Sundays:10:00 a.m. Mass is held in the school parking lot. Come well-prepared with warm clothes on!

 
Posted on: January 15, 2021

January 10, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desktop

A Message from Father Charles Puthota

01-10-2021

Dear Parishioners of St. Elizabeth, 

Baptism of the Lord: After celebrating the heart-warming birthday of Jesus at Christmas, we meditated on the Holy Family and the Epiphany. Our families will do well in modeling themselves on the Holy Family. When Jesus is present in our families, we have everything, all the strength, grace, and courage we need to face anything. Epiphany prepared us for the conviction that Jesus is Lord for all the nations and cultures and that we are all called to help reveal Jesus to our families, neighborhoods, and the whole world. We are moving along briskly on the journey with Christ. Now we have come to the Baptism of the Lord as he begins his public ministry. In Mark’s gospel today, as Jesus is being baptized we see the presence of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and the Heavenly Father who says, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

There are some insights that we can dwell on. 1. Jesus is guided by the Holy Spirit and is always eager to do his Father’s will. We could follow Jesus in this regard. 2. Jesus did not need the baptism and yet he goes through it as a way of inserting himself into our humanity and vulnerability. Jesus’ incarnational participation in our human nature begun at his nativity continues at his baptism. 3. Jesus is called, anointed, and sent by his Father to bring new life and hope to the whole world. We too are called to fulfill the purpose for which God has brought us into the world. 4. Each of us is God’s “beloved son or daughter.” God is “well pleased” with us. So let’s not go about carrying guilt or hopelessness. Our God is a happy God who is delighted with us, despite our sinfulness. It’s precisely because of God’s being “well pleased” with us that we can turn our ways around to his. 5. Like Jesus, each of us was baptized to walk a new journey of grace and holiness. How are we doing in that regard? Is our baptismal anointing and empowerment still working in our lives? The Baptism of the Lord is an occasion for us to take stock of our lives.

A Story to Ponder:Who is the real menace?: The Ministry of Agriculture decreed that sparrows were a menace to crops and should be exterminated. When this was done, hordes of insects that the sparrows would have eaten descended on the harvest and began to ravage the crops, whereupon the Ministry of Agriculture came up with the idea of costly pesticides. The pesticides made the food expensive. They also made it a hazard to health. Too late it was discovered that it was the sparrows who, through feeding on the crops, managed to keep the food wholesome and inexpensive.

New Year 2021: This Sunday, we will have spent ten days of the New Year! How are we enjoying this New Year? Is this New Year treating us with kindness and gentleness? T. S. Eliot says, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language; And next year’s words await another voice.” It may be a good idea to find this new voice and new language for this New Year. Perhaps we can take care of our body better. Maybe we can nourish our mind with truth and light and avoid preconceived, prejudiced, biased notions and ideologically loaded ways of thinking. Perhaps our hearts can become softer, gentler, kinder, lighter, and more joyful, to give and receive love. How about our soul? Is it infused with the radiance of God’s presence and grace? What does it profit to gain the whole world if we lose our soul? We would then have everything except our soul. Without the soul, we are not alive. How can we open our soul as a dwelling place for God?... These are some of the things we could think about and act upon in the new year. May this new year, in the midst of COVID-19-based isolation and anxiety, still be a time for deeper reflection and soulful living.

Our Donation to St. Anthony’s Foundation: You may recall that, instead of annual collection of food items for Thanksgiving, this year, on account of COVID-19, we took up a collection at Thanksgiving Mass toward St. Anthony’s Foundation. I sent in your donations of $550.00 to them. Their grateful response is as follows: “You are the reason we are able to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care, addiction recovery services, job training, access to technology and other critical resources. Your gift will be put to immediate, direct use in providing a lifeline to San Franciscans experiencing extreme poverty and homelessness. Thank you for your gift of $550.00 for the Dining Room, gratefully received on December 15, 2020.”

