Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Word from Your Pastor - May 22 Most Holy Trinity

Dear Parishioners:

The Holy Trinity is the heart of our Catholic Faith.  We are invited to experience something of the Inner Life of God through contemplation of this Mystery.  In human relationships, the most precious truths are those that are shared spontaneously from the heart.  The same is true in our Relationship with God.  We are drawn into the very Mystery by a glance, a look with the eyes of the heart.  Our spirits, touched by the Living Spirit of God, are made one with Jesus Christ and we are given a glimpse of the Father, Abba, Whom Jesus reveals to us.  If we can simply accept this, it truly changes everything.  We don’t just know things about God, we know God.  This knowing is too deep for words, but the “naming” of the Mystery is a precious “capturing” of the Truth so that we may be drawn in.

The proper response to the Mystery is prayer:  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…..

Abba, Father, we thank you for making Yourself known to us in Jesus Christ and through the power of Your Holy Spirit poured out into our hearts and lives.

Jesus, Lord, Savior, Redeemer, we praise You for living among us as our Brother and Friend and for the salvation You won for us through your Passion, Death and Resurrection and for taking our human nature into the very Reality of God in the Ascension.

Spirit, Breath of Life, Unity of the Father and the Son, Sanctifier, we open our hearts to You and seek to follow where You lead, as you draw us ever more into Jesus Christ and free us to worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.

Father, Jesus, Spirit, we adore You.  We lay our lives before You.  How we love You!

May we become ever more truly One with God through the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.  And may our lives be spent in sharing this wonderful Truth with the world.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Word from Your Pastor - May 15 Pentecost

Dear Parishioners:

Come, Holy Spirit!  Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth!

Today we pray this prayer in earnest, begging God to pour out His Spirit on us and to draw us ever more into the Life that God has offered us through Jesus Christ.  Pentecost is the grand conclusion to the Easter Season and an invitation to respond to the power of God at work in us. 

The Scriptures remind us that the Church is born by the grace of the Holy Spirit.  We see Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Apostles gathered together in the Upper Room, receiving the touch of God through wind and tongues of fire.  We hear of the new courage that Peter and the others experience that leads them to proclaim the Good News of the Resurrection.  We observe the effective movement of the Word that is presented so boldly as people of every nation hear the Truth and respond by accepting the New Life given to them in Christ.  The first Pentecost sets in motion the going forth of the Church to every land and nation.

In our time, we hear the invitation to a new Pentecost that draws us into the Mission of Evangelization and Catechesis.  Each one of us is called to hear the Gospel, to change our minds and hearts, and to commit to the New Life poured out on us through the Spirit.  How does the Holy Spirit move in your heart?  Is your own Joy in the Gospel evident in your manner of living?  Who is waiting to hear your proclamation of the Good News?

May the Holy Spirit fill you with God’s Peace and may you become ever more aware of the Truth of the Gospel.  Happy Pentecost!

Prayer to the Holy Spirit:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you will renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.  Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit you have taught the hearts of your faithful.  In the same Spirit help us to relish what is right and always rejoice in your consolation. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer from St. Augustine:

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit,
that my work too may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,
that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.
Guide me then, O Holy Spirit,
that I always may be holy.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Word from Your Pastor - May 8 Ascension

Dear Parishioners:

Mothers teach us how to love.  In the month of May, we are reminded to thank our mothers, our grandmothers, and our godmothers on earth and our Heavenly Mother Mary.  We do so by little signs, expressions of love and gratitude.  Cards and flowers, small gifts and warm embraces all show our affection and love.  These acts also serve to remind us of the power at work in each of us to give life and to nourish and nurture others by our own gift of self.  Holy Mother Church also deserves our recognition. It is the Church that offers us the connection between earthly life and Eternal Life.  The graces that we receive flow into our hearts and lives through the Sacraments, beginning with Baptism.  When we keep ourselves mindful of this flow, we see the fruits of motherhood in all their glory.  Mother of every sort make a real difference and on this day and in this month we say “Thanks!”

