Saturday, December 24, 2005


It is sometimes argued that the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, celebrated on January 1, should not be a Holy Day of Obligation. The claim is that, since January 1 marks the New Year, it is more of a civil feast than a religious one. Thus, it should be abolished as a Holy Day.

This type of thought is contrary to the Church’s tradition. The Church has always made the first day of the calendar year a Holy Day of Obligation. She does this in order to counter the godless activities that accompany New Year festivities. The world celebrates the New Year with drinking parties and the pursuit of pleasure. Holy Church, however, reminds us that the followers of Our Lord cannot be part of this kind of activity. Our Divine Lord taught us that we are in the world but we are not of the world.

"Set your minds on the things that are above, not the things that are of the earth," Saint Paul said in Colossians 3:2. To do this, Catholics must begin the New Year by flying to the protection of the Mother of God. Under her mantle, we are able to shun the world’s evil.

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us," Saint John tells us. God, the Father, in His infinite love for man, sent His Son to be our Savior. The Son took on human flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary.

It is defined article of Catholic faith that Our Lady must be given the title, Mother of God! In fact, Mother of God is her most appropriate title. Jesus Christ is True God and True Man. He has a divine nature and a human nature. Our Blessed Lord shared His Divine Nature with the Father and the Holy Spirit from all eternity. His human nature, however, was taken from Our Lady.

Our Savior’s human nature was not suspended in space. It was united to His Divine Person. Jesus Christ is one divine Person. Consequently, we must address Mary as the Mother of God. She is the Theotokos, which is the Greek word for, the God Bearer. In her wisdom, holy mother Church begins the New Year with this Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Thus, we Catholics live the year under her protection.

In today’s Gospel, Saint Luke tells us: “Mary kept all these things in her heart.” My friends let us be assured that she keeps our parish in her heart. Indeed, she keeps all of us in her heart.

May we always keep our dear Blessed Mother in our hearts, as well. Never let one day go by without saying a special prayer to her, especially her holy Rosary. In the Rosary, she teaches us about her divine Son.

May all of you have a blessed and a happy New Year. May Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, bless you. May our dear Blessed Mother guide and protect you throughout the New Year and all the days of your lives.

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


It is said that Christmas is a time for giving. In a limited sense, this is true. However, in the eyes of Almighty God, Christmas is a time of receiving. Yes! Receiving! With the birth of our Divine Savior, we receive God’s gift of mercy, forgiveness and redemption, through Jesus Christ Our Lord!
"Yes, Saint John tells us, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life." These inspired words of Saint John give us the true reason that there is "joy to the world." God loves you! God loves you in a personal and unique way. It is as though you and you alone are in His Heart. It is just that that simple.

God "gave" the world His Son, Saint John says. There is a twofold meaning to this word gave in the mind of the Beloved Disciple. The first meaning is the, Incarnation. Think of it! For love of us, each of us, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity took on human flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary! God "gave" His Son for you and me! Christmas is for each of us, individually! Our Blessed Lord did not come to us bursting through the clouds in might and glory. That would have terrified us. Rather, He came to us in a way with which we can all identify. He came to us in the same way that you and I came into the world. Jesus Christ was born a humble Babe in the arms of His mother.

The second meaning of the word gave is the, Redemption. The reason that God became man, the reason that Jesus was born was so that "whoever believes in Him may not perish." Jesus Christ was born to die! Calvary! The Cross! The Redemption! Jesus was born, suffered and died to make atonement to the Heavenly Father for the sins of the world, your sins and mine and the sins of every person that ever walked the face of the earth. The cause of our joy is that God became Man and died on the Cross so that we might have eternal life.

Joy to the world! Yes! Let us repeat this Christmas refrain over and over again in an increasingly joyless world! As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, may our joy radiate out to the whole world.

May all of us receive God’s gift of the peace of Christ this Christmas. May the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph bless our families and make them holy. May Our Blessed Mother, bless you and lead you to her divine Son. May Saint Joseph, the Protector of the Holy Family, protect our families. JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH! PRAY FOR US! You will be in my prayers at every Mass. Amen!

Father Richard J. Rego, Christmas, 2005

Sunday, December 11, 2005


The noted liturgist, Dr. Pius Parsh, made this marvelous observation about the Virgin Mother of God: "The Eternal Father built for His Son a temple of precious stones, the body and soul of the Immaculate Virgin Mary . . . Since Advent means preparation for receiving God's grace, who could be a better model than she who contained and sheltered Him and was privileged to be a true mother to Him? The mystery of Mary's divine Motherhood demands an extensive role in the Advent liturgies."

