Saturday: 5:00pm & 7:00pm (Spanish)
Sunday: 7:00am, 8:30am, 10:30am,
12:30pm, 5:30pm (Youth)DAILY MASS:
Monday - Friday: 7:30am & 9:00am
Saturday: 8:00amFIRST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH: 7:30pmRECONCILIATION: SAT. 3:30-4:30pm &
|ST JOSEPH CHURCH
837 Tennent Ave. Pinole, CA 94564PARISH OFFICE - PARISH CENTER
Regular Hours: Mon-Thu: 9-7:30, Fri: 9-5
(check weekly bulletin for exceptions)
2100 Pear Street - Pinole, CA 94564
510.741.4900 FAX: 510.724.9185ST. JOSEPH SCHOOL
1961 Plum Street, Pinole, CA 94564
510.724.0242 FAX 510.724.9886
This weekend we are celebrating a religious and cultural tradition that has its origins in Lima, Peru. At the center of this devotion is an image of Señor de los Milagros (Lord of the Miracles), originally known as the Black Christ of Pachacamilla. It is an image of our Lord crucified, a dark skinned Christ, pictured with God the Father and the Holy Spirit above the cross, and our Blessed Mother and St. John the apostle on either side. The artist was a slave from Angola (Western Africa), who painted this mural on a wall in the Church and Monastery of the Nazarenes in 1651, in an area then known as Pachacamilla, named after the powerful creator god Pacha Kamaq who was feared as the god of earthquakes. In 1655 and again in 1687 there was a powerful earthquake, and each leveled most of Lima, but the wall on which this mural was painted remained intact. After the first earthquake, Antonio León, a man who was very sick, noticed this image amidst the rubble and cleaned up the area around it for veneration. He prayed before this image asking for healing, and his prayer was granted. When devotion around the Black Christ increased as a result of this healing, local authorities in the Church began to suppress the movement by attempting to destroy the image. Their efforts failed, which convinced even them that this was a miraculous image. In 1671 they built a chapel around the mural and renamed it Señor de los Milagros on the feast of the Exultation of the Cross, September 14th. After the earthquake of 1687, an oil painting was created of this image and used for a procession on the 18th and 19th of October, which became an annual tradition.
Throughout our history of salvation, God has revealed to us in a variety of ways what we hear in today’s first reading from the Prophet Isaiah: “I am the Lord and there is no other, there is no God besides me” (Is. 45:5). The tradition of Señor de los Milagros is yet another way in which our Lord makes himself known to us as the All-Powerful God, who alone is God and cannot be destroyed by man or nature, who is the God of all humanity, yet comes in all humility to forgive and heal us. This is a catechetical image, which teaches us about the Trinity, our Blessed Mother with the apostles, and God’s plan for our salvation. It is an image that inspires devotion.
St. Paul always began his catechetical letters with a dignified salutation that also inspires devotion, such as we hear in today’s second reading, his first letter to the Thessalonians: “…in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace” (1 Thes. 1:1). Our Lord and our Blessed Mother are devoted to us. St. Paul spread this devotion in his missionary work with the conviction that everyone he addressed deserved the utmost respect as a brother and sister in Christ. He acknowledged God’s love towards all and appreciated with encouragement the manner in which people received the Word of God and kept it in their heart, predisposed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Our disposition towards one another and the world changes the more we recognize our Lord’s love for us and increase in our devotion to Him.
In today’s gospel, our Lord challenges our inclinations to prefer the things of the world. Our profession of faith and our reverence for God is betrayed by attachments to what is not god. The Pharisees heaped flattery on our Lord by calling him a truthful man of integrity, teaching the way of God. But their real devotion was to themselves and money. They wanted our Lord to give them a way out of paying tax to Caesar. In his reply: “…repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” (Mt. 22:21), our Lord calls us to conversion, a change of heart in which we free ourselves of unnatural devotion, and give ourselves to the One who created us in the heavens and the earth, and saves us with passion and long suffering. Our God want us to have the fullness of life and love, to be coheirs in his Kingdom, and to live forever. This requires that we recognize that there is only One God, and stop making gods of ourselves and the things of this world. Señor de los Milagros helps us to do this. As we reflect on this image of our crucified Lord and our Sorrowful Mother, on our knees with the apostles, our hearts change and in all humility we seek salvation. May the Lord of Miracles bring peace to our lives and allow us to focus on what belongs to God, giving us the grace to turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.
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Welcome back home!
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the parish office at 510-741-4900 and ask to talk to a priest. We are here to serve you.