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Parish Weekly Update 7/21/21

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

“Push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you.  What people don’t realize is how much religion costs.  They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross.”   

~Flannery O’Connor

SAUERKRAUT PACKING:  Our first kraut packing will be TODAY, 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.

BUSINESS:  Offertory for the week of 7/11/21 –

General Fund –                  $14,496.00

Building –                            $430.00

Our Daily Bread –             $110.00

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


~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

~ for on-line giving. 

Thank you for supporting our parish!!!

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!!

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.

K-6 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES:  The new school year is quickly approaching and we are planning at this time to have in person K-6 Faith Formation classes on Sundays starting August 22 from 9:30am-10:30am.  In order to have class, we are in need of volunteers to teach! NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED – JUST THE DESIRE TO SHARE YOUR CATHOLIC FAITH WITH OUR CHILDREN! All of the materials you need will be supplied for you. We use a team-teaching approach, which means you share teaching your class with others, which allows more flexibility to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules.

We ask that you take a few moments to pray about being a part of this most precious ministry.  If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the Catechist Registration form in the back of the church or contact Karen (her info follows). 

Our children are the future of our faith!  Feel free to contact Karen Worrell, CRE, at or 601-672-5817 with any questions.

Information about 7/8th grade and high school classes will be forthcoming.

As always, if you have any questions about any of this, feel free to call me! 

God bless,


Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

First Reading:  2 Kings 4:42-44 

A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God, twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits, and fresh grain in the ear.  Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.” But his servant objected, “How can I set this before a hundred people?”  Elisha insisted, “Give it to the people to eat.” 
“For thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.’” 
And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the LORD had said. 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs. 

Second Reading:  Ephesians 4:1-6 

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all. 

Gospel:  John 6:1-15 

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” 
He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. 
Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.”  One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”  Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”  Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone. 


“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”John 6:1-15 

                More than five thousand had come to hear Jesus. 

The sick certainly had come, hoping that what they had heard about this wonder-worker was true.  Maybe he’ll see my pleurisy, my shattered limb, my disfigurement and heal me. 

                The crowd must have included exhausted moms with their babies in tow, who needed a break from their 24/7 juggling of family and household. 

                There must have been unemployed workers and struggling farmers there, too, whose lives had become a fog of hopelessness. 

                Among those who had come to hear Jesus must have been more than one soul dealing – quietly and alone – with a shattered relationship, a serious illness, a lost son or daughter.   

                The depressed, the homeless, the disabled also found a patch of grass to sit on that afternoon. 

                In the back, on the edges of the crowd, were those who were embarrassed to be there or who did not want to be noticed: tax collectors, prostitutes, thieves, alcoholics, addicts, abusers. Also looking on from the shadows, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, were Jesus’ harshest critics: Pharisees, scribes, priests. 

                The happy and troubled, the doubting and the curious, the believer and the skeptic, the grateful and the broken – all found a place on the grass.  Jesus welcomed every one of them. 

                And he fed them. He fed them all.  [Adapted from “The Sacred Meal” by Nora Gallagher.] 

We can learn a lot from leftovers. After feeding the crowds with the scraps of bread and fish, Jesus asks his disciples to gather up the leftovers. As the twelve wicker baskets of leftovers attested to the sign Jesus had worked, our own baskets of “leftovers” and fragments are signs of the many blessings we have received in our lives. Today’s Gospel also challenges us to realize the many things we waste in our lives that can be the difference between life and death for our brothers and sisters, that our stored “wicker baskets” of clothing, food, household goods, toys and, yes, money, can become signs of the providence of God in our midst. 

                The multiplication in today’s gospel did not start with nothing; Jesus was able to feed the crowds because one boy was willing to share what little he had; from his gift, small though it was, Jesus worked a miracle, a wonder.  The same is true with us, as we gather here to share this meal, we are reminded that only when we are willing to defer ourselves to the good of the community, only when serving others is exalted over being served, only when differences dissolve and the common and shared are honored above all else, are we also able to work miracles and wonders.  Here we gather to become what we receive: one bread, one cup, one body one family. 

                But there are other hungers that gnaw at our human hearts.  These also cry out for nourishment.  This week and the next three, our readings invite us to consider these other hungers as well as the nourishment that God offers to satisfy them.  But each time that God has filled or will fill these hungers, those who have their fill are also challenged to look beyond the gift of nourishment in order to more intimately know and appreciate the giver. 

