This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - June 22, 2017

Dear All: 


Greatest thanks to every person who helped to channel extra grace and inspiration into Saturday’s4:45 Mass. The musicians outdid themselves and enriched our prayer in profound ways. Thanks for the kind words and for the very amusing video at the end of Mass and thanks for the extra sacristans, EMs, lectors, and ushers who kept the train on the track. And absolutely – it will be 25 years before we have another 90-minute Mass!


And still more thanks to every person who made the picnic so excellent. Thanks to the members of the staff and the volunteers who planned it and implemented the plans. Thanks to the members of the Youth Group who procured food for those who needed a bit of extra help. Thanks to everyone who set up and cleaned up. Thanks to everyone who joined the party and thanks to those who were there in spirit. It was an extraordinary moment of community fun. And thanks to whoever arranged the rainbow’s appearance.


Finally – thanks for the kind wishes and cards. I will be replying in the next few weeks. You have been terrifically kind. It will take a while for me to soak it all in. Thanks for being patient with me. 


This Week in Prayer


God has built a spiritual compass into each of our souls. It points us toward our peace and God’s glory.


The bishops of the Vatican Council referred to that spiritual direction-finder as a “voice” that emanates from “deep within (our) conscience” (Gaudium et Spes n 16). The bishops continue, “(that) voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, tells him inwardly at the right moment: do this, shun that . . . There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”


We can call it a “voice” or call it a “compass.” We can call it anything we want as long as we honor it. 


Sunday’s first reading from Deuteronomy, like the second reading from First Corinthians, refers to the troubles that result when we ignore that inner spiritual compass. Moses’ audience in the first reading ignored that compass over and over and ended up wandering in the desert for 40 self-inflicted years. Paul’s audience in the second reading, because they have ignored that spiritual compass, have befouled their celebration of the Eucharist and heard Paul begging them to rethink their habits.


Sunday’s gospel, for the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, reminds us that those who receive the Eucharist remain in Christ and Christ in them. My personal compass is very much tied up in that bedrock truth. My personal compass has been pointing for decades toward remarkable Eucharistic communities and celebrations of Christ’s presence – in the bread that has become his body and the wine that has become his blood. My experience teaches me that the spiritual compass sometimes points us in scary directions we would rather not pursue. Experience also teaches me that those scary steps are made all the more doable by the presence of “priests, prophets and kings” – priests who pray with us and for us, prophets who console us and challenge us, and kings who welcome us into the community and encourage us to build it up. 


What about you? Who are some of the priests and prophets and kings for whom you are most grateful, precisely because they helped you honor your spiritual compass when it pointed in a scary direction? Who has been there to remind you that “the call only takes you where God’s grace holds you?” And for whom is God asking you to be there now? To whom does God want you to be present and kind and non-directive as they conjure the courage to step out in a scary direction, in relationships, in their professional or academic or spiritual or community lives? For whom is God asking you to be a reminder “It’s OK to follow your compass”?

This Week in Service:

  • Thanks to all the Liturgical Ministries – (Sacristans, Lectors, EMs, Servers, Leaders of Song, Ushers) – who made the new sign-in process work so well. It is very much an experiment but this weekend’s results seem to suggest it will make life much easier for many. Thanks and let me know if you think the forms need to be tweaked.

  • There are still tags on the giving tree! If you are in a position to support the Youth Group’s trip to Tennessee, please take a tag. Thanks.

  • Attention anyone who needs Virtus training, or is thinking of joining a ministry that requires Virtus training – the training session scheduled for here on Thursday, June 29 is almost fully booked. The next session will most likely be scheduled before the start of the school year. 

This Week in Community:

  • June 28 is the 19th anniversary of the dedication of the new church. Big blessings for all who were there. Big blessings for all who were there and are now gone to God. Big blessings for all who made the new church possible 

  • “Becca's Friends”, our parish ministry of and for people with special needs, enjoyed a terrific Father’s Day afternoon of baseball Patriot Stadium. And the afternoon wasn’t spent in just any old seats. It was spent in the comfort of the Somerset County Freeholder's box.  The group had a memorable day and was delighted by a visit from Sparkee, Slider, and General Admission. Thanks to all who made it happen.

  • We are making great progress in our effort to get every parishioner anointed as soon as they need it. As we strive for even more progress, please let me or the office know if you would like the Sacrament of the Sick. Also, please let us know if someone close to you has expressed a desire for the Sacrament.

I send this with best blessings for all of you


Fr Hank