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

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Dear All: 

 

Christ’s Peace!

 

Our Annual Fish Fry is a week away – Friday, March 23, the last Friday in Lent. Once again, a troupe of Irish dancers from the Heritage Irish Dance Company will be here to astound us with their fancy footwork. It will be good for us to have some fun together before we head into Holy Week. N.B. – if anyone is truly short on funding, let me know personally so I can discreetly give you a ticket.

 

 

THIS WEEK IN PRAYER

  • Our Lenten Penance Service – Come to church this Tuesday, March 20, at 7:30 for our parish’s Lenten penance service. Are you a regular at confession? Great, come on Tuesday and feel the grace of joining fellow parishioners in the sacrament. Has it been a while, maybe a long while, since your last confession? Great. No time like Tuesday to feel the sacrament’s amazing graces. 

  • Our Little Black Books — Wednesday’sreflection on “mob psychology” is a little unsettling. How is it that the crowds went from shouting “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday to shouting “Crucify Him” a few days later. What makes that happen?

  • Stations of the Cross – Thanks to the generous folk who continue to lead the prayers on Friday morning and Friday evenings during Lent. We will be praying the evening Stations tonight, next Friday at the end of the Fish Fry, and on Good Friday. Maybe think of putting Stations on your Lenten bucket list if you haven’t been in a while. The up-close consideration of Christ’s experience can be profound.

  • Meeting Christ in Prayer — Of course, we respect people of all faiths while we do what we can to enter further into ours. Per this week’s conversations, some of you might be Googling questions about Jesus’ post-resurrection nature. Interestingly, Jehovah’s Witnesses sponsor many of the offerings that land at the top of this Google search. Our beliefs differ considerably. Also, the phrase you might want to use in a Google Images search is “The Harrowing of Hell.”

  • More great blessings for our Confirmation Candidates who entered the next phase of their preparation at Saturday’s 4:45 Mass. 

  • Sunday’s Homily – “JCBFF Part Four: He desires our wellbeing, not our woe”

    • 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:

  • If you can make it, please reserve Saturday, April 28 for our parish’s morning of Spring Cleaning. The list of tasks will be posted in the Gathering Space the week after Easter. Signups will be the weekends of April 15 and 22. Thanks for your flexibility and for saving the April 28 morning.

  • Thanks to all who were part of the P.J Anderson Concert on Saturday night. It was a wonderful evening of music and fellowship. Great thanks to all who arranged it, set it up, and cleaned up afterward.

  • Best blessings for all who will participate tomorrow in the Morning of Recollection for Caregivers. Even if you haven’t signed up – think of joining us to take a quiet look at your caregiving mission. It is also a great time to be around people who “get it.” Special thanks to the morning’s organizers. 

  • Join the 8:35 Club on Monday – March 19 – for our celebration of our titular feast, the Feast of Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary. Extra good refreshments will be available after Mass. The morning’s planners would like to honor Saint Joseph by making a donation to a local food bank. If you can bring a few canned goods to Monday’s celebration, so much the better. Hope to see you at Mass and the party.

THIS WEEK IN SERVICE:

  • Our parish is hosting the Interfaith Hospitality Network the week of May 6. The ministry has recently made great strides in automating the signup sheets for the dozens of people required to make the week work. Just a gentle reminder – if you haven’t already signed up, please do so soon. It makes the planning that much easier for the planners.

  • Members of our Youth Group will be making their 30-hour famine in late April. Stay tuned for invitations about how you can support this very impressive effort.

  • We are off to a terrific start in our effort to support the Feeding Hands Ministry project. The bins for collecting household products and healthcare products have been filling up nicely. The big push will occur at the Fish Fry on March 23. Your generosity is, once again, impressive.

  • Operation Rice Bowl is also in full swing. The Rice Bowl project offers a fine option for families with young children to become more aware of those who go without – and to come to their aid.

I hope Lent is treating you well and that you are treating Lent well. May your efforts to disengage uninspired habits be at least as effective as your efforts to take up inspired habits. God bless you and all as we enter Lent’s home stretch.

 

Fr Hank 

 

Summary of this Week’s Homily:

 

“JCBFF Part Four: He wants our wellbeing, not our woe”

God tells us in Jeremiah 29: 11, “I know well the plans I have in mind for you, plans for your welfare and not for your woe . . . to give you a future of hope.” Some translations render it “for your wellbeing and not for your woe.” Sunday’s readings shine bright lights on God’s desires to do just that.

 

The first reading comes from the last chapter of the Second Book of Chronicles – a book that complements the Books of Samuel and Kings. The passage reminds us that God sent many prophets to steer the Israelites away from the choices that would lead them to woe. The reading also points to the work of King Cyrus of Persia, the one God used to return the exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem, from woe to wellbeing. God consistently works for our wellbeing and not for our woe.

 

Sunday’s gospel, “the home-plate gospel,” refers five times to God’s desire to bring us to heaven, the ultimate experience of wellbeing where there will be no woe. Sunday’s gospel states clearly that God’s benevolence is an amazing grace for each of us.

 

Difficult circumstances and uninspired choices, our own and others’, sometimes set us to wondering if God really cares about our wellbeing. The darkest hours can even make us wonder if God enjoys our woe. Those experiences are both understandable and uninspired. The fruits of those ruminations deserve no credence.

 

What about you? Can you think of someone who is seriously wondering if God prefers their woe to their wellbeing? Is there someone in your life who wonders if God really cares? What experience of yours might be worth sharing with that person? When have you been tempted to that sort of despair and then found your way out? When have you been wondered about God’s desires and then returned to the truth “God always cares?” What helped you return to peace?