Dear Parish Family,
“May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.” ~St. Therese of Lisieux
Let us all live with greater faith – free from doubt, fear, and discouragement!!
Please call the office, 601-856-2054, for Mass reservations before 4 p.m. tomorrow!
Tomorrow’s Mass readings, along with Father Kevin’s homily, follow.
God bless you all!
Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Ezekiel 12:1-12
word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, you live in the midst of a
they have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious house. Now, son of man, during the day while they are looking on, prepare your baggage as though for exile, and again while they are looking on, migrate from where you live to another place; perhaps they will see that they are a rebellious house. You shall bring out your baggage like an exile in the daytime while they are looking on; in the evening, again while they are looking on, you shall go out like one of those driven into exile; while they look on, dig a hole in the wall and pass through it; while they look on, shoulder the burden and set out in the darkness;
cover your face that you may not see the land, for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel.
as I was told. During the day I brought out my baggage as though it were that
of an exile,
and at evening I dug a hole through the wall with my hand and, while they looked on, set out in the darkness, shouldering my burden. Then, in the morning, the word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, did not the house of Israel, that rebellious house, ask you what you were doing?
Tell them: Thus says the Lord GOD: This oracle concerns Jerusalem and the whole house of Israel within it. I am a sign for you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them; as captives they shall go into exile. The prince who is among them shall shoulder his burden and set out in darkness, going through a hole he has dug out in the wall, and covering his face lest he be seen by anyone.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 78:56-67, 58-59, 61-62
not forget the works of the Lord!
They tempted and rebelled against God the Most High,
and kept not his decrees.
They turned back and were faithless like their fathers;
they recoiled like a treacherous bow.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
They angered him with their high places
and with their idols roused his jealousy.
God heard and was enraged
and utterly rejected Israel.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
And he surrendered his strength into captivity,
his glory in the hands of the foe.
He abandoned his people to the sword
and was enraged against his inheritance.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-19:1
approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often
must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not
seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be
likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he
began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along
with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed,
and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.” When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.
“You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” Matthew 18:21 – 19:1
English writer Margaret Silf recounts this story in “America Magazine” [April 25, 2011]:
During World War II, a German pilot flies a bombing mission over the English countryside. In the predawn darkness, his plane is disabled by hostile fire and he bails out. Struggling to release his parachute, he prays as he falls into enemy territory; as he plummets to earth, the face of his young wife back home flashes before him. Minutes later, he lies unconscious on the ground, his parachute entangled in a tree.
At dawn, a young woman passes by. She is lost in thought. Her beloved has just asked her to marry him and she longs to say yes, but how can they afford to celebrate a wedding during these dark days of war? Where would they find the ingredients for a wedding cake? There isn’t even enough money or material for a proper wedding dress. Her family and friends urge her to wait until the end of the war — but will the end ever come?
Her pondering is suddenly interrupted when she sees the German pilot lying in the grass. Despite the uniform, she knows what she must do. There is still a pulse. She covers him with her coat and places her jersey under his head and goes for help. The enemy pilot is taken to a nearby military hospital.
The next morning the woman is making her way along the same path. She sees the parachute still tangled in the branches. But she no longer sees a parachute; this morning she sees silk. A gift from God? She gathers up the cloth. For the next few weeks, she spends every spare moment transforming the abandoned parachute into a beautiful wedding gown.
From his hospital bed, a lonely young German airman, recovering from disaster, sees a bridal couple passing by. For a moment, he feels a sense of hope: Perhaps he will one day be home with own young bride. He has no idea that this English bride is wearing his parachute.
Silk is transformed from a parachute into a wedding gown — all because of an act of compassion. Jesus’ many parables and stories about forgiveness and reconciliation call us to the work of discovering the “silk” in the midst of our anger and hurt and using it to imagine and create new beginnings from old struggles and estrangements. Such Christ-like reconciliation is not easy; it demands a new mind-set and perspective that manages to look beyond ideology to see brother and sister human beings; to move beyond states of war in order to recognize the possibilities for redeeming peace.
Today may we transform some coarse rag of anger and hurt into the “silk” of healing and peace.
O God, instill in us your grace that enables us to forgive one another as you forgive us, to heal the broken and hurting as you restore us to peace and wholeness, to be reconciled with those from whom we are estranged as you constantly call us back to you. May we take up your Son’s call to build your kingdom through our own work of building peace through reconciliation.
An Act of Spiritual Communion
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.