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Parish Daily Update 9/23/20

Dear Parish Family,

“Pray, hope and don’t worry.  Worry is useless.  God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”

                ~St. Pio of Pietrelcina

The 8:00 am and the 10:00 am Masses are filling up, please call the parish office by tomorrow (Thursday) at 4:00 for Mass reservations.  601-856-2054.

There is no daily Mass today!

God bless,

Pam

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading:  Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities!  All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays. The sun rises and the sun goes down; then it presses on to the place where it rises. Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north, the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds. All rivers go to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they go, the rivers keep on going. All speech is labored;
there is nothing one can say. The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear satisfied with hearing. What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun. Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us. There is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.
 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17

R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD!  How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

 Gospel:  Luke 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”; others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.

Homily

Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us.  Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

John Thompson transformed Georgetown’s men’s basketball team into a national powerhouse. In his 27 years at Georgetown, Thompson expanded opportunities for players of color and, in the process, his Hoya squads shattered racial barriers in Washington, D.C.

John Thompson put his players first – even before the game itself. He kept in his office a deflated basketball that symbolized his motto for student athletes: “Don’t let 8 pounds of air be the sum total of your existence.”

Coach Thompson’s advice to his players mirrors the admonition of the sage who wrote today’s first reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes: not to be so concerned with the “vain” things of the world; not to be so obsessed with obtaining the biggest, the newest, the brightest, the best; not to focus our days on fleeting fame and impermanent possessions that we fail to embrace the blessings of God’s compassion, justice and mercy that set our lives for eternity.

God sets us on this journey so we may experience the meaning and purpose of a life lived in loving and compassionate service.

Game on.

O God, may the gift of your grace enable us to move beyond the “vanities” of the “things” of this world and seek, instead, the truly lasting things of your Kingdom: mercy, justice, compassion and peace. May our lives not be defined by the things we own and have amassed but by the integrity of the faith we live and the generosity of heart and spirit that our faith inspires.

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.

Parish Daily Update 9/22/20

Dear Parish Family,

“Hatred is not a creative force.  Love alone creates.  Suffering will not prevail over us, it will only melt us down and strengthen us.”    ~St. Maximlian Kolbe

Reminder:  Religious Education news:   During these times of pandemic, our diocesan protocols, and our respect for our families and all they are experiencing right now, our team has been meeting and developing our approach to religious education for this year.  It will look different – and we will keep you informed along the way.  For right now:

As we boldly advance into the unknown, registration for Faith Formation (religious education) for our children of St. Joseph Gluckstadt is now open.  In order to form a true Faith Formation Community at St. Joseph, which represents ALL of our families, we encourage ALL of our school age children – public, private and parochial – to join. Our team is currently working to safely implement an authentic faith education program for our kids, and more details will be rolled out to you once we know how many families will be participating in this exciting and hopeful ministry. Please use the following link to register your family.  https://forms.gle/cDcpYM8gW8sCrSLc8. Someone from the team will contact you soon to let you know what next steps will be.

Please register as soon as possible so that we can make our final plans and gather the necessary materials we will need.  This is going to be an exciting year!!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me – 601-573-2053.

There will be no daily Mass tomorrow (Wednesday). 

God bless,

Pam

Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

September 23rd, Wednesday 25th week Ordinary

First Reading:  Proverbs 30:5-9

Every word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you, and you will be exposed as a deceiver. Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die: Put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need; Lest, being full, I deny you,
saying, “Who is the LORD?” Or, being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God.

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163

R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Your word, O LORD, endures forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
From every evil way I withhold my feet,
that I may keep your words.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Through your precepts I gain discernment;
therefore I hate every false way.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.
Falsehood I hate and abhor;
your law I love.
R. Your word, O Lord, is a lamp for my feet.

Gospel:  Luke 9:1-6

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town,
shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and curing diseases everywhere.

Homily

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9:1-6

A physician recalls the death of his father. It was, understandably, a difficult time for his family – but a rare experience of giving:

“I had grown accustomed to seeing death through medical eyes; my father’s cancer forced me to experience terminal illness from the vantage point of a patient’s family. Furthermore, through my father’s eyes, I glimpsed dying from the point of view of a person living in the shadow of death. Dad’s dying was certainly not the happiest time in our family’s life, but as a family we had never been more intimate, more open, or more openly loving. His illness allowed us, I could say forced us, to talk about the things that mattered: family, our relationships with one another, our shared past, and the unknown future. We reminisced about good times and bad, we cried, and we laughed. We apologized for a host of transgressions, and we granted, and were granted, forgiveness. Through Dad’s illness and in his dying, we all grew individually and together.”

[From Dying Well: The Prospect for Growth at the End of Life by Ira Byock, M.D.]

A dad and his family take on the “demon and disease” of cancer with compassion and understanding for one another and so discover the love of God in their midst.  Their “journey” together as sons and daughters and brothers and sisters enables them to transform a time of grieving and loss into a time of forgiveness and blessing.