                Karl Rahner (The Great Church Year) once explained that the people in today’s gospel were drawn to Jesus, driven by a hunger for God.  They followed Jesus into the wilderness because they were aware that their own lives were a wilderness; they hungered for the words Jesus spoke.  They wanted more than their ordinary lives were able to offer them.  But while they were hungering for God, a physical hunger seized them.  Hungering for God, they found themselves hungering for earthly life.  Then the situation turned strange. 

                Jesus, whom they were following to hear the words of life, gave them earthly bread and fish.  When they ate and had their fill, they wanted to make him king.  What was offered as nourishment to sustain them in their search for God became a temptation, prompting them to covet the “free lunch” and to lose sight of its significance.  As a result, Jesus fled from them.  Isn’t this our story as well?  Isn’t this what constantly happens in the lives of individuals?  I know it has been, and probably will be again, my story. 

                God enables us to care for our needs.  So that we have earthly bread, and even multiplies it so as to feed great multitudes who live in the many wildernesses of our world.  But instead of using the gift to seek God, and satisfy our hunger for eternity we, like the people in today’s gospel, are tempted by the miracle and want to make the bread, or the making of the bread, our God.  And so, God withdraws from us, not willing to become a part of our scheme. 

                Our readings today remind us of the balance that must be struck.  If we have been blessed with an abundance of earthly bread, or with the technical capabilities of producing an abundance, then these gifts are for sharing with the hungry.  When physical hungers are satisfied, then we are free to attend to the deeper hungers, for love, mercy, forgiveness, companionship, peace – God.  In satisfying these hungers for one another, we sharpen our hunger for God, who is eager to fill our human hearts. 

                The scene on that grassy plain mirrors the gathering at this table today. In the miracle of the loaves and fish, Jesus transforms a crowd of all ages, talents, abilities and backgrounds into a community of generosity. That vision of being a Eucharistic community is re-created each time we gather here. That is the challenge of the Gospel, and the mandate of the Eucharist that is foreshadowed in this miracle story: to take up the hard work of reconciliation and compassion begun by God, the God who dwells here in our own town and State; to humbly and lovingly bring the peace of God’s dwelling place into our own homes; to become the body and blood of Jesus that we receive at his table where all – saints and sinners – are welcomed. Eucharist is possible only when self defers to community, only when serving others is exalted over being served, only when differences dissolve and the common and shared are honored above all else. In the Eucharist of Christ, the humble Servant-Redeemer, we seek to become what we receive: one bread, one cup, one body, one family. 

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. 


She had a wonderful time at her prom. But she couldn’t help noticing that some of the girls she knew weren’t there. Later that week she asked around and was stunned to learn the number of girls who could not afford a dress for the prom. So she and a couple of her friends talked to their moms about giving their dresses to girls for next year’s prom. A local dry cleaner agreed to be a clearing house next spring. Their three dresses were the beginning of a miracle the following spring for seniors who thought going to the prom was a pipe dream. 

It started a few years ago when a young mom with two children was seriously ill. Neighbors and friends organized to provide supper for them. They soon discovered how many other families experienced similar crises (not to mention that “food insecurity” during the pandemic was a reality in their community, as well). The local parish got involved and now a freezer in the church basement is kept stocked with casseroles, hamburgers and all kinds of prepared foods for families in need. The organizers never forget that it started with one dish of lasagna. 

It was his first semester student teaching. He returned to the dorm each night with stories of the funny things his second graders did and said. One evening he asked two of his friends if they had an hour or two to help a couple of his students who were struggling in math and reading. His pals cautiously said yes — teaching elementary school was not part of their career trajectories. But they came to the school one afternoon and each worked with a student — and never spent a more fulfilling half hour in their lives. The kids were great — and the short time they spent together made a big difference in the second-grader’s school work. That first completed math sheet and vocabulary list were the beginnings of a new after-school tutoring program organized by the college. 

A prom dress, a casserole, an elementary school reader – all pieces of “bread and fish” that become the beginnings of a miracle. Like the boy in today’s Gospel who gives the little he has, these good folks make use of the opportunities and resources they have — all simple and ordinary — to make good things happen for others in need. The community of generosity and gratitude that Jesus gathers on that plain is re-created each time we gather here to celebrate the Eucharist. We are called by Christ to become the Eucharist we receive at this altar: giving thanks for what we have received by sharing with one another our “scraps” of bread and fish — our talents, our riches, ourselves — working our own miracles of creating communities of Christ-like charity.