Pastor’s Column

Writings and Poetry from Father Fernando Torres

The readings of this Sunday tell us the case of two widowed women. The one of the Old Testament belongs to the pagan people. She has a son and serves the prophet who bequeaths the promise that they will not die. She, trusting in him, serves him unconditionally with what little they have. On the other hand, the widow of the New Testament simply in silence, hands in everything she has.

We must be questioned by the two images of these characters who are the people who today we can call them poor. Those who have no voice, those who do not count on the plans of many people, but especially they are invisible to the rich of whom the Gospel speaks to us today. 

Then, it would be necessary to ask ourselves with respect to our relationship with God: How much do we donate to the church? How much do we help the poor? How much do we do for our neighbor and how much time do we devote to serving others?

Although the questions are uncomfortable, we must examine what are the desires that move our lives to come to the temple? With how many people do we share in the midst of our celebrations and how do we serve others?

Each one of us gives consciously, some have donated their whole life, while others just justify themselves. Many have given their best talents to the service of others, while others use their talents for their own benefit. Others give money in abundance, but with selfish and even ill intentions, while others give little, but they give everything they have by trusting in God and renouncing of what they need to live. But no matter who gives more and who does not, it is God who, ultimately, is the one who knows the hearts, the intentions of the people and the generosity of those who give their life, their talents or their treasures.

Today it is necessary to value our offering to God, to review our concern for the Temple of God that is not only the material, but the living temples of the needy such as the widows of the gospel and of so many our brothers and sisters who need our mercy, our attention and our service.

Let us ask God to bless our lives with the awareness and the willingness to deliver the best of ourselves, to make our offering to God a true praise for his name and his presence. 

~~~Father Fernando Torres, Pastor, November 6, 2018

The readings of this Sunday tell us the case of two widowed women. The one of the Old Testament belongs to the pagan people. She has a son and serves the prophet who bequeaths the promise that they will not die. She, trusting in him, serves him unconditionally with what little they have. On the other hand, the widow of the New Testament simply in silence, hands in everything she has.

We must be questioned by the two images of these characters who are the people who today we can call them poor. Those who have no voice, those who do not count on the plans of many people, but especially they are invisible to the rich of whom the Gospel speaks to us today. 

Then, it would be necessary to ask ourselves with respect to our relationship with God: How much do we donate to the church? How much do we help the poor? How much do we do for our neighbor and how much time do we devote to serving others?

Although the questions are uncomfortable, we must examine what are the desires that move our lives to come to the temple? With how many people do we share in the midst of our celebrations and how do we serve others?

Each one of us gives consciously, some have donated their whole life, while others just justify themselves. Many have given their best talents to the service of others, while others use their talents for their own benefit. Others give money in abundance, but with selfish and even ill intentions, while others give little, but they give everything they have by trusting in God and renouncing of what they need to live. But no matter who gives more and who does not, it is God who, ultimately, is the one who knows the hearts, the intentions of the people and the generosity of those who give their life, their talents or their treasures.

Today it is necessary to value our offering to God, to review our concern for the Temple of God that is not only the material, but the living temples of the needy such as the widows of the gospel and of so many our brothers and sisters who need our mercy, our attention and our service.

Let us ask God to bless our lives with the awareness and the willingness to deliver the best of ourselves, to make our offering to God a true praise for his name and his presence. 