Like the journey of the Twelve, we all travel together as families and communities to realize God’s Kingdom of mercy and justice as we take on one “demon” after another, as we seek to cure every “disease” and affliction. These are difficult, painful experiences, but in confronting them with love and understanding for one another, we open our lives to the spirit of God’s compassion, forgiveness, hope and peace.  

May the Spirit of God walk with us and dwell in our homes, opening our hearts to be the means for God’s peace and healing for those we walk with on our journeys to God.

Be with us on our life’s journey, O God. By your grace, may we be ministers of healing; by your justice, may we be vehicles of peace; by your compassion, may we be agents of reconciliation as we make our way to your dwelling place.

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.

Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio of Pietrelcina on June 16, 2002.

Many people have turned to the Italian Capuchin Franciscan to intercede with God on their behalf; among them was the future Pope John Paul II. In 1962, when he was still an archbishop in Poland, he wrote to Padre Pio and asked him to pray for a Polish woman with throat cancer. Within two weeks, she had been cured of her life-threatening disease.

Born Francesco Forgione, Padre Pio grew up in a family of farmers in southern Italy. Twice his father worked in Jamaica, New York, to provide the family income.

At the age of 15, Francesco joined the Capuchins and took the name of Pio. He was ordained in 1910 and was drafted during World War I. After he was discovered to have tuberculosis, he was discharged. In 1917, he was assigned to the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo, 75 miles from the city of Bari on the Adriatic.

On September 20, 1918, as he was making his thanksgiving after Mass, Padre Pio had a vision of Jesus. When the vision ended, he had the stigmata in his hands, feet, and side.

Life became more complicated after that. Medical doctors, Church authorities, and curiosity seekers came to see Padre Pio. In 1924, and again in 1931, the authenticity of the stigmata was questioned; Padre Pio was not permitted to celebrate Mass publicly or to hear confessions. He did not complain of these decisions, which were soon reversed. However, he wrote no letters after 1924. His only other writing, a pamphlet on the agony of Jesus, was done before 1924.

Padre Pio rarely left the friary after he received the stigmata, but busloads of people soon began coming to see him. Each morning after a 5 a.m. Mass in a crowded church, he heard confessions until noon. He took a mid-morning break to bless the sick and all who came to see him. Every afternoon he also heard confessions. In time his confessional ministry would take 10 hours a day; penitents had to take a number so that the situation could be handled. Many of them have said that Padre Pio knew details of their lives that they had never mentioned.

Padre Pio saw Jesus in all the sick and suffering. At his urging, a fine hospital was built on nearby Mount Gargano. The idea arose in 1940; a committee began to collect money. Ground was broken in 1946. Building the hospital was a technical wonder because of the difficulty of getting water there and of hauling up the building supplies. This “House for the Alleviation of Suffering” has 350 beds.

A number of people have reported cures they believe were received through the intercession of Padre Pio. Those who assisted at his Masses came away edified; several curiosity seekers were deeply moved. Like Saint Francis, Padre Pio sometimes had his habit torn or cut by souvenir hunters.

One of Padre Pio’s sufferings was that unscrupulous people several times circulated prophecies that they claimed originated from him. He never made prophecies about world events and never gave an opinion on matters that he felt belonged to Church authorities to decide. He died on September 23, 1968, and was beatified in 1999.

Parish Daily Update 9/21/20

Dear Parish Family,

“Lord, take me where you want me to go;

let me meet who you want me to meet;

tell me what you want me to say;

and keep me out of your way.”

       ~Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM

Business:   Offertory for the week of 9/13/2020:

General                                                $14,433.00

Building                                                $330.00

Extension Society                             $362.00

Our Daily Bread                                $150.00

Hurricane Relief                                                $300.00

Cemetery                                            $100.00

We have several options to make it easier for you to contribute to the support of our parish.  They 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. 

We thank you for your continued support! 

Call the parish office before Thursday at 4:00 to make Mass reservations.  The phone number is 601-856-2054.

There will be NO WEDNESDAY Mass this week!

God bless,

Pam

Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading:  Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13

Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the LORD; wherever it pleases him, he directs it.

All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the LORD who proves hearts.

To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart– the tillage of the wicked is sin. The plans of the diligent are sure of profit,
but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty. Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue
is chasing a bubble over deadly snares. The soul of the wicked man desires evil; his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes. When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser; when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge. The just man appraises the house of the wicked:
there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin. He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44

R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
And I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.

Gospel:  Luke 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers  are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” 

Homily

All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the LORD who proves hearts.

Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13

This week the first reading comes from two of what are called the “wisdom” books of the First Testament.

The book of Proverbs is a collection of short, easy-to-remember sayings about everything from marriage to friendship, from sobriety to advancing one’s standing in the community. The “wisdom” collected here was not original with Israel, but includes teachings from other cultures, as well. The “wisdom” in these Proverbs is centered in the idea that we discover God and the holy in the practical aspects of life. For the first readers of Proverbs, life and faith were inseparable. God is revealed in one’s small garden as well as in Scripture; God is as present at one’s family table as he is in the Temple.

