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Parish Daily Update 3/25/20

Dear St. Joseph Family,

I hope these daily “blasts” find you all happy, healthy, and with clean hands!!!  Beginning tomorrow, I would like to add prayer intentions to this daily blast, so if you have someone or something specific you would like us all to pray for, please email them to me at pam@stjosephgluckstadt.com and I will include the ones I get each day in the daily blast.

I have been receiving calls/texts/emails from people asking about their tithe contributions to the church.  I would like to humbly thank everyone for their continued support of our parish.  We still have to pay the ongoing expenses for running the parish during this unusual time, and so your continuing contributions are greatly appreciated.  At this time, the best way for you to get your envelopes/checks to us is by mail:  St. Joseph Catholic Church, 127 Church Rd., Madison, MS 39110.  You can also go to your bank’s bill-pay page and add St. Joseph (at the above address) to your list of “payees”, and they will send us the check directly.  We are also working with the diocese to put together an on-line payment option, and as soon as I have more information on that, I will share it with you.  In the meantime, again, thank you so much for your continued support and contributions to our wonderful St. Joseph Parish!!

Traditionally on Wednesdays during Lent, a different parish organization leads our community in the Stations of the Cross.  This year, our devotions have been interrupted for various reasons (I believe the Ladies’ Auxiliary was the only organization to be able to do it this year).  This evening would have been the day for our Youth to lead us – and Patti Greene, our wonderful Youth Minister, has worked with the teens to put together a “virtual” Way of the Cross.  It is available here:

or here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/VDVz7YCC8eMc2NVV7

The first link – the YouTube link – seems to work best and have the highest quality.  Please pray along with our young people on this Way of the Cross as we continue our Lenten journey.  Special thanks to Philip Wright and Anna Crout!

As we do every day, the readings for tomorrow’s Mass and Father Kevin’s homily are below.  Please stay safe and healthy!  Wash your hands and stay at home!!!  Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.  St. Joseph, pray for us.

In Christ,

Pam Minninger

Lay Ecclesial Minister

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

First Reading:  Ex 32:7-14

The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved.  They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
The LORD said to Moses, “I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation.”  But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, “Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?
Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people.  Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’”  So, the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 106:19-20, 21-22, 23

(R) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
they exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
R.    Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R.    Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.
R.    Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Gospel:  Jn 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved.  He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.  But I have testimony greater than John’s.  The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.  But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.  You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf.  But you do not want to come to me to have life.  “I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.  I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.  How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?  Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Homily

 The LORD said to Moses, “I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them. Then I will make of you a great nation.”  Exodus 32: 7-14

Most of us are feeling pretty “stiff-necked” these days. The Coronavirus has shut-down big parts of our lives. We’re at that depressing intersection of anger at those responsible for preparing for this and impatience to get on with our lives. We’d be satisfied just to have some idea how long this is going to go on.

Poor Moses is caught between his people’s exhaustion and fear and God’s anger at their ingratitude. In an unusual exchange, Moses reminds God of his goodness and mercy in the past and urges God to “calm down” and let his people see this through.

Maybe there’s a lesson in this for us as we struggle through the Coronavirus crisis. First, let’s focus every day on something to be grateful for: that we have roofs over our heads and the care and resources to weather this unprecedented crisis. Second, use this unexpected time we have at home to re-connect with those we love, to struggle together to make it through this. And third, be the mercy of God for someone who is having a particularly hard time right now: check in on the elderly neighbor or someone who is alone; offer a helping hand to a young family who could use a break; put your own talents and skills to work to bring some moment of joy and delight to others.

Let God’s grace “relax” our necks to find reasons for hope and become the means for realizing that hope – hope that is the very work of Christ Jesus. In the midst of these difficult days, may whatever kindness and understanding we can offer be “shining lights” of God’s compassion in our midst.

Lord Jesus, as your works of healing and compassion were your best testimony of your Father’s call, give us the wisdom and the courage to let our works be “shining lights” that illuminate your love in our midst. Replace our “stiff necks” with a new awareness of your grace in our midst. Help us to become ministers of your justice and prophets of your peace so that one day we may stand before your Father in humble joy. 

SPRITUAL COMMUNION

    O Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,

    I wish to be united with your eternal oblation to the Father,

    with each Eucharistic sacrifice

    being offered at this moment upon this earth.

    Lord, Jesus, come and dwell in my heart,

    nourish me with the Bread of Life, Yourself;

    cleanse, wash and purify me in the bath of Your Precious Blood.

    Our Father, Who art in heaven;

    hallowed be Thy name.

    Thy kingdom come;

    thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    Give us this day the Bread of Life;

    and forgive us our trespasses,

    as we forgive those who have trespassed against us,

    and lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from evil.

    Amen

    Lord, I am not worthy that thou should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my

    soul shall be healed.”

AFTER HOLY COMMUNION

Having been made worthy in a mystical way to partake of Your immaculate Body and precious Blood, O Christ Our God, I acclaim and bless, worship and glorify You, and proclaim the greatness of your saving acts, now and forever and ever. Amen.

Please remember to plan to join with Pope Francis tomorrow (Friday) at noon for a time of reflection and prayer for all those who have been affected by the virus, I think that is just about everyone.  To pray for those who have died from the virus and to pray for those suffering, as well as to pray for a cure.  Pam offered the following links Here is a link to the story with more information:
https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-03/pope-calls-for-christians-to-unite-in-prayer-for-end-to-pandemic.html
Here is a link for conditions to obtain a plenary indulgence:
http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2020/03/20/200320c.html
It has been suggested the following as a link to possibly view the service: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7E-LYc1wivk33iyt5bR5zQ