While surfing the television channels watching the sports channels, viewing football, basketball and soccer games and skipping the commercials, Father Moreno came upon this commercial that caught his attention and left a lasting impression.
There was a little fish swimming in a puddle in a busy highway with heavy traffic all around. The little fish jumped from the puddle into a passing truck carrying large water containers and the little fish was swimming in the large water container. The driver of the truck took the large water container with the little fish and threw what was inside the large container into the ocean and the little fish was swimming in the ocean when a big fish came by and the little fish followed the big fish.
Here is this little fish from Wal-Mart, now in the great, big ocean. The little fish is no longer in a cozy fish tank being fed three (3) times a day.
After Father Moreno saw the little fish following the big fish he changed the channel to see the Spurs basketball game.
Jesus goes to Nazareth and probably visits his Mother; just like Father Moreno would go to Carlsbad, New Mexico to visit his Mama and enjoy her home cooking.
At this time Joseph is dead and Mary is a widow.
Jesus begins His ministry in Capernaum. Capernaum is like Las Vegas, the crossroads of the world, sin-city. The prophet Isaiah prophesied in the first reading at Midnight Mass that Jesus would begin His ministry to the Gentiles; the Gentiles were considered sinners.
The first word of Jesus was “Repent the Kingdom of God is at hand”. Repentance is a change of heart. Repentance is positive; Jesus is the center of our heart. We are to embrace the Kingdom of God – Jesus. We are to live and act as Jesus. We are to forgive the sinners; those who insult us, ridicule us, dislike us out of jealousy.
We are to pray for God to give us a forgiving heart, the strength to forgive. A change of heart means a change of life.
We are to stop the routine of gossiping, of destroying others.
When those around us start gossiping and destroying others we are to silently start praying an Our Father.
Repentance calls us to pray.
Has our life changed since last Sunday?
Are we still doing the same things?
Have we forgotten everything?
We are to be like the little fish, swimming in the puddle of water and then swimming in the large container, sloshing around in sin in the big bottle. The little fish was waddling in the puddle of life and the large trucks were passing by, the little fish dared to trust God and from the puddle the little fish jumped to the large container and the little fish was not content to just survive, to just get by.
We have the opportunity to “Come follow Jesus”. We are to leave our safe and secure situation, leave our relatives and friends. We are to jump out and swim in order to have a new vision, to be open to conversion, to enter the Kingdom of God.
The same old puddle of our life offers comfort and security but we will never be better, we will never swim with the big fish in life. We are to swim with the angels and archangels, the prophets, the martyrs and all the saints.
When the priest places his hands over the elements of bread and wine they become Jesus. The Blessed Virgin Mary is present at the altar with all the angels and archangels, the prophets, the martyrs and all the saints who kneel and bow before the Eucharist.
We need to have a heart to see, to enter Heaven, to hear God’s Voice.
“Jesus Son of the Living God, have mercy on me”.
Jesus went about healing and restoring back to life, new life, peace and hope in the heart.
We are to jump off the cliff and pray, “Teach me Lord, how to live in the Kingdom of God”. Our life will change; it will be a place where we can love as Jesus loves, where we forgive as Jesus forgives. We need to have a new vision to see a new purpose in our life.
After Mass, Father Moreno informed the congregation that today at every parish the Knights of Columbus placed a rose on the altar symbolizing Mary the Rose of Life. Father Moreno requested that the Gutierrez Family came forward. Father Moreno stated that Ruben Gutierrez was a member of the Knights of Columbus and with him were his wife Carmen and their daughter Christina.
Father Moreno lead the congregation in praying three (3) Hail Mary’s to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Life;
the first Hail Mary for the unborn,
the second Hail Mary for the women considering abortion and
the third Hail Mary for healing of all those involved in abortion.
Then the Gutierrez family placed the vase with the red rosebud in front of the stained glass window of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
A parish council member informed the congregation that on February 12 & 13 there would be a second collection for the Archbishops Appeal 2011, the funds collected would be utilized to assist parish needs in the Archdiocese and we were encouraged to pray to be generous donors.