Later in the week we will hear selections from another “wisdom” book, the book of Ecclesiastes. In his sayings and stories, the writer of Ecclesiastes relates the lessons he has learned about the meaning of human existence from his own life. Ecclesiastes is much sterner and negative in tone than Proverbs: the author of Ecclesiastes makes clear where life’s purpose and meaning is not to be found – in wealth, success, sensual pleasures; true wisdom is not found in such “foolishness.”

So, listen with an open heart to the wisdom of these First Testament sages. Take some “pearl” of wisdom from these readings into your heart and mind; let a seed of wisdom from these texts take root in your soul, enabling you to realize God’s presence in the ordinary and the everyday of your life.

Illuminate our hearts and minds with the light of your wisdom, O God. By the light of your Word, may we realize your presence in the everyday challenges and experiences of our days, and so discover the purpose of this life you have given us and this journey you have set us on to your dwelling place in the life to come.

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.

Parish Daily Update 9/20/20

Dear Parish Family,

“The devotion to the Eucharist is the most noble because it has God as its object; it is the most profitable for salvation, because it gives us the Author of Grace; it is the sweetest, because the Lord is Sweetness Itself.”        ~St. Pius X

A link to today’s 8:00 Mass can be found here:       https://youtu.be/BFSwTjDskZA

Be sure to call the office – 601-856-2054 – Monday thru Thursday, 8:30 – 4:00 – to make reservations for Mass next weekend.

There will be NO WEDNESDAY Mass this week!!

God bless,

Pam

Monday 25th Week Ordinary

Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

First Reading:  Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13

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. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ. 
 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 19:2-3, 4-5

R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.

Gospel:  Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words,

I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Homily

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.  Matthew 9:9-13

The chances are good that you will be sitting at your “customs post” today and Jesus will call you to “follow him”:

Your customs post may be your desk or counter and Jesus will be the coworker who needs help, the student who doesn’t understand, the client who is helplessly confused.

Your customs post may be your kitchen island and Jesus may be your son or daughter or spouse who has had a bad day at school or work and needs to be reminded that they are loved.

Your customs post may be the chair near a nursing home bed and Jesus may be your elderly loved one whose hand you hold as they slip into eternity.

Whatever our day-to-day “customs post,” Jesus makes his presence known in those who seek our help, our understanding, our empathy. May we follow the example of Matthew and not hesitate to “follow Jesus” wherever he leads us.

Today may we respond to the call of Jesus, to “follow”, leaving our “customs posts,” as Matthew abandoned his, to take our work of reconciliation and mercy, of healing and consolation. 

May your Spirit of love move us to respond to those who seek our help without hesitation or condition – for as Jesus taught, in loving others we love you, in reaching out to others we praise you for your lifting us up when we stumble.

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.

Parish Daily Update 9/19/20

Dear Parish Family,

“Today, in the tragedy of a pandemic, in the face of the many false securities that have now crumbled, in the face of so many hopes betrayed, in the sense of abandonment that weighs upon our hearts, Jesus says to each one of us:  ‘Courage, open your heart to my love.’”     ~Pope Francis

Tomorrow the 8:00 and 10:00 Masses are full.  If you would like to try for stand-by at the noon Mass, you are welcome to do that.  Just come about 10 minutes early and you will need to wait to be seated.  I will post a link to the 8:00 Mass on the email shortly after lunch.

Next Wednesday, September 23, we will have NO evening Mass.  Father Kevin and Pam will both be out of town. 

God bless,

Pam

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time  

First Reading:  Isaiah 55:6-9 

Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near. Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked his thoughts; let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts. 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18 

R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
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 Lord is near to all who call upon him.  

Second Reading:  Philippians 1:20-24, 27 

Brothers and sisters:
Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.  If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.  And I do not know which I shall choose.  I am caught between the two.  I long to depart this life and be with Christ,
for that is far better.  Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit. Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ. 

Gospel:  Matthew 20:1-16 

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.  After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 
Going out about nine o’clock, the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.  And he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise. Going out about five o’clock, the landowner found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage.  So, when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage.  And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you.  Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?  Take what is yours and go. 
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?  Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?  Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”  

Homily 

The parable of the generous vineyard owner: “‘Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”  Matthew 20:1-16a 

                Life is not easy right now — for some of us, things could not get any worse.  I always hate to use the thought it can’t get any worse as it always seems to be able to get worse.  At least that has been my experience.  Our frustrations and impatience get the better of us. We avoid confrontation for the most part, but we quietly seethe at being disrespected or dismissed or overlooked.   

                Gratitude is a much more difficult attitude to embrace — it demands a total re-calibration of how we look at our life and world. 

                In his book “The Lord Is My Shepherd: Healing Wisdom of the Twenty-Third Psalm,” Harold S. Kushner reflects on the importance — and blessings — of gratitude:   

                “I read of a person who had formed the habit of writing Thank you on the lower left corner of every check he wrote. When he paid his electric bill or his phone bill, he would write Thank you to express his gratitude to the companies that made those services available to him at the press of a button. Even when he paid his taxes, he would write Thank you on the check as a way of reminding himself (he didn’t think the Internal Revenue Service would notice it) that his taxes were the price he willingly paid for living in the United States with all of its benefits. . . .   

