Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Word from Your Pastor April 23 - Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy Sunday is a reminder to all of us that Easter has an abundance of Graces that God intends to shower upon us and on the whole world.  When we open to God’s Love, our hearts are expanded.  We receive and share in the personal Love God has for each one of us, and, if we are truly open, we begin to discover that God’s Love flows through us out to others.

When you belong to Jesus, you realize that you must begin to think like Jesus.  When you accept Jesus’ Revelation of Himself as the Son of God, you discover that as His brother or sister, you too are a child of God.  Mercy transforms us.  We see the world differently when we look at it through the eyes of Mercy.

On this Divine Mercy Sunday, we are called to spend time in the awareness of the power of Mercy to bring our world into conformity with God’s Plan.  Let us ask for Mercy.  Let us be merciful.  And let us completely trust that the Mercy of God will be poured out into the world through us.  “Jesus, I trust in You” is the simple prayer that invites the Mercy of God to calm our fears and to open to the abundance of Grace held in store for us.

The Sacramental Life is manifestly the conduit of Mercy.  Our Baptism and the Sacrament of Reconciliation allow grace to flow.  Confirmation fills us with the Spirit of Mercy.  Eucharist is the enduring Presence of the Lord of Mercy Whose suffering, death and Resurrection won our Redemption.  The Anointing of the Sick, which we celebrate today, offers healing and strength at the moment went we most know the need for Mercy.  Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony are living signs of the personal gift of Mercy through one another in the service of the Kingdom.

Let us open our hearts to Mercy and respond to the invitation of Divine Mercy Sunday to bring about a world that knows its salvation comes through Jesus Christ, our merciful Lord.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Word from Your Pastor April 16 - Easter Sunday

Dear Parishioners:

A Blessed Easter to all!  Today we rejoice in the gift of the Resurrection and the New Life that Jesus offers us.  Alleluia springs forth and draws us into God’s own joy in the salvation Christ has won for us.  We gather together to acknowledge our Faith that in Jesus God has conquered death and offered us a remedy for sin.

There is a special message for us in the way the Church celebrates Easter.  For us, Easter is one day, three days that are four, a week and a day, a season of 50 days, and 52 days a year.  It is not a one-time reality. 

The one day for the celebration of Easter finds its place in the calendar by a complex formula: it is established as the first Sunday on or after the first full moon of the vernal, that is Spring, equinox.  This was set by the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325.  So it is one day in the year that then tells us when other feasts will come.

Easter has a Triduum, a period of three days, that include four separate days in our way of measuring days: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.  The count of three days is found by following the Jewish day from sunset to sunset.

The Solemnity of Easter is celebrated as an Octave, a week and a day, that culminates with Divine Mercy Sunday.

The Easter Season begins with Easter Sunday and goes to Pentecost – 50 days.

Finally, every Sunday is observed as a little Easter.  This is the reason that the Sundays of Lent are not counted in the 40 days assigned to Lent.

From this, we can begin to see just how important Easter is considered for us.  It is the beginning of the New Life God has promised.  In Easter time, we taste something of Eternity.  I invite you to live Easter to the full!

This week, I will be on retreat with the priests of the Focolare Movement.  Please keep us in your prayers.  Next weekend, we will celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with Anointing of the Sick at all Masses and with Adoration and the Divine Mercy Devotion following the Noon Mass.  All are welcome to share with us the boundless Mercy of the God Who raised Jesus from the dead.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Word from Your Pastor April 9 - Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Dear Parishioners:

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord begins Holy Week.  The procession with palms  before Mass and the proclamation of the Passion of the Lord (this year from Matthew’s Gospel), we enter into our celebration of the great Love of God shown to us through Jesus.  We have journeyed through Lent and now we are plunged into the Paschal Mystery, the power of the Life, Suffering, Death and Resurrection of the Lord.  Participation in this week is such a gift. 

I pray that many of you will decide to live this week fully.  Don’t let it pass you by.

Plan to be with the whole Diocese of Columbus on Tuesday evening at the Chrism Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral.  The priests of the Diocese and the bishop renew our commitment to our responsibility as shepherds.  The bishop blesses the oils used for the Sacraments in the next year – the Oil of Catechumens, the Oil of the Sick and Sacred Chrism.

Holy Thursday reminds us of the Last Supper and includes the Washing of Feet and a Eucharistic Procession.  At St. Timothy, our First Communion class serves as an Honor Guard for the procession. Adoration follows until midnight.

Good Friday brings the Passion according to John, the Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion with hosts consecrated at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  We also have Stations of the Cross and the Seven Last Words between Noon and 3 p.m., when the Lord breathed His last.

