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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In my parents’ bedroom there were on the wall two photos of my mom and dad from their early adulthoods. The photo of my mother entranced me when I was a boy. I loved looking at it, even though I saw her in daily life. Something about that picture captured her perfectly. It was an image of the joy, wisdom, beauty, and strength that enveloped me from the start of my life. It was an icon of the woman who fed, taught, and encouraged me. I felt a deep pride that I came from such beauty. The beatitudes of Jesus are a kind of self-portrait. But it is a strange picture. At first, the blessings of being poor, mourning, and hungering and thirsting for righteousness may seem bizarre or, worse, a religious delusion. Who wants to look like that? But if we look again, we begin to see the characteristics of Jesus’ form. He becomes poor and fills it with His riches for us, He weeps and mourns for us, and fills it with His joy, He hungers and thirsts for us to be righteous, and so satisfies us. And so on. It’s the way He appears on the cross. Perhaps we should put on our bedroom room walls the words of the beatitudes next to a crucifix of the Lord Jesus. Then we can do what the beatitudes are designed for, to gaze at the joy, wisdom, beauty, and strength of the one who is our origin, and who is with us every day. And little by little, we’ll start to look like Him. — Father John Muir

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I have been having a lot of pain as of late, it started in my left hip and thigh. Eventually it also appeared in my right hip and thigh. It has made it difficult to walk and sleep at times. There was also one morning I woke up with my left arm in a lot of pain. At first, I just assumed it was related to my leg pain which I was told is arthritis. However, rather than taking chances since I know left arm pain can be a sign of a heart attack, I went to see a doctor immediately. I am glad to say that after the doctor ran some tests, he declared that I have a “beautiful heart”. The conclusion was that it was also most likely arthritis. I share this with you for I see two lessons to be taken from my experience: First, I think all of you or at least I hope all of you would go see a doctor if you were in my situation for even though I was sure it would be what it turned out to be, I thought better safe than sorry. This same thought should apply to confession! Even if you think you have no sins on your soul it is better to go to confession to be sure, for the priest can and will say the prayer of absolution over you even if you have not confessed any known sins in order to take away the ones unknown and please don’t be insulted but trust me you have sins even if you are unaware of it. Second, is the fact that sometimes in life we must deal with things unpleasant for God does not stop life which includes good and bad things from happening to us, but He will help us get through it. That is how I am looking at the pain I am dealing with from the arthritis for I could take the approach that God should take it away from me (especially since I am one of His priests), rather I am taking the approach that God will help me deal with it, live with it and even grow stronger in my faith from it as I offer up my suffering for the souls in purgatory.
God Bless you and have a wonderful week,
Fr. Michael

SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
The phrase “poor in spirit” can be confusing. Think of it in this sense – poor in spirit means depending on God’s providence and not depending on our own self-reliance. Being detached from earthly things (power, money, and comfort) and being attached to heavenly things (charity, sacrifice, and mercy). Denying ourselves from satisfying our desires and helping others obtain their basic needs.

The gift of Bread & Wine for the month of January has been given in memory of Walter Eckel by his wife, Maryann Eckel.
The gift of Altar Flowers for the 2nd two weeks of January has been given in prayers for Carmen Maria Colon by her daughter.
The Sanctuary Lamp for the 2nd two weeks of January has been given in prayers for Carmen Maria Colon by her daughter.
Please consider sponsoring for the Bread & Wine, Altar Flowers, and the oil for the Sanctuary Lamp.
We appreciate and are very thankful to all our parishioners and friends who continuously support our church. God bless us all.
Thanks to Rose and Lenny Sunga for the orchids and to all who decorate our altars with beautiful flowers.

Prayer for our Nation
God our Father, giver of life, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care. You are the rock on which this nation was founded. You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Reclaim this land for your glory and dwell among your people. Send your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation’s leaders. Open their minds to the great worth of human life and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom. Remind your people that true happiness is rooted in seeking and doing your will. Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, patroness of our land, grant us the courage to reject the “culture of death.” Lead us into a new millennium of life. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

We need Ushers for Sunday masses. Please see Fr. Michael or call the rectory if you can serve in this very important ministry.