                “Each night as I prepare for bed, I put drops in my eyes to fend off the threat of glaucoma that would rob me of my sight and take from me the pleasure of reading. Each morning at breakfast, I take a pill to control my blood pressure, and each evening at dinner I take another to lower my cholesterol level. But instead of lamenting the ailments that come with growing older, instead of wishing I were as young and fit as I once was, I take my medicine with a prayer of thanks that modern science has found ways to help me cope with these ailments. I think of all my ancestors who didn’t live long enough to develop the complications of old age, and did not have pills to take when they did.”   

                The kingdom of God that Jesus proclaims is centered in a spirit of gratitude for what we have received and the humility to seek to share those blessings with others – and in that spirit of gratitude, we discover the happiness that is centered in the Spirit of God. The workers in today’s Gospel feel cheated by the vineyard owner’s generosity – their resentment at their coworkers’ good fortune diminishes them and clouds any satisfaction in being able to provide for their families. Jesus calls us to a change in perspective: to look beyond what we do not have and realize and rejoice in all that we have been given, including the love of family and friends, good health, opportunities to learn and grow, the freedom and resources to live lives of fulfillment and meaning.   

                Today’s Gospel does not square with the “deal” we believe we have with God. God’s generosity strikes us as “unfair.” We begrudge God’s “extravagant,” almost irresponsible mercy. But the parable of the generous vineyard owner exposes our tendency to evaluate everything in terms of dollars and cents, about getting the best deal possible – for me. But notice what’s missing in the attitude of the workers in Jesus’ story: grace. While we’re pursuing fairness, God bestows grace in the form of generosity and understanding and second chances to the point of, in our estimation, foolish extravagance. Discipleship is to trust in the goodness of God despite our judgement of what is “fair” and “just.” When we trust in the mercy of God it enables us to appreciate all that we have received at God’s hand, compelling us to experience the joy of sharing all that we have been given with those who have not realized such blessings in their lives.   

                Caring about one another, seeking what is good and right for someone else regardless of the cost and impact on us is the heart of the Gospel.  The parable of the generous landowner challenges us to recognize that this is how God deals with us and how he calls us to treat others in imitation of him.   

                Remember Jesus did not side with the crowd ready to stone the woman caught in adultery, he didn’t present the prodigal son’s self-righteous older brother as someone to emulate.  Jesus’ greatest anger in the Gospel was reserved for those who were convinced that God saw things exactly as they saw them.   

                When the laborers in today’s gospel who had been hired first observed the others receiving a full day’s wage, they quite naturally assumed they would receive even more.  When they did not, they complained against the owner.  The landowner returned to the language of justice; “My friend I do you no injustice.”  The parable indicates that God’s justice is not one of strict measure.  It is a gracious justice that offers a place to those considered unworthy of reward.   

                Particularly telling is the nature of the laborer’s complaint, “You have put them on the same basis as us.”  They are not complaining of the way they themselves were treated.  They are complaining that they have not been given what they see as just in comparison to others.  Their sense of personal worth is based upon seeing themselves in contrast to others.  The last question posed to them underscores this problem.  It reads literally, “Is your eye evil because I am good?”  In other words, is your vision clouded by your way of viewing your worth?  They cannot rejoice in the owner’s generosity, because in comparative thinking, it seems to rob them of something.  Jesus calls us to abandon any idea that we are called and blessed because we are the better than others or because we earned it.   

                Frankly, God’s sense of generosity, love and forgiveness strikes us with an extravagance that offends our own sense of fairness.  But if we trust in God’s goodness, we will come to the realization just how generous God has been to us and it is up to us to share our treasures with those who have not realized such blessing in their lives.   

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.  

Extra 

A few years ago, writer and poet Mark Nepo was being treated for cancer. In an essay in “Spirituality & Health Magazine” [May/June 2017], he recalls a transforming moment during that time: 

“I was driving north of Monterey on California Highway 1 … I was aching and vulnerable, feeling far from home, when, through the harsh onshore wind, I saw a large rock surrounded by the rough, churned-up sea. The rock was covered with all kinds of animals: willets, gulls, cormorants, sea lions, seals, pelicans, otters. All had found refuge from the hammering of the sea: climbing, winging, hauling themselves onto the rock; leaning into each other, lying on each other; finding this rock-oasis of wind and sun; too tired once on the rock to fight or be territorial; each having been wrung out by the pounding of the wet hours.   

“I realized this is how we make our way, how we find each other. Every survivor, regardless of what they survive, knows the hammering of the sea, and the rock we find refuge on is an exposed place where we finally accept each other, too tired from swimming to think any longer about territories, too tired to talk except through simple touch. 

“The wellness group I attended weekly during my cancer journey was such a rock. The meeting rooms of recovery are such a rock. The thousand quiet rooms of therapy are such a rock. …  For those of us who have been tossed out of the storm, who have hauled themselves into the sun, exhausted beside us is family. The hard gift of any storm is that when we’re too exhausted to uphold our differences, there’s room enough for everyone. When I can accept what we have in common over what sets us apart, somehow my deepest self is mysteriously affirmed and I begin to heal. …   

“We fear the worst we have to offer, when the best is close at hand.”   

