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Parish Weekly Update 10/6/21

Dear Parish Family,

“While the world changes, the Cross stands firm.”    ~St. Bruno

“By your work, you show what you love…”    ~St. Bruno

CONFIRMATION CLASS for 11th grade teens is THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.  Important information will be presented to the candidates and all are required to attend! 

BUSINESS:  Offertory for the week of 10/3/21:

    General:                        $16,475

    Building:                         $750

    Our Daily Bread:           $340

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

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

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

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

  church;

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

  send you the form to have that set up.

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

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

We are thankful for your support of our wonderful parish!

RCIA:  If you know an unbaptized adult, an adult baptized into another faith tradition, or an adult baptized Catholic who has not received the Sacrament of Confirmation, who is interested in learning more about the Catholic Church, please let us know so that we can invite them to join our RCIA sessions!  RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and this the process by which a person is initiated into the Catholic Church.  Classes will begin October 17.  Call the church office, 601-856-2054, for more information. 

GERMANFEST WAS A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS!!!   A HUGE thank-you to everyone who helped with Germanfest preparations and who worked to make it happen!!  If you have not turned in your ticket money, please do that as soon as possible!!!  If you have receipts for reimbursement, we need those as well.  As soon as we have all income and expenses accounted for, we can give a report on profits for Germanfest 2021!

GERMANFEST TITHE:  St. Joseph tithes a minimum of 10% of Germanfest profits to local charities.  If you have a favorite local charity which you would like to be considered for a portion of those tithe monies, please write it down and give it to me or email me at pam@stjosephgluckstadt.com before Oct 17.  Our Pastoral and Finance Councils will consider your suggestions and disburse those contributions.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS SPONSORED “VIRTUAL” FINANCIAL SEMINAR:  FREE to ALL Parishioners!!!  Financial Success Under Any Circumstances is presented by Van Mueller on October 19, 7:00 p.m.  This one-hour seminar will help you clarify how to have financial and retirement success.   You must pre-register at http://tinyurl.com/KofC-FBN1019 or see the flyer on the bulletin board in the church and scan the QR code. 

Prayer in This Time of Pandemic

Let us pray,

Loving and faithful God, the coronavirus reminds us

That we have not power and we are dependent on you.

We place ourselves in your loving hands.

Please give eternal rest to all who have

Died from the virus

Please put your healing hand on those who are ill,

And give your protection to us in this time of fear and

Uncertainty.  Please, calm our fears and help us to

Trust you as our faithful God.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Our Lady of Prompt Succor,

Pray for us in this time of need.

~Archbishop Gregory Aymond

God bless,

Pam

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

First Reading:  Wisdom 7:7-11 

I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand,
and before her, silver is to be accounted mire. Beyond health and comeliness I loved her,
and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands. 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 90:12-13, 14-15, 16-17 

R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
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. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Make us glad, for the days when you afflicted us,
for the years when we saw evil.
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Let your work be seen by your servants
and your glory by their children;
and may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy! 

Second Reading:  Hebrews 4:12-13 

Brothers and sisters:
Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account. 

Gospel:  Mark 10:17-30 

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”   

Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother
.”  He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing.  Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!”  The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!  It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”  They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?”  

Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.  All things are possible for God.”   Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.”  Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”  

Homily 

[Jesus said to the rich young man:] “You are lacking one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. “…there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age…”  Mark 10:17-30 

Cristian Hinojosa [pronounced INN-a-hoza] came fast out of the gate. He graduated from college in 2000 and took a terrific job as an investment banker. 

And he made money. Lots of money. 

He was making a six-figure salary at the age of 21. He was traveling all over the world. His phone calls to major investors and CEOs of major corporations were always returned. He was living the dream. 

And he was miserable. 

He writes, “I remember having the thought, ‘All I’m doing is trying to make money for my clients, my bosses, and myself.’ And I said, ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore.'” 

Cristian stuck it out for five years, then decided to chuck it all for a different job – a very different job. 

“While I was actively employed as an investment banker, I submitted an application to the Dallas Fire Department, and a few months later, I got in.” 

Sixteen years later, Captain Christian Hinojosa lives in a two-bedroom rental, with his wife and two children – making a lot less than the seven-figure salary he would now be making in investment banking. 

Yeah, he left a lot of money on the table, but he says, “My quality of life went through the roof doing what I do.” 

Amherst College psychology professor Catherine Sanderson was Cristian’s undergraduate advisor. She fully supports her former student’s decision – because, she says, money can’t buy happiness. 

“There is the assumption always, that if I just had a little bit more, then I will reach happiness . . . Like hamsters on a wheel, we keep running after new stuff, never satisfied with what we just got. 

“When you talk to people who love their jobs, overwhelmingly what they say is not, ‘I love my paycheck,'” Professor Sanderson laughs. “What they say is, ‘I find my job meaningful.'”  [CBS Sunday Morning, July 29, 2018.] 

