This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - May 4, 2018

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Dear All:     

 

Christ’s Peace!

 

And a special word to the 4:45 folk - - - The proposed after-Mass Kentucky derby party is postponed until next year. The hospitality room’s TV is not yet fully connected to the cable. Enjoy the race wherever you watch it.

 

THIS WEEK IN PRAYER

  • Thursday is Ascension Thursday – Masses for the feast day are at 7:30 pm Wednesday, 8:35 am Thursday, and 7:30 pm Thursday. As the new sound system is being installed this week, the Masses might not be held in the main church. 

  • First Communions – 47 of our best and most blessed will make their First Communions in May. Half of them will receive Christ in the Eucharist this Sunday at the 9:30 and the 11:30. Others will do so on May 20 at the 9:30. All best blessings for the First Communicants and for their families. Great big thanks for all the CCD staff who have helped to bring the youngsters to this grace-filled moment. For each First Communicant, may this be the start of a magnificently graced Eucharistic relation with Jesus. 

  • Confirmations – Our 75 confirmandi were terrific. What a remarkable grace it was to stand with you as Abbot Elias signed you and blessed you. Our church and our world are better because you made the choice to be confirmed. Thanks and more thanks and all great graces. I very much look forward to seeing most of the confirmandi at Sunday’s youth group gathering. Take the plunge into the youth group. You will be very glad you did. 

  • Ordinations:

    • Saturday, May 19 – Michael Tabernero will serve as deacon at the 4:45 Mass and will preach – after having been ordained a deacon that morning. Refreshments to follow.
    • Sunday, June 10 – at the 6:00 pm Mass, Father Tholitho will say a Mass of Thanksgiving, after having been ordained a priest the day before
  • May Crowning – Blessings for all who made Wednesday morning so excellent. Thanks to the Mahajan and Cusack families for the beautiful statue. Thanks to Angelo, Rosie and the Flower Barn for the May Crown. Thanks to Jo-Ann Carey for crowning the statue and thanks to Bernie Demsky for rearranging the crown. Thanks to Chris Leslie for leading us in song and thanks to the 8:35 club for the refreshments and the setup. Most of all, thanks to the 120 people whose presence enriched the event.

  • A Morning at Lourdes – Still more thanks to Jo-Ann Carey for the very moving introduction to Lourdes. Jo-Ann’s excellent presentation reminds us that, at every age, we have so much to learn about the way God pours love into our world. Maybe we should add similar presentations to First Wednesdays?
     

  • Sunday’s Homily – “Jesus’ Names, Part 4: The Vine”

    • 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:

  • Saturday, June 23 – after the 4:45 Mass – celebrate the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the new church – and quite possibly another great achievement. It will be BYOB after Mass for an hour or so.

  • Spring Cleaning was outstanding. The turnout was inspiring and the energy was the same. Thanks to all who rejuvenated the Prayer Path, cleaned up the parking lot, lugged the downed lumber, emptied the rectory basement, rejuvenated the Yorktown triangle and Mt. Calvary, cleaned out the detention pond, trimmed the old growth of grasses and trees, carted chips and pine needles and on and on. Special thanks to Walt Rusack, JoAnn Delasko, George Meyer, Bryan DeLisi and Bob Ferretti. Total success.

  • Physical Plant – This is a big week for physical improvements. Installation of the New Sound System is scheduled to start on Monday. Replacement of the Parish Hall Boiler is slated to begin on Tuesday.

  • Parish Funerals will be held at Mary Mother of God this week. Please keep an eye on your parish emails for updates on funerals.

  • Stay tuned for more information about updating your parish records. It will take only a few minutes.

THIS WEEK IN SERVICE:

  • HELP the parish help the homeless – Dozens of people are all set to enable our parish to host the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) starting on Sunday. While almost every position has been filled, we still need Virtus-certified overnight people – one for Friday 5/11 and one for Saturday 5/12. If you can help, please contact Sid Lentz at sidvicious@hotmail.com And don’t let Sid’s email scare you. He’s big and has a tough email address but he is a marshmallow and will be grateful for your help. You can also contact Sue Calamoneri at   matlison@yahoo.com

  • Virtus Training – Thanks to the 27 new people who were Virtus trained on Wednesday night. The certification enables you to provide many valuable services to the parish and those it serves. Thanks!

  • Congratulations to the members of our Youth Group who participated in the 30-hour famine last weekend. Your dedication – and your participation in both Masses on Saturday – is a blessing for us all. Extra thanks to all who supported the UTES in any way. 

With all best blessings for all of you and your experience of God’s grace in May.

 

Fr Hank 

 

Summary of this Week’s Homily:

Jesus’ Names, Part 4: “The Vine”

 

The week after Easter, the readings asked us to consider the meaning of “Lord.” The following week focused us on the meaning of “The Christ.” Then it was “The Good Shepherd.” Last week the gospel invited us to contemplate Jesus as “The Vine.”

 

Sunday’s excerpt from John’s gospel reminds us that Jesus regards himself as the vine (think “trunk”) and us as the branches, the part of the plant that bears fruit. Regrettably, he does not elaborate on the meaning of “fruit.” Some denominations think of “fruit” as new recruits to their religion. Others understand fruit as “a self more devoted to Jesus.” Jesus provides little clarity. 

 

Sunday’s second reading helps to clarify the meaning of “fruit.” The author of The First Letter of John, who might well be the same fellow who wrote John’s gospel, urges us to “love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” Love expresses itself in loving deeds. The passage also counsels us to love one another as Jesus told us to. If we connect Sunday’s gospel and second reading, we might conclude that “fruit” refers to “loving deeds performed, ultimately, for Jesus.” We might also conclude that Jesus wants us to notice the fruitful branches, love them, bless them, and imitate them.

 

Sunday’s passage from Acts identifies a major challenge: we sometimes fail to see fruitful branches for what they are. Paul, still called “Saul” at this point in the story, has become a fruitful branch but people don’t get it. They still think of him as a wolf who wants to destroy the community.

 

What about you? Are there fruitful branches in your life that you don’t recognize? Are there people who regularly perform loving deeds for you – at home, at school, at work, in the extended family, on your team, wherever – but you are maybe taking them for granted, failing to see them as the marvelously fruitful branches they are? Maybe they don’t tell Jesus, with each loving deed, “Jesus I am doing this for you,” but so what? If you pressed them on it they would confess that they would not stop performing the good deed because doing so would violate their faith and hurt their life with Christ. They are fruitful branches – they perform loving deeds because, ultimately, they know Jesus wants them to. Failure to acknowledge fruitful branches for what they are reduces our appreciation for God’s action in our world. Recognition of the fruitful branches around us deepens our faith and our enthusiasm. A fruitful branch is a terrible thing to overlook. A fruitful branch is a wonder to behold, in the world around us - - - and in the mirror.