This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - Mar 16, 2017

Dear All: 

May the Lord be with each of you in palpable ways during these 40 days.

This Week in Prayer

thiNNk before you speak. Ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say true, helpful, important, Necessary Now, and kind?” Sunday’s gospel invites us to focus on the “Necessary Now” question.

The Transfiguration, described in Sunday’s passage from Matthew’s gospel, had to have been a transformative moment for Peter, James, and John. Picture yourself in the scene and imagine your amazement. Not only do you suddenly grasp Jesus’ connection to the law and the prophets, symbolized by Moses and Elijah, you have heard the Father tell you directly “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” It truly was a mountain top experience for each of them.

Then comes a most perplexing twist. Jesus tells Peter, James, and John not to mention the experience to anyone until after he is raised from the dead. That was one tall request. Try to grasp the self-restraint it would have taken not to tell everyone you met about what happened on the mountain. But Jesus has told you “not now.” The story you want to tell everyone is true, and helpful and important and kind, but Jesus has said “not now.” 

Why did Jesus demand silence? Some argue that most who might have heard the Transfiguration story would have misused the news. They would have tried to make Jesus their Rome-bashing king, a mission that he frequently disavowed. Others say the evangelists inserted the ban to advance their stories. Or perhaps Jesus told them to wait because, if they had told the story right away, they would have used their privileged knowledge as an excuse to gloat over those who were not there. We do not know exactly why Jesus told them not to tell but we do know this was not a one-shot-deal. Mark’s gospel contains eight passages in which Jesus told others “You now know who I am, but do not tell anyone.”

As priests, as prophets and as kings, we frequently get the urge to share insights that are true, helpful, important and kind. As priests, we sometimes feel the inspired urge to invite others into deeper faith. As prophets, we might want to speak a consoling word or a challenging word. As kings, we want to say the things that build up community. The words we want to speak can be both inspired and subject to the “not necessary now” restraint. Jesus sometimes has mysterious reasons for asking us to hold off.

What about you? Are there things you want to tell others, even for the best of reasons, that you should wait to tell? Maybe the thoughts are true and helpful and important and kind – and subject to Jesus’ “not necessary now” restriction. Perhaps there will be a better time for the other? Perhaps there will be a time when you will be more focused on Jesus and less focused on yourself as you say what needs to be said? Perhaps Jesus is asking you to give more thought to HIS schedule for pursuing the mission?

  • Three holy cheers for the confirmandi and their families and sponsors. Confirmation is Fridaynight.

  • Best blessings for all the men who joined Cornerstone on Monday night. It was a first step and a darned good one at that. See you March 27. Guy is bringing the food and Jeremy the cider. Meanwhile, are you sure Bill G. has your email address straight?

  • Thanks to all who have let me know they or a loved one needed to be anointed. We are making great headway as we try to get people anointed, whenever possible, when they first become ill or learn of the need for surgery. 

  • Youth group – remember we are celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation this Sundaynight. Bring a friend!

  • CAREGIVERS – It will be good to see you on Saturday morning for the Caregivers’ morning of recollection. If you have made your reservation, great. If not, show up anyhow and bring a friend.

  • Listen to this week's readings and homily
  • Read this week's readings
  • Read next week's readings

This week in service:

  • THIS IS IN PEW WEEKEND FOR THE BISHOP’S ANNUAL APPEAL. That means, when you get to church, you will find in your pews the pledge cards for the appeal. If you are having a terrible financial year, it would be great if you could give ONE DOLLAR. We are striving to increase significantly our participation rate in this most worthy cause. If you are having a good financial year, ramp it up. Remember, the appeal supports causes that are dear to our hearts – but that no single parish can support. The appeal keeps Catholic Charities afloat, keeps the Ozanam Shelter’s doors open, keeps our seminarians, including Tholitho and Mike in books and studies, keeps the hospital chaplains in the hospitals, and many more things. If you are having a good financial year, try to increase your donation by 15% over last year’s. If you can, that would be great. Look for a special email later this week with a note from a parishioner.
  • You have one more chance to BRING YOUR OLD GREETING CARDS TO CHURCH THIS WEEKEND. The collection produced truly remarkable results. One family donated four beer-cases of brand new greeting cards. Others brought in bags full. Keep them coming this Weekend.

This week in community:

  • Check out the windows in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, if you have not done so already. And keep in mind, the light switch is on the right as you enter the chapel. If the windows are not lit from behind, turn the lights on and get the full effect. (And remember our long and wonderful tradition of genuflecting when we enter the chapel).
  • The Fish Fry is March 24 from 4:30 - 8pm – complete with Irish Dancing. See you there.
  • The blood drive is the same day. The snow days have really increased the demand for blood. Give if you can.
  • If you are a Blue Storm person who has not yet registered for the dinner, get going!
  • And what about the new use of our parish hall? A drop-in center for parents who need a little quiet time when the snow keeps the kids at home. We have Wifi and good coffee! We had a few customers this storm and they thoroughly enjoyed their snow day!

I hope nobody got hurt in the snow mess and, if you did overdo it, I hope you are on the mend. Hope too that you can join me in looking forward to this Monday at 6:29 am. Nice

Meanwhile, best blessings and Lenten perseverance.

Fr Hank.