Our Blessed Mother is at the heart of the Advent mysteries. Her "Fiat" at Nazareth set in motion the work of our Redemption. Upon her consent to the Eternal Father’s plan, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became man. Because of her obedience to the Will of the Father, Mary, "conceived of the Holy Spirit." In today's Gospel, the angel assured Joseph to take Mary, his wife, into his home for the Child conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. “Because he will save the people from their sins!”

The Cross! Man’s Redemption! This was the mission of our Divine Savior! If we do not see the shadow of the Cross of Calvary hovering over the Crib of Bethlehem, we miss the point of the Christmas Mystery, entirely! The sacred mysteries of Jesus, Mary and Joseph are never exhausted as we contemplate the Advent/Christmas mysteries.

It is also noteworthy that, during Advent, the Church celebrates two significant Marian feasts. On December 8, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Preserved free from original sin, Mary lives her entire life free from the slightest stain of sin. Not even the slightest venial sin ever tarnished her soul. Moreover, Our Blessed Lady practiced every virtue to its highest degree. Indeed, she is "the highest honor of our race!"

Next, on December 12, the liturgy honors the Mother of God under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 1531, she gave Saint Juan Diego a simple, yet profoundly beautiful message. "I am your mother!" This is her message to each of us.

Saint Juan Diego had difficulty delivering Mary's message to Bishop Zumarraga of Mexico City. Our Blessed Mother consoled him with these wonderful words: "Listen my son to what i tell you now. Do not let anything worry or afflict you; do not fear illness nor any troublesome happening or pain. Am I not here, I, who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and my protection? Am I not your life and health? Are you not in my embrace and in my prayers? What else do you need?"

As we savor Our Blessed Mother's words, we enter into the joy of the Christmas Season. Recall them often, especially in times of distress and discouragement. In these days when the truth of Our Lord’s mission is being denied and rejected, let us ask Our Lady in heaven to shower us with graces. We must have her protection from the wiles of Satan and his agents.

When we see the Virgin Mother with Jesus in her arms, we see in Mary our own mother as well. Each one of us can say: “Mary is my mother!" How wonderful! Jesus willed this as he was dying on the cross. On Calvary, Our Blessed Mother gave birth to each of us in the order of grace “with an agony beyond all telling.” Saint Juan Diego teaches us how to love Our Lady with the simple love of a child. With Saint Juan, let us say: “Dear mother in heaven: We love you! Keep us always faithful to the Catholic Church and her teachings!”

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

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


This Sunday is Gaudete Sunday. The Latin word Gaudete means to rejoice. Today'’s liturgy bids us to rejoice because the coming of the Lord is at hand. The Entrance Antiphon sets the tone: Rejoice in the Lord, always; again I say rejoice! The Lord is near!
It is painfully clear that the Church's "joy and gladness" is in complete contradiction to the godless merry making of the pagan world. The world has turned the Nativity of Our Lord into a pagan, “winter festival.” Now some have even forbidden that the Holy Name of Jesus is mentioned at all. How dreadful! Jesus, Mary and Joseph do not fit into the world'’s Christ less carnival. Once again, there is no room at the Inn. How sad! How empty! How dreadfully displeasing to the Father!
As followers of the Lord we must be clear that the Christmas Season is a time of Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Jesus is the Messiah! Mary is the Mother of the Messiah! Joseph is the Foster Father of the Messiah! We must stress the Holy Family in the stable of Bethlehem, especially to our youth. Without Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Christmas is a delusion.
The Church, through the liturgy, never permits us to slip into this spirit of paganism. Today's Responsorial Psalm puts us on the right course. The Church sings out: My soul rejoices in my God!
Jesus Christ is our God. He is our Lord and Savior! He is the Eternal Word of God, who took human flesh from the Virgin Mary. He became man to save us from sin, Satan and eternal death. My spirit finds joy in God my Savior. The Church prays the prayer of Mary in the Magnificat.
Why does the Church sing out in exuberant joy? The Redemption! God, who is “rich in mercy, did not abandon us to the powers of death. He did not leave us in our sins. In His infinite mercy, He sent His Son to be our Savior. Saint Paul makes it abundantly clear: "You were dead because of your sins and offenses . . . you lived at the level of the flesh following every whim and fancy and so by nature deserved God's wrath like the rest. But God is rich in mercy . . . He brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin" (Ephesians 2: 1-4).

My friends, this is our Christmas joy and gladness, the Redemption! Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, we find forgiveness and peace. The Messiah comes not to terrorize us by condemnation and wrath. No! Rather, He comes in mercy and pardon. He comes as a Babe in the arms of His holy mother, Mary. Saint Joseph kneels close in adoration and protection. Yes! All is calm; all is bright around the Virgin Mother and Child. Let us savor fully the Christmas joy of the Holy Family. REJOICE! REJOICE IN THE LORD!

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