~~~Father Fernando Torres, Pastor, November 6, 2018

The first commandment reminds us of where God is in our life, in our family and in our world. Many of us do not remember what is the first commandment. Today we could say that there are many people who do not care about that or that there are changes in our planet because we have other priorities. We have many shortcomings in our relationship with God, with what is related to our life and our world.
When Jesus is asked, he does not hesitate to answer in a way that it is not only from memory, but in a way that is a living experience. It comes from someone that is part of his life, of his mission and of the essential sense of his Existence. Today we could think if we would respond like him.
But instead, many remember God only to blame him for all the disasters of the Earth, for all the tragedies. The truth is that we have brought God out of the schools, we have forgotten him in our homes and we have filled ourselves with indifference before his presence in the church, in the hearts of people and in the activities of the world.
Christ describes how the love for God should be and says that it should be the priority in every person, in every circumstance and in every activity of our human life.
But Jesus wants us not to forget the second commandment that is to love our neighbor and in the same way he invites us to revise our love for others. It is not just a feeling, it is not just a trending phrase, but that it must be a mission of service, of solidarity and of continuous work to set up love as the force that guides our life and inspires us to build his kingdom.
Sometimes, without realizing we fall into the great weakness of believing that for the sake of some we have the justification to hate others, to ignore them or to be indifferent to their needs and we condemn others to oblivion, hatred, destruction and even we believe that these feelings are justified based on the fear that we feel.
What great commandments we have in our lives. What great teachings to contemplate today in our world and all the people with whom we share the world.
We can say that today it is worthwhile to re-learn the commandments to discover God present in every person we serve; to those who are innocent and deserve our respect, to those who are sinners and need our prayer and our help to live a conversion and to learn to be brothers and sisters; children of the same God that we love with all our hearts , our mind, with all our strength and with the grace of God to make love the force of our life.

~~~Father Fernando Torres, Pastor, October 30, 2018

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The month of November is coming with different celebrations that remind us of all the saints and all the faithful departed. Together with the Fall, the month of November gives us the opportunity to celebrate all the people who shared our lives, our history and who shined with the light of faith. For them, we celebrate the solemnity of All Saints. All of those that without being recognized in the world, now participate in the glory of God. They can be members of our family, our friends; people who forged families with values, who sacrificed themselves to have a righteous society, families with values and who left us as an inheritance an exemplary and solid faith so that we were better, more human and better Christians.

This is why the Church invites us to celebrate together with the heavenly Jerusalem, the joy of all of those who have been faithful to Christ and his name and, for his glory, have served in our world, in our families, our church and in many works.
The people who participated in the glory of God became saints because they lived the love of God through prayer, through works that gave their neighbor a testimony of divine mercy, by giving an example of simplicity and meekness by serving the needy, welcoming the pilgrim, teaching to whom needs it, by being in solidarity with those who thirst for justice, peace and love. Perhaps some were persecuted for reasons of their faith, race or economic status. But in the midst of all these trials, they brought to light that they were faithful to Christ, his teachings and especially to his merciful love.

We also celebrate our faithful departed. We pray for them so that they can obtain the forgiveness of their trespasses and they may reach the place of light, of peace and the joy of eternal life.

Thus, the Church invites us to offer our prayers and, in a special way, the celebration of the Holy Mass for all those who have died so that through the intercession of our prayers, we can give thanks for the lives that they shared with us and that they may obtain the eternal glory.

May these celebrations not be sad or confused by not knowing of the many people who have touched our lives with their love, with their works and with the grace with whom we have shared our life, but that they will help us to rekindle our hope, so we can trust in God. Let us put their lives in the merciful hands of the Father and that by the grace of the Holy Spirit, they may be redeemed through the gifts of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

~~~Father Fernando Torres, Pastor, October 23, 2018

The Suffering Servant

“Suffering became part of my daily life!” These are the first words of a very popular Spanish song in Latin-America and the people sing it without having any pain or even if it does not make any sense. The readings of this Sunday speak to us of a kind of suffering that comes from the Old Testament and it is a way for sinners to reach out their justification.

Jesus is proclaimed as the Suffering Servant who, with his life of poverty and with his life of pain will sinners be justified.

How many moments in the life of Christ can we can refer of this today? Being God, he became man, he came down to our human nature and became one of us, except in sin. He walked in our world as a poor man, proclaimed the Kingdom of God to the poor and the humble. He chose some fishermen to be his apostles to bring to the whole world his gospel. He died on the cross condemned by the high priests, the pharisees and the Roman governors as a criminal and thus conquered an eternal and universal kingdom for us.

However, his greatest gift was to offer his life in the Last Supper, where his love and humility prepared the sacrifice, arriving at Gethsemane with the fear and humility of fulfilling the will of the heavenly Father to reach the Cross and offer the only sacrifice that saves humanity from sin and death.

It was difficult for the Apostles of Christ to live every painful moment, but they marked their lives and deepened their faith and their love for the Lord. After the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, they received the strength, the wisdom and the gift to proclaim Christ with their lives, with their martyrdom, with their surrender, persecutions and rejections. 

It is not easy for the Disciples of Christ today, but from the love of Christ we understand that suffering transforms the disciples to make of their lives a constant offering to God to serve him in the family and in society to help others to know him; with the greatness of his love and the mystery of his poverty, with the pain of his sacrifice and the glory of his triumph. With the memorable words that resonate through history and the silence, He makes in every heart and every consciousness to call us to serve, to forgive, to love and to struggle for a kingdom that is not here, but that we seek to participate all together as a church, as a family and as friends of the Lord who inspire us and that always tells us: Follow me.

