26th Sunday in Ordinary Time A
A life-long Catholic friend of mine recently mumbled to me, “I can’t stand all these converts to the faith. They’re always rocking the boat.” It surprised me because he is dedicated to evangelization, and yet he struggles with openness to new Catholics. It made me realize how easily I close my heart to those whom I perceive to be outsiders who become new members of the Catholic community. Almost unconsciously I reduce the world to the categories of “us” and “them.” The result is that meaningful community silently shrinks in my life. Don’t we all do that to some degree? This week Jesus’ punchy parable about the two sons blows up that black and white world. One son said he wouldn’t get to work, and then did. The other said he would, and then he did not. “Which did the will of his father?” asks the Lord. Like so many of us, in identifying the first as the answer, the religious authorities manifest hidden hypocrisy in refusing to follow Jesus. They — like us — intuit the correct path but simply won’t do it. The tax collectors and prostitutes are indeed following Jesus and thereby getting to work in the kingdom of God. Everyone is called to do God’s will regardless of the labels we may apply to them. This week let’s reject the convenient but damaging categories of “insiders” and “outsiders.” Instead, let’s embrace a grateful attitude that Jesus is calling fallen, weak, and broken men and women like you and me. Then we begin to see that the tax collectors and prostitutes aren’t them. They are us. And Jesus wants all of us working in His boat, no matter the rocking. — Father John Muir
As many of you know I have dealt with a lot of losses in my life. The list of family members and friends who have passed away is long. I just want to share something regarding just two of them, one my brother-in-law and the other my dad. It was a Sunday in October while I was in college and there was a family gathering. I was there but was also trying to study for a test I had that coming Thursday because I was in college at the time. My brother-in-law Billy, who took an interest in anything and everything, kept trying to talk to me. I was getting annoyed since I was trying to study and finally told him to leave me alone – to “get lost” and went and locked myself in a bedroom. When I came out of the room he had already left. He was killed in a car accident in the early hours of Thursday morning, thus the test I was studying for I would never end up taking. Fast forward, to this past April, as many if not all of you know, my dad passed away after surgery. The last time I saw my dad was the week before and the two of us went out for lunch, just father and son. When I left to return to the parish, I gave my dad a hug and said, “I love you”. Two sets of last words – “get lost” and “I love you”. My brothers and sisters, I have been regretting the words I said to my brother-in-law for 35 years now and I am ever so glad for the final words I spoke to my dad. My brothers and sisters before we speak, let us always ask ourselves if the words we are about to speak end up being our last words we say to someone, would we be glad or would we have regret?God Bless you and a wonderful week, Fr. Michael
PRAY FOR THE SYNOD
Pope Francis has called together the first session of the Synod on Synodality during the month of October. Throughout the month, the Synod will focus on three main themes: Communion, Participation, and Mission. These three dimensions are profoundly interrelated. They are the vital pillars of a Synodal Church. All of the faithful are asked to pray for Pope Francis and the Synod delegates from around the world as they discuss, discern and shape the Church’s understanding of these important topics. Please consider using the prayer below to pray for the Synod throughout October. Thank you!
O God, who care for your people with gentleness and rule them with love, hear our prayers this day. Watch over the members of the Synod and endow then with a spirit of wisdom that your people may be led to know your truth and grow in holiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
“Do nothing out of selfishness; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves…” – PHILIPPIANS 2:3
Pride and ego are hard things to control. We see how others act or dress and think we are superior to them. We idolize our own self-image. But, if we truly believe everything is a gift from God, we recognize all the people that God has put in our lives as gifts! We are grateful for how they enrich our lives. Pray every day for the people in your life: your family, your friends and those who make you angry.
The gift of Bread & Wine for the first two weeks of September has been given in memory of Louise & John Hansen by Mr. & Mrs. Raymond DeRiso.
The Sanctuary Lamp for the month of September has been given in memory of Cecelia 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.
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.
That God will relieve their suffering and restore them to health. Please pray for Kellie Salata, Kelly Chinchar, Jessica, Daniel Breslin, Stanley, Helen Traina, Joseph Marrone, Bill Marshall, Anthony, Michael, Joseph, Jessica Esopo, Theresa McPeak, William, Steve, Audra, Bernadette, James Weiss, Baby Ford, Rosemary Malangone, Elizabeth Malangone, Sue West, Danny, Colleen Emery, Richard, Joan Russo, Christina Martin, Peter Kelley, Mornia Evans, Valerie Valverde, Diana McGuckin.
A Prayer for Workers
God our Creator, Your Word worked wonders to create the heavens and the earth and all they contain. Jesus Christ our Savior and Brother, You labored alongside your foster father Joseph, living the life of an ordinary worker. Holy Spirit, we are baptized into your life. You live and move and have your being in us as we go about our daily tasks. On this Employee Appreciation Day, may all who work recognize their intrinsic value. Show them that their worth depends not on any task, responsibility, or skill. Remind them that their dignity lies in You, oh Lord. In all of our labors, may we remember that we imitate You. 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.
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