return is that we love Him. If we do, our names will be written in His Sacred Heart for all eternity! Start this First Friday!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.