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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
A brief step backward – to Palm Sunday, most especially the Palm Sunday procession from Veterans’ Field to the church and the celebration of the 12:30 Mass. I’m never good at estimating the number of people in church and I would be even worse to try to estimate the numbers who joined for the procession, but I do know it stretched for several blocks. Someone ventured a number between two and three hundred. Whatever the number, it was a moving experience of faith, this re-enactment of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. It gave testimony to Jesus and to faith in Him and to a continued commitment to live that faith, publicly, in a world that sometimes seems to have lost its faith.

Dear Friends,
Below is a repeat of an article I wrote a few years ago. The importance of Holy Week hasn’t changed; neither have my thoughts on the subject. With school being closed this week, it is my fear that many will forget that for us, who call ourselves Christians, this is, in fact, the holiest week of the year. May we, who are around, see the significance of these days and observe them accordingly. I wish I could believe that wherever they are, our brothers and sisters in faith would do the same.

Dear Friends,
I have mentioned several times in these Lenten columns that we have been reading from cycle A of the three-year cycle of readings. These readings speak especially to the catechumens, those preparing to be baptized at the Easter Vigil, but to all of us, as well. Three weeks ago, in the Gospel of the Transfiguration, the voice from heaven told Peter, James and John, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” As the catechumens hear this, they might ask, “Listen to Him about what?” And the Church has been answering them for the last two weeks, and this week as well. With the woman at the well (two weeks ago), Jesus has told us that He knows we have a thirst – for meaning, for fulfillment, for love, for life and that HE is the only real, life-giving water that will quench that thirst. With the man born blind (last week), Jesus has told us He can bring light into the darkness of our lives, help us to see the road in front of us, and point us in the right direction.

Dear Friends,
Varia – a number of unrelated items
On the Gospel. Continuing with the Gospel readings in cycle A, as with last week’s Gospel, today’s Gospel comes from the Gospel of John. As with the gospel of the Samaritan woman, it is filled with symbols. The blind beggar is never identified by name and the word John uses to denote him implies the blind condition of humankind in general. This blind beggar (blind humankind) never asks for a cure, never asks to see. Continuing the work of the Creator, Jesus molded clay and touched the man. This new sight that is about to be given (not restored, because the beggar was born blind) is a free gift from Jesus. Using mud as if it were an oil of anointing, he smears it on the man’s eyes and sends him off to wash (the waters of baptism) and having washed, he returns able to see. Eventually, after two run-ins with the Jewish leaders, he encounters Jesus again and now Jesus offers him the chance to believe. And the man responds that he believes, much as the Samaritan woman did in last week’s gospel.

Dear Friends,
I turn again to the Lenten Gospels. I have mentioned many times that the Church uses a three-year cycle of readings for the Sunday liturgies. These are generally identified as the year of Matthew (Cycle A), the year of Mark (Cycle B) and the year of Luke (Cycle C). We are in the year of Matthew, Cycle A, and have been reading from Matthew since the end of the Christmas season. The themes of the first two Sundays of Lent, no matter what cycle is read, are always the same, the temptation in the desert (1st Sunday) and the transfiguration (2nd Sunday) and we read Matthew’s recounting of these events on the last two Sundays.

Dear Friends,
Today, we continue on our Lenten journey. Every 1st Sunday of Lent, the Gospel reading always relates the Temptation in the Desert. Whether from Matthew, Mark or Luke, the Gospels on that 1st Sunday call us to enter into the Lenten season facing the devil and all the temptations he throws at us, so that we may use this time as our own desert fast (like Jesus), to reject the devil, and all his works (the baptismal promise we will renew on Easter Sunday) and live more faithfully the Christian calling that is ours.

Dear Friends,
I hope everyone made a good beginning of Lent by their observance of Ash Wednesday. Today is the 1st Sunday of Lent. We all know about Lent. When I think about Lent, I think about “giving up,” about fasting, about the “color purple,” about A & P Catholics (ashes and palms, and for folks my age, “hot cross” buns (remember them?). Lent is filled with so many images.

Dear Friends,
This weekend is Pledge Weekend throughout the Archdiocese – Pledge Weekend for the Annual Appeal, now called Sharing God’s Blessings. Pledge Weekend, everywhere but here at OLMC, because we did it last weekend. (If you didn’t guess why we did it last weekend, you might have guessed by now that it was because I am away this weekend, enjoying, I hope, what looks like Spring Skiing in Vermont.  But I want to write again about the Appeal because many seemed to be away last weekend because of the start of the winter break in the schools.

Dear Friends,
As you entered the church today, you saw a familiar scene. Actually it’s been three years since we used the TV monitors to show the video for Sharing God’s Blessings. And the delivery method is not all that’s changed. Sharing God’s Blessings used to be called the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. Maybe one day it will be renamed, “The Cardinal’s Annual Appeal.” It used to be done on Super Bowl Weekend and I could joke about the TV’s as being an attraction for those who wanted to pray for their favorite team at the Sunday night, 6:30 Mass. But this year, it has been delayed to re-do the video to account for the presence of our new Archbishop, Cardinal Joseph Tobin. And finally, we’re doing the Appeal here at OLMC a week early because I will be skiing in Vermont the weekend (2/25-26) when it’s being done in the rest of the Archdiocese. Nothing is ever simple, without complications.

Dear Friends,
With so much of our daily news filled with hopelessness, I quote from Pope Francis’ General Audience of January 18th.
"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In Sacred Scripture, among the prophets of Israel, a rather anomalous figure stands out, a prophet who attempted to avoid the Lord’s call by refusing to place himself at the service of the divine plan of salvation. It is the prophet Jonah…

Jonah is a prophet “going out” and also a prophet in flight! He is an “out-going” prophet whom God sends “to the periphery,” to Nineveh, in order to convert the people of that great city. But Nineveh, to an Israelite like Jonah, was a threatening reality, the enemy which placed Jerusalem itself in peril, and therefore was to be destroyed, certainly not saved. Therefore, when God sent Jonah to preach in that city, the prophet, who knows the Lord’s goodness and his desire to forgive, seeks to avoid the task and flees.

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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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