This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - October 26, 2017


Dear All: 


Christ’s Peace!


This Week in Prayer


Mission Sunday reminds us that we, as Roman Catholics, share the planet with people of many faiths. The church’s emphasis on ecumenism provides a similar reminder. In our lives with people of other faiths, God sometimes calls us to facilitate conversion. At other times, God calls us simply to dwell peacefully. Last Sunday’s readings remind us that God always invites us to connect with and to respect the others. The readings also clarify the meanings of “connect” and “respect.”


In Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 22: 15-21), Jesus provides a perfect example of how to connect with people of other faiths. His famous phrase, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God" is pure genius. That single expression tells us precisely how to connect with people of other faiths and how not to do so. 


First, it tells us not to adopt the Zealots’ approach. The Zealots would have forbidden any contact with the Romans, including the connection that comes with paying taxes. They shunned the Romans. Jesus’ suggestion to pay the Romans encourages connection and disavows the Zealots.


Second, Jesus’ advice also distinguishes him from the Herodians, a group of obsequious little toadies who did whatever the Romans asked. Herodians would betray their faith’s deepest beliefs in order to gain Roman approval. They would be whatever the Romans wanted them to be. Jesus’ advice to save something for God rejects the Herodian approach. Jesus disapproves of excessive compromise. 


Jesus plays it right down the middle. He does not shun people of other faiths and he does not become their lapdog. His way of connecting is a win both for charity and for personal integrity.


Sunday’s first reading (Isaiah 45: 1, 4-6) clarifies how we are to respect people of other faiths. Isaiah is reminding his audience that God makes powerful use of people of other faiths. God used King Cyrus of Persia, a Zoroastrian not a Jew, to liberate the children of Israel from their captivity in Babylon. God armed Cyrus though Cyrus “knew him not.” 


What about you? The readings for mission Sunday raise many questions but two can be helpful right here in Hillsborough. The readings invite us to wonder, “Right here in my neighborhood, or my school, or my workplace or my gym – where have I connected with people of other faiths and come to respect the ways God uses them?” Who are some of the people of other faiths with whom you have connected in Jesus-like ways and then come to respect the ways God has worked through them? And what about people who have stopped practicing their Catholicism? Have you listened to their stories while maintaining your own convictions AND observing the ways God has acted through them? And in what relationships might God be asking you to connect and respect a little more?

  • Please join us at the Mass of Remembranceon All Souls Day, Nov. 2nd at 7:30 pm. We will be reading the names of all loved ones who have died since last All Souls’ Day.

  • Wednesday, November 1 is All Saints Dayand a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses for the Holyday are at 7:30pm Tuesday (Vigil Mass) and then at 8:30 am. and 7:30 pm. on Wednesday.

  • Masses for the Feast of All Souls will be at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 pm. on Thursday, November 2.  

  • Listen to this week's readings and homily

  • Read last Sunday's readings 
  • Read the coming Sunday's readings 


This Week in Community

  • Friday’s turnout for MONSTERS INC was excellent. Special thanks to the teens who set up and cleaned up and double thanks to the folks who dazzled us with their movie-watching PJs. Great stuff.

  • Attention Veterans – you can still turn in an RSVP card to join us for the 11:30 Mass and lunch on November 12. We hope you and your spouse will be part of the celebration of our Veterans. 

  • Parents and spouses of currently active service members – we would be honored if you too could join us for the Mass and lunch on 11/12. Please fill out a card with your service-person’s info.

  • Stay tuned for updates about our ways of welcoming new parishioners. There will be plenty of chances for plenty of parishioners to be part of the welcome process. 

  • Weather permitting, there will be a fire drillbetween the masses (around 11 a.m.) on Sunday for the CCD program. If the predicted monsoons strike, we will re-schedule the fire drill. 

  • A week from Sunday (November 5) at the 9:30Mass, the Scouts will be serving in most ministries at the Young Ministers’ Mass. 

  • Our high school youth ministry Halloween Party is Sunday evening at 7pm. If you are in high school it’s a great way to learn about the youth group, have some fun, food, and experience a little foolishness.

This Week in Service

  • Our PUMPKIN PATCH KIDS (PPKs) did a great job in gathering and selling the pumpkins. Big thanks.

  • Congratulations to Mikey DeLucia and Keira McDevitt who will be honored by Bishop Checchio this Saturday at the cathedral. They are receiving the Diocese of Metuchen’s St. Timothy Award for their outstanding contributions to the church for their faith and service. 

  • The Baby-Bottle Project is almost here. Proceeds from this collection enable young women to live in a safe and respectful setting as they “yes” to the graces and challenges of motherhood. Fill a bottle!

  • Thanks and more thanks to all of our Eucharistic Ministers. Your willingness to share Christ’s Body and Blood enables us to be who we are. Endless thanks. 

  • Young adults (ages 18-25) looking to spend a week volunteering this summer? Download the Appalachian Institute service trip information packet. This trip could change your life! 

With all best blessings for you and your loved ones – and special blessings for all parishioners facing medical and other challenges these days.


Fr Hank