This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - August 18, 2017


Dear All:

May the peace of Christ dwell in your hearts and in the hearts of all whom you love.

This Week in Prayer

Jesus Christ wants us to relax. He also wants us to help others to relax. Of course “we have miles to go before we sleep, and miles to go before we sleep” and the tasks that await us are, for the most part, inspired. But God wants us, from time to time, to put down the proverbial hoe and put up our actual feet. God also wants us to help our loved ones take some Sabbath rest, regardless of the day.


Sunday’s first reading, from 1 Kings 19, describes the magnificent moment when Elijah, in the cave on Mount Horeb, recognized God’s voice in the tiny whispering sound. Elijah reached that cave precisely because God wanted him to get some time away. Poor Elijah, as recounted in 1 Kings 18, had had a miserable go of it with Baal’s prophets. The exasperating exchange made Elijah head into the wilderness for safety and serenity. An angel of the Lord met Elijah in the wilds and supplied him with food and water for the 40-day walk to Mount Horeb. Clearly, God was all in favor of Elijah getting away from it all.


Sunday’s Gospel, from Matthew 14, also connects to a story of God-given rest. The passage’s opening line speaks volumes: “After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.” The disciples had just helped Jesus to feed more than 5000 people. Imagine the effort; each apostle fed several hundred people and then cleaned up. Of course they were exhausted and naturally, Jesus wanted them to go away. They were en route to a potentially restful spot when the storm kicked up and Peter leapt overboard. Jesus had encouraged them to get away from it all.

What about us? For whom are we playing the role of (a) the Angel of the Lord in 1 Kings and (b) Jesus in Matthew 14? Whom are we encouraging to take some time off, to snatch some Sabbath rest even on days that aren’t the Sabbath? It's not about giving speeches or admonishing people to elevate their feet. It is about enabling them to do so. Our youngsters do that when they get ahead on their house chores. Grandparents do that when they volunteer to babysit for the young parents who need a date-night. Spouses do that for each other when one arranges coverage for the other who usually does the elder care. Colleagues do that when they say, through their actions, “I have it from here.” The act of enabling others to relax a little is not just a courtesy. It is a Christian gift. It is a way of imitating Christ. Where are you getting it very right?

  • Mass attendance on Tuesday, the Feast of the Assumption, was terrific. What an uplifting experience to pray with so many, especially at the morning Mass. I hope you all had a chance to honor the holyday in whatever playful summer way aligns with your cultural background.

  • Thanks to all the men who made Monday’sCornerstone session such a grace-filled one. We are a work in progress – with so much for which we can be grateful.

  • Attention graduates – More than half of you have already picked up your bibles in the gathering space. A gentle reminder to others whose bibles still await – to take the word with you as you head into your next adventure – which we trust will be greatly blessed.

  • Listen to this week's readings and homily
  • Read last Sunday's readings 
  • Read the coming Sunday's readings 

This Week in Service:

  • Feeling the inkling to feed the hungry? Check out the bulletin for more details about how to participate in our parish’s renewed effort to serve at Elijah’s Promise one Sunday each month. You can click this link to sign-up to help.

  • Thanks to all the parishioners who continue to keep the parish in tip top shape during the summer – especially those who weed and water the outdoor plantings.

  • Hello, Caregivers. Remember the morning of recollection – prepared just for you and your serenity – is September 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon. The program starts with Mass and continues with talks and talk.

This Week in Community:

  • Remember to mark your calendars for the Parish Picnic on Sunday, September 10.

  • Thanks to the dozens of CCD teachers who posted for the information sessions with the publishers on Monday night and Tuesdaymorning.

  • We still need a few new CCD teachers and aids to cover this year’s classes.  Once teachers are placed, aides and other volunteers will be assigned.  Please contact Jim Jungels at x 224 for more information.  

  • This just in – as of now, it seems that Bishop Checchio will be here to celebrate the 4:45Mass on Saturday, September 9. That will be the Mass at which he officially installs me as your pastor. Since we had such a big wing-ding in June, and since the parish picnic is the next day, the festivities on that Saturday evening will be very low key. Plan to stick around for a few minutes after Mass to greet the bishop – who is always eager to meet you – and to enjoy a few munchies. 

  • And special thanks to our Youth Minister, Bob Ferretti, who is in Australia visiting distant relatives for the week. Even while he is down under, Bob is getting this “This Week” to you.

Remember – if you can take some down time before school starts, you really ought to take it. Meanwhile, all best blessings for every parishioner.


Fr. Hank