March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

Today is the third Sunday of Lent. Our Lenten journey with the Lord seems to be moving by very quickly! Our first reading for Mass today comes from the book of Exodus. It is here that we are given the commandments. Some tend to think that these commandments are just rules to live by. For me, when I reflect on the commandments, I don’t see them as rules, but as ways for me to grow as a disciple. I acknowledge the importance of the commandments, allowing them to be the fabric of life, but in reality, these are guidelines for us to live as holy and devout Christians. We hear in today’s gospel of how angry Jesus became when he saw the holy temple of prayer being turned into a marketplace. During these weeks of Lent, we are invited to look at our relationship with the Lord. Are we trying our best to conform our lives to a deeper sense of holiness and prayer? Are we spending time with the Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament? Do we acknowledge that we are sinners in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness in the sacrament of Reconciliation? May these next few weeks of Lent be moments of life changing grace, as we continue to journey with the Lord in the desert. Continue reading “March 3, 2024”

March 3, 2024

February 25, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

Today is the second Sunday of Lent. Our gospel passage depicts the Transfiguration of our Lord. Jesus brings his disciples, Peter, James and John up to Mount Tabor. It is upon this mountain that the Lord is transfigured before their very eyes. It is a tremendously life changing moment for these three disciples. Peter makes a tremendous statement of faith by saying to the Lord, “it is good that we are here”. The same can be said for us gathered here today. It is good that we are here today in church to lift our voices to the Lord. It is good that we can gather as a community to sing God’s abundant praises. It is good that we can receive the Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. As Jesus was transfigured before the very eyes of his disciples, a voice from the heavens exclaimed, “this is my beloved son, listen to him”. We must continue to allow the voice of Jesus to speak to us. We must not allow the distractions of this world to hinder our relationship with Jesus to truly hear him. May these weeks of Lent be life changing, as we continue to journey with the Lord to Calvary.

Stations of the Cross

As is the custom here at St. Martin de Porres, stations of the cross will be prayed every Friday night during the season of Lent at each of our three churches beginning at 7:00PM. All are welcomed to join us as we walk and pray the stations of the cross. Continue reading “February 25, 2024”

March 3, 2024

February 18, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

Today is the 1st Sunday of Lent. Each year on the first Sunday of Lent our gospel passage depicts the temptation of Jesus by Satan. We see how Jesus begins his journey in the desert for 40 days and Satan is there to tempt him. We are asked to reflect on the ways Satan tempts us. We are very much aware of how Satan tempts us in such clever ways. We must defeat Satan and all his works and empty promises. As we begin this season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we continue to keep Christ as the center of our lives. May this season of Lent be a moment of renewal, allowing our relationship with the Lord to be strengthened. Continue reading “February 18, 2024”

March 3, 2024

February 11, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today is also the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. If this feast day had not fallen on a Sunday, we would have celebrated Our Lady of Lourdes. I have had the great joy and privilege of celebrating Mass at the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. Today is known as World Day of the Sick, as we pray for all those who need the Lord’s healing hand laid upon them. In a special way, we pray for those who are burdened with illnesses whether they be physical, emotional or spiritual. Our gospel passage today shows Jesus healing the man with leprosy. Not only is this man healed physically, but spiritually as well. We pray that through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Lourdes, Jesus will continue to lay his healing hands upon us, to make us clean.

Ash Wednesday

This Wednesday, February 14 is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the solemn season of Lent. Ashes will be distributed at 3 Masses: 8:00AM at Our Lady of Victory Church, 12:00Noon at St. Peter Claver Church and 7:30PM at Our Lady of Victory Church. There will be two prayer services that ashes will be distributed at: 11:00AM at Holy Rosary Church and 12:00Noon at Our Lady of Victory Church. Continue reading “February 11, 2024”

March 3, 2024

February 4, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

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My dear sisters and brothers,

Today’s gospel passage from Mark 1:29-39 reminds us of the importance of spiritual reinforcement in our lives. After working and serving the people in various capacities, Jesus went to a deserted place to recharge his spiritual battery. This Jesus’ move should also be our modus operandi as children of God. In a world filled with constant challenges, uncertainties, and demands, the need for spiritual strength and resilience has never been more crucial.

Spiritual reinforcement is the foundation upon which we build our inner strength, resilience, and sense of purpose. It provides us with the fortitude to weather life’s storms, the wisdom to navigate complex decisions, and the hope to embrace each day with courage and grace. Little wonder why Jesus did not joke with this exercise. Just as a building requires a solid foundation to withstand the forces of nature, our spirits need nurturing, guidance, and sustenance to thrive amidst the trials of life.