Opportunities for Parish Support
There are several ways you can help support our parish and honor loved ones at the same time. As you may have noticed on the first Sunday of every month in our bulletin, we thank the donors of our Altar Gifts. You can donate the Bread & Wine, Altar Flowers or the Sanctuary Lamp in a two week block for $50 in someone’s memory. We have blocks open for this year. We also have to purchase a new Easter candle each year (the tall candle on the altar) at a cost of $300-$400 which can also be donated in someone’s memory. You do not have to fund the entire amount, anything you wish to donate towards the purchase of our Easter candle is appreciated. We also have masses available for your intention. If you wish to honor someone in any of these ways, please call the rectory.

PRAYER REQUESTS
That God will relieve their suffering and restore them to health. Please pray for: Kellie Salata, Kelly Chinchar, Jessica, Carol Mangino, Daniel Breslin, Stanley, Helen Traina, Joseph Marrone, Bill Marshall, Anthony, Michael, Joseph, Jessica Esopo, Theresa McPeak, William, Steve, Audra, Bernadette, James Weiss, Chrissy Martin, Anne Trainor, Don Trainor, Rosemary Malangone, Elizabeth Malangone, Billy, Baby Ford, Carly West, Fred Whiting, Danny, Colleen Emery, Richard, Marilyn Leonardi.

Praying the ROSARY
The Rosary is a meditation, a time to recall and think about the life of Jesus as seen and experienced by Mary. As the model of faith, Mary’s life sets a pattern that we strive to follow: saying ‘yes’ to God’s will in our lives and sharing His love and message with others. The Mysteries of the Rosary form a mini lesson of faith, using the highlights and significant moments of the life of Jesus. Like paging through a family scrapbook, we see in brief the events of salvation history that are the core of our belief and the hope of our eternal life.

Recycle Old Ink and Toner Cartridges
There is a receptacle on the table in the back of church for the small cartridges. Large ones can be left under the table. If you have a bunch, please call the rectory and we can arrange to meet you at the garage doors and we can put them in the garage instead of you lugging them into the church. We return them to Staples who gives us $2 per cartridge.

Please note that we have been having a problem with people leaving materials in the Church that go against Church teaching and in some cases even attacking the Catholic Faith. Please do not place books, flyers or items of any sort anywhere in the church without obtaining permission from the rectory office or Fr. Michael. Anything placed in the church without permission will be discarded. Thank you.

OUR ADVERTISERS OF THE WEEK

WE NEED BULLETIN ADVERTISERS!!
We would like to thank all the advertisers who have supported us throughout the past year. Our parish benefits greatly from the ads you see in the bulletin. The revenue pays for the printing which is an important means of communication for the parish. If we do not have enough advertisers, the cost of our bulletin goes up. We thank the local businesses that advertise with us especially in these tough economic times. We have some spaces on the back of our bulletin that need filling so if you would like to advertise your business as well as benefit your church, please contact John Patrick Publishing at 1-800-333-3166.

Please support our advertisers at the back cover of bulletin.


A NOTE ON PERISHABLE ITEMS

Please do not leave any perishable items in the church either for the monthly Food Drive nor at any other time. In the week after the Turkey Drive, we had two separate days where someone left a turkey in the church. By the time they were discovered, they had to be thrown out since we had no way to know if they were still safe to eat. Thank you.


Prayer for A Pandemic

It is the best way to ensure our parish receives the support needed for our operating expenses and ministries by eGiving through Parish Giving! We are excited to introduce “Enhanced Stewardship through Electronic Funds Transfer” for your weekly offertory. No more envelopes or last-minute check writing! Electronic giving is safe and easy for you and good stewardship for the parish. Please enroll today by visiting www.icchackensack.com. and click on the logo that is on top of the website. Increased enrollment with Parish Giving will help stabilize our parish finances. There are brochures in the pews or visit Parish Giving at www.parishgiving.org