May the Lord grant us new strength to fulfill His will in this life and to be able to participate in the glory of His kingdom.

~~~Father Fernando Torres, Pastor, October 17, 2018

Total Surrender

In this week’s Gospel (Mark 10:17-30), we have a willing young man ready to fulfill the commandments and renounce his possessions, and then follow Jesus.

We would say that this should be the process for someone who enters a religious community, a monastery, or a place of contemplation.  But this is the call for all Christians, for all disciples of Christ, for all of us.

We may ask ourselves if we are living these steps in our lives today.

Living the commandments means having a relationship of respect for and fulfillment with God, by giving Him a place in our lives, and by doing what He asks us to do for Him and for our neighbor.

Renouncing our possessions and giving them to the poor is more demanding but necessary. We must give up our own self, our selfishness, our securities, and be able to share with others and with those with the greatest need.  It is not enough to give what is left over, what justifies us or makes us looks good to others; it must be a total surrender.  We can donate our time to help someone who is sick or assist in other ways, offer our talent in a ministry in the church, or share our work experience with those who cannot afford professional services.

After learning to serve others with the power of love, generosity and true dedication, Jesus invites us to follow Him as true disciples.  Because it is when we learn to give everything that we understand what his kingdom is and how it is achieved in our lives.

Let’s ask God that his Word may give us his divine wisdom to live according to his will, by seeking it as a treasure and living in such a way that the things of this world appear vain and secondary to the great gift of his knowledge.

Let us also ask that his Word may judge us with mercy and find us worthy to be his disciples.

~~~Father Fernando Torres, Pastor, October 10, 2018

Long Live the Catholic Marriage!

 We’re glad to have a family, because when we have one, we have the opportunity to grow with a mom and dad, to have siblings, to have been able to know our grandparents, our uncles and other relatives. We are filled with pride because together with our family, we have roots that, even though they belong to another place, it makes us understand our traditions, our culture and our values.

But today more than ever, God asks us not to forget the dimension of our faith, the call that He himself has made us from creation, the nature with which he created us and the mission that has made every marriage for generations. Through time, the changes and the mistakes of society, the lack of values and selfishness that destroy true love, true family life, true marriage and the construction of the society.  

Today God continues counting on parents so that they can be the first educators of their children, so that they can pass to them the necessary values, so that, when they grow up, they may commit to “serve” a family from love, fidelity and respect. How many transformations, moments to mature, opportunities to learn and share the children have at home today?

Let us remember that we need to transmit the values to the children: Faith, the experience of a religion that helps to grow in spirituality, to discover the will of God and to help society to live in a more fraternal and human relationship. Love as a gift that comes from God, that we learn from him and that he must tend towards him with our works, our family, our vocation and our society. Hope that is nothing more than to wait in Christ, to trust that we will introduce ourselves as his disciples who have fulfilled our mission.

How much we need in our world to awake to certain values that we are tending to eliminate from our personal family and social life: respect, tolerance, honesty, generosity, perseverance, solidarity, commitment and respect for what is sacred.

Where have we put God in the list of our priorities, our plans and our values?

Let’s practice making our list and ask God to form the life of the family with the values of God.

~~~Father Fernando Torres, Pastor, October 2, 2018

Fidelity to His Teachings

On many occasions, we are reminded that through the baptism in Christ we have been incorporated into the church and, in a special way, we have been entrusted with the mission of being his disciples. At the same time, we want to learn to live as disciples of Christ. This is why today, we want to judge and condemn those who do not live the values of the gospel.

Christ invites us to see that through baptism, our life has received the grace of the Holy Spirit to give us the power to proclaim with our lives the Good News of God. Today we need those true disciples of Christ to be prophets of our time, announcing the great gift of God through works of love; through united families who live in the practice of the values such as respect, obedience, justice, fidelity, stewardship and many others that we need to build a community of love as a family should be.

Christ rejects all that is in the midst of our lives that harms the community, the life of the family and the stability of society because of selfishness or rejection of others.

Today we could say the great sins of our time may be the indifference, the absence of knowledge of what is and what a prophet of Christ in the life of the family should be and the mission we have with the society as members of our parish community. We know that some families have not baptized their children and of many others who make their children Christians, but do not practice their faith because the parents do not know what they can or cannot do when they themselves have been not prepared or have not received the sacraments.

Our community suffers from the malicious example of doing things that affect others and that may lead them to minimize the values of our Christian faith. A living example may be no going to confession for a long time and let pass Holy Communion or stop coming to Mass and occasionally return to Holy Communion.

Being a disciple of Christ is not only a privilege that we acquire, but it is also a responsibility. It is a commitment to be faithful to him, to his teaching, to his mandates. We can not pretend to change or to interpret our own version and worse, to teach our own version to others.

For the sake of all, we invite parents to brush up their Christian life, to have the courage and the humility before Christ to recognize how we have been living our being of Christ’s disciples at home, how we educate our children in the true faith, without excuses, without judgments on others, without justifications because others do not comply and above all, without the justifications that no one lives the Christian faith.

In our Christian lives, what do we have to give up today in order to live our faith? What causes scandal to other people with my Christian testimony? Why do I always criticize others and I do not see my own faults?

Lord, give us the grace of being your disciples through the care of the parents who may help their children so that they too may be your true disciples. Help us to bear witness to your life through our works, but especially give us the gift of being witness of your mercy through our fidelity to your teachings.

