John the Baptist had a simple purpose in life: his entire life pointed
to the Messiah. Don't think that your purpose in life, or mine, is any
more complex than that. Let all that you do and all that are you point
to the Messiah, and everything else will fall into place.
Joseph Bahret, owner of Bahret's Religious Goods in the West Shore
Farmer's Market, joins in invoking God's blessing on the new store.
Given the short period of time since its opening, the store's inventory
of books, cards, devotional items, and church supplies is impressive.
Even more impressive is the constant wit and faith of Joe Bahret, whose
knowledge of the faith and of religious goods is matched only by the
depth of his spirituality.
chairs await the new Knights of Columbus who received the First Degree
of the order last evening at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton church.
Congratulations to the nine Catholic gentlemen who became Knights of
Columbus during the ceremony. The Venerable Father Michael McGivney
founded the Knights of Columbus at a time of religious and ethnic
intolerance, as a means of helping Catholic men and their
families support and encourage each other in living the values of the
Gospel in an unaccepting world. As we prepare to begin a Fortnight for
Freedom across the United States – 2 weeks of intense prayer for the
preservation of our first and most cherished liberty, freedom of
religion – we can be proud of the Knights of Columbus and their witness
to Catholic life, family, virtue, and patriotism.
5:48 — "Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." Perfect?
The Greek word in the Gospel text refers to an end point, a target, a
destination. It means having the destination in sight and keeping it as
a constant goal. To "be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" in
practice means to act as though you were arriving at your goal, your
destination. In other words, "Act right now as though you were already
in Heaven." That's a challenge worth embracing!
Elizabeth Ann Seton parish is preparing a new photo directory, and we
need every parishioner's smiling face to be in it for our family photo
album to be complete! Go to the parish website at www.steas-mech.org
and look on the top of the right-hand column for how to schedule a
photo appointment on-line, or stop by the parish center to sign up after
any Mass this weekend, or call the parish volunteer office for help in
scheduling a time. If you're a parishioner, you're part of the family,
and the family photo album won't be complete without you! As our parish
grows it helps to put faces and names together, so let's get 100%
participation. Say cheese, or better yet, smile and say "Jesus."
It’s striking how many of the New Testament letters begin in a similar
way. Historians may tell us that it is a stylized greeting format, but
there were many such greetings at the time. The Biblical authors chose
to begin their letters with potent reminders of a simple truth we all
need to hear. > Saint Paul to the Christians in Corinth: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord
Jesus Christ.” He wrote the same to the church in Galatia, in Ephesus,
in Philippi, in Colossae, and in Thessalonika: “Grace to you and
peace.” To Timothy he wrote, “Grace, mercy, and peace from God the
Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” > Saint Peter in his first
letter: “May grace and peace be yours in abundance,” adding in his
second letter, “through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” > Saint Jude in his letter: “May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.”
> GRACE, MERCY, PEACE, LOVE: all of these are signs of God’s
presence. Where they are present, God is there. Where they are lacking,
God is not. Are they not road signs for us to follow in life? As a
plant or flower reaches out toward the sun, do not our souls grow toward
grace, mercy, peace, and love? Where we find these things in life, let
us rest in God’s presence. Where they are lacking, let us move away to
seek them elsewhere. It is a simple but profound rule. Seek the things
of God, flee from whatever leads away from them. > And so the
question becomes, “What leads you closer to grace, mercy, peace, and
love?” Pursue it rabidly, for there God is leading you. Conversely,
know that where you find the opposite it is not God who leads you but
the enemy. Linger not there, it is darkness, and we are children of the
light. > Grace, mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.
little reminder from a Jesuit scientist-theologian of the past century,
whose deep spirituality led him through challenges time and again: ...
Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally
impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like
to skip the intermediate stages, We are impatient of being on the way to
do something unknown, something new. And yet
it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some
stages of instability— and that it may take a very long time. And so I think it is with you. Your ideas mature gradually—let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and
circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within
you will be. Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is
leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and
incomplete. —Rev. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
17:20-26 — “Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed…that the love
with which you loved me may be in them and I in them." What consolation
we can find in the prayer of Jesus. It was the love of the Father that
protected the infant Jesus from Herod’s troops; it was the love of the
Father that safeguarded a precocious 12-year-old runaway in the Temple.
It was the same love that enfolded Him when
He was attacked by Satan in the desert, that gave Him courage in the
midst of persecution, that held Him in the garden of Gethsemane, that
infused strength for carrying the cross, that raised Him to life anew on
Easter, and that drew Him to Heaven in the Ascension. And Jesus prays
that the same love be in us! Secure in that love, we can weather any
storm and rejoice in every good thing.