Holy Saturday will bring our Easter Egg Hunt in the morning and the Solemn Vigil of Easter in the evening, with celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist for new members of the Church.

Easter Sunday will be a day to welcome the many who rejoice with us that Jesus is Risen. 
With the events of the Easter Triduum – Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday – we begin the Easter Season, which will last 50 days until Pentecost.  The first week – the Octave of Easter – will culminate in the observance of Divine Mercy Sunday, a day of many graces for the Church and for the whole world.

As we enter into the wonderful liturgies of this week, may we open our hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit make us witnesses of the Gospel so that many may come to know Jesus through us.

* * * * * * *

Take note of the schedule for Holy Week and make plans to be part of these “High Holy Days” of our Catholic Faith: Events of Holy Week and Easter 2017Tuesday, April 11, Chrism Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral at 6 p.m.

Holy Thursday, April 13, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, at 7:30 p.m.,
followed by procession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until Midnight

Good Friday, April 14 Stations and 7 Last Words at 12 p.m.
Good Friday Services at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Reading of the Passion, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion

Holy Saturday, April 15, Easter Vigil at 8:30 p.m.

Easter Sunday, April 16 Easter Masses 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Divine Mercy Sunday: Anointing of the Sick at all Parish Masses,
Saturday 5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Divine Mercy Devotion Sunday April 23 – 12-3 p.m.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Word from Your Pastor April 2 - Fifth Sunday of Lent

Dear Parishioners:

Life and Resurrection in the face of this world’s limits are the themes of the fifth Sunday of Lent.  Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.  In our experience of this world, we discover that there is always an end limit.  Jesus makes known to us that He understands this reality for us, but that He is the way to a deeper experience of Reality, the Truth that Eternity beckons and promises New Life.

When we find ourselves closed in by suffering and death and by our own way of thinking about ourselves and about the world around us, the Spirit of Jesus promises to breathe newness into us.  Our graves are opened and we rise when we respond to the Lord’s Word as He calls us out of the tomb.  Freedom comes when we acknowledge that change is possible and that what seemed to be end limits are really the threshold to a new way of life.

Our parish has experienced something very powerful in the Alpha Program.  All who have participated are to be commended in their willingness to try something new.  The evening sessions on Sundays, the retreat day away, and the conversations that have opened up at the table and in the myriad of encounters Alpha has made possible have all served to remind us of the power of the Kerygma, that is, the Message of the Gospel.  We look forward to the new life that will come into our parish that flows from the encounter with Jesus and His Spirit that Alpha has offered.

Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet.  Jesus tells us Himself that He is the Alpha and the Omega.  May the beginning we have made in Alpha continue on as our first session of the program comes to its close on Palm Sunday.

Events of Holy Week and Easter 2017 at St. Timothy Church
April 8-9, Palm Sunday Mass of the Passion of the Lord with procession at all Masses
Saturday 5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Tuesday, April 11, Chrism Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral at 6 p.m.

Holy Thursday, April 13, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, at 7:30 p.m.,
followed by procession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until Midnight

Good Friday, April 14 Stations and 7 Last Words at 12 p.m.
Good Friday Services at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Reading of the Passion, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion

Holy Saturday, April 15, Easter Vigil at 8:30 p.m.

Easter Sunday, April 16 Easter Masses 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Divine Mercy Sunday: Anointing of the Sick at all Parish Masses,
Saturday 5 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Divine Mercy Devotion Sunday April 23 – 12-3 p.m.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Word from Your Pastor March 26 - Fourth Sunday of Lent

Dear Parishioners:

The Fourth Sunday of Lent highlights the themes of Light and Blindness.  As our experience of more hours of daylight begins, we see more of the world illumined by the sun.  The same thing can happen as our eyes open to the power of Faith.  We live in a world that is closed in on itself and we are all part of a pervasive culture that tends to isolate us in our ways of thinking about ourselves and others.  It is an irony that science reveals clearly that we are part of an expanding universe, and our tendency seems to be rather to create limits.  God invites us to see.  He heals our blindness and asks us to be a source of light for others.  The Sacramental Life that we share is our primary means to open us and others to a living relationship with God that has a source of enlightenment available to us at all times.

The Sacrament of Confirmation strengthens our Faith within our hearts and emboldens us to share our Faith with those around us. If we call upon the power of the Holy Spirit and exercise the gifts He has given to us, we will be strong in our Faith.  This requires a commitment to follow where the Lord leads.  This life is a test, a preparation for our entry into the Life that lasts forever.

