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Parish Weekly Update 10/20/21

Dear Parish Family,

“Let nothing disturb you. 

Let nothing make you afraid. 

All things are passing.  God alone never changes. 

Patience gains all things. 

If you have God, you will want for nothing.  God alone suffices.”

                ~St. Teresa of Avila

RED BEANS AND RICE DINNER:    This Sunday, October 24, beginning at 5:30 p.m., our Knights of Columbus and Ladies’ Auxiliary will be sponsoring their annual Red Beans and Rice dinner.  Plates will be $7 and will include Red Beans & Rice, bread and salad.  A hot dog and chips plate will be $3.  Desserts will be available for an additional donation.  Monies raised will go towards our parish Holiday Food Basket project.  Goodie bags for children will be provided by the Youth of our parish!

RCIA:  It’s not too late to join our RCIA inquiry classes!  If you would like to learn more about the Catholic Faith, our next class is THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24, at 9:15 a.m. in the church.  For questions or for further information, call the church office, 601-856-2054.  

ALL SAINTS DAY is Monday, November 1.  This year, because the Solemnity falls on a Monday, it is NOT a day of obligation.  However, we WILL celebrate Mass here at St. Joseph at 12:00 noon on that day.  Area churches will celebrate their usual daily Masses that day.  They are:  St. Francis – 7:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.; Sacred Heart – 8:00 a.m.

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

General Fund                     $15,396

               Building Fund                    $285

               Ed of Future Priests         $20

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

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

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

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

  church;

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

  send you the form to have that set up.

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

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

Thank you for your support of our parish!!

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

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

First Reading:  Jeremiah 31:7-9 

Thus says the LORD: Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations;
proclaim your praise and say: The LORD has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, the mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng. They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble.
For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born. 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6 

R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy. 

Second Reading:  Hebrew 5:1-6 

Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him:
You are my son: this day I have begotten you;
just as he says in another place:
You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. 

Gospel:  Mark 10:46-52 

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”  Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. 

Homily  

Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.  

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me…”  Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Mark 10:46-52 

The poet and translator John Ciardi (CHAR-dee) wrote that “we are what we do with our attention.” In today’s reading from Mark’s Gospel, a blind man asks Jesus to see. Jesus responds not by mixing mud or touching the man’s eyes or looking to heaven in prayer; Jesus says, basically, Pay attention. Look with the eyes of the faith you already possess.  The man receives his sight — but Jesus also affirms the vision that Bartimaeus already possessed by faith: to realize God’s compassion in his midst, to see the possibilities for transforming hope and re-creating love to heal the brokenness in his life, to comprehend God’s call to be the means for justice and reconciliation for others.  

Mark gives a lot of attention to this blind man; he tells us his name and he focuses on his cloak.  Did you ever wonder why?  There are many others who are cured that we don’t know their names nor the details like we have here.  Clearly Mark was telling us something important.  

Mark makes a point of explaining that Bartimaeus ‘threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.’  The cloak in Jesus’ day would have been heavy and thick and a very versatile and important piece to most people, especially beggars and poor people.  It would have been protection from the rapid and frequent temperature changes, insulation against the Judean winds, and at night a blanket. 

The cloak probably for Mark, certainly for many of the early Church fathers, would have been a symbol of self-sufficiency, a symbol of our tendency to think we are capable of solving problems on our own.  Things that we wrongly depend on for happiness, that we tend to idolize: good looks, intelligence, athletic ability, strength, money, good education, popularity and so on. 

Following Jesus means putting other things, even good and valuable things, aside or into second place and trusting that our relationship with God is the real source of fulfillment. 

Even before the blind man leaves his cloak behind, he shows that he has learned this lesson by his faith-filled persistence.  Everyone was discouraging him from putting his trust in God, but Bartimaeus refused to be silenced, and the heart of Jesus didn’t let him down. Then, when he hears Jesus’ call, he doesn’t hesitate to cast off his cloak and spring forward, teaching us all that our only sufficiency should be in God. 

Bartimaeus leaving behind his cloak in order to come closer to Jesus is a perfect illustration of one of the most difficult sayings of Jesus.  It’s a saying we find in the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 10:59), and it’s one that almost always makes us uncomfortable: 

“Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.” 

Bartimaeus was willing to “lose his life,” to leave behind his comfort and sense of self-sufficiency, in order to put himself entirely in Jesus’ hands. 

It reminds me of the story about the pig and the chicken: 

A chicken and a pig were walking down the street one day.  They noticed some poor children who looked as if they hadn’t eaten anything for days. Moved with deep compassion, the chicken said to the pig, “I have an idea! Let’s give those children a nice breakfast of ham and eggs.” 

