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Parish Weekly Update 7/14/21

Dear Parish Family,

“If you believe what you like in the Gospel,

and reject what you don’t like,

it is not the Gospel you believe,

but yourself.”

     ~St. Augustine

SAUERKRAUT PACKING:  Our first kraut packing will be next Wednesday afternoon, July 21, beginning at 4:00.  If you have never made sauerkraut, it is a very simple process, but many hands are required for the volume we make!  Come experience this tradition and meet and visit with your fellow parishioners!!  If you can’t be here at 4:00, come as soon as you can.  Also, this is a great opportunity for service hours our students may need for school.

MASS SCHEDULE:  Beginning August 8we will return to our ‘regular,’ pre-Covid Mass schedule – 8:15 a.m., 10:45 a.m., and 5:00 p.m. Sundays.  Please make a note of this up-coming change!!

OFFERTORY for the week of 7/4/21:

General                              $14,220.00

Building                             $437.00

Our Daily Bread               $125.00

Cemetery                          $175.00

MS Catholic                      $20.00

Solemnity of Mary          $10.00

The methods we have set up to make it convenient to make your offering are:

                ~Place your offering in the basket as you come to Mass;

~Mail checks directly to 127 Church Rd., Madison, MS 39110;

~Your bank’s online bill-pay page, having the bank send a check to the

  church;

~ACH Auto-draft of your account.  Call the office – 601-856-2054 – and we will

  send you the form to have that set up.

~Texting your contribution to 601-391-6645; or

~https://giving.parishsoft.com/app/giving/stjosephgluckstadt for on-line giving. 

Thank you for supporting our parish!!!

PARISH BOOKKEEPER:  We are searching for a bookkeeper for our parish.  The part-time, paid position requires around 6 hrs. a week, and the applicant must be familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, and be willing to learn Diocesan accounting software.  Applicant must also have experience with accounting practices and principles.  For a more detailed job description, questions, or to apply, please contact Pam in the parish office – 601-856-2054.

God bless,

Pam

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time  

First Reading:  Jeremiah 23:1-6 

Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the LORD. 
Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them,
but I will take care to punish your evil deeds. I myself will gather the remnant of my flock
from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow;
there they shall increase and multiply. I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them
so that they need no longer fear and tremble; and none shall be missing, says the LORD. 

Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David;
as king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give him:
“The LORD our justice.” 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6 

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. 

Second Reading:  Ephesians 2:13-18 

Brothers and sisters:
In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh,
abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God,
in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it.  He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 

Gospel:  Mark 6:30-34 

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. 
He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”  People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. 

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 

Homily

“‘Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while . . .’  Jesus was moved with pity for the vast crowd, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.” Mark 6:30‑34 

There is a commercial that perhaps you have seen. A little girl is drawing with chalk on her front walk when a delivery man walks by, juggling boxes. Clearly, he’s having a bad day and just glares at her. His grumpiness gives her an idea. She takes her chalk and draws a hopscotch grid on the sidewalk in front of her house. It’s a wonderfully colorful and inviting work. As she watches, everyone who passes by – teenagers, a woman jogging, a senior couple — stops to play the game, cheering and waving at her when they successfully dance their way through her design. 

Then the grumpy delivery man reappears. He stops and scowls at the hopscotch challenge in front of him. He looks at the young artist, and to her surprise, he smartly jumps through the grid. He then walks away with a sly smile.  

Adding to the charm of the moment is the background jazz music of the great American song “The Sunny Side of the Street.” 

A little girl’s hopscotch challenge is an example of the “deserted place” envisioned by Jesus in today’s Gospel. The “deserted place” can be a physical place of quiet and solitude to re‑connect with God and the things of God – but the “deserted place” can also be time: a few minutes we set aside to stop, to realize God’s presence in our midst, to feel grateful for God’s grace in the love of family and friends. We all need “deserted” places – “hopscotch” moments – to escape the demands and expectations of our over‑scheduled lives to hear anew the voice of God in the quiet of our hearts, to realize anew God’s presence in our lives in the love and care of family and friends. 