The “rocks” of safety and healing we manage to scramble onto with the help of others contradict the limited perspective of “fairness” of the workers in today’s Gospel. Jesus calls us to embrace the vision of the generous vineyard owner: to be thankful for the ability to help others find safety during life’s storms; to rejoice in the good fortune of others without feeling used or cheated or demanding “Where’s mine?”; to be generous and compassionate in making room on our “rock” for those in need of protection. Such a vision frees us from what our yardsticks and actuary tables and market indices determine for us what is “fair,” enabling us to realize all that we have received and how much God has blessed us, and compelling us to experience the joy of sharing our treasure with those who have not realized such blessings in their lives. 

Parish Daily Update 9/18/20

Dear Parish Family,

“Hope and fear cannot occupy the same place.  Invite one to stay.”      ~Maya Angelou

8:00 and 10:00 Masses for this weekend are full.  If you made reservations, please arrive at least 15 minutes early.  As Masses are becoming consistently full, it is very important that you arrive at Mass on time – the doors are locked when Mass begins and we don’t want anyone to miss because they are late!

Religious Education news:   (Again, this is a re-post just in case some haven’t seen it.)  During these times of pandemic, our diocesan protocols, and our respect for our families and all they are experiencing right now, our team has been meeting and developing our approach to religious education for this year.  It will look different – and we will keep you informed along the way.  For right now:

As we boldly advance into the unknown, registration for Faith Formation (religious education) for our children of St. Joseph Gluckstadt is now open.  In order to form a true Faith Formation Community at St. Joseph, which represents ALL of our families, we encourage ALL of our school age children – public, private and parochial – to join. Our team is currently working to safely implement an authentic faith education program for our kids, and more details will be rolled out to you once we know how many families will be participating in this exciting and hopeful ministry. Please use the following link to register your family.  https://forms.gle/cDcpYM8gW8sCrSLc8. Someone from the team will contact you soon to let you know what next steps will be.

Please register as soon as possible so that we can make our final plans and gather the necessary materials we will need.  This is going to be an exciting year!!

God bless,

Pam

Saturday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading:  1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49

Brothers and sisters:
Someone may say, “How are the dead raised?  With what kind of body will they come back? “You fool! What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one. So, too, it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being,” the last Adam a life-giving spirit. But the spiritual was not first;
rather the natural and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 56: 10-12, 13-14

R. I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.
Now I know that God is with me.
In God, in whose promise I glory,
in God I trust without fear;
what can flesh do against me?
R. I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.
I am bound, O God, by vows to you;
your thank offerings I will fulfill.
For you have rescued me from death,
my feet, too, from stumbling;
that I may walk before God in the light of the living.
R. I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.

Gospel:  Luke 8:4-15

When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable.  “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.” After saying this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. He answered,
“Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand. “This is the meaning of the parable.  The seed is the word of God. Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved. Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”
 

Homily

What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies.   1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49

“A sower went out to sow his seed….”  Luke 8 4-15

It’s been said more than once during these past eight months that life will not be the same once this pandemic is behind us.

That’s a terrifying thought.

It shouldn’t be.

Whatever the new normal will be, maybe we’ll be a little more conscious of the world around us. Maybe we won’t take our health and environment for granted. Maybe we’ll be a little more grateful for being able to work and go to school. And maybe – best of all – we’ll appreciate one another and their presence in our lives.

No, life will not be the same. Maybe it will be more fulfilling, more forgiving, happier.

If it is, then these days are what Saint Paul calls in today’s first reading the means for the “seed” that is our life to “die” and become the “body that is to be” – that we “rise” to become the human family God created to be.

And what a blessed thing that would be.  

O God, nurture the seed of compassion, justice and peace that you have planted within us. May we realize that harvest in our lives, regardless of the smallness of our plants or the hard terrain of the seasons of our lives. May we find hope in the “rain” of your grace and wisdom and be rooted in the love and care of family and friends, ministers and counsellors, teachers and coaches.  

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. 

Parish Daily Update 9/17/20

Dear Parish Family,

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”    John 14:27

Remember to arrive at Mass about 15 minutes ahead of time so the ushers have time to seat you.  We are required by diocesan protocols to have ushers seat everyone.  It is for this reason that we have to close and lock the church doors after Mass begins.  We don’t want anyone turned away because they are late!  Also, both the 8:00 and 10:00 Masses are full.  If you did not sign up, you can try for standby at the 12:00 Mass.

Religious Education news: (Again, this is a re-post just in case some haven’t seen it.)  During these times of pandemic, our diocesan protocols, and our respect for our families and all they are experiencing right now, our team has been meeting and developing our approach to religious education for this year.  It will look different – and we will keep you informed along the way.  For right now:

As we boldly advance into the unknown, registration for Faith Formation (religious education) for our children of St. Joseph Gluckstadt is now open.  In order to form a true Faith Formation Community at St. Joseph, which represents ALL of our families, we encourage ALL of our school age children – public, private and parochial – to join. Our team is currently working to safely implement an authentic faith education program for our kids, and more details will be rolled out to you once we know how many families will be participating in this exciting and hopeful ministry. Please use the following link to register your family.  https://forms.gle/cDcpYM8gW8sCrSLc8. Someone from the team will contact you soon to let you know what next steps will be.