Now is the time to make plans for participation in the events of Holy Week and Easter.  Be sure to make plans to live that week differently – April 9-16.  I encourage you to make it the “head of your calendar” and to put into practice all the resolutions you have made to live the priorities that we are highlighting this year: Communication, The Sunday Mass, Hospitality and Welcome and Living the Sacramental Life as a Family.  How are you and your family responding to this call?  Do you see the Light?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Word from Your Pastor March 19 - Third Sunday of Lent

Dear Parishioners:

The Holy Spirit is active among us.  In a short period of time, we have experienced our annual Confirmation for the 8th Grade class and an amazing day of Retreat for those who have been part of the first Alpha program.  Many have expressed real excitement about what God is doing.  Our Parish Penance Service last week allowed not a few the touch of the Sacrament of Healing.  We are all given something when God works in the hearts of any of our members.  How is God touching your heart?

Lent is always a time to review and renew our commitment to what God asks of us.  This year, we are concentrating on how the Sacraments function among us.  Part of the Examination of Conscience that was used at our Penance service may be useful to you to consider this aspect of your Catholic life.  I invite you to take this to your personal prayer.

How am I living a truly Sacramental Life?

Am I cooperating with the Holy Spirit to become more like Jesus?

Is my life a clear witness of the truth revealed in Scripture and in the Sacraments of the Church?

Do I bring the light of the Gospel to those who are part of my life?

The Sacraments of Initiation are Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist.

Do I conform my life to Christ through living in awareness of the power of the Sacraments I have received?  Am I faithful to my baptismal vows?  Do I exercise the Gifts of the Spirit?  Do I proclaim the Gospel?  Am I faithful to the Eucharist by receiving the Lord regularly and feeding the spiritually hungry?

Am I growing in Faith, Hope and Love by striving to put into practice the Gospel values?

Am I allowing the Spirit to lead me to a deeper relationship with Jesus and to open my heart more fully to God’s Will in my life?

The Sacraments of Healing are Penance, Anointing of the Sick.

Do I allow the Lord to heal me, bringing to Him my sins and my weakness?

Am I a means of healing for others?

Do I forgive and bring peace to others?

Do those who are sick find me as a true friend, bringing Christ to them and keeping them in touch with the Church’s ministry of comfort and healing?

The Sacraments of Service are Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders.

Do I live in true communion of life with those entrusted to me on the earthly journey?

Am I concerned about the spiritual wellbeing of others, as well as about their physical and emotional needs?

Am I faithful to my own state in life and to the relationships God has given me?

Do the Sacraments shape my mind and heart, drawing me more into a living relationship with the Lord?

As part of our observance of Pope Francis’ call to celebrate “24 Hours for the Lord” on March 24-25, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available.  If you missed the Penance Service or if you need another go at spiritual cleanup, you are most welcome.  The Spirit flows best when our spiritual pipes are open.  Come and let the Lord love you with His grace.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Word from Your Pastor March 12 - Second Sunday of Lent

Dear Parishioners:

The Second Sunday of Lent highlights the Transfiguration of Jesus, revealing a hint of the glory God has in store for our human nature.  The Sacraments are an invitation to us to live this glory now.

The scene of the Transfiguration offers us a glimpse as to how God works in us.  He prepares us.  He gives us Himself in a very intimate encounter.  Then He invites us to live out and share with others what He has given us when the time is right.

The Sacrament of Confirmation follows just this pattern in our manner of its celebration in the life of our Parish.  Our youth – the 8th grade class in our School and PSR – have a time of preparation that includes their 7th grade year and more immediate preparation in the months before the Sacrament is given.  We have classes that are informational.  At the time same time, there are experiences that are “formational,” such as workshops and a retreat.  The wider community of their parents and the parish and school community also share in these.    The Bishop comes to celebrate the Sacrament.  Then, the newly confirmed are invited to take their place in the life of the whole community through service and exercise of the gifts they have received.

All of us who have received the Spirit as an indwelling Presence through Confirmation are called to continue to respond to the Spirit’s promptings.  We are interiorly transformed through the Gifts of the Spirit, deepening the Faith, Hope and Love that have been planted in us through Baptism.  We are sent forth to live the Paschal Mystery and to proclaim the salvation that is given to us in Jesus Christ.

How have you responded to the Gift of the Spirit?  Are you consciously making use of the Spirit’s Gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord?  Do you seek out ways to share the Gospel with others?  We are charged by the Great Commission to “go out to all the world.”  Who in the world is waiting for you?

Our Parish Lenten Penance Service will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. 
Come to share in the Lord’s Gift of Mercy.   Confession is good for the soul.