In today’s Mass, we recall the Ascension of the Lord into Heavenly Glory.   Through the Ascension, Jesus takes our human nature, glorified by the Resurrection, to share intimately in the very Life of the Holy Trinity.  Now that our nature has been given a share in Divine Life, we pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church and on the whole world.  Cooperation with grace is the truly human act. 

Mary, our Mother, shows us how to open to grace: her “Fiat,” that is, her “Let it be done” is an affirmation of God’s power at work through the Spirit.  Saying “Yes” to God’s Will in our lives offers us Eternity.  We are capable of this due to the Resurrection, Ascension and Outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost.  Let us pray together: “Come, Holy Spirit!”  And let us open our hearts to God’s action among us.

Next weekend will be a weekend of Welcome, with refreshments after all Masses and with a festive spirit as we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost.  Invite family and friends to gather with us as we close the Easter Season.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Word from Your Pastor - May 1

Dear Parishioners:

As we begin the month of May, we enter into a very hectic season.  It is important that we find a way to keep ourselves centered and to hold steady on our priorities.  God must be first in our lives.  As Catholics and Christians, we have to allow Church to be in our view at all times.  We live in the world, but we are not of the world.  It is all too easy to forget this in the face of schedules full of activity.

The Church invites us in May to keep Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our own Heavenly Mother in our minds and hearts.  Can we as a Parish, a School and as a family of families do our best to attend to our Mother?  I suggest that you consider establishing a family devotion to Mary.  Pray the Rosary together.  Create a May Altar in your home.  Include a Hail Mary with your usual daily prayers at meal time and at bed time.  Make sure that you have a picture or statue of our Blessed Mother in a place of honor in your house or yard.  Learn a new Marian prayer by heart: the Memorare, the Salve Regina, the Magnificat.  As your older relatives to recite their favorite prayer to your children.  Sing a Marian hymn as part of your own family prayers.  Be creative and don’t forget to honor your earthly mother and/or the mother of your children as well.

The best way to honor Mary, of course, is to show the respect and love due to her Son and to the God Who gave Mary the highest honor given to the human race.  Cooperation with the Holy Spirit in the work of proclaiming the Gospel is a truly Marian action.  Mary’s “Yes” to God is what allowed God to enter our world.  Our continued “Yes” to God’s Will in our own lives opens us to even greater gifts.  Let us pray for the outpouring of God’s Spirit on the Church and on the world.  “Come, Holy Spirit!” is a powerful prayer that can change everything.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Word from Your Pastor - April 24

Dear Parishioners:

First Holy Communion weekend is always a high point in the experience of Church for parishes and families.  At this moment, we can know with a delight that goes deep into our hearts that our children are close to God.  Receiving Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time is a privileged moment.  It is a real joy to be part of this experience.  We congratulate our First Communion Class of 2016 on this happy occasion.

It is helpful to review what has happened just this past year in their preparation:

Their teachers and aides in the School and PSR have worked with the students to help them to understand the Gift of the Eucharist, Jesus giving Himself to us under the forms of bread and wine.  They worked diligently with them to prepare the Mass, which took place Saturday afternoon.  Last Monday, I visited with our second graders in the School, which I have done several times throughout the year in both the School and PSR.  Thursday we had their second practice with the School and PSR, and the Knights of Columbus gave them Rosaries. 

Earlier events in their lives this year were their First Reconciliation and Confessions with the rest of the School and PSR for Advent and Lent.  We had a workshop for them and their parents which included Benediction and the Enrollment in the Scapular to start First Communion Formation.  On Holy Thursday, they served as the Honor Guard for the Eucharistic Procession after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  Throughout the year, they have had visits to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium to learn various aspects of the Church’s understanding of the Eucharist.  We have done what we can to prepare them for this great event. 

