20TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – Aug. 17, 2019
The Prince of Peace wants to set the world on fire? This Sunday’s Gospel can sound more intense than what we may be accustomed to. It’s a passage of contradictions. Jesus so clearly prays for unity, yet here He speaks of division. Why would our God who comes as an offering of love speak so frankly about causing relationships to be torn apart? The sobering truth is that Jesus is divisive. We see this throughout the Gospels, as the Pharisees critique Him, the Romans condemn Him, and not everyone in the crowd is enthusiastic about His words. Jesus has not come for the purpose of dividing, but what He does is so radical that it upends the status quo. And it doesn’t end with His preaching and miracles! “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized.” Jesus isn’t talking about His baptism at the Jordan River, which has already occurred, but the passing through the waters of death on the Cross and rising again to new life in the resurrection. This is divisive stuff! Christ’s spiritual fire turned the “fathers” – the Jewish people and Pharisees – against the “sons” – the common people. Not everyone wants the Gospel Jesus is preaching. Not everyone wants to be set on fire with the desire to love others. Some prefer to put on a warm sweater and curl up in front of the TV. In living and loving as Jesus did, we, too, might ruffle some feathers. In disciplining our teenage child for sneaking out, we may cause some division (temporarily, we hope!). In standing up to gossip and the spread of cruel rumors in our workplace, we might cause division. In emphasizing the dignity of both the desperate mother and the unborn child, we might cause division. Not everyone wants the Gospel Jesus is preaching. Not everyone wants the Gospel we are invited to live. But that’s no excuse not to live it.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, below is Fr. Brian’s vocation story,
When Father Michael asked me to share my vocation story, I eagerly agreed, but I have enough colorful and treasured memories to fill a book, let alone a bulletin, so I’d like to offer one brief story that highlights two important points about how vocations can come about. After I was ordained, one of my childhood friends asked me if I would preside at her wedding. I agreed, of course, and she, her husband-to-be, and I met a number of times for marriage preparation. After each meeting we would go for dinner. At one of these dinners, my friend reminded me of a story from elementary school. She recalled that I had told her, “I’m going to be a priest when I grow up.” She remembered thinking two things, “Why are you telling me this?” and, “But we’re only seven years old!” This episode highlights two things. First, children have vivid inner lives. Adults often forget about children’s inner lives, and, even if they do remember, adults often do not take the inner lives of children seriously. Nevertheless, as my remark showed, even young children can have keen insight into their prospective futures. Indeed, it’s significant that my friend and I had this conversation at the age of seven, the age of reason, the age at which children have matured enough to know the difference between right and wrong (and hence are introduced to the Sacrament of Reconciliation whereby they can confess their sins and receive the Lord’s forgiveness through the priest’s prayer of absolution) and at which they are able to understand that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at Mass (and hence are introduced to the Sacrament of Holy Communion whereby they receive their Lord and Savior as He keeps his promise to be with us until the end of the age). Second, children are aware that what they think and feel could change over time. My friend’s reaction to my statement illustrates how children know that thoughts and feelings can change over time. These stories hold an important lesson for us as we seek to foster a culture of vocations. We should not be quick to dismiss young people, and even not-so-young people, when they talk about vocations, casually dismissing or discouraging them with flippant comments like, “It’s a phase,” “It’ll pass,” or, “They’ll outgrow it.” Likewise, we should give these people the space to explore whether they have a vocation to the Sacrament of Holy Orders or to life as a religious. In either case, we ought to support them in their discernment and decision with prayers, faith, hope, and charity.
God Bless you and have a wonderful week, Fr. Michael
SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
Do you think I have come to give you peace on Earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” Living a stewardship lifestyle means stepping out of our comfort zone when needed. Many of us like to play it safe, not cause waves, stay in the middle of the road. In today’s world we are called to be informed and take a stance for life, marriage and religious liberty.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK
That God will relieve their suffering and restore them to health. Please pray for: Kellie Salata, Kelly Chinchar, Jessica, Carol Mangino, Gloria, Daniel Breslin, Stanley, Bonnie, Helen Traina, Joseph Marrone, Bill Marshall, Anthony, Michael, Joseph, Christine Morrison, Jessica Esopo, Jack McShera, Theresa McPeak, Walter Eckel, Steve, Pat, Audra, Dan Marshall, Frank Bennick, Larry Purcell.
The gift of Bread & Wine for the first two weeks of July has been given in memory of Paul Stendardi by his Family.
eGiving through Parish Giving!
Thanks so much to those parishioners who have signed up for “Enhanced Stewardship through Electronic Funds Transfer” for their financial donations. You schedule your offerings – it can be weekly, monthly, quarterly – whatever is best for your financial situation. There are no more envelopes to remember or last-minute check writing! Electronic giving is safe and easy for you and gives our parish steady financial assistance. If you wish to enroll just visit www.icchackensack.com and click on the Parish Giving logo. There are brochures in the back of church or visit Parish Giving at www.parishgiving.org.
Sharing God’s Blessings Annual Appeal
Did you know there is still time to support the 2019 appeal? This year our parish goal is $12,179. Our pledges to date are $5,460. Thank you for any help you can provide. There are pledge envelopes in the back of church. If you choose to donate online, please visit www.rcan.org/sharing.
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. If you wish to honor someone in any of these ways, please call the rectory.
MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 2019
8:30 Kenneth McAvoy by Rose Mauro & Family
TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2019
8:30 Sylvia Brugger by Rosanna & Gary Brugger & Family
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2019
8:30 For the People of the Parish
ASSUMPTION OF MARY THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2019
8:30 Annv. John J. Falato by Josephine Falato
12Noon ArthurHolmes by Mr. & Mrs. James Anzevino
7:00PM Dominic & Teresa Colonnelli and Anna & Raniero D’Arpino by the Family
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2019
8:30 Maria Totaro by Nicola & Maria Totaro
SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2019
8:30 Annv. Joseph & Margaret Voorhis by Joseph Voorhis
5:00 pm Giuseppe Manieri & Lucia DiNardo & Michael Manieri by Nicola & Maria Totaro
SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 2019
8:00 Kenneth McAvoy by Grace & Bill Panagia & Family
10:00 Annv. Mario Romano by Nancy Romano & Family
12:00 Annv. Anthony Falato by the Family
MONDAY, AUGUST 19, 2019
8:30 Sylvia Brugger by Rosa & Mario Battaglia & Family
TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 2019
8:30 John Dalessio by the Family
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2019
8:30 Mary Maffetone by the Family
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
8:30 Maria & Dominico Rizzo by Mr. & Mrs. Antonio Brando
FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2019
8:30 John J. Falato by Josephine Falato
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2019
8:30 Annv. Gemma, Nicola, James & Michael Visci by the Family
5:00 pm Clara, Richard, Edward & Edward Jr. Kearney by Helen & Gregg Traina
SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2019
8:00 For the People of the Parish
10:00 Saverio Romano by the Family
12:00 Miühele Totaro by Nicola & Maria Totaro
It is the best way to ensure our parish receives the support needed for our operating expenses and ministries? 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
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