Father Cioppi's Blog

THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

 

The Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan begins the reflection of the great mystery which is incarnated through the Gospels and sacramentalized through the Church. It connects us with our own Baptism and our responsibility to announce and witness the mission of the Son of God.

 

The living water of baptism initiates the soul into the family of God and establishes a common goal, which is eternal life in Him.

 

The Gospel, spoken today, in every church, in every city across the world announces with great joy that this Jesus Who we behold on our Altar is indeed “my beloved Son;
in Whom I am well pleased.”

 

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by Father Cioppi

EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD

Since the beginning of Advent, we have become like the Magi, searching for the promised One who changes our lives and the life of history. Matthew says, “And on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage.” (Mt 2: 11).

Outwardly, their journey was over. It seemed as though they had reached their goal.

However, at this point a new journey began for them, an inner pilgrimage which in fact does change their lives. These men were not expecting to see a child. They were expecting to see a man, a King! They were coming from a world of chaos looking for peace! What they found was a vulnerable Child lying in a manger offering ways to peace.

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by Father Cioppi

HOLY FAMILY -’don’t be afraid of the quirks’

Each family is an icon or a reflection of the Holy Family. Often, we can identify some part of our lives with theirs. Other times they can serve as a model for us to imitate.

Joseph is righteous before God, he has a good work ethic that he passes on to his son, and he is a faithful loving husband, who brings stability to his home life and to the community in which he lives. Mary is humble, nurturing, and directive. She treasures in her heart everything about her Son and she worries.

Jesus is an obedient son, loyal to tradition, faithful and caring for his parents. He is a willing student so He may become a better Teacher.

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by Father Cioppi

“A new day, a new life, a new hope!”

The Morning is here; the darkness and the shadows have disappeared; a new Day, a new life, a new hope!

Here in our spiritual home, we encounter the Child of Bethlehem, and remember that Christ dwells in our hearts burning to be set free.

To become a Christian means to be “brought in” to the Family of God; to be embraced by them and to be welcomed at their Table. This Table is prepared for us; this is our meal where all of God’s secrets are revealed. We know from experience that in the family there are no secrets.

We enter this Sanctuary; the home of the Three-personed God. It is here that we ‘converse’ openly, truthfully and in right relationship with one another. In the family, each person is who they are called to be. In each family, God is revealed and Truth is shared.

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by Father Cioppi

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

The last O Antiphon is “O come Emmanuel.” Our destiny resounds in the voice of Elizabeth as she is filled with the Holy Spirit announces “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

The appointed time has come! “May it be done according to His holy Word.”

After today, we begin the great vigil of Christmas. We will greet the rising of the sun as a prelude to the Christmas dawning. We have done all we can do to prepare. All that is left is to anticipate with joyful faith the glorious coming into our hearts of Jesus the Lord.

“O come Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the hope of all the nations and their savior: come and save us, Lord our God.”

 

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by Father Cioppi

by Father Cioppi

THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT – GAUDETE

Today, violence is everywhere: physical violence, psychological violence and spiritual violence. Attacking all around us, trying to bring us down.

And yet today is Gaudete Sunday and the Church bids us rejoice! But how can we rejoice when people cut you off even without a blinker on 422, or run into our legs with their cart at the Giant. On Thursday morning, I say Mass for the Missionaries of Charity in Norristown. It was 6:30, I’m sitting at the intersection of Allendale and 202. A person on their cell phone too busy talking to see the green light. I wanted to scream out my window, “it don’t get any greener!”

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by Father Cioppi

SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT

Legend has it that while painting the Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci has a terrible fight with one of his assistants. Afterward, when he went to his studio, picked up his brush and prepared to paint the face of Jesus, he could not. All he could see in his mind was the face of his assistant.

He put the brush down, went to the man and asked his forgiveness. The assistant embraced Leonardo and said, ‘I do forgive you with all my heart.” When daVinci returned to his studio he painted the face of his assistant as the face of Jesus to always remind him that when he sins against a neighbor, he sins against Christ.

We enter this second week of advent anxiously anticipating the coming of the Lord.  Scriptures tell us that the desert will bloom when it sees the glory of God. This glory consists in the trust of His children. Trust is built up through forgiveness, which is why confession is such an important part in the maturing of our spiritual lives.

Falling on your knees and asking God to forgive you is a part of healing from the fear we can sometimes possess because of our pride.

Believe in the power of Jesus to heal you; to embrace you in your weaknesses. Our God saves His people, so ‘that your love may increase more and more…so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.

Do not be afraid to admit your crooked ways, be afraid not to ask for forgiveness from the priest who has been sent to make your crooked ways straight.

 

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by Father Cioppi

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Usually around the 4thof July, I begin singing just a few lines of Winter Wonderland: ‘sleigh bells ring are you listening…” My staff yell at me that it is too early for Christmas music and that I am wishing my life away. But before you know it, it’s the First Week of Advent. The awareness of this moment is surely a metaphor for the message of the Scriptures today: we don’t know when the hour will come. It will be unexpected. This is why the true disciple must be vigilant, watch and be ready.

This Advent time offers us the opportunity to build up our faith, a faith we know from Scripture that comes from listening. It is this listening that God speaks to us and re-enforces our relationship with Him.

God offers us time to be still. In this stillness, we are able to lay down our anxieties and fears and rest a bit in His Presence.

If you would take just five minutes, maybe ten each morning to place yourself in the Presence of God and without words or thoughts give yourselves over to the silence of that moment with only the name of Jesus on your lips, you would have a better day, a holier Christmas and a healthier life.

Do you hear them sleigh bells ringing? Be vigilant then, He has already come!

 

 

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by Father Cioppi

“The Lord is King; He is robed in majesty!”

The third Act of ‘Our Town,’ by Thornton Wilder, opens with the narrator walking amid the graves in the town cemetery of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. He stops and says to the audience, “An awful lot of sorrow has been quieted up here.” Then he pauses and says: “We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses…and it ain’t earth and it ain’t even the tsars…Everybody knows…that has something to do with human beings…They’re waitin’ for something that they feel is coming! Something important, and great. Aren’t they waitin’ for the eternal part of them to come out in the clear?”

As we celebrate Christ the King we place Him in the center of our own hearts and reclaim Him as Lord of eternal Life.

Jesus is a king who loves. Because He loves human beings to the shedding of His blood, He loves each of us by delivering us from sin. Only love is capable of liberating us from that bondage, thus making us truly free to live the life we have been destined to complete in Him.

Advent is a time of waiting for something we know is coming. Something important and great. Allow the eternal part of you to come out in the clear for all to see. Help others place Christ, the Eternal King, in their lives too.

 

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by Father Cioppi