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Dear friends,
We continue our reflection on The Face of Mercy, convoking the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy by Pope Francis.
The Pope invites us to see this year as a pilgrimage representing the journey each of us makes through life. The desired destination of this year’s pilgrimage is the Holy Door in Rome, or the local cathedral (in our case the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark), or a church designated by the local Bishop (again, in our case, Presentation in Upper Saddle River). To pass through the Holy Door in any one of these places is a sign of the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us.

Jesus shows us the steps of the pilgrimage to attain our goal: “Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven… For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Lk 6:37-38). The Lord asks us all not to judge and not to condemn. We are called to be instruments of mercy precisely because we know we have first received mercy from God. Therefore, Merciful like the Father is the “motto” of the Holy Year.

The Holy Father asks us to open our hearts to those living on the fringes, whose cries are muffled by indifference. He asks us to open our eyes to the misery of the world, wounded brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity. And so, the Christian people need to reflect during this year in a special way on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Jesus himself introduces us to these works of mercy so that we can know if we are really his disciples; to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. By the Lord’s own words, we will be judged by these criteria. At the same time, we should also remember the spiritual works of mercy, as well: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offenses, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead. In each of these needs, and in the persons in whom we find them, we find Christ, in the tortured, the crushed, the scourged, the malnourished, the exiled.

This Holy Year is truly the “year of the Lord’s favor, proclaimed by the prophet Isaiah. It brings to the fore the richness of Jesus’ mission and the mission He has entrusted to those who call themselves His disciples, the mission of witnessing, in and through their lives, to bring a word and gesture of consolation to the poor, to proclaim liberty to those bound by new forms of slavery in modern society, to restore sight to those who can see no more because they are caught up in themselves, to restore dignity to all those from whom it has been robbed.

In the next section, Pope Francis focuses on Lent as a time of special intensity for celebrating the Father’s mercy and encourages the reading of Sacred Scripture as an appropriate place to rediscover the merciful face of the Father, especially the prophets, such as Micah and Isaiah. It is this same section that the Holy Father stresses the gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the place where people may touch the grandeur of God’s mercy. He encourages confessors (priests) to be authentic signs of the Father’s mercy. They can be good confessors only in so far as they are good penitents themselves. Accepting the faithful as the father in the parable of the prodigal son, embracing the penitent, expressing joy at having him back, not asking useless questions but accepting the plea for mercy, the confessor should be a sign of mercy always, everywhere, and in every situation, no matter what.

And speaking of this mercy, experienced in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the parish offers two special moments for the celebration of this Sacrament. On Wednesday evening, 12/16, at 7:30 PM, we will celebrate our annual Parish Advent Penance Service, with Scripture and song and the opportunity for individual confessions. As usual, extra confessors from outside the parish will be available. Then on Saturday, 12/19, confessions will be heard from 1:00 to 3:00 that afternoon. BEGIN THIS GREAT JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY BY THE RECEPTION OF THIS SACRAMENT OF THE FATHER’S MERCY FOR YOU IN THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATIUON.
God Bless,
Fr. Ron   

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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