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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Aug. 20, 2017

“O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” This woman was an outsider. She was a Canaanite, not an Israelite, and as such she would have been considered ritually unclean. But she approached Jesus nonetheless and asked for His help. And Jesus used this opportunity to teach His disciples an important lesson. In the verses directly before today’s passage, Jesus had told Peter that what defiles a person comes from the heart, not from ignoring external purity practices. Then, Jesus traveled with His disciples from Galilee to the region of Tyre and Sidon where they were much more likely to encounter someone considered to be unclean. At first it appeared that Jesus wasn’t going to acknowledge the woman who begged for help. His comment, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs,” was a common comparison between Jews (the children) and Canaanites (the dogs). But, in fact, Jesus said this only to go right ahead and break this social code! He showed by His actions that it did not matter whether someone was Jewish or not, what mattered was the faith in a person’s heart. And this woman proved to Jesus and the doubting disciples that she had great faith. How many others would have even approached Jesus to ask for His help? How many others would have persevered when He appeared unresponsive? By pausing in His response, and first mentioning the standard reply, Jesus gave this woman the opportunity to demonstrate her great faith. And then, He answered her request and praised her extraordinary faith. What a lesson for His prejudiced disciples! And what a lesson for us, both to persevere in faith, and never to judge others on mere appearances.
FROM THE RECTORY:
Very recently I had been having some health issues and had some medical tests done to find out what was causing my problems. It turns out that I have Barrett’s esophagus which means two things. First, I will be taking medication for the rest of my life. Second it means a lifestyle change. I have always been one that loved eating very spicy food. The hotter the better. I used to live by the motto that if it did not bring tears to my eyes it was not hot enough for me! When I went to Buffalo Wild Wings I would order the hottest sauce on the menu, I ate cherry peppers straight from the jar as a snack and whenever I went out for Asian food, I would only order the dishes that had the little red pepper in front of it! Now those days are over for me. I will have to order the mild sauce and the dishes without the red pepper before it and I gave away my jar of cherry peppers that I had handy always. I could be bitter and angry about this forced change in my life and could even ask God why He allowed me to get the illness. However, I have instead thanked God for all the years that I was able to enjoy the things I enjoyed. I will miss them but I will also continue to find new things to enjoy. I believe that for each blessing that is lost, another can be found and I will find them, I am sure, each day of my life. My dear brothers and sisters let us always remember that when one door closes in our lives God will open a new one for us if we just have faith and trust in Him. Life for me has changed but life is still and always will be good.
God Bless you and have a wonderful week, Fr. Michael

LIVE THE LITURGY
“It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour. – Mt 15:26b-28
SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
God has a special mission in mind for each of us. He has given us the gifts we need to accomplish that
mission. We are called to be good stewards by using those gifts to do the work that He has planned for each of us. If we deny our gifts or fail to use them as God calls us to use them, then some part of His work will be left undone.

The gift of Bread & Wine for the first two weeks of August has been given in memory of John Dalessio by Betty Dalessio.
The second two weeks have been given in memory of John Warch by Cheryl Prinjinski.


This annual appeal is our way to participate in the ministries the Archdiocese provides to help many that need assistance, education and support. Our pledges to date are $1,995. If we exceed our goal, which is $8,800, our parish will receive a rebate that can be used to further our own parish mission. There are brochures and pledge cards in the pews. Your pledge can be paid off over the next year in monthly installments. We appreciate your generosity!

 REMEMBER OUR MEMBERS IN YOUR PRAYERS
Please pray for: Kellie & Kathy Salata, Kelly Chinchar, Jessica, Carol Mangino, Gloria, Daniel Breslin, Stanley, Marie,
Bonnie, Helen Traina, Joseph Marrone, Bill Marshall, Anthony, Michael, Denise Gautier, Joseph.

t 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

OUR ADVERTISERS OF THE WEEK

Our parish benefits greatly from the ads you see on the back of our bulletin. The revenue pays for its printing, which is an important means of communication for the parish. We thank the local businesses that have renewed their ads, as well as the new advertisers who have recently signed on. Please look on the last page of our bulletin each week during the coming months where we highlight a different advertiser with a special ad space as a ‘thank you’ for their support all year long. When you visit a business that advertises in our Faith Formation Program Registration Form[397] bulletin, please let them know that this is where you saw their ad.

RAINBOWS FOR ALL GOD’S CHILDREN
Our Lady of the Visitation Parish in Paramus will once again offer the Rainbows program. This program is a weekly support group for children, 1st-8th grades, who are living in single-parent homes or have families that are going through painful transitions. When something significant happens in a family, the entire family is affected. If a parent dies or a divorce occurs, not only do the parents grieve, but the children do also. Because of their age and short life experience, children find it extremely difficult to verbalize those feelings. This program has some very beautiful, sensitive, caring, trained adults who have said “yes” to helping these children put these feelings into words, work through their grief, build a stronger sense of self-esteem, and begin to accept what has taken place in the family. The program is free to any child who needs it. Sessions begin in October. To facilitate the book order, you need to register as soon as possible. Contact Patricia Pattermann at 201-265-3812.