In times of joy, spiritual reinforcement allows us to celebrate and express gratitude for the blessings in our lives, fostering a deep sense of appreciation and interconnectedness with the world around us. It enables us to find meaning in our experiences, cherish the beauty of love and compassion, and cultivate a spirit of generosity and empathy. In moments of sorrow and adversity, spiritual reinforcement becomes our anchor, providing solace, healing, and strength in the face of pain and loss. It assures us that we are not alone, that our spirits are resilient, and that there is light and hope to guide us forward even in the darkest hours. Continue reading “February 4, 2024”

March 3, 2024

January 28, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners, 

Today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is one of my absolute favorite Pauline epistles. St. Paul mentions one of the most common human traits ever known, anxiety. I think it might be safe to say that each of us have experienced some sort of anxiety at one point or another in our lives. Some of us, myself included, might experience bouts of anxiety on a regular basis. Even during the time of Paul’s preaching and letters, he witnessed the anxiety people had. He reminds us today to not allow anxiety or worry to get the best of us. We tend to be anxious about so much, especially when it comes to work or family. We tend to worry about so much, which leads to anxiety. St. Paul reminds us that with the Lord by our side, we need not to worry or be anxious. In just about 2 weeks we will begin the solemn season of Lent. We pray that our hearts will continue to be filled with God’s abundant love and mercy, keeping ourselves fixated on Christ the Lord. May Christ continue to teach us, his children, with authority, allowing his presence to be with us. Continue reading “January 28, 2024”

March 3, 2024

January 21, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

Today is the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. As you can see all of the Christmas decorations, trees and poinsettia plants are gone. In just a few short weeks, we will begin the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. Our gospel passage for Mass today is one of my favorites. It is the call of Simon and Andrew. As these fishermen were tending to their work, their eyes gaze upon Jesus. It is from this initial gaze, Jesus invites them with these words, “come after me and I will make you fishers of men”. It is from that invitation, both Simon and Andrew drop and leave everything behind to follow the Lord Jesus. Jesus invites us to follow him. He calls us every day to be faithful, strong and holy witnesses of him. The question that arises is, are we ready to drop everything and follow the Lord Jesus? Knowing and trusting that the Lord provides for all our needs, are we ready to live that out by following and listening to the voice of the Lord. In a special way, we pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, that more young men and women will have the courage to say yes to the Lord Jesus. Let us pray today, that the Lord of the harvest will continue to call laborers in the vineyard. Continue reading “January 21, 2024”

March 3, 2024

January 14, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

As we begin this Ordinary Time of the new liturgical year, our scripture readings lead us to fulfilling the will of God in our lives. Today’s first reading from the book of Samuel is one of my favorite passages from the Old Testament. We hear Samuel say, “speak, for your servant is listening”. I think those are words that each of us can live by! We know that the Lord speaks to us every day, the key is allowing ourselves to truly listen to the voice of the Lord in our lives. Our responsorial psalm for Mass today is, “here I am Lord, I come to do your will”. Our lives are rooted in doing the will of our Father, but there is so much distraction that we would rather choose our own will than the will of God. In just a few short weeks, we will begin the solemn season of Lent. May these days leading up to the penitential season be moments of grace and prayer, for we can proclaim like Samuel, “speak Lord your servant is listening”. Continue reading “January 14, 2024”

March 3, 2024

January 7, 2024

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. We all know the story of the three wise men who come bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for baby Jesus. Traditionally, it is on this feast day that gifts are exchanged amongst family. The ultimate gift Jesus wants from us is our very selves. The Lord is calling us to give ourselves totally over to him. Our hearts must be rooted in Christ, who ultimately gives of himself for our salvation. With the way the calendar falls this year, tomorrow, January 8th is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which concludes the Christmas season. Next week we will enter the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year. As we conclude this Christmas season, we pray that the light of the newborn King will shine brightly for all the world to see. May Christ, born in a stable in Bethlehem, continue to reign in our hearts, as we strive to bring the Good News to all our brothers and sisters. May the gifts we bring before the Lord be for the building up of the Kingdom of God here in Bedford Stuyvesant. Continue reading “January 7, 2024”

March 3, 2024

December 31, 2023

From The Pastors Desk

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Dear Parishioners,

Once again I take this opportunity to wish you all of you a blessed and joyful Christmas season. As Catholics, we know that Christmas does not end on December 25th but continues to be celebrated until the Epiphany. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Families are a gift. We don’t get to choose our families; God does that for us! Families are meant to be a support for one another. Far too often I hear of strife and division among families. There are so many family members who no longer communicate with one another primarily over something small or menial. On this Holy Family Sunday, I invite you to say a special prayer for your family. In a deeper way, I would invite you to pray for that one family member that you have difficulty with or that you have not spoken with in a while. We pray that through the intercession of the Holy Family, we will continue to love and support one another as the family of Christ here at St. Martin de Porres parish. Continue reading “December 31, 2023”