This Week in Prayer, Service & Community

Dear All:

Christ's Peace!

This week in prayer:

  • This Sunday’s readings from Joshua and Luke invite us to quit consuming “wilderness food.” For the Israelites, manna was the wilderness food. It kept them going during the awful years. But when they crossed the Jordan and their worst food worries ended, God invited them to consume “real food.” For the prodigal son, the wilderness food was hard-to-chew and hard-to-digest carob pods (most likely). It kept him going during the awful months. But his father insisted the son eat beef when he (the son) exited his self imposed wilderness. For us, it’s not so much physical food as it is other survival strategies that kept us going during rough times but are no longer needed. Extreme frugalness is good in a financial wilderness but not so good when we become more financially secure. Emotional protectiveness is helpful in the presence of a bully but not needed when the bully vanishes. Low expectations and minimal engagement with church and God are logical strategies for coping with severe disappointment, but don’t fit the days of consoling grace. Can you name one way in which you are still consuming wilderness food even though the wilderness is over (spiritual, emotional, physical . . )? One area of life in which you continue to practice a survival strategy that has (a) outlived its purpose and (b) now complicates your relationships with God and others?
  • For Prayer Campers and all others, a good reminder from Pope Francis:“Lent is a time of prayer, of more intense prayer, more prolonged, more assiduous, more able to take on the needs of the brethren; intercessory prayer, to intercede before God for the many situations of poverty and suffering.” Homily, 5 March 2014
  • Several parishioners have suggested that we move the devotional candles to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel so that they can pray in a “cozier” space. The experiment has begun. Check it out and let us know what you think – by putting your suggestions in the “communications box.”

This week in service:

  • And the total number of commitments to Point-of-Light Projects currently stands at . . . . 182! Your efforts give “inspiring” a new meaning.

This week in community:

  • St. Joe’s welcomes bishop-elect James F. Checchio to the Metuchen diocese. (N.B. – Word is he graduated from Scranton, a Jesuit University!)
  • The response to the “Religious Artifacts Road Show” has been terrific. Remember, this Sunday is the day to shop-for-free for yourselves or others. Terrific thanks to Carol and John Jorgensen for organizing our FIRST Road Show.
  • THE BIG NEWS . . . March 18 is our Lenten Fish Fry (Thanks to the Knights of Columbus) and will include two terrific demonstrations of Irish step dancing (not by the Knights). Mark your calendars now.
  • With all best blessings for you as we round the bend into Lent’s home stretch, Holy Week’s great graces, and Easter’s astonishing truth.
  • Save the date - comedy night at St. Joes - April 8th! More info to come...

Fr. Hank SJ

PS –pray, read, shine, join, labor and yak.