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  • Writer's pictureFather George

From Father George's Desk 3/17/2024

In today’s gospel reading, St. John the Evangelist masterfully creates an image of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, for our reflection:  “I am troubled now.  Yet what should I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour’?  But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour”: In his humanity, Jesus is troubled and fearful of what is to come.  Yet, one with the Father, he knows the reason he has come into the world.  He has come down from the Father, just as the grain of wheat falls to the ground, to lay down his life for the redemption of the human race, just as the grain of wheat dies to produce much fruit.  May our reflection on this beautiful mystery of our faith help us, in these final days of our Lenten journey, to be prepared for the coming commemoration of our Passover from death to life through the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the one who has come to draw everyone to himself.  That commemoration begins next weekend with our observance of Palm Sunday, which leads us into the holiest days of the year.  Please plan now to be present and participate in the liturgies of this sacred time as much as possible. 


 And, if you have not yet made it to the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Lent, please note: there are two more penance services scheduled this week: Thursday evening at St. Rose and next Saturday morning at 11:00AM at St. John...please note that this is last scheduled opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation before Easter; there are no individual confessions scheduled at either Holy Family or St. John next weekend.


 Our 2024 Diocesan Lenten Appeal keeps rolling along.  Thanks to everyone who has already made a pledge or gift to this year’s appeal!  The weekly graphic elsewhere in the bulletin will keep you updated on our progress at both parishes.  We want to keep the momentum going so that we can get to work on our parish’s needs...at St. John to do some needed repair work on the main entry doors to the church and to add an automatic opener to improve access to our house of worship...and at Holy Family to do some badly needed updating to our security and fire alert systems.  Please prayerfully consider your pledge or gift to this year’s DLA in the coming days.  You may return your pledge or gift by mail, in person during office hours, or drop it in the collection basket.  You can also make your pledge online by clicking on the “Donate” link on our parish website or by visiting the diocesan website, www.dioceseofgreensburg.org.


 Don’t forget your Easter Flowers envelope.  This collection is used to help defray the cost of decorating our church throughout the Easter Season.  You may put this envelope in the collection basket anytime over the coming weeks.  There is space on the envelope to list the names of deceased loved ones whom you wish to be remembered during the Easter Season; there will be a Mass offered on Easter Sunday at both parishes for this intention.


 On Tuesday the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph.  While many traditions and pious customs have grown up around him over the centuries, Sacred Scripture tells us precious little about his life and biography.  We know that he was the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus.  We know, from the genealogies of Matthew and Luke, the Joseph was of the lineage of the great King David and we know also that he was a carpenter.  There are no utterances of St. Joseph to be found anywhere in the pages of Scripture and his appearances are few.  But those appearances tell us much about him and they give us much to emulate in our own lives.  In the Infancy Narrative of St. Matthew’s gospel, we encounter Joseph listening for God’s call and message and then responding, as only a just man can do.  Too often in our prayer lives we quick to speak and slow to listen.  Yes, it is important for us to speak to God, to pray for those things we need, but it is just as important for us to listen to God to allow him to speak to us.  Because this humble man of Nazareth lived in such a way, he was given the privilege and responsibility of being head of the Holy Family.  For this reason we honor good St. Joseph as patron of the universal Church.  As we enter into the final days of our Lenten journey, striving to respond to the call to ongoing conversion, let us pray for St. Joseph’s intercession on our behalf and may we seek to follow his example.

 

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