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Parish Daily Update 3/23/20

Dear St. Joseph family,

I don’t have any “new” updates from our bishop, so for now we move forward with our new normal.  I do have information on prayer opportunities which Pope Francis has asked all of the faithful in our world to participate in:

                –At noon (local time) this Wednesday, March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, the Pope has asked us all to pray the Lord’s Prayer.  Please set the alarm on your phones and pray for an end to this pandemic.

                –On Friday, March 27, again at noon local time, the Pope will be conducting a moment of prayer at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.   The ceremony will consist of Scripture readings, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  The ceremony will conclude with Pope Francis bestowing the Urbi at Orbi Blessing, with the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence for all those who listen to it live through various forms of communication:  tv, radio, internet, etc.  This particular blessing “to the City [of Rome] and to the World” is normally only given on Christmas and Easter.  Here is a link to the story with more information:

Here is a link for conditions to obtain a plenary indulgence:

It has been suggested the following as a link to possibly view the service:

We continue to join with each other, and with the whole world, in prayer for a swift end to this pandemic, for healing of those who have contracted the virus, for all who have lost their lives and for those who mourn them, for the healthcare workers who are tirelessly caring for the sick, and for all who are working on the frontlines to help prevent the spread of this disease.  Mary our Blessed Mother, pray for us.  St. Joseph, pray for us.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Phil. 4:6-7

The Mass readings for tomorrow, along with Father Kevin’s homily, follow.  May God bless you all and keep you safe and healthy!

Pam Minninger

Lay Ecclesial Minister

Tuesday 4th Week of Lent

First Reading:  Ez 47:1-9, 12

The angel brought me, Ezekiel, back to the entrance of the temple of the LORD, and I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the facade of the temple was toward the east; the water flowed down from the right side of the temple, south of the altar.

He led me outside by the north gate, and around to the outer gate facing the east, where I saw water trickling from the right side. Then when he had walked off to the east with a measuring cord in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and had me wade through the water,

which was ankle-deep.

He measured off another thousand and once more had me wade through the water, which was now knee-deep.

Again, he measured off a thousand and had me wade; the water was up to my waist.

Once more he measured off a thousand, but there was now a river through which I could not wade; for the water had risen so high it had become a river that could not be crossed except by swimming.

He asked me, “Have you seen this, son of man?”

Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit. Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides. He said to me, “This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah, and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.

Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.

Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

R.  The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

God is our refuge and our strength,

an ever-present help in distress.

Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken

and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.

R.    The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,

the holy dwelling of the Most High.

God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;

God will help it at the break of dawn.

R.    The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

The LORD of hosts is with us;

our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,

the astounding things he has wrought on earth.

R.    The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

Gospel:  Jn 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.  In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.  One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,

“Do you want to be well?”

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.”

Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”

Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a Sabbath.  So, the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.”

He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’”

They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?”

The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.  After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may happen to you.”  The man went and told the Jews

that Jesus was the one who had made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus

because he did this on a Sabbath.


            A childhood memory from writer and preacher Barbara Cawthorne Crafton (from her book Let Every Heart Prepare): “I would learn to read in the first grade, I was told as a young child, and I couldn’t wait to go . . . Somehow I had the impression that I would learn to read that first day, that learning to read was just a secret that would be imparted to me at the proper time . . . I didn’t grasp that learning to read was a process. Imagine my frustration, then, when we began to go over the alphabet and the sounds each letter signified. That was all very well. ‘But when are we going to learn to read?’ I asked the teacher as the afternoon wore on. She told me that this was learning to read, that this is how you started. Oh. This was the biggest disappointment my short life had yet encountered . . . Soon, the thrill of the chase took over. It was fun to sound out the words on the page, to begin to recognize a whole word, to read and write longer and longer sentences. But it was work, too. To grow in wisdom doesn’t just happen to us, while we sit there on our hands folded in our laps and do nothing. We acquire wisdom. We pursue wisdom. We follow in her ways.”

            Everything that is good and of value in our lives — from learning to read to being a loving spouse and sibling — demands work and struggle. Today’s Gospel is a sober reminder of that reality. At first, the question Jesus asks the paralyzed man in today’s Gospel seems silly: Do you want to be well? Of course — we all want to be well: We all want to feel better about ourselves and our lives, we want the despair and anger that darken our days to break, we want the fear and doubt that plague us to dissipate once and for all. We want to feel better — but a cure, “to be made well” requires the hard work of change, of embracing a new perspective, of seeing ourselves and our world with the wisdom of God. This Lenten season challenges us to stop and ask ourselves what we want to make of our lives — and what paralyzes us from realizing those hopes. The reconciling and healing compassion of the Gospel Jesus enables us to find the words and realize the possibilities for “rising” from our “mats” and walking in the light of God’s wisdom and peace.

            Jesus, as you healed the sick man at Bethesda, heal us of our fears, our disappointments, our estrangements, our despair. Give us the courage to stand up and shake off the worries and burdens that weigh us down; give us the vision to realize your life and love around us, especially when we feel stuck and isolated; give us the grace to pick up our mats and walk in the light of your peace so that, this Lent, we may truly be healed of the fears and sense of hopelessness that paralyze our hearts and souls.

An Act of Spiritual Communion:

O Jesus. I turn toward the holy tabernacle

    where You live hidden for love of me.

    I love you, O my God.

    I cannot receive you in Holy Communion.

    Come nevertheless and visit me with Your grace.

    Come spiritually into my heart.

    Purify it. Sanctify it. Render it like unto Your own.