Now, all we can do is pray that their families reinforce the knowledge by practice of the Faith.  That is often the greater challenge.  The practice of attending Mass as a family every Sunday is the most important preparation both for the first experience of the Sacrament and for the life-long faithfulness to Jesus that we are all called to live.  Parents promise in Baptism to raise their children in the ways of Faith.  Being present at Mass is a requirement of this commitment.

When Bishop Campbell comes for Confirmation, he always asks, “What is the only Commandment that includes a promise?”  The answer is: The 4th Commandment – “Honor your father and mother and you will have a long life in the Land the Lord your God is giving you.”  This commandment calls for respect and obedience to parents and all in authority.  And your Pastor adds: “What is the best way to teach your children to obey the 4th Commandment?”  The answer is: For you and your family to obey the 3rd Commandment – “Keep holy the Sabbath,” which for Catholics means to participate in Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.  How can we expect our children to obey the 4th in a series if we do not attend to living in obedience for the Commandments that come before it?

We are living in a time and culture that require us to be intentional about living our Faith.  The School’s mission is: “Live in Faith.  Love and Serve.  Learn for Life.”  As a community of believers, we need to show the world that the Sacraments we receive bear fruit in our lives.  Take the opportunity this week to renew your own commitment to be faithful to Jesus in the Eucharist.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Word from Your Pastor - April 17

Dear Parishioners:

Next weekend we will have the celebration of First Holy Communion for our Second Graders.  This event is always a wonderful moment of joy in the life of each Communicant’s family and in the life of our Parish community.  The Holy Eucharist is a reminder to all of us that the Risen Lord Jesus is with us until the end of time.  It is the center of our Catholic life.  Jesus is present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, that is, in the fullness of His Divine Person and in the complete reality of His glorified Human Nature.  We feed upon Him, receiving the Bread of Life and the Chalice of Salvation.  Our lives are intended to make Him known to the world.  We are incorporated ever more deeply into His Body and we are called to feed those who are hungry for the Life of the Spirit.

The only adequate response to Jesus’ Gift of Himself to us in Eucharist is to give thanks.  That is the very meaning of the word “Eucharist.”  We return to God all that we are and all that we have in gratitude to Him for the New Life He offers us.

These days, we are concentrating as a Parish family on our collective responsibility for Welcome, Hospitality, and Communication to the world the truth of the Mercy and Grace granted to us by Jesus, the Risen Lord, through the power of His Holy Spirit.  As we open our hearts to the call to commit ourselves to God and to one another, may we continue to grow in our love for the Catholic Faith and for the Church that claims us in the name of Jesus.  St. Timothy, our Patron, pray for us!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Word from Your Pastor - April 10

Dear Parishioners:

In the Season of Easter, we “unpack” the meaning of the Resurrection of Jesus.  Our Faith tells us that we have a share in the Lord’s Suffering and Death, but that we also share in His Resurrection and Ascension into Glory.  This is not just a pious belief, but the very heart of our Christianity.  It has practical consequences.  Who we are comes from our Faith.  What we are to do must flow from who we are, from who God intends us to be.

As St. Timothy Church, we belong to Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord.  He has created us as individuals, as families and as a Parish for a particular purpose.  The Gospel tells us that our call is to make disciples and to teach and baptize others in the Name of Jesus.

How we do this is often up to us to discover and decide together.  As a Community of Faith, we are in the midst of a process that will help us to chart our course to the Future.  Every member of our Parish and School Community is invited to enter in at every level.

Who are you and what is your personal mission?  How does your family relate to this call?  How do the groups and organizations of which you are a member allow this to be lived?

The Parish Finance Council has led the charge to create a Stewardship Team for St. Timothy Parish and School.  Their “job” is to be the cheerleaders who assist us all to discover the treasures that God has store up among us for all of us and for the world around us.  All the groups and organizations of the Parish and School are invited to take part and to help to discover what we need to do and how to accomplish it.

In the days and weeks and months ahead, keep your eyes and ears open.  Begin to reflect on your own gifts and talents and those of others around you.  What do you have that ought to be offered to our Parish and School and to the world around us?