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Back The Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, February 23, 2020
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
This weekend, we are challenged to accept the highest calling of our lives. It is echoed in all three Biblical lessons. From the book of law, Leviticus, we hear the challenge: “Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, Am Holy” (Lv. 19:2). Jesus affirms this tall order of the Heavenly Father by teaching: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). St. Paul helps us understand why we are to live such a high calling: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16.) And again: “The temple of God, which you are, is Holy.” (1 Cor. 3:17). By our Baptism we are made a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Thus, we are to become more of what we are by our Baptismal adoption into the family of God.
All three Biblical lessons offer guidance as to how we may allow that perfection to grow within us. It begins with the root of Jesus’ teaching often called the “Golden Rule.” In the Book of Law it states: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD” (Lv. 19:18).
A strong instinct within every human being is that of self-preservation. It would appear foolish to not abide by that natural tendency within us. Yet, the guidance we are presented with for our call to “Holiness” and “Perfection” seems to work against that innate tendency. Far from just exercising some spirit of “non-violent resistance,” we are called to desire and pursuit avenues of what seems to be foolish. As St. Paul reminds us: “If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool so as to become wise.” (1 Cor. 3:18). “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God” (1 Cor. 3:19).
Jesus, in His teaching on retaliation from the Sermon on the Mount, brings the challenge before us, as he articulates a listing of what on the surface appear to be acts of self-abasement. “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow” (Mt. 5:31-42). However, these pro-active initiatives will rob an aggressor of any power he/she may have over us. Our free donation robs an aggressor of any satisfaction or victory.
The challenge lies before each one of us. Do we embrace the wisdom of this world’s experience of human self-preservation at all costs or do we, knowing full well our call to perfection and eternity with God, yield to our desire for heavenly perfection and holiness? The choice is ours.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PRIEST BROTHERS: Fr. John Leising, Fr. Paul Bossi, Fr. Andrew Lauricella, Fr. Moses Ikuelogbon, Fr. Tom Doyle, Fr. Richard DiGiulio, and Fr. James Dugan, SJ who assisted us Sacramentally while Fr. Ron was away and out of the country. Blessings to you all.
ANNUAL COLLECTION FOR THE CHURCHES OF THE HOLY LAND will be received at all our Ash Wednesday Liturgies. Thank you for your support for the Catholic and Christian Churches of the Holy Land
HOLY SEASON OF LENT 2020 begins with Ash Wednesday on February 26th. Here are a few reminders:
- Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are both days of “fasting” as well as abstinence from meat. Total food intake should be equivalent to only one full meal.
- Ash Wednesday Masses will be celebrated including the distribution of ashes: 6:30AM, 9:00AM, 12:15PM, and 7:00PM.
- NEW: Lenten Wednesday Weekly Evening Mass at 7:00PM
- Stations of the Cross Devotion – each Friday at 7:00PM in the Church
- NEW: Spiritual Reading Group - communal reading, contemplative prayer, discussion and reflection experience based upon Ronald Rolheiser’s, The Passion and the Cross. Copies will be made available for purchase to all who are interested on Friday evenings @7:45PM in the Msgr. Paa Center.
- Reclaim Sundays Again, this year we challenge all our Parish families to “Reclaim Sundays” as a day of: rest, worship and family time. During this Holy Season we try to take care of all our assorted business on Saturdays. That may include: our car maintenance, cutting the grass, washing clothes, doing homework, shopping for assorted items, etc.
- Adoration on Lenten Sundays We will be celebrating Benediction at the conclusion of the 11:00AM Mass each week. Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist will be available for Adoration on the main altar from that time until 4:45PM. Come with your entire family to just spend some time in adoration. Teach your children about the “real presence” of Jesus in the Sacrament and how to take time to listen to Him speak to us.
- Intercessory Prayer Intention” slips will be available within the parish bulletin and also at church aisle ways. You may list your needs and thanksgiving prayers and place them in our parish’s Intercessory Prayer Basket which, during Lenten Weekends, will be placed at the foot of the Main Altar. Please come forward before Mass and deposit your prayer requests.
- Light On For You Confessions each Lenten Wednesdays beginning March 4th from 5:00PM-6:45PM in Church..
- Communal Penance Service will be held on Tuesday, March 24th beginning at 7:00PM at Our Lady of Peace Parish, 10950 Main St., Clarence , NY 14031. Coming together will be the parishes of Nativity, St. Teresa, Sacred Heart and OLO Peace.