Pastoral Messages from Fr. Rick 12/18/22

We Love You So Much that we have decided to give you what you have always wanted for ChristmasYour 2023 offering envelopes are awaiting you in the gathering space.  God Bless You!!

Join us for Liturgy of the Hours after the Tuesday Morning 8:00 AM Mass and after Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 5:00 PM on Thursday.  See our website for the ibreviary website or app.  Also, hard copies of the Hours will be availableBeing a Eucharistic people invites us into a deeper and more personal relationship with each other in the community and then sends us out to be this deep presence to the worldIt’s the real presence of Christ.  When we pray the Liturgy of the Hours we pray with and for the whole Church.  At St. Christopher’s this action has a particular relevance as we welcome people from all over the country and the world.  We then send them out and ultimately back where they came from. They are changed by being here and being together.  Our global prayers accompany them all week long!

REPENT!Remember that Fr. Rick is available almost any time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  During Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays can be an especially good opportunity.

Banquet of Love:  Beginning in January, the Diocese of Salt Lake City will offer an online marriage enrichment course in English to all Catholic couples in Utah. The course, based on the workbook Banquet of Love, the Eucharist as Weekly Marriage Enrichment, is intended to encourage married couples to explore their relationship to each other and to Jesus Christ through the lens of the Eucharist. Registration is required for the course. To receive an email with the link to register, email the Family Life Office at For information about the Banquet of Love course, visit 

Gift Cards Available We have several gift cards available for the holidays.  If you know of people in genuine need of holiday assistance, contact Fr. Rick.

Homily Reflection

“For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.  She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  Mt. 1:20-21

This is a very familiar line from today’s Gospel.  Familiar, but perhaps not all that compelling.  The fact that Jesus came to save us from our sins doesn’t really seem that relevant, at least not to us ‘church folk’.  OK, I think we can all admit that we fall a little short of the mark from time to time.  After all we are not perfect, but I don’t think many of us are ‘dreading the laws of heaven and the pains of hell.’  Remember that line from the ….?  So, Jesus came mostly to save other people, the real sinners.  People who steal and assault and lust and lie and miss Sunday Mass (is that really a sin?), and maybe disrespect their parents (is THAT a sin?), or maybe say bad words (not just once in a while, but daily or hourly).  I never have a fear of wearing out my Reconciliation stole, not unless I visit a different county.

But let’s look at the first line of the above Scripture passage: “For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.”  This was a shock to everyone:  to Mary, Joseph and anyone else that might have heard it.  What a terrifying situation to be involved in!  Because Joseph and Mary and their families were very familiar with their Hebrew scriptures, they were able to trust the angel of the Lord who appeared in Joseph’s dream.  They recognized the words of Isaiah which were spoke to Ahaz in our first reading today.  This was the sign:  A virgin birth.  Unthinkable! But maybe not undreamable.  This of course is a pervasive theme in the Scriptures, Old Testament and New.  God is repeatedly acting in the most unexpected ways.

We will never completely figure out God, but we can recognize patterns and then pick up the signs here and there.  We will need the ongoing assistance of a prayerful, biblically literate community.

How confident are we of the patterns and signs that are recurring in our Scriptures?  How often in our lives have we missed the signs and the angels that God has sent to us?  Were we part of the peace that was supposed to come into the world?  And we missed our cue?   Maybe we actually did or do need to be saved.  Could an unfamiliarity with the Scriptures be due to sloth?  Is that really a sin? 

Isaiah reminds us today that Emmanuel means God is with us.  That’s the Good News!!  How will we share that message with others during this Holy Season?