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2nd Sunday of Lent Year B
When I feel down, I sometimes watch the famous “Double Rainbow” video on YouTube to feel better. It’s hilarious. A young man camping in Yosemite Park sees two rainbows stretching across the sky. He bursts into a kind of ecstasy. “Double rainbow, all the way! Oh my God!” he announces. Then he starts to weep. He cries out, “What does it mean?” Beneath the humor of his glorious overreaction is the deep intuition we all have, I think, when we see the colorful bow in the sky. This Sunday, God sends a rainbow to Noah, and to us. What does it mean? Long before YouTube had the double rainbow, Dante’s medieval poem The Divine Comedy featured one in his image of paradise. Seeing two rainbows, he muses that one is born of the other. The bow is God’s promise of peace. For Dante, it’s even more: nature’s encrypted image of the Trinitarian God. One visible rainbow (God the Son) is begotten of another usually invisible one (God the Father) united by invisible light between them (God the Spirit). Like invisible light, Trinitarian glory surrounds us in every moment — but Jesus has made it visible in His glorious body. Lenten challenge: This might seem silly, but this Lent I invite you to find a rainbow and meditate on it. You might have to make one yourself, like this current desert-dweller will. Gaze on it. See there a natural gift from the Creator, saying to you, “Here I am! I will love and protect you, surrounding you in My glory.” This Lent let’s embrace that with confidence, rain, or shine. — Father John Muir

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Below is an article I wrote in 2017, however with Lent underway I thought it would be a good time to reprint it:
I had stated that it is a mortal sin to miss mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. This is the teaching of the Church and it is the truth. Some have wondered why I push this point so hard along with the need for confession. Some think that I push mass attendance for the purposes of the collection and some think I push for confession for I get lonely in the confessional. As much as I have joked in the past about being lonely in the confessional, this is not why I push for people to go to confession for the truth of the matter is I pray and read when I am alone in there and I enjoy both activities. As to pushing mass attendance it has nothing to do with the collection. Yes, the church needs the funds to keep functioning for we need to be able to pay our bills such as heat and electricity which we could not do if people did not give to the collection which I appreciate your generosity. You see it does not have any impact on me if you do not do either of the above for as noted I get a lot of reading done if I am alone in the confessional and it is one of my favorite past times. As to mass I would miss having people in the pews but I am able and have on occasion said a mass by myself. However, the reason I push for both all the time is out of love, it is out of love for all of you. As noted it is a mortal sin if you miss mass and sins can only be forgiven in confession. If one dies with a mortal sin on one’s soul that one does not get to go to heaven but rather ends up in hell. This is what I do not want to happen to any of you for I love you and would miss seeing you in heaven.
God Bless you and have a wonderful week, Fr. Michael

2024 LENTEN REGULATIONS

The days of both Fast and Abstinence during Lent are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil as the “paschal fast” to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily His Resurrections. The other Fridays of Lent are days of Abstinence. On a day of Fast, only one full meal is permitted and two smaller meals, which, if added together, would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Those between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast. On a day of Abstinence, no meat may be eaten. Those who have reached the age of 14 are obliged to abstain. The obligation to observe the laws of Fast and Abstinence “substantially” or as a whole is a serious obligation. The Fridays of the year, outside of Lent, are designated as days of penance, but each individual may substitute for the traditional abstinence from meat some other practice of voluntary self-denial as penance. The time for fulfilling the Paschal Precept (Easter Duty*) extends from the First Sunday of Lent, February 18 to The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, May 26, 2024.

*All the faithful, after they have been initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, are bound by the obligation of receiving Communion at least once a year.


2024 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal
The 2024 Annual Appeal is underway. We have $4,877.00 pledged towards our assigned parish goal of $13,435. Thank you to those who have already pledged. We surpassed our goal last year and received a rebate of a little over $1,400. We also received a reduction of $2,831 in the Annual Assessment we have to pay the Archdiocese. If you have not yet made a gift, there are envelopes in the pews and in the back of church that you can fill out and put in our weekly collection or you can visit www.rcan.org/sharing. If you make a pledge directly to the Archdiocese, please let Sue know in the office so we can be sure our account is properly credited. You can drop a note in the collection, call the rectory or send us an email. Your gift will truly make a difference. Thank you for your prayers and support.


SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
“’Here I am!’ he answered.”
It is easy to say “Here I am, Lord,” when we are kneeling in church. But how easy is it to say “Here I am, Lord,” when a neighbor needs our help, or when we are invited to join a parish ministry, or when we are asked to provide financial support? Often times we are called when it’s not convenient for us. Discipleship is not easy, most of the time it will make us uncomfortable and vulnerable.

PRAYER REQUESTS

That God will relieve their suffering and restore them to health. Please pray for Please pray for: Kellie Salata, Kelly Chinchar, Jessica, Daniel Breslin, Stanley, Helen Traina, Joseph Marrone, Bill Marshall, Anthony, Michael, Joseph, Jessica Esopo, William, Steve, Audra, Bernadette, James Weiss, Baby Ford, Rosemary Malangone, Elizabeth Malangone, Sue West, Danny, Colleen Emery, Richard, Joan Russo, Christina Martin, Mornia Evans, Valerie Valverde, Diana McGuckin, Pat Peterson, Manny Scarangella.

The gift of Bread & Wine for the first two weeks of February has been given in memory of Leonard Sebastian Falato by his family. The second two weeks have been given in memory of Carmela & John Uzzalino by Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Roman.
The Sanctuary Lamp for the month of February has been given in memory of John Jashembowski by Linda J. Sylvestri.
Please consider sponsoring our 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.
To all our Lectors and Catechists or Religious Education Teachers, thank you very much. God bless you all!
Thanks to Rose and Lenny Sunga for the orchids and to the Sanzari Family for the altar flowers and to all who help and support our church.
Catholic Charities received $984 as a result of our generosity to our Donation Bin behind the Church from 6/1/23 to 11/30/23. These funds combined with monies from other parishes enabled Catholic Charities to show the compassion of Christ through 94,019 mental health services provided to 3,665 people. Thank you for enabling them to bring Christ’s love to the most vulnerable in our society. Please remember – do not leave anything outside the bin. If the bin is full, please come back in a week or so after the bin has been emptied.

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 need to purchase a new Easter candle each year (the tall candle on the altar) for $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 intentions. If you wish to honor someone in any of these ways, please call the rectory.


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.

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.

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.

***CALENDAR IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE***