This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - February 16, 2018

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This week – February 16, 2018

Dear All: 

Christ’s Peace! 

 THIS WEEK IN PRAYER 

  • Stations of the Cross – Many generous parishioners have agreed to lead Stations of the Cross for Lent. Our thanks go to all of those volunteers. The Stations are prayed TWICE every Friday in Lent. The first round is prayed right after the 8:35 Mass – in the Memorial Hallway, where illustrations of the Stations have been placed. The second round is prayed at 7:30 pm in the main church. All are encouraged to pray the stations at least once this Lent.

  • The Lenten Challenge – Lent is here. Consider rising to all three parts of the Lenten challenge.

    • Spend six minutes each day with the “Little Black Book” (LBB) All 1000 copies of the LBB have been claimed. I’m betting that just about every person who took one is using it. Good for you! 

    • Work on a habit. Use Lent as an excuse to undertake a habit God wants you to adopt OR to break a habit God wants broken. Remember, the adjustments can be a bear but the peace is worth it.

    • Stay tuned for the upcoming Prayer to Saint Joseph.

  • Continued blessings for all who are “Meeting Christ in Prayer.” This week’s challenge – to “apply the senses” and “compose the place” while contemplating the early life of Christ – can be a challenge. Again, the stretch is worth it. Pray well!

  • Greatest thanks to all members of the Lazarus Ministry and to all who have pitched in this week to provide the six truly consoling funerals. You do a wonderful job and Lord knows you have worked hard this week. This morning’s emails contained the following from someone who recently attended a funeral here: “When I arrived at the funeral that morning, I felt such a sense of warmth and welcoming from the members of your parish.” Your work makes a great difference to our grieving parishioners – and no one matters more than our broken-hearted and faith-seeking beloved. 

Sunday’s Homily
 

Remember the serenity prayer? “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.” A first cousin of that prayer might be “God give me the grace to help when you want me to help; to do nothing when you want me to do nothing; and the wisdom to know the difference.” 

 

Sunday’s passage from Leviticus described what seems like a very harsh response to people with Leprosy. “he shall cry out, 'Unclean, unclean!' . . . He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp." Imagine how horrible you would feel if one of your loved ones had the disease and you had to abide by that no-contact rule? The rule would feel heartless and the consequences crushing. But the law’s creators were not trying to multiply misery. They were trying to limit it. The officials were declaring “you can do nothing to help, so do nothing.” What a pity it would have been if people who had no ability to improve the situation had tried, offered no real help, and died as a result.

 

In Sunday’s gospel, Jesus violates the no-touch rule and many other rules. Jesus reaches out, touches the man with leprosy, and speaks the healing word. Jesus believed he could make a difference and he did. What a pity it would have been if he could have done something and didn’t.

 

What about you? Can you name a situation in which you really want to be on the playing field but find yourself on the sidelines? A situation in which you want to help improve things, but you know you cannot change the situation or the people involved? Your efforts might only make things worse. Can you recognize God’s gratitude for your self-restraint? And what about a situation in which you might prefer to stay on the sidelines, but you know, deep down, that God is asking you to help? Name one situation in which you are getting it right by staying on the sidelines, even though you want to leap in. Name another where you might prefer the sidelines but leap in because God wants you to leap in. Cooperation with God makes us and others kind. Misguided efforts tend to make everyone cranky.

 

 

 

This Week in Community

  • Because so many parishioners are so generous with their time and so dedicated to the upbuilding of our community, last weekend was a weekend for the record book.

    • Enormous thanks to the Knights for providing yet another fantastic Pasta Night. Their mighty efforts supplied marvelous food, a great atmosphere (including the Sinatra videos – a special bonus) and inspired fellowship. Thanks to all who made it a night to remember.

    • More thanks to all who organized our Celebration of Marriage. Nearly 120 couples participated in the jubilant event. Thanks to our Music Ministry for the extra special music. Thanks too to our anonymous party-providers. The wedding photographs, the food, the decorations, the whole bit. What a superb celebration it was. THANKS. For a special treat, check out the pictures taken by Jorge Mantilla - they are priceless.

This Week in Service
 

  • On Saturday, in between Friday’s Pasta Night and Sunday’s Celebration of Marriage, our Youth Group was prowling the town committing Random Acts of Kindness. The resulting inventory is remarkable:

    • 64 – Bagged Lunches for Samaritan Homeless Intervention Program (SHIP)

    • 120 – Flowers distributed to Avalon residents and staff

    • 5 – Gift packages for our local Police, Fire and EMS

    • 315 – Cups of Coffee for Dunkin Donuts Drive-Thru Customers

    • 85 – Encouraging notes in Library Books

    • 60 – Reassuring notes in Mailboxes

    • 120 – Quarters left for laundromat patrons

    • 116 – Hidden gifts around town 

    • 70 – Healthy dog treats for St. Hubert's Animal Shelter

    • 300 – Cards/notes of encouragement

    • Uncountable – number of smiles evoked, especially among the lonely!

  • The Morning of Recollection for people in ALL PARISH MINISTRIES will be on Saturday, March 3.  It is a terrific opportunity to spend a little more time in reflection and lot more time with the other people in your ministries.  Take a morning to consider the good you do.  Please RSVP to your ministry leader by February 20.  AND, bring your smart phone on March 3.

  • The Morning of Spring Cleaning will be on Saturday March 24. Lists of chores will be posted in early March. Meanwhile, round up a small group of folk willing to help spruce up the parish.

  • Be on the lookout - starting February 24 the Knights of Columbus and the Columbiettes will be handing out bags for you to fill with requested cleaning products to support the Feeding Hands Food Pantry

  • All best blessings for the people who signed up for a new ministry during this season’s Ministry Recruiting drive. The results are still to be tallied but many groups clearly got big boosts! 

With special thanks to those who have served so selflessly this week and with best blessings for all.

Fr Hank