Your Support for St. Elizabeth Parish ministries: Please continue to support our parish ministries through your generous donations and volunteering. It’s much appreciated. You are wonderful in your participation of the mission and ministry of our parish community.

Thinking of you with love and faith and sharing with you a sense of adventure in the new year for doing beautiful things for God and people and assuring you of God’s continued blessings of health, safety, and wellbeing, for us and the whole world, 

Your Friend and Pastor,

Fr. Charles Puthota

Posted on: January 7, 2021

January 3, 2021

From the Pastor’s Desktop

A Message from Father Charles Puthota

01-03-2021

Dear Parishioners of St. Elizabeth,

New Year 2021: I trust your Christmas and New Year celebrations have been special and memorable for the many blessings of love, family, faith, and joy they have brought in your life. All this in the midst of the pandemic. However muted our celebrations may have been, the mystery of the birth of our Savior shines brightly. Now what really matters is to let the Christmas blessings linger and last. It’s like a wedding. When I run into couples whose weddings I have presided over, I would sometimes remind them to let love and romance---and the honeymoon---last as long as possible in their married life; if possible over a lifetime! That is despite all sorts of conflicts and heartaches in married life. Likewise, let the blessings of the Christmas and New Year celebrations last as long as possible into 2021 despite the many challenges we’ll face. COVID-19 has upended many aspects of our lives in our country and all over the world. But the vaccines have come bringing with them a spark of hope to an anxious world. With all of us collaborating with the civil authorities and following the recommendations of the Church, we will slowly be on our way toward the end of the tunnel. If God in Jesus Christ, the Emmanuel, is with us, what can anyone do to us? “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8). Let this trust in the intimacy of God in our lives strengthen and energize us for all that shall be in this New Year. With God on our side, nothing will be impossible for us.

Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord: As we celebrate this Sunday January 3 the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, we come like those three wise men to the manger and look up the divine baby, bearing our own “gifts.” Epiphany, as you know, means manifestation, revelation. The feast recognizes that Jesus is savior not just for one nation but for the whole world. The three wise men, having adored the holy baby, will take with them the astounding news of the mysterious birth of the savior to their nations and thus help spread the good news to the ends of the earth. Therefore, at the heart of this event, there is the message for us to make Christ the new-born King known to the world through our love and faith. What can I say and do to make Jesus known? What are the values I need to live by in order to make Jesus be born spiritually in the world now?

There are certain things we could explore as inspiration from the event of the Epiphany. Are we ready to make the journey to the new-born baby? It would involve getting out of our familiar “places,” our own positions, our own way of thinking and acting, and undertaking a journey of adventure. Can we see the “star” that is sent to guide and lead us? What is that star in our lives today? In what form and shape do we see that star? How does God speak and guide us in our current circumstances? Does he use our own family members and friends to send those messages of guidance and protection? Do we miss God’s signs of love and grace? God is speaking to us through the signs of the times. May we have the courage and discernment to make the journey to Christ our Lord, to recognize him in people and circumstances, and having adored him, let’s go by another way back to where we came from, so that we live lives take on a whole new meaning, urgency, and purpose.

New Year’s Humor: 1. “Hope you are not too exhausted from your yearly visit to the gym on New Year’s Day.” 2. “I don’t need a New Year’s resolution. You don’t need that crap when you’re perfect.” 3. “I don’t know what’s so special about the New Year’s Eve. I drop the ball at least once a day.” 4. “A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” 5. Biggest joke of the century: “Computers and mobile were invented to save our time.” 6. “Tell me a joke” --- “I don’t think you’d understand a joke in my language. They are not so funny, anyway.” 7. “Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.” 8. “I started thinking about the dangers of drinking on New Year’s Eve. After that, I decided to stop thinking.” 9. “If people could read my mind, I’d get punched in the face a lot.” 10. “Of course, women don’t work as hard as men. They get it right the first time.”

An Irish Blessing for the New Year: “May God give you, for every storm, a rainbow; for every tear, a smile; for every care, a promise; a blessing in each trial; for every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share; for every sigh, a sweet song; and an answer for each prayer. Amen.”