In today’s Gospel, Jesus urges us to embrace the wisdom and the courage to become “firefighters” – or whatever work we can take on that gives our life a sense of meaning and purpose. Captain Hinojosa has grasped the lesson that the rich young man in today’s Gospel can’t comprehend . . . yet. The question is not whether money is good or bad; the Gospel challenge is what we do with our wealth, our sense of responsibility for the many blessings God has given us, for the benefit of all. Wealth should enable us to live life to the full, but too often what we have can weigh us down, preventing us from moving on with our lives – the prosperity that should enable our journey becomes more important than the journey itself. While the rich young man is entombed by his possessions, Captain Hinojosa realizes that it is the good that we are able to do with our wealth that matters, that defines the meaning and purpose of our lives. We need to possess the spirit of compassion not to become possessed by our possessions and the vision of faith to distinguish between the things of our world and the things of God. 

The saddest sadness in life is the sadness of the man who turned away from Jesus’ loving look, because he had many possessions.  It is a bitter poverty of spirit to know that there are riches far richer than we have, and a life far better than the good life we have – and not be able to give up the good for the better. 

Right now, Jesus is looking at us with love.  Do we return the gaze and say yes or do we walk away with heavy hearts? 

Listen carefully to what Jesus says in today’s Gospel: Jesus doesn’t condemn wealth and possessions as evil – what is evil is when the pursuit of wealth and riches displaces God as the center of our lives, when material wealth becomes the focus of our existence, when what we own – owns us. Given the choice between the life of God and the life of materialism, the young man opts for the latter. We need to possess the faith to center our lives on the things of God, to embrace the “wisdom and prudence” (Reading 1) to realize that the things we have are not an end in themselves but the means for living lives of meaning and purpose and re-creating our world in the justice and peace of God. 

It is much the same for us. The way we live with God and the world, as the way we live with each other, then religion and politics are inseparable.  The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of people happen at the same time, and in the same place.  There is no separate utopia where dogs do not bite, bees do not sting, and people do not suffer.  The kingdom of God is among us, and all around us. To be the disciple of Jesus we need to reorder our priorities, restructure our days to realize what Jesus has taught us is most important. May we return to God the gifts he has given us in order to embrace eternity in the time 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.  

EXTRA 

In 2010, a 20-year-old schoolteacher in Afghanistan volunteered his services as an interpreter for a Marine unit led by Major Tom Schueman. The young teacher said he wanted to help ensure a Taliban-free Afghanistan. Major Schueman and his platoon took him on and began calling him “Zak.” 

Zak proved to be more than a translator. On several occasions he risked his life for the unit. Once, Zak overheard a Taliban fighter on his radio organizing an attack on the Marines as they plodded behind an engineer with a metal detector to detect land mines. Zak ran through the field and tackled the Taliban terrorist. Zak not only prevented the attack but also marked a clear path with his footprints for the Marines to safely advance. 

Zak spent three years working for the military. He was assured that he would receive a visa to come to the U.S. for his service. 

But that’s not how things worked out. Zak began the application process six years ago for a special visa designed for Afghans who assisted American forces, but his application got bogged down in red tape and lost records. 

With the Americans leaving, Zak was a marked man in Afghanistan. The Taliban tracked down Zak and his family and promised retribution. 

But Marines never forget their own. Back home in the United States, Major Schueman stayed in contact with Zak and promised, “I will keep working this for you every day and every night until we get this taken care of. I’ll never forget you, brother.” 

As the Taliban marched through the provinces in August taking control of the country, Schueman worked every contact he had to get Zak and his family out of Afghanistan. Seven thousand miles away, from his home in Rhode Island, Major Schueman helped Zak get his visa application together. He provided money for Zak to get his wife and four children – all under the age of five – from their village to the airport in Kabul (most of the money was for used for bribes at the various checkpoints along the way). Schueman wrote letters and made calls, soliciting help from members of Congress – Illinois Senator Dick Durbin personally brought Zak’s case to the attention of the Secretary of State.   

With the situation becoming more and more desperate, Schueman posted pleas on Facebook and other apps to U.S. military in Kabul begging for help. A U.S. Air Force officer offered to get Zak’s family on a plane if they made it to a specific gate. Schueman texted Zak with directions: “Put your kid with the blue shirt on your shoulders so they will see you,” he directed. 

And then the major waited. 

Schueman heard nothing for hours. Then his phone lit up – it was from Zak: a photo of Zak and his family on a military plane, with the two-word caption: Wheels up. 

Tom Schueman and his Marine buddies are now preparing to welcome Zak to the United States and help his family settle into a new life here. 

“He wasn’t just a translator, he was my brother, basically one of my Marines,” Tom Schueman says. “I have a lifelong commitment to the people I serve and lead.”  [MSNBC, ABC News, The New York Times. August 22, 2021] 

Many U.S. veterans are desperately trying to get Afghan civilians like Zak who helped their units get out of the country. Zak and his family were rescued, not by the “system,” but by the bravery and perseverance of Air Force and Marine troops who rallied to pull Zak’s family from outside the gate to safety. Our baptism into the life of Christ calls us to the same commitment to Christ-like service: to put everything we have and are at the service of our sisters and brothers in need. To be the disciple of Christ we seek to become the means of reordering our priorities, a restructuring of our days to realize Christ’s call to service. May we return to God the gifts he has given us in order to embrace eternity in the time to come.