Please register as soon as possible so that we can make our final plans and gather the necessary materials we will need.  This is going to be an exciting year!!

Mass readings for tomorrow, along with Father Kevin’s homily, follow.  I continue to be grateful to Father for putting together these daily homilies that inspire and feed us all!

God bless,

Pam

Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading:  1 Corinthians 15:12-20

Brothers and sisters:
If Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.
Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ,
whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.
Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all. But now Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 17:1, 6-7, 8, 15

R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit. 
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; 
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies,
O savior of those who flee 
from their foes to refuge at your right hand.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings,
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Gospel:  Luke 8:1-3

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.

Homily

Accompanying [Jesus] were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Johanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.   Luke 8:1-3

Today’s short reading from Luke’s Gospel is remarkable. Not only does Luke write that women accompanied Jesus on his travels preaching and healing (a fact that many of Jesus’ time would find scandalous), but Luke actually names them. In a culture in which women counted for little, Luke gives them an identity – and a story.

Mary, from the small town of Magdala in Galilee, was cured by Jesus of “seven demons.” Her life must have been horrible until her healing.

Joanna is the wife of Chuza, the manager of the estate of King Herod – Herod the despot who killed John the Baptist and would conspire in the execution of Jesus. We can only imagine the story behind the wife of Herod’s steward being part of Jesus’ inner circle.

Nothing is known of Susanna, the third woman named by Luke, except that she, like the others, “provided for Jesus from their resources.”

In Luke’s Easter narrative, these “women of Galilee” watch where Jesus is buried and prepare spices to complete his burial. They will be the first to hear the angel’s extraordinary news that God has raised up their beloved friend from the grave.

These three women give what they have and do what they can to support the ministry of Jesus. Luke invites us to see ourselves in them: to do what we can, to give what we are able, to tell our own story of meeting Jesus on our own journeys through this time and place of ours.

Lord Jesus, as you welcomed all into your company, may we make places in our lives for the poor, the marginalized, the isolated, the forgotten. Change our hearts and attitudes so that, like Mary, Joanna and Susanna, we may help bring your kingdom of justice and mercy to life in our own towns and villages. Help us to see others through your eyes, realizing the good they possess and welcome what they give to us and others for the sake of your Father’s kingdom. 

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. 

Parish Daily Update 9/15/20

Dear Parish Family,

The Memorare – A Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it know that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession, was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother.  To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your clemency, hear and answer me.  Amen. 

Call the office before Thursday at 4:00 to make reservation for Mass this coming Sunday!

Religious Education news:   (I posted this yesterday, but will post again over the next few days so that everyone gets the opportunity to see it!)  During these times of pandemic, our diocesan protocols, and our respect for our families and all they are experiencing right now, our team has been meeting and developing our approach to religious education for this year.  It will look different – and we will keep you informed along the way.  For right now:

As we boldly advance into the unknown, registration for Faith Formation (religious education) for our children of St. Joseph Gluckstadt is now open.  In order to form a true Faith Formation Community at St. Joseph, which represents ALL of our families, we encourage ALL of our school age children – public, private and parochial – to join. Our team is currently working to safely implement an authentic faith education program for our kids, and more details will be rolled out to you once we know how many families will be participating in this exciting and hopeful ministry. Please use the following link to register your family.  https://forms.gle/cDcpYM8gW8sCrSLc8. Someone from the team will contact you soon to let you know what next steps will be.

Please register as soon as possible so that we can make our final plans and gather the necessary materials we will need.  This is going to be an exciting year!!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me – 601-573-2053.

God bless,

Pam

Wednesday 24th Week Ordinary

Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

First Reading:  1 Corinthian 12:31-13:13

Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three;but the greatest of these is love.

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 33:2-3 ,4-5, 12, 22

R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Gospel:  Luke 7:31-25

Jesus said to the crowds:
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Homily

If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.  1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:13

Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz, was an eloquent witness for the six million Jews slaughtered in World War II. In his writings and teaching, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate seared the memory of the Holocaust on the world’s conscience.

In a 1986 interview, Wiesel said:

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. To be in the window and watch people being sent to concentration camps or being attacked in the street and do nothing, that’s being dead.”

The Apostle Paul’s famous description of love – today’s first reading – mirrors Elie Wiesel’s admonition. Love cannot be passive; love cannot be something we merely sense but must be felt in the core of our soul. To love authentically and completely – as God loves – demands that we empty ourselves of our self-centeredness, our sense of privilege and entitlement, our fear of criticism and ridicule, our desperate need to be in control. Love requires a patience, a kindness, a generosity of heart and spirit that we may think is beyond us.

In Christ, we see love personified. May we shake off the indifference and distractions that impede us from giving and receiving love that is of God.  Love that Jesus taught us to live.

O God, help us in our struggle to love one another as you have loved us: without condition or hesitation, without guile or ulterior motive, but with completeness and constancy. Help us in our struggle to mirror the example of Jesus, the human face of your love for all of us.

