THIS WEEK IN PRAYER
The Feast of the Sacred Heart – Today’s Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus deserves a second look. Until about ten or fifteen years ago, I was aware of the feast and of the Sacred Heart images, but I knew little about the feast’s meaning. Then came a minor engine explosion on a boat in central France, and a completely unscheduled trip to the town where Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque received the Sacred Heart revelations in the 1670s. That trip changed everything. The feast seems to celebrate one truth above all others: Jesus loves us more than we can even begin to imagine. His Sacred Heart beats with love for YOU. Enjoy the day.
Loving the Eucharist – Saint Margaret Mary, the French nun to whom the Sacred Heart revelations were granted, also received great graces pertaining to the Eucharist. Given today’s Feast of the Sacred Heart and last Sunday’s Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, some of her Eucharistic reflections merit consideration:
“Every morning during meditation I prepare myself for the whole day. Holy Communion assures me that I will win the victory.
The courage and the strength that are within me are not of me, but of Him who lives in me - it is the Eucharist.
The most solemn moment of my life is the moment when I receive Holy Communion. I long for each Holy Communion, and for every Holy Communion I give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity. If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy us (for) receiving Holy Communion
Oh, what awesome mysteries take place during Mass! One day we will know what God is doing for us in each Mass, and what sort of gift He is preparing in it for us. Only His Divine Love could permit that such a gift be provided for us.
Sunday’s Homily – The New and Eternal Covenant: How's Your "Amen?"
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:
A VERY Big Weekend – This is one of the weekends during which our building will get very little rest – and that is a good thing!
Early Saturday Morning – The 5K Run — Our Fifth Annual 5k begins at 8:00 am. Come to run or come to cheer! Can't run/walk, you can still support us by registering as a 'virtual participant' - you'll even get the race t-shirt!
Late Saturday Morning – Deacon Tholitho’s Priestly Ordination – Our Deacon Tholitho will become Father Tholitho at the ordination liturgy on Saturday June 9 at 11:00 am. If you have never participated in an ordination liturgy, you should think of attending this one at the Metuchen Cathedral. It is “high church” at its best – a terrific opportunity to pray.
Sunday Morning -- Pancakes! – As suggested last weekend, pancake season is almost over! This is your big chance. One of our most talented and ambitious CCD classes is hosting a pancake breakfast after the Masses on Sunday. Come for the pancakes and the great company.
Sunday Evening -- Father Tholitho’s First Mass Here – Father Tholitho will be celebrating his first Mass at St James in Jamesburg on the morning of Sunday, June 10. He will then celebrate the 6:00 pm Mass here that evening. Refreshments will follow.
Also Sunday Evening – the Blessing of the Graduates – Sunday’s 6:00 pm Mass will also give us a chance to bless our high-school graduates and to thank them for their great contributions while they were in high school.
20th Anniversary – At the 4:45 Mass on Saturday, June 23, we will recognize the 20th anniversary of the dedication of our current church building. Refreshments to follow – BYOB!
THIS WEEK IN SERVICE:
The Heifer Project – Plans for the summer CCD program’s service project are moving ahead at a brisk pace. Stay tuned for information about how you can support the Heifer Project – an international program that gets farm animals to the people who need them most.
Summer Work Trips – Also stay tuned for news about the parish’s two upcoming work trips – our Youth Group’s Trip to Pennsylvania and our Young Adult Trip to Appalachia.
With all best blessings for you and your loved ones – on the Feast of the Sacred Heart and always.
Summary of this Week’s Homily:
The New and Eternal Covenant: How's Your "Amen?"
At every Mass, we hear the words that Jesus spoke at the Last Supper when he created the gift of the Eucharist: “Take this, all of you and drink from it, for this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant . . . “ The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ provides a marvelous invitation to stop and consider both His mind-boggling words and our reply.
Jesus’ “new covenant” stands in stark contrast to the old covenants. Conventional bible wisdom identifies five Old Testament Covenant. Three of the five merit extra attention.
God’s covenant with Noah conveyed the promise that God would never again destroy the earth as he did in the flood. God’s covenant with Abraham then reassured Abraham that he would have innumerable descendants and that those descendants would have a place to call their own. Then came God’s covenant with Moses at Sinai, when God identified the Israelites as his chosen people. Moses’ ritual ratification of that covenant was the story in Sunday’s first reading (Ex 24).
Jesus’ covenant with us is of an altogether different nature. In the new covenant, Christ’s covenant, God offers us eternal life. God did not do that in any earlier covenant. God also offers peace in this life, “not as the world gives peace.” It is a peace that comes only through connection with Christ and it is a peace that can come from no other source. The new covenant offers peace and eternal life.
The new covenant, depicted in Sunday’s gospel, is also eternal. It will last forever and then into eternity. No other covenant will ever supersede it. No other covenant will render it irrelevant.
We renew our commitment to the covenant in countless ways. We re-ratify it when we pray when we love and do not count the cost, when we act as priest, prophet, and king. We do it in a special way when we say “Amen” to the blood of Christ, the blood of the new and eternal covenant.
How is your “Amen?” Of course, some days are better than others. Some days leave us feeling focused and connected. Other days leave us distracted and fragmented. Don’t worry too much about the outliers. What about your most typical “Amen?” Is it coming from a sufficiently deep-down place, i.e., the place from which God is inviting you to render it? Are you doing your best to focus on the mind-boggling truth of what is happening? We cannot simply will ourselves into a deep-down amen, but we can cooperate with grace when God gives us the nudge. We can sometimes do the work of quieting ourselves, the work of learning more, the work of absorbing history. We can also do what it takes, during our reflective moments after communion, to picture Jesus himself extending the chalice to us and saying “Take this and drink from it, for this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and the everlasting covenant. It will be poured out for YOU.” What might that do to your “Amen?”