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READINGS FOR TODAY

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 26, 2017

“Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?”  No, indeed we can’t.  But evidence does suggest that worrying can subtract time from our life span!  Clearly, we are not meant to worry.  It’s not healthy and it’s not useful.  But for many of us, it’s quite difficult not to be anxious and concerned about matters that are important to us.  So what is the secret to letting go of this unnecessary anxiety?  Jesus gives us an answer in today’s Gospel.  “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.”  In other words, our focus should be on being faithful followers of God.  When we put our trust in the providence of the One who “clothes the grass of the field,” and stop trying to rely on our own (meager) powers, then things will be taken care of: “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”  Part of the secret here, of course, is coming to accept God’s will for us, even when it doesn’t perfectly match what we may have been envisioning.  There is a kind of surrender involved that puts God’s plan first.  Instead of getting worked up that things aren’t going our way, this kind of reliance upon God enables us to relax and accept the way things are going.  The great spiritual writer, JeanPierre de Caussade, put it well in his work, Abandonment to Divine Providence , when he said, “To escape the distress caused by regret for the past or fear about the future, this is the rule to follow: leave the past to the infinite mercy of God, the future to His good Providence, give the present wholly to His love by being faithful to His grace.”  God takes care of the birds, the flowers, even the grass!  He will also take care of us.
FROM THE RECTORY:
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Wednesday is Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent.  So, let me ask what have you decided to give up for Lent?  This is a question I am often asked myself at the start of each Lent.  Giving something up for Lent is an old tradition and good one but there should be more to it than just forgoing something from Ash Wednesday until Holy Thursday (this is when Lent actually ends, not Easter Sunday) but rather it should also result in something good happening for either ourselves or others or even better both.  What I mean by this is, for example, if you give up the cup of coffee you buy every morning on the way to work then take the savings and give it to a charity.  Or if you give up smoking which would be good for your health also give the savings to a charity which would be good for someone else’s health.  You can also do things instead of or alongside of giving something up for Lent.  For example, enclosed in this week’s bulletin is a flyer with all the events that will be taking place during Lent and you could sacrifice time by getting involved and volunteering to help.  You can attend morning mass if you do not normally do so and offer up prayers for those in need.  Work on your relationship with God by receiving the sacrament of penance.  Lent is not meant to be a passive season but rather an active season.
God Bless you and have a wonderful week,
Fr. Michael

INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK
This week and next Jesus presents challenges to Christians to go beyond the strictures of the law and to engage in a deeper understanding of what it can mean to follow Christ.  Are we ready to do that with our whole heart?
SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
The scribes and Pharisees lived according to the letter of the law and they used this to elevate themselves above the other people.  Jesus is clear – it’s the love that you have in your heart that will get you to heaven.  Simply following church rules out of obligation, not love, does not put you on the path to heaven.  Attending Mass on Sunday and then gossiping about a fellow parishioner on the parking lot is an example of a modern day Pharisee.

The gift of Bread & Wine for the first two weeks of February has been given in memory of Leonard 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.

WANTED: USED OR NEW COMMUNION DRESSES AND SUITS TO HELP NEEDY FAMILIES IN OUR ARCHDIOCESE
A child’s First Communion is a special day for any family and we are trying to make sure financial hardship does not stand in the way of it being as special as it can be.  The Archdiocese is collecting dresses/veils, suits and shoes.  Donations can be left in the sacristy until Sunday, March 19th.

ARCHDIOCESAN CELEBRATION  OF MARRIAGE
We are again preparing the annual tradition of honoring those couples who will be celebrating 5, 25 or 50 years of Christian marriage in 2017.  These liturgies will be celebrated by Cardinal Joseph Tobin in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark as follows: April 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm –– 5 years and 25 years May 7, 2017 at 3:00 pm – 50 years You must pre-register for these Masses, please call the rectory at 201-440-2798.
PRAYER AND LIFE WORKSHOPS
Everyone is welcome!! It’s a new way of evangelization with a greater positive vision of Jesus.  The emphasis is on love’s transforming power rather than fear of punishment.  Our mission is to implant the living God in people’s hearts.  Wednesdays beginning Jan. 25th for 15 weeks in the Church basement from 7-9 pm.  For more information, call Elsa Marin at 201-414-3345.
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED TO COOK AND/OR SERVE THOSE IN NEED AT THE HOUSING, HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICE CENTER IN HACKENSACK ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18th. 
There are flyers with more information in the back of church and we would like to thank the people who generously support this very important and rewarding program by cooking and serving every few months.
COMMUNION BREAKFAST
On Sunday, March 19th, the Rosary Altar Society will sponsor a “Communion Breakfast” in our Church basement from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm.  Tickets are $17.00 per person.  Registration flyers are in the bulletins and the back of church or for more information please call Ellen Breheny at 201373-0448 or Marie Nasta at 201-440-0788.
ARCHDIOCESE OF NEWARK  CATHOLIC MEN’S CONFERENCE
  • Saturday, March 4, 2017 – 8am-4:30pm
ARCHDIOCESE OF NEWARK  CATHOLIC WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
  • Saturday, March 11, 2017 – 8am -3:30pm
Both at Seton Hall University, South Orange .  A dynamic line-up of speakers is scheduled.  Tickets are $25 including continental breakfast and lunch.  More information including registration can be found at www.rcan.org/womenscommission for women and www.njcatholicmen.org for men.  There are flyers in the back of church.

 


REMEMBER OUR MEMBERS IN YOUR PRAYERS

Please pray for:  Frances Trause, Kelly Chinchar, Kellie & Kathy Salata, Jessica, Juliana, Helen, Anthony, Carol Mangino, Jessica Calabrese, Lori, Jacqueline Carty, Gloria, Michael, Daniel Breslin, Richard McShera, Susan Brooks, Stanley, Marie, Joseph Marrone, Bill Marshall, Blase Coppola, Justin Duffy. .


RECYCLE OLD INK AND TONER INK CARTRIDGES

recycle

Recycle Old Ink and Toner Cartridges Have old ink and toner cartridges? You can dispose of them by dropping them in the Recycling Box located in the back of church by the religious book racks. We will recycle them and the proceeds will be used for our parish.