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16th Sunday – July 23, 2017

“The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil.” This is not a pretty picture. Jesus shares a parable in today’s Gospel that reminds us of a truth we would rather forget: evil is real, and the devil is at work. The bountiful harvest of our faith is something that Satan wants to destroy. And he has a host of diabolical tactics to help him carry out his wicked plans. But there is one strategy in particular that we must be on guard against. As the French poet Charles Baudelaire put it, “The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.” Sneaky as it may be, this approach is effective! And, unfortunately, the attitude of our modern era is very conducive to buying the lie. Too often we dismiss the idea of the invisible spiritual reality of angels and demons. It doesn’t seem “scientific” enough for us because it can’t be seen or “proven.” But neither can our faith! We believe in a host of invisible realities starting with God himself. We should not be fooled into thinking that the devil is a make-believe cartoon character with red horns and a pitchfork on his shoulder. Alas, no. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls ‘a murderer from the beginning’” (CCC 394) and, as we read in the Bible, “Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil” (1 Jn 3:8). This is not pretend, and so it must be taken seriously. But so too, the reality of Satan must be situated within the broader context of God’s supreme power. The devil “cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign” (CCC 395). The influence of evil can never defeat the power of our faith, unless we let it do so.
FROM THE RECTORY:
A few weeks ago I traveled with my parents to North Carolina to visit my Aunt Dot who had moved into a new retirement community which I had yet to visit. I never once thought to ask my mom for details about the trip nor did she volunteer. One week before leaving on the trip I finally did say to my mom that I was surprised that my Aunt’s apartment was big enough that it would have two guest rooms. My mom’s response was it is not that big and there is only one guest room. She proceeded to say how my Aunt would set up an air mattress on the floor of the “florida” room for me to sleep on. Well to be honest I was not happy with the thought of sleeping on the floor on an air mattress but things got even worse when I asked what exactly is a “florida” room? The answer was it is a sun room – lots of windows and no doors! This really did not sit well with me and I honestly thought of not going on the trip. However, instead of getting upset and ruining everyone’s vacation I decided to hand it over to God and pray for patience and peace. Well God not only gave me what I asked for, He took it a step further and sent me an angel. This angel appeared in the form of a neighbor of my Aunt who suggested that rather than have me sleep on the floor in a room with no doors that I could use her guest room. She proceeded to point out that I would have my own bathroom as well and she would provide me with a key so I could come and go as I please during my stay in N.C. It turned out to be a wonderful trip which everyone enjoyed! Next time you find yourself in a position where things seem to be going in a direction that makes you unhappy, remember rather than getting upset or angry, turn to God and pray and ask for patience and peace and perhaps He will send you an angel.
God Bless you and have a wonderful week, Fr. Michael

 SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
As children of God, we are all “good seeds,” blessed by God with the potential to accomplish much good in the world. We fulfill God’s plan when we share our talents and our financial gifts to help build God’s kingdom on earth. Through our stewardship we sow “good seeds” on earth to ultimately help each other get to Heaven!

The gift of Bread & Wine for the first two weeks of July has been given in memory of Lisa R. Menzo-Santoro by R. & A. Levis and Gary Menzo.
The second two weeks have been given in memory of Lisa R. Menzo-Santoro by the R. & A. Levis and R.J. Wickersheim Families.

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: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, Blase Coppola, Denise Gautier.

LIVE THE LITURGY
“The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will collect out of His kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” – Mt 13:41-43a

What 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 ADVERTISER OF THE WEEK

TITLE
BOXING CLUB — HACKENSACK
370 W. Pleasantview Ave.,Hackensack, NJ
201-937-2272
hackensack.titleboxingclub.com
FIRST SHOT FREE

Our parish benefits greatly from the ads you see on the back of this 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.