This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - March 2, 2018

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Dear All: 

 

Blessings on you and your Lenten adventures! And I hope to see you tomorrow at the morning of recollection and again at next week’s P.J. Anderson concert!


Note: the homily summary has been moved to the bottom of the email...let us know if you like this format better.

 

THIS WEEK IN PRAYER: 

  • Lenten Traditions – Has it been a while since you ramped up your Lent with some of our more traditional prayer experiences? 

    • Daily Rosary – For those who like to pray the Rosary, think of joining the 8:35 gang. Several of the Mass regulars pray the Rosary before daily Mass, Monday through Saturday.

    • Stations of the Cross – Has it been a while since you have prayed the stations? Maybe you haven’t tried it yet? The stations provide an inspired way to focus on Jesus’ passion, the all-time greatest expression of love. We pray the Stations on Fridays – at 9:00 am and 7:30 pm. 

  • Confessions – No time like Lent to make an extra trip to confession, even if you don’t need a haircut! Come to the Reconciliation Room on Saturdays between 4:00 and 4:25 OR make an appointment to see me OR come to the Parish Reconciliation Service on Tuesday, March 20.

  • Jesus’ response to those who arrested him — Of this week’s passages in our Little Black Books, this morning’s was especially thought-provoking and prayer-provoking. Was Jesus more angry or hurt in Mark 14: 47-49? And how are to perceive his experience of being misunderstood?

  • Lenten change of habit? How goes it? Whether you are picking up an inspired habit or putting down an uninspired one, are you noticing God’s desire for you to succeed? Best blessings with your adjustments.

  • Meeting Christ in Prayer —Our book provides only five scripture passages to contemplate this week. Do what you can to pray through them extra slowly and with heightened focus on Jesus and his experience and his dilemmas. You will be glad you did.

  • Sunday’s Homily – “JCBFF Part Two: He leads us up the mountain.”

    • To listen to Sunday’s homily, click here

    • To read a summary of it, go to the bottom of this page.

 

THIS WEEK IN COMMUNITY:

  • P.J. Anderson is gearing up for his trip to Millstone! Our favorite Nashville artist is making ready for his concert here at 7 pm on Friday March 10. P.J.s concerts provide a great night of entertainment for people of all ages. The concert is free and donations of all sizes are encouraged. This year, P.J. will be joined by our own Mike DeLucia! Our parish has three Mike DeLucia’s – the one at the concert will be the 40-something guy who entertained us so lavishly at the Parish Picnic in September.

  • Congratulations and the heartiest and holiest of welcomes to our newest parishioners: Ann Getty, George and Marilyn Keelty, Charles and Indira McDonough, Robert and Laura Mechler and their children Andrew and Jenna, and Eleanor Ogin. May your time in this parish be a time of great grace in which you find deep experiences of Christ’s peace, happiness and light

  • Our perennially popular Fish Fry is Friday March 23. And yes, the Irish Step Dancers will return! Mark your calendars. 

  • This Wednesday, March 7 is the first Wednesday of March. That means we will have our usual First Wednesday Gathering after the 8:35 Mass. All are welcome. If you not yet been to a First Wednesday and you are free on Wednesday morning, please join the gang.

THIS WEEK IN SERVICE:

  • Great thanks to all who are organizing and contributing to the Feeding Hands Ministry project. We ran out of brown paper bags last weekend, but more will be available at all Masses this weekend. The project provides a meaningful way to assist our nearby brothers and sisters in need.

  • Operation Rice Bowl is also in full swing. The Rice Bowl project offers a particularly helpful way for young families to think through the connections between those who have plenty and those who have less – and to come to the aid of those who have less.

  • Check out the Moses Table this weekend for more information about our revitalized Guatemala Ministry. The ministry leaders are as dedicated as ever and eager to receive your help.

With special blessings for all who are amping up their prayer, service, and community-building this Lent. May God reward your extra efforts in prayer and in good habits with great consolations.

 

Fr Hank 

 

Summary of this Week’s Homily:

“JCBFF Part Two: He leads us up the mountain.”

 

Sunday’s Transfiguration gospel describes a mountaintop revelation. Throughout the Bible, moments of great revelation frequently occur at high altitudes. In the Transfiguration revelation, God gives Peter, James, and John a breathtaking understanding of Jesus’ relation to the law and to the prophets, his relation to the Father and his relation to the disciples. Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount depicts another mountainside revelation. The Great Commission and the Ascension occurred on a mountain and so did the Centurion’s profession “Truly, this was the Son of God.” Mountains are places of privileged revelation.

 

Sunday’s passage from Genesis, the mountaintop testing of Abraham, concludes with God’s mindboggling revelation to Abraham, “I will bless you and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants will take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth will find blessing, because you obeyed my command.” Again, the location of this great revelation lines up with other great revelations: God speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, God speaking to Elijah on Mount Horeb, God speaking to Noah on Mount Ararat. Throughout the Bible, God takes special people up the mountain to share special revelations.

 

Jesus still does that. He still gives us “mountaintop” experiences of revelation. They need not occur at high altitudes and they need not involve unusual phenomena. The revelations generally come in the form of quiet illuminations about him or about ourselves in relation to him. They give us little surges of faith, hope or charity. They enable us to soften our views of others. They increase our virtue and dial down our less holy impulses. 

 

What about you? Do you notice patterns in your consolations? Those moments that enlighten your soul and lift your heart, do they seem to occur in certain places or circumstances? At Mass? In other forms of prayer? While listening to certain musicians or reading certain authors? Are there special places or relationships in your life where you become particularly available to God’s quiet lights of insight and serene dependence on God. These are surely the mountains to which Jesus is calling you. Are you saying “yes?” Are you showing up and paying attention? He is more devoted to us than anyone. He wants what is best for us. He continues to call us up the mountain.