This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - October 19, 2018


This Week – October 19, 2018

Dear All:

Christ’s Peace!

Today is the feast of Saint Isaac Jogues, my patron saint and my best saint. Blessings of the day for all of you!

  • Blessings of the Brains and Aspirations – We will have the “Blessings of the Brains and Aspirations” for all students K-12 at both the 9:30 and the 6:00 Masses on Sunday. Please put some fun thought into what you will bring as a symbol of your aspiration this year. In the future, the blessing and the symbols will be “a thing” at St. Joe’s. This year, we rely on the humorous and the adventurous to get the tradition launched. Special donuts for all and special special donuts for those who bring fun symbols of their aspirations for this school year.

  • Meeting Christ in Prayer – I have sent emails to everyone who expressed an interest in “Meeting Christ in Prayer.” If you expressed an interest and have not heard from me, please email me soon at Our first session is at 7:00 pm on Monday, October 29.

Sunday’s Homily – “Inspired Aspirations Part Two: Wisdom and Inspired Choices”

  • To listen to Sunday's homily, click here.
    (Note: the homily from Oct. 14 will be posted early next week. Sorry for the inconvenience).

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


  • The Pie Sales Are Back – Our pie people will be in the Gathering Space this weekend and next weekend to sell you your Thanksgiving pies. Proceeds go to Guatemala and the victims of Hurricane Florence. Please pay with cash or checks only.

  • We Helped the Unborn – Big thanks to all who responded to the postcard drive. We mailed a total of 831 postcards to our state legislators.  The campaign was a great success and we hope it will go a long way in educating the legislators about these viable unborn lives. Special thanks to our Respect Life Ministry, to the volunteers who assisted at the Masses and to those from the 8:35 morning Mass who helped sort, label and stamp.

  • Our CCD Teachers – Thanks and blessings to all who have committed to teach CCD this year. Your generosity is an example for all of us. May your efforts be greatly blessed and fun. 


  • Celebrating Our Veterans – Attention all veterans, their spouses, and their widows and widowers – Please mark your calendar for Sunday, November 11. All are invited to come to the 11:30 Mass and to be the guests of the parish for lunch after Mass in the Parish Hall. You women and men have done so much for our nation and us – let us honor you. BE SURE TO RSVP IN THE GATHERING SPACE ASAP

  • PJ Anderson is Returning – Mark your calendar for the return of Nashville recording artist P.J. Anderson featuring our own Mike DeLucia opening the night. P.J. will be here to lead us in song and fun on Friday, November 30. See you there. 

With blessings for every parishioner, 

Fr Hank

Summary of October 14 Homily:
Inspired Aspirations Part Two: Wisdom and Inspired Choices

Aspirations – those deep-down desires that dwell in every human heart. Our aspirations are, according to Webster, those deep-down desires “to achieve something or to become something.”

Our inspired aspirations, our inspired desires to achieve and to become, are those aspirations that align with God’s hopes. Two Sundays ago, the readings reminded us that God has placed in each of us an inspired aspiration for inspired human relationships. This week, the readings remind us that God has programmed us with a desire to make wise, inspired choices – and that God looks at us with love when we are truly striving to make wise, inspired choices.

Sunday’s first reading comes from the Book of Wisdom’s seventh chapter, the portion of the book that quotes King Solomon. Solomon’s inspired quest for wisdom reaches its zenith in 1 Kings 3:5, when God invites Solomon to request any gift imaginable and Solomon requests wisdom, so he can make wise choices and rule wisely. Solomon’s request thrills God. God is so taken with Solomon’s request that God gives Solomon the wisdom he seeks plus everything else he might have requested. Clearly, Solomon’s aspiration to make wise choices, and his struggle to do so, makes God look at Solomon with unusually great affection.

The same thing happens in the gospel (Mark 10: 17-39). The man who approaches Jesus demonstrates an unmistakable craving to make inspired choices, wise choices, choices that align with Christ’s hopes. The encounter gets off to a rocky start but Jesus softens when he becomes convinced of the man’s sincerity. Once that happened, the bible says, “Jesus, looking at him, loved him.”

What about you? Of course, you aspire to wisdom. You have a deep-down desire to make the inspired choice, the choice that aligns with Christ’s hopes. But the answer is not always apparent and sometimes requires serious deliberation. We want to make the right choice but we sometimes grapple with many competing options, all of which have much to recommend them. It happens when we are sorting through our professional options or our choice of major. It happens when we are figuring which choice is best for the children. It happens when we are trying to figure out how best to serve relatives who are going through a rough patch, how to serve the needy, how to serve the Lord.

Can you name a choice that seems hard to make these days? Are you aware that you really are trying to make the wise, inspired choice? And as you look at that choice, can you imagine Jesus looking at you with love? Can you trust that your desire to make the inspired choice calls down Jesus’ extra affection? That awareness might not provide the answer, but it does provide a better context in which to make the choice. It bathes the choice with graced air and light. In what choice do you need to recall that your desire to make the inspired choice, and your willingness to struggle with it, activates God’s special affection for you?