I’m thinking of you with love and affection and sending you warm wishes for a Happy New Year! Let’s meet each day of 2021 with grace, love, and generosity of spirit.

Your Friend and Pastor,

Father Charles Puthota

Posted on: December 30, 2020

December 27, 2020

From the Pastor’s Desktop

A Message from Father Charles Puthota

12-27-2020

Dear Parishioners

New Year 2021: As we are on the verge of welcoming a brand new year 2021, let’s place this whole new gift of time in God’s hands. May the good Lord guide and protect us. May he make our lives shine. May he transform us into his channels of grace and love. Let bygones be bygones. Let’s start anew and afresh to share our lives. We cannot allow pessimism or cynicism to tamper with the quality of life in the New Year. Let hope spring eternal in our hearts, motivating us to grapple with this new time with optimism and joy. If God is for us, who can be against us? Despite all the sadness and heartbreak of 2020 because of Covid, we come with hope and faith, optimism and a sense of adventure, about what God and us together can do to help heal the world. So let’s say yes to all that shall be in 2021. As Moses says: “The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!”

New Year Quotes: “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” ― Oprah Winfrey “For last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” ― T.S. Eliot “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”― Edith Lovejoy Pierce “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions!” ― Joey Adams “Your future depends on a lot of things, but mostly on you.” ― Anonymous “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson “Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.” — William Shakespeare “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein

Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord---A Story of Our Life: Sunday January 3rd is the Feast of the Epiphany, a charming and meaningful feast for us. The story of the three wise men or the three kings is a story enacted by children with gusto in any Christmas pageant. I was myself as a little boy a “king” who went around my town in procession on this Feast of Epiphany. The new-born King is not for one nation or people, but to all peoples of the world. Jesus is the light of the world. He is the one who is born to reveal God’s love and include us all in the Kingdom of God. He is the savior of the whole world. It is this theological and spiritual meaning that we celebrate in this feast. We could keep certain details of the story relevant for our lives today. One, we need to see the star and interpret it as God speaking to us. What star do we see in our lives? What signs are there for us to read and interpret? Or are we missing the signs? Two, we have to leave our comfort zones to follow the star, undertaking all sorts of inconvenient, arduous things. Nothing ventured, nothing achieved. The star will lead us through all sorts of sad and difficult situations, but it will keep our hope alive of reaching the destination. Three, we have to encounter Jesus and adore him. He may be in a manger amidst animals and in all sorts of unexpected, surprising, shocking situations. But he is still the king. We have to recognize him and bring ourselves as the best gifts. We can give him our hearts and minds, our will and all our talents. Four, once we have encountered and worshipped the Lord, we cannot walk the same way. We have to take a different route because we are no longer the same. We have been transformed. We are new. He has touched us and given us a whole new purpose and direction.

Think About It:Who Am I?: A tale from Attar of Neishapur. The lover knocked of his Beloved’s door. “Who knocks?” said the Beloved from within. “It is I,” said the lover. “Go away. This house will not hold you and me.” The lover withdrew and pondered for years on the words the Beloved had said. Then he returned and knocked again. “Who knocks?” “It is you.” The door was immediately opened. (ADM, The Song of the Bird)

Quotable Quote: “I dwell in possibility.” --- Emily Dickinson

Jokes:1. A man is talking to God. “God, how long is a million years?” God answers, “To me, it's about a minute.” “God, how much is a million dollars?” “To me, it's a penny.” “God, may I have a penny?” “Wait a minute.”

2. A woman is making pancakes for her kids, and the kids start arguing over who is going to get the first pancake. Deciding it’s a good time for a morality lesson, she says to them, “You know, if Jesus were sitting here, He would say ‘let my brother have the first pancake.’” One of the brothers looks at the other and says, “Okay, you be Jesus!”

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Your Friend & Pastor,

Father Charles Puthota