This week – June 9, 2016
May the blessing of almighty God descend upon you and remain with you forever.
This week in prayer:
Last Rites? Extreme Unction? In the Church’s earliest days, people used other words to describe the anointing. People were anointed as soon as they learned of the illness, long before the last moment, long before the situation became extreme. Sick people were anointed as soon as they learned they were sick. From about the year 800 until the 1960s we adopted a different approach. In those centuries, conventional wisdom encouraged us to think of the Sacrament of the Sick as something we should postpone until the last possible moment. Since the 1960s, however, the Church has advocated a return to the original practice: Welcome God’s help into physical difficulties as soon as the difficulties become known. Get anointed as soon as you can.
Sunday’s Old Testament passage and gospel might seem to repudiate the belief that we should get anointed as soon as difficulty arrives. After all, both stories show God intervening at the end of life. But at a deeper level, the passages from First Kings 17 and Luke 7 support the call to quick action. The readings suggest two truths: God cares profoundly about our physical well-being AND God wants us to welcome divine assistance as soon as we can. The restorations of the young boys in both stories reveal God’s concern about their physical traumas. The readiness of both widows to let God’s grace touch their loved ones – as soon as Elijah and Jesus could spring into action – is an inspired challenge for all of us. God cares. God wants us to welcome God’s help as soon as we can.
Where do we go with that? Maybe toward a second look at the Sacrament of the Sick? Maybe toward a renewed belief that God cares and God wants us to welcome divine assistance? Maybe toward a greater willingness to get anointed as soon as physical difficulty occurs? Maybe toward a determination to help the church bring the Eucharist to people who cannot leave the house or who live in long-term health care facilities?
Get anointed. Keep us posted.
Next weekend, Father’s Day, each Mass will have a different intention:
- Saturday at 4:45, deceased fathers
- Sunday at 7:15, all fathers
- 9:30, living fathers
- 11:30 recently deceased fathers (names will be read).
- There is no 6 pm Mass on Father’s Day.
- The Book of the Month is now the relatively recently revised “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” It is meant to be read in snippets – as curiosity, questions, and the Holy Spirit encourage us.
This week in service:
- If you are in a position to do so, please take a tag from the giving tree in the gathering space. The tags identify ways to support the youth group’s trip to Catholic Heart Work Camp. We have more young people than ever joining the effort. It is a wonder to behold.
- Sunday night, after the 6:00 pm Mass, join the Respect Life ministry for a talk about the 20/20 initiative. It promises to be very memorable.
- Servers! You will soon be hearing from Mrs. Cesiano about some small changes in your very important ministry. Please have your parents complete the very brief “Affiliation – Altar Servers” process through the parish web site. An email from Mrs. Cesiano will soon explain how to do it. And relax all summer – tweaks will wait until September!
This week in community:
- The 5K run/walk is this Saturday. Sign up! (You can also register in person at 7am. Run/Walk: 8am)
- The Family Fun Day follows the 5K from 9am-11:30am. Sign up for that too. It promises to be one for the record book. This is a great family event and all events are FREE! Our new Sesquicentennial T-Shirts will be available for purchase as well!
- The cookbook committee is still gathering recipes on line and in the gathering space.
- Father’s Day – get yourself to the K of C Pancake breakfast. Come hungry, leave happy!
- WAY ADVANCED NOTICE – Save the date for the end of the CL year shindig – the date is Friday October 7.
All best blessings
Fr. Hank, SJ