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. 

Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

Today the Church commemorates two friends in the service of Christ and his Church. Cornelius, a Roman, was the twenty-first Pope during the reign of the Emperor Gallus and Volusian. He had to oppose Novatian, the first anti-pope, who believed that apostates who repented could not be forgiven. Helped by St. Cyprian, Cornelius confirmed his papal authority. He was beheaded in exile at Civitavecchia, Italy in 253. Saints Cyprian and Cornelius are mentioned in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I) of the Mass.

St. Cornelius
Pope Cornelius (251-253) was the successor to Pope Fabian. During his reign a controversy arose concerning the manner of reinstating those who had fallen from the faith under the duress of persecution. The Novatians accused the Pope of too great indulgence and separated themselves from the Church. With the help of St. Lucina, Cornelius transferred the remains of the princes of the apostles to places of greater honor. On account of his successful preaching the pagans banished him to Centumcellae, where he died. St. Cyprian sent him a letter of condolence. At the time of Pope Cornelius there were at Rome forty-six priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, fifty-two clerics and more than five hundred widows who were supported by the Church (according to Cornelius’ letter to Bishop Fabian of Antioch).

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: against ear ache; against epilepsy; fever; cattle; domestic animals.

Symbols: horn and triple papal cross; cows or oxen; font; tall cross; sword; also papal symbols of tiara, church and/or triple cross; martyr’s crown; palm frond (for martytr); papal tiara.

St. Cyprian
Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus, illustrious as a pagan rhetorician in Carthage, embraced the true faith in the year 246 and was soon thereafter consecrated priest and bishop of that city (248). He was an energetic shepherd of souls and a prolific writer. He defended the unity of the Church against schismatic movements in Africa and Italy, and greatly influenced the shaping of Church discipline relative to reinstating Christians who had apostatized. He fled during the Decian persecution but guided the Church by means of letters. During the Valerian persecution (258) he was beheaded. He suffered martyrdom in the presence of his flock, after giving the executioner twenty-five pieces of gold. St. Jerome says of him: “It is superfluous to speak of his greatness, for his works are more luminous than the sun.” Cyprian ranks as an important Church Father, one whose writings are universally respected and often read in the Divine Office. His principal works are: On the Unity of the Church; On Apostates; a collection of Letters; The Lord’s Prayer; On the Value of Patience.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Algeria; North Africa.

Symbols: twenty gold coins; crown; axe; palm frond (for martytr); martyr’s crown; bishop’s mitre.

Parish Daily Update 9/14/20

Dear Parish Family,

Prayer to the Holy Cross

The Cross is my sure salvation.

The Cross I ever adore.

The Cross of my Lord is with me.

The Cross is my refuge.

                ~St. Thomas Aquinas

Religious Education news:   During these times of pandemic, our diocesan protocols, and our respect for our families and all they are experiencing right now, our team has been meeting and developing our approach to religious education for this year.  It will look different – and we will keep you informed along the way.  For right now:

As we boldly advance into the unknown, registration for Faith Formation (religious education) for our children of St. Joseph Gluckstadt is now open.  In order to form a true Faith Formation Community at St. Joseph, which represents ALL of our families, we encourage ALL of our school age children – public, private and parochial – to join. Our team is currently working to safely implement an authentic faith education program for our kids, and more details will be rolled out to you once we know how many families will be participating in this exciting and hopeful ministry. Please use the following link to register your family.  https://forms.gle/cDcpYM8gW8sCrSLc8. Someone from the team will contact you soon to let you know what next steps will be.

Please register as soon as possible so that we can make our final plans and gather the necessary materials we will need.  This is going to be an exciting year!!

Business:   Offertory for the week of 8/30/20:

General                                                $9,478.00

Building                                                $515.00

Extension Society                             $100.00

Our Daily Bread                                $5.00

The methods for contribution we have available 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. 

The on-line link has the option of donating to the various “second collections” as they come up.  There is a special collection on 9/27 for hurricane relief for those of you who would like to support that cause.

God bless you all!

Pam

Tuesday 24th Week Ordinary

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

First Reading:  1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31

Brothers and sisters:
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many. Now you are Christ’s Body, and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the Church to be, first, Apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers;
then, mighty deeds; then gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues.
Are all Apostles?  Are all prophets?  Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds?  Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues?  Do all interpret? Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 10:1-2, 3, 4, 5

R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
For he is good, the LORD, 
whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations. 
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.

Gospel:  John 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Or Luke 2:33-35

Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Homily

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”

John 19:25-27

As we read in John’s Gospel today, just before he dies, Jesus entrusts the care of his mother to his good friend, the only one of the Twelve to accompany him all the way to Calvary. And then, he entrusts his friend to the love of his mother – the love that embraced Jesus all his life. It’s one of the most touching moments in the Gospels.

But the moment is much more than a dying son providing for his widowed mother.