~~~Father Fernando Torres, September 26, 2018

The Call of God

We contemplate Christ with the greatness of his message, with the sanctity of his life and with the divinity of his origin, but at the same time, Christ wants his disciples to recognize the path of his passion, his death and his resurrection as the fulfillment of the divine work to take us to eternity.

Every day Christians are confronted by an easy path, with assurances that lead us to compete from our selfishness, with our passions and our greed, to achieve the conquest of a life that we do not know and that it is contrary to what we live daily. Today it is so difficult to know a true wisdom, where the purity of heart, being understanding and docile, being merciful and producing good fruits, practicing justice to achieve true peace and being sincere is a requirement.

For all Christians there is always an invitation from Christ to make us see that our vocation as Christians must be witnesses of Christ, being his disciples, with his wisdom, with his values ​​and with his great love.

Today we can say that all of us should be like a catechist, who lives a special relationship with Christ and teaches children with a special art, with a gift illuminated by the Holy Spirit and with an effort to be for each child an example of life, a model of a Christian and an invitation so that everyone can feel the call of God to live as part of his people, as part of his mission and with a great vocation of service and dedication.

Today we refer in a special way to the people who generously dedicate their time and their talents to collaborate in the formation of the faith of our children and young people. That is why we ask God in a special way for each and every one of them so that the grace of God always accompanies them, transforms them constantly and inspires them with words and works that help to communicate the true divine wisdom. Thanks to all of them for their dedication to make Christ known in our world.

Also, I would like to remind all parents of the mission they have to educate their children in the faith with the characteristics of the catechists, with reliability and experience of the gift of faith in the midst of their families, with divine wisdom and with the human love of being parents, educators and responsible for the faith of their children. Parents are the ones who should welcome their children as a gift from God, love them with works of true education that will allow their children not only to receive the sacraments, but to have the experience of the true God and to develop their commitment as disciples of Christ and members of the Church.

Parents should also make the practice of faith, the teaching of prayers, of truths, of values ​​and the application to the daily life of all evangelical values. The need to praise God and celebrate the mysteries of our salvation every Sunday with our parish community, the great gift of participating, helping and serving others in the community to grow in the experience of true charity, so that with their action may strengthen the faith of their own children, of the young people of our community and of so many others who need their active faith to be effective in the Church, in the family and in our faith.

It is up to all of us to help and serve so that children can be present each week in the catechesis, in the celebration of the Sunday Mass and in the growth of their faith, especially in the family environment. Let’s all work for this intention.

~~~Father Fernando Torres, September 17, 2018

LABOR DAY 2018

Lord,
We ask you for all human beings;
Who you created and gave them the gift of working
To labor and transform the Earth,
Seeking sustenance and full realization.
 
We ask you for all the professions
To serve the development of people,
Reaching human and Christian dignity,
In the humility of service and love
Building bonds of true fraternity.
 
We ask you for all the families
So that parents always have work,
And do not lack the sustenance of children,
And their work is a source for loving the family,
Helping everyone to share with joy.
 
We ask you for employers and employees;
So that their labor and social relations,
are always inspired by the good will,
To make their businesses and jobs
True sources of humanity.
 
We ask you for all the workers
To live in harmony with the faith
And enlighten their work with your gospel
To be freed from the mistakes of selfishness
That puts the world in consumerism.
 
We ask you for so many migrant workers
Who have had to leave their families
and have fallen into exploitation and injustice;
And absorbing them, enslave them and destroy them,
Removing their rights and their dignity.
 
We ask you for those who lack work,
For those who have no chance to work,
For those who don’t have food to eat
or live without dignity with those in their home,
So that charity is not missing.
 
We ask you to lighten with your spirit
Those who work with the desire to serve,
Those who struggle to achieve justice,
Those who strive every day to help
For the unity to be lived and peace be achieved.