The pig thought deeply for a few moments about the chicken’s suggestion. At last, the pig, moved with even deeper compassion, said: “Well, that’s a fine idea, but since it would take a little while for you to lay some eggs, why don’t I just serve them up some chicken burritos instead?” 

The chicken would have given something to a breakfast of ham and eggs, but it would have given itself totally to a breakfast of chicken burritos.  

Jesus needs followers who are willing to give themselves totally. 

Insofar as we trust him completely and follow him unconditionally, leaving all cloaks behind, we will be able to experience the full power of his transforming grace, as the blind beggar Bartimaeus did. 

As Jesus himself explained in the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse 3:15-16): 

“I know about your activities: how you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other, but since you are neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.” 

Leaving our cloaks behind is a risk, and it takes faith. One of the great ironies of this Gospel passage is that the one man who couldn’t see with his eyes was the only man able to see with his heart. All the other people in the crowd told him to be quiet and let Jesus pass by in peace. They didn’t think Jesus would want anything to do with a poor, blind beggar on the side of the road. But Jesus did want to have something to do with him. Jesus wants to have something to do with each one of us. He really is capable of bringing his warmth and light into the dark, cold places of our souls, just as he easily brought light to the eyes of Bartimaeus.  All we need is faith. “Your faith has saved you,” he told Bartimaeus. 

And he said that for our sake too, to point out where the path of interior renewal lies. 

It’s not through yoga, transcendental meditation, and aromatherapy; it’s through faith; it’s through trusting in the God who created us and who died on a cross to show us how much he loves us. 

We all have faith; otherwise, we wouldn’t be here today. And we all know that we need a stronger faith; otherwise, we wouldn’t be here today. How can we exercise our faith and make it grow, so God’s light can transform us more and more? We can do exactly what Bartimaeus did: pray. He begged the Lord from the bottom of his heart to have mercy on him. And when Jesus asked him what he wanted, he told him. Today, during this Mass, let’s do the same. Let’s open our hearts to God, and let his light stream right on in. 

When we are stuck in life, especially spiritually, struggling with our faults and failings and unsure how to get out of the rut we’re in, we too can ask the Lord for help.  He will help us see a way forward, but not just a few directions to get us down the road: he will help us see so that we can follow him to where we truly need to go.  Let’s follow him and also imitate him, not leaving anyone behind. 

Jesus opens our “eyes,” as well, enabling us to look at our lives and world with the eyes of faith: to realize the opportunities to bring life and light, healing and peace along our way to the dwelling place of God.  Jesus comes to us and restores our “sight” to see God’s sacred presence in our lives, to heal us of our blindness to the sins of selfishness and hatred we too easily rationalize away and see, instead, our world with a grateful eye.  

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 

Seeing “something new” 

A particular painting you see in a gallery or museum makes you stop. The scene moves you; the colors lift your spirits. The whole work makes you think, opens your heart and mind to things you had forgotten or yearn for. Maybe it leads you to a new resolve to restore or mend something broken in your life. You return to the gallery whenever you can to spend a few minutes with the painting — and every time you look at it, you see something new. 

During a hike through the woods or along a mountain trail, a morning jog along the beach, or an evening stroll through your neighborhood, you become aware of God’s handiwork in your midst. It may be a crystal-clear mountain stream, the magical flight of a falcon, a beautiful sunset that takes your breath away. In this moment, you feel a sense of humility — and gratitude that you are a small part of this wonder. This beautiful earth opens your eyes to all that has blessed your life. 

You never forget the moment you first hold your newborn or feed your child — or change the first of what will be a seemingly endless pile of diapers. You never imagined loving another human being like this child; with the birth of your daughter or son, the priorities and dreams of your life change dramatically. You’re scared to death — and you could not be happier. This child opens your eyes to a love you never dreamed capable of. 

Jesus says, basically, Pay attention. Look with the eyes of the faith you already possess.  The man receives his sight — but Jesus also affirms the vision that Bartimaeus already possessed by faith: to realize God’s compassion in his midst, to see the possibilities for transforming hope and re-creating love to heal the brokenness in his life, to comprehend God’s call to be the means for justice and reconciliation for others. Jesus opens our “eyes,” as well, enabling us to look at our lives and world with the eyes of faith: to realize the opportunities to bring life and light, healing and peace along our way to the dwelling place of God.  Christ comes to us restores our “sight” to see God’s sacred presence in our lives, to heal us of our blindness to the sins of selfishness and hatred we too easily rationalize away and see, instead, our world with a grateful eye.