It’s a mandate for the Church that is born of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection: Jesus – The Crucified One – entrusts all his beloved sisters and brothers to the care of one another. He entrusts to us the poor, the sick, the vulnerable, the despairing, the lost. To follow Jesus is to take one another into our care; to follow Jesus is to honor the dignity of every human being as a child of God; to follow Jesus is to help one another bear our crosses in the peace and hope of God.

From Mary’s sorrow, God re-creates our world.  From the offering of her Son, resurrection becomes possible. At the foot of the cross with Mary and the beloved disciple, we begin to take on the work of reconciliation and compassion of Jesus.

Lord Jesus, help us to realize your call to be a people of your compassion and love, a family of forgiveness and welcome, a church of reconciliation and justice. Inspired by the courageous and faithful example of Mary, may we become parent and child, brother and sister to one another so that we may share, as one family of humankind, the eternal life of your Resurrection. 

 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. 

The Story of Our Lady of Sorrows

For a while there were two feasts in honor of the Sorrowful Mother: one going back to the 15th century, the other to the 17th century. For a while both were celebrated by the universal Church: one on the Friday before Palm Sunday, the other in September.

The principal biblical references to Mary’s sorrows are in Luke 2:35 and John 19:26-27. The Lucan passage is Simeon’s prediction about a sword piercing Mary’s soul; the Johannine passage relates Jesus’ words from the cross to Mary and to the beloved disciple.

Many early Church writers interpret the sword as Mary’s sorrows, especially as she saw Jesus die on the cross. Thus, the two passages are brought together as prediction and fulfillment.

Saint Ambrose in particular sees Mary as a sorrowful yet powerful figure at the cross. Mary stood fearlessly at the cross while others fled. Mary looked on her Son’s wounds with pity, but saw in them the salvation of the world. As Jesus hung on the cross, Mary did not fear to be killed, but offered herself to her persecutors.

Parish Daily Update 9/13/20

Dear Parish Family,

“God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:  Peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the earth.  Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred.”      -Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

A link to today’s Mass can be found here:   https://youtu.be/DKVEGhJ_W0k

Call the office – 601-856-2054 – Monday through Thursday, 8:30 – 4:00 – to make reservations for Masses next Sunday.

Tomorrow’s Mass readings, along with Father Kevin’s homily, follow.

God bless,

Pam

Monday 24th Week September 14th

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

First Reading:  Numbers 21:4-9

With their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!” In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died. Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent  looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.    

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 78:1-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38

R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
I will utter mysteries from of old.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
While he slew them they sought him
and inquired after God again,
Remembering that God was their rock
and the Most High God, their redeemer.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But they flattered him with their mouths
and lied to him with their tongues,
Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
nor were they faithful to his covenant.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
and destroyed them not;
Often he turned back his anger
and let none of his wrath be roused.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Second Reading:  Philippians 26:6-11

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel:  John 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 

Homily

“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” John 3:13-17

The bullies were picking on Tim. They would pull off his glasses and throw them into the water fountain and toss his books and papers on the floor, laughing at Tim as they go off in search of their next victim. A classmate of Tim’s stops and helps him gather up scattered books, while another rescues his glasses from the fountain. In their compassion for their classmate, Christ is lifted up.

The baby is having a bad night, so that means Mom and Dad are having a bad night. It’s Dad’s turn at 3 a.m. He goes into the baby’s room and gently lifts his daughter up and walks with her until she falls back asleep. In a parent’s long vigil with a sick child, Christ is lifted up.

They see beyond the empty rhetoric. They know what their neighbors of color are going through – that volatile combination of fear and rage.  So, they put aside their own safety and risk the censure of the “established” families in the area to pick up signs and march with their black and Latino neighbors. In lending their voices – and feet – to the cause of justice, Christ is lifted up.

Today’s readings for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross recall Moses’ lifting up of the image of the serpent on a pole to save the Israelites bitten by a rash of poisonous snakes that had attacked their camp, and Jesus’ being lifted up on the cross to redeem all of humankind from sin and death. We, too, are called to “lift up” and be “lifted up” by the grace of God, enabling us to heal and be healed, to forgive and be forgiven, to raise up and be raised up to the compassion and peace God’s Risen Christ. 

Lift us up, O God, from the darkness of sin to the light of your peace, from the tombs in which we bury ourselves to the life of your love. As you lift us up, may we, with grateful joy and generous humility, lift up our brothers and sisters from their pain, their brokenness, their isolation and grief.

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. 

The Story of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Early in the fourth century, Saint Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ’s life. She razed the second-century Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior’s tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on that spot. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.

The cross immediately became an object of veneration. At a Good Friday celebration in Jerusalem toward the end of the fourth century, according to an eyewitness, the wood was taken out of its silver container and placed on a table together with the inscription Pilate ordered placed above Jesus’ head: Then “all the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross and the inscription, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and, after kissing the cross, they move on.”

To this day, the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox alike, celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the September anniversary of the basilica’s dedication. The feast entered the Western calendar in the seventh century after Emperor Heraclius recovered the cross from the Persians, who had carried it off in 614, 15 years earlier. According to the story, the emperor intended to carry the cross back into Jerusalem himself, but was unable to move forward until he took off his imperial garb and became a barefoot pilgrim.

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