~~~Father Fernando Torres, August 28, 2018

 


THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Statue of the Blessed Mother in the Adoration Chapel

Lord Jesus:

On this day we celebrate the Assumption of Mary into heaven:
We do not only recall that the Father has loved her always;
That he chose her, filling her with all of the necessary graces,
But also that he invited her to be the first tabernacle of the world,
Covering her with the power of the Holy Spirit.

We recall also that she made you flesh and she brought you into the world,
That she visited Elizabeth and shared you with humanity,
Also, that she defended you when you were born, escaping with Joseph to Egypt
And that she looked for you with despair when you were lost in Jerusalem.

We recall your intercessory presence at the wedding in Cana
When she went out to visit you while you were announced to the multitudes
But her silence was transformed into love walking with you to the cross
And remained with your disciples during Pentecost

The Church not only recalls those moments, but also
When Mary died, and you carried her to heaven as she lived in the world:
Full of grace, body and soul, like the servant of God
Full of love and humility by being the disciple of the Lord,
Full of joy by being the first one to participate in the glory of God.

Today as her children, we ask the Blessed Virgin Mary in heaven
To let us be happy for her presence next to her beloved Son
And for her triumph and her joy to participate in the fullness of life,
And to encourage us to follow Christ, in faith, teaching and works.

Today our faith lets us see heaven as our goal;
Your maternity extends to all the disciples of your Son,
Because he incarnated the truth and brought it with love to the world
And gave us the hope to live the glory of the Church.

Today our celebration permits us to see our community
That suffers in a world without faith in our Lord
Without faith we suffer poverty, oppression, mistreatment and slavery
And many people profit from war, sadness and illness.

Our pain is because we stop being brothers and sisters
We forget that the goal of life is to arrive at God
And we have ignored the joy to be children in the Church
Serving to the world as the witnesses of your resurrection.
We ask that the glory of God shine in all your children. Amen.

~~~Father Fernando Torres

 


 

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Another Sunday to contemplate the great gift of the Sacred Eucharist which invite to all of us to get close as true disciples of Christ, aware of his divine presence at the altar recognizing his real presence in the bread and wine. The readings of this Sunday remind us that God himself has built the house, has prepared the table and offers the banquet for all, calling them to forsake the ignorance and to go forward on the path of prudence. In our Christian life we do not stop contemplating into the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. We cannot fail to know every day more and to prepare our life to receive the Body and the Blood of Christ. Therefore, I invite you to reflect on the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus himself invites us from the Gospel of this Sunday, presenting himself as the living bread that has come down from heaven to give us eternal life, to resurrect us and to remain in Him. Remember that God himself is waiting for us every Sunday at the feast of the Holy Eucharist. Do we arrive on time to thank the invitation and to participate in fullness in such a special encounter and a sacred banquet with Him and which God himself wants to nourish us? Does our celebration count with the participation of the songs? Does our praise to God have the presence of the Holy Spirit? Does our attention to the readings and the homily help us to know the will of God? When we receive Christ in the bread and in the Eucharistic wine, are we in true communion with his will? Do we live what we receive and keep him present during the week? When we receive Christ, do we enjoy and value his kindness to us by offering to eat his body and to drink his blood? Are we aware of the presence of Christ in the celebration and dedicate ourselves to participate with the sheer faith that we are before Christ? That will make us not get distract by our conversations, by answering the cellphone, to leave before the end of the celebration and much less to do something that may cause other to be distracted or to set a bad example for others in the community? At the end of the Eucharist and heading towards our homes, do we echo the gospel we just have received, the love of God that we have celebrated and the banquet we have participated in? Let’s ask God to help us all to live our Sunday Eucharist as the encounter with God, where He instructs us, nourishes us and strengthens us to reach eternity, united with him and with our parish community.

-Father Fernando Torres

 

Translate English/Spanish »