The pity Jesus felt in today’s gospel, seeing the shepherd-less crowd, can be applied to our society today.  He would pity us too, as he surveyed the damage we are doing to ourselves through our abuses.  We abuse a whole host of items and people; certainly, there are abuses of alcohol, tobacco and firearms, but there are also abuses of food, some abuse sex, others abuse children and spouses, some abuse their parents.  We live in a time where we don’t have to look too far nor listen too hard to learn of any number of abuses surrounding us.  There are attempts on the law books to control the abuses around us, but aside from restrictions, abuse goes on. 

Make no mistake about it, we are not immune.  Our abuses are one of the reasons why Jesus pities us.  We need to examine our lifestyles, the ways in which we entertain, the things we choose to ignore or overlook.  The family of God cannot grow if everyone is looking out only for themselves. Unless its members care for one another, a family will not survive.  Admitting less than loving motives for our actions requires change.  A mother who realizes she scrubs the floors to satisfy her own need for the cleanest house in the neighborhood rather than for her family’s comfort, as she has always claimed, must rethink her priorities.  A hardworking father has some tough value choices to make when he realizes that all the time he spends at work to support his family was really motivated by his need for success.  We must die to ourselves in order to serve others. 

It is apparent that today’s first reading and Gospel are setting up a contrast between the bad shepherds of Israel and God’s shepherd, who will govern with wisdom and bring justice to the people. Jeremiah criticizes Judah’s political and religious leaders for being selfish, looking after their own needs and neglecting the flock entrusted to them.  Jeremiah reminds us that the special shepherd-like love, with which God led the people of the first covenant, is to be the model for all of us.   The gospel shows Jesus acting as a generous shepherd, taking the apostles away for needed rest.  We need to be able to strike a balance in our lives, we need to be renewed by rest.  Jesus also offers an example of his compassion for others, a motivation that enabled him to put the needs of others ahead of his own.  As Christians, as people who have taken on for ourselves Jesus’ name, we are to follow in his example. We, as Christians, see Jesus as the fulfillment of this good shepherd image. 

We can easily dismiss it and say he is addressing the leaders, government, or our church leaders.  But he is not.  He is addressing all of us.  We are all called to shepherd one another.  To look to promote the good of each other.  We all have the ability to shepherd others: we teach how to forgive by forgiving, we teach respect in the way we are attentive to others and their needs.  Something you do today that you may consider minor could have a lasting impact on someone else.  As disciples of Jesus let us do what is just and right in this land. 

We are called to enact the justice of God and the love of Jesus right where we are.  Our day and age may not strike us as a likely place for heroism.  Distance lends a certain enchantment; when we look back in time, we are inclined to take a “those were the days of the giants, the saints, the heroes” approach.  Certain times in the past seemed to demand larger-than-life heroes. 

For instance, we look back at Germany and the Nazi era and say it cried out for someone, anyone, to oppose the evil apparent.  But it is quite humbling to look back and note how few really did protest the evil of that day.  Is our day any different, certainly there are evils around us today that need to be corrected? 

The “good shepherd” sees the pain of others and acts to alleviate it.  So many times in the Gospel, Jesus is able to perceive what people need and brings healing to the situation.  In today’s passage he senses that the crowd is lost, searching for something.  He leads.  A movie several years ago about the Nazi era was called Schindler’s List, and there was, what I thought, a powerful scene where Schindler orders water to be hosed into the sweltering cattle cars where the Jews are penned up, waiting to be shipped to Auschwitz.  The Nazis laugh uproariously at what they take to be the “antics” of Schindler.  They assume he is doing this to further torment the suffering prisoners.  But then the camera cuts to the inhabitants of the rail car, their tongues outstretched to catch even a drop of the water as it splashes through the siding of the car or drips from the ceiling.  Yes, these people needed their freedom and human dignity but at that moment, the simple gift of water tasted pretty good.  Part of the horror of this scene was that the soldiers didn’t even recognize goodness anymore.  At the end we learn that, for all of his faults, Schindler turned out to be a pretty good shepherd. 

As people, we look at the problems and needs of our world and say they are too large for me to do anything about.  But Jesus is asking us to start right where we live, with the people around us.  The good shepherd sees the need of others and acts to alleviate them. 

The real miracle we are in need of today is to become a caring community.  When you look around at your immediate world what needs do you see?  And, as a pretty good shepherd, how will you respond? 

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.