Dear Parish Family,
I don’t know about you, but now that we have an idea of when we will be able to celebrate Mass together again, my “impatient bone” seems to be becoming very prominent! I find myself in need of the words I heard from one of the priests I follow: “Let us be an example of Mary’s patience and suffering.” We are ALL suffering, unable to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, but I will try to model our Blessed Mother’s patience!!
If you have a student who is graduating from High School this year, please email our Youth Minister, Patti Greene, firstname.lastname@example.org. We are unable, at this time, to have our usual Graduates’ Mass, but we still want to honor them and their achievements.
If you have a child at one of our Catholic schools and need a Parish Verification form, please email me directly, email@example.com. I have worked out a process with St. Joseph School to get the forms taken care of. I am trying to get in touch with St. Anthony’s business manager, but am having difficulty. As soon as I hear back from him, we can get the process for those forms moving along as well.
I would encourage those of you who have children in public or another private school to seriously consider our Catholic Schools. The education our children receive at these schools is excellent, and there is the added benefit of learning about our precious faith and living, day to day, immersed in the culture of that faith. If you need more information, you can get in touch with the schools directly, or call me and I’ll be happy to answer any questions! Please, don’t assume you can’t send your children because of expense!
The readings for tomorrow’s Mass, along with Father Kevin’s homily, follow.
God bless you all with peace and patience!
Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
May 15, 2020
First Reading: Acts 15: 22-31
The Apostles and presbyters, in
agreement with the whole Church, decided to choose representatives and to send
them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. The ones chosen were Judas, who was
called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers. This is the letter
delivered by them: “The Apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the
brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings. Since we
have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth: ‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’ And so, they were sent on their journey. Upon their arrival in Antioch they called the assembly together and delivered the letter. When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 57:8-9, 10 and 12
R. I will give you thanks among
the peoples, O Lord.
My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and chant praise.
Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn.
R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O LORD,
I will chant your praise among the nations.
For your mercy towers to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the skies.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
above all the earth be your glory!
R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
Gospel: Jn 15:12-17
Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
“This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12-17
There are some people who are easy to love. You want to help them. You’re uplifted by their genuine gratitude.
And then, there are people like Robbie. Robbie wore out her welcome with the social service agencies in her community a long time ago. Robbie’s poverty is real, her life is hard – but she runs through help like water.
The pastor of a local church remembers one winter Friday when Robbie called the church repeatedly to ask for groceries. The pastor invited her to come to the food kitchen, but she didn’t have a car. Couldn’t someone drive some food out her way? “I haven’t had anything to eat for four days,” she moaned. Now folks who come to the pantry take whatever the church has in stock, but Robbie had a shopping list: smoked turkey, lean roast beef and a pound of coffee – decaf.
A bad storm had dumped a foot of snow on the area. The pastor didn’t want to saddle someone else with Robbie so late on a Friday, so he went to the food pantry, filled a few grocery sacks and drove the 20 miles out to her place, muttering under his breath the whole time.
Robbie’s place was a shambles. No one had shoveled or plowed. Seeing the pastor coming, Robbie stepped out of her door smoking a cigarette. “Did you bring the coffee?” she called out. “Decaf?”
The pastor stopped about 20 yards from her door. The snow was deep.
“Could you pull up a little closer?”
“Robbie, just stay there,” the pastor said and waded through the drifts with one sack, then the other, then the next, feeling the burden on his lower back.
Robbie beamed, but before a conversation could begin, the pastor said, “Well, that’s about it,” and left without asking anything about her or what she might need. It was not one of his better days in ministry.
But the pastor remembers that on the trip home “I did feel lighter. In spite of myself, I felt glad to be of help. And about a hundred yards down the road, I had the odd feeling that when I am judged, it will be by what I do for Robbie.” [From “Labors of love” by Lawrence Wood, The Christian Century, May 17, 2003.]
Love one another, Jesus says. It’s not a suggestion, it’s a command. Love one another – there are no qualifications, conditions or limitations. Love another – even the mean-spirited, the petulant, the ungrateful, the unreasonable. Christ calls us to love as he has loved us: to bring healing and peace into every life we touch.
So, the next time we encounter a demanding and needy “Robbie,” may we may see in them the face of Christ and know that in loving the Robbies around us we express the love of Christ who lived for us, died for us, and rose for us.
Lord Jesus, may we possess the grace of your Father to love with the humility, generosity and completeness of your love for us. May your example of love enable us to love when such love is most difficult, undeserved, and unappreciated, remembering that you continue to love us – despite ourselves.
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You, trusting that you are already there,
and I unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
St. Isidore the Farmer
Born near Madrid to very poor parents. He was a laborer and later a bailiff on a rich farmer estate. Although his family was poor, they loved and served God. Isidore and his family believed that it was important to show love for God by helping others. They often gave away what little they had because someone else needed it more. Isidore had a special affection for animals. He fed and cared for them, too.
Isidore has become the patron of farmers and rural communities. In particular, he is the patron of Madrid, Spain, and of the United States National Rural Life Conference.
When he was barely old enough to wield a hoe, Isidore entered the service of John de Vergas, a wealthy landowner from Madrid, and worked faithfully on his estate outside the city for the rest of his life. He married a young woman as simple and upright as himself who also became a saint—Maria de la Cabeza. They had one son, who died as a child.
Isidore had deep religious instincts. He rose early in the morning to go to church and spent many a holiday devoutly visiting the churches of Madrid and surrounding areas. All day long, as he walked behind the plow, he spoke and listened to God. His devotion, one might say, became a problem, for his fellow workers sometimes complained that he often showed up late because of lingering in church too long.
He was known for his love of the poor, and there are accounts of Isidore’s supplying them with food. He had a great concern for the proper treatment of animals.
There are various miracles told about him but none that can be substantiated. Whether or not these miracles actually happened, it has been established that Isidore was deeply devoted to God and showed many others how God is always by our side. Nothing got in the way of his praying to God and worshiping.
Isidore died in 1130 and was canonized in 1622. He and Maria are still very popular in Spain. The Spanish have a dance that honors Isidore and Maria. They also have processions that are used to bless their fields and animals. The Spanish believe that these two saints are very important to the success of their harvests. He is often called St. Isidore the Farmer or St. Isidore the Laborer and is the patron saint of farmers in the United States.
When Isidore was named a saint 1622, there were four others as well with Saints Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila, and Philip Neri. Together, the group is known in Spain as “the five saints.”