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Parish Daily Update 11/17/20

Dear Parish Family,

“How could I bear a crown of gold when the Lord bears a crown of thorns?  And bears it for me!”

                ~St. Elizabeth of Hungary

MASS RESERVATIONS:  Remember to call the office – 601-856-2054 – before Thursday at 4:00 to make reservations for Mass!

THANKSGIVING WEEK MASS RESERVATIONS:  Next week will be a short holiday week.  The office will close on Wednesday at noon and will be closed on Thursday and Friday.  YOU WILL NEED TO CALL FOR MASS RESERVATIONS NEXT WEEK – MONDAY THRU WEDNESDAY, NOON!  Set yourself a reminder on your phone to call early in the week!!!

CHRISTMAS GIVING TREE:  We will, once again, have our annual Giving Tree Project, providing Christmas for needy families in Canton.  The project will, however, look different this year.  We will be collecting CONTRIBUTIONS ONLY and a small committee will then shop for gifts, wrap and deliver them to a central location for pick-up by the adopted families.  If you would like to donate, you can:  ~Place your offering in the basket as you come to Mass (please note “Giving Tree” on the envelope or check); ~Mail checks directly to 127 Church Rd., Madison, MS 39110 (again, please note “Giving Tree”); ~Your bank’s online bill-pay page, having the bank send a check to the church (with a “Giving Tree” notation); ~https://giving.parishsoft.com/app/giving/stjosephgluckstadt for on-line giving (scroll through to find “Giving Tree”).  The deadline for giving is December 7.

                     An email was sent out this morning with the Giving Tree Brochure, so if you haven’t seen it, please look for it. 

God bless,

Pam

Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time  

First Reading:  Revelation 4:1-11 

I, John, had a vision of an open door to heaven, and I heard the trumpetlike voice that had spoken to me before, saying, “Come up here and I will show you what must happen afterwards.”
At once I was caught up in spirit. A throne was there in heaven, and on the throne sat one
whose appearance sparkled like jasper and carnelian. Around the throne was a halo as brilliant as an emerald. Surrounding the throne I saw twenty-four other thrones on which twenty-four elders sat, dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder. Seven flaming torches burned in front of the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. In front of the throne was something that resembled a sea of glass like crystal. In the center and around the throne, there were four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back. The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf, the third had a face like that of a man, and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight. The four living creatures, each of them with six wings, were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not stop exclaiming: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and who is, and who is to come.” Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before the one who sits on the throne and worship him, who lives forever and ever.
They throw down their crowns before the throne, exclaiming: “Worthy are you, Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created.” 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 150:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise the LORD in his sanctuary,
praise him in the firmament of his strength.
Praise him for his mighty deeds,
praise him for his sovereign majesty.
R.    Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise him with the blast of the trumpet,
praise him with lyre and harp,
Praise him with timbrel and dance,
praise him with strings and pipe.
R.    Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise him with sounding cymbals,
praise him with clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD! Alleluia.
R.    Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God! 

Gospel:  Luke 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately.
So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’ He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’
Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’ He said to him,
‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’ And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’
But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’ He replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’” After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem. 

Homily

“’Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and harvest what you did not plant.’”  Luke 19:11-28 

Travel guru Rick Steves, the host of the popular PBS series “Rick Steves’ Europe,” also runs a very successful travel company, organizing tours throughout the world. The pandemic has shut down Steves’ company – he’s had to cancel a number of European tours and refund advances and deposits. But rather than furlough his 100 employees, Steves is keeping them on to do community service. Steves’ employees are serving at local food banks, cleaning up hiking trails, and making their services available wherever needed in Snohomish County, Washington, where Steves resides and runs his company. 

Steves believes he has a “civic responsibility” to figure out a way to retain his employees and support the community in a time of dire need.  

“This will give our staff the dignity of producing something of value for the hours they’re being paid.  And we hope it will inspire other companies in a similar circumstance to also contribute – by helping those struggling in their community as we are in ours.” [Travel and Leisure, October 1, 2020.] 

That’s the Gospel perspective of wealth: that the “gold coins” we possess have been entrusted to us not for our good and glory but for the blessing of all. What Rick Steves does for his employees and community in Washington State is what God calls us to do with what we have – no matter how small, no matter how ordinary, no matter how simple. Jesus calls us to take out the gifts we have stored away and the talents we have buried because we’re too modest, too afraid, or too busy. Grace, Jesus says, is not realized in what we accomplish but, in our willingness, to use what God has given us for the good of our sisters and brothers. 

O God, you have entrusted us with abilities and resources to use in making your Kingdom of reconciliation and justice a reality in this place and time of ours. Don’t let us hoard our “gold” for ourselves or undervalue what you have given us; by the help of your grace, may we risk what you have given us in order to create your Kingdom within our lives and hearts. 

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.  Amen.