SEPTEMBER 23, 2018
TWENTY-FIFTH Sunday in Ordinary Time
We apologize for the inconvenience, please temporarily refer to our printed Parish bulletins (which includes this week’s announcements, priest schedules, and Pastor’s message of the week) available at the entrances of our Parish for today.
‘Drive out evil by the power of the good’
Archbishop Byrnes’ Letter to the Faithful on clergy sexual abuse
August 30, 2018
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The enormity of the revelations and accusations of clerical abuse of minors and other forms of sexual misconduct that have come to the fore over the past few weeks are not new to us. Having experienced the steady stream of men and women who have suffered at the hands of clergy over the past several decades, we join so many of our brothers and sisters through-out the Church in wondering when will it ever stop? The question grows larger when we find out that the number of perpetrators includes bishops and at least one cardinal. And while some, even the Holy Father, are alleged to be complicit in covering up the misdeeds of fellow bishops, meaningful evidence must be brought forward. I trust Cardinal Daniel Di- Nardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. His pledge to bring the Holy Father a proposal for prompt, fair, and transparent procedures for dealing with the sins of the hierarchy gives me good hope.
We want meaningful action. Justice must be served. And while spiritual efforts are fruitful and effective in the eyes of God, something more is necessary. In just a few weeks we will engage in a process of mediation for the 180+ victims of clerical sexual abuse. We cannot fully repay what was taken from these brothers and sisters; we can only offer a token of justice through financial remuneration. Yet it is a tangible sign that demonstrates that we know a wrong has been done and there is a debt of justice to be paid. Ideally, it would be the perpetrators themselves who would be brought to justice; but time and distance preclude it at this time.
So, how do we get it to stop? Frankly, the second reading of Sunday’s Mass (James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27) offers us meaning-ful and practical advice. We are dealing with moral and spir-itual evils, so a spiritual and moral response is necessary.
“All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no altera-tion or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
By His Son, Jesus, the word of truth, God has entrusted to us the gift of eternal life and happiness. It is a gift, not something we earned or worked for. And the gift itself is not just a prom-ise of a good future. Rather, we can begin even now living the eternal kind of life, a life of purpose and meaning, an oppor-tunity for a life of peace, joy, love, kindness and self-control.
Pope in Ireland:
Parents are the first example of faith for children
By: Hannah Brockhaus (Catholic News Agency)
The first place children learn the faith is in the home, following the good exam-ple of their parents, Pope Francis said during a meeting with newly-wed and en-gaged couples in Ireland.
“The first and most important place for passing on the faith is the home, through the quiet daily example of parents who love our Lord and trust in his word,” the pope said August 25.
Offering examples of what to do, he urged Catholics to “pray together as a fami-ly; speak of good and holy things; let our Mother Mary into your family life. Cel-ebrate the feasts of the Christian people. Live in deep solidarity with those who suffer and are at the edges of society.”
Francis spoke during an encounter in Dublin‟s St. Mary‟s Pro-Cathedral for the World Meeting of Families, following a question from a recently married couple who asked for advice on how to teach the faith to the children they hope to have in the future.
He said in the family—the “domestic church” - is where children learn integrity and sacrifice. They learn from watching their father and mother how to love God and the Church.
“In a word, your children will learn from you how to live a Christian life; you will be their first teachers in the faith,” he stated. “The faith is passed on „around the family table,‟ in ordinary conversation, in the language that persevering love alone knows how to speak.” The pope acknowledged that this may seem obvious to some, but that people can forget.
In answer to a question from an engaged couple on how to show the value of the life-long commitment of marriage, particularly of the sacrament, Francis said that when a man and woman enter into the bond of matrimony, it is God‟s grace that enables them to freely promise to one another “an exclusive and enduring love.”
It is true that today, our society is not used to things which last, he said. How in this provisional culture, can we create something that lasts?, he asked. It is not just about being in love, but about making a commitment to grow that love for the whole of life.
“Because love is not temporary. Enthusiasm might be temporary, being enchant-ed. But love, real love, is final,” he said.
Speaking about the vocation of marriage, he said, “marriage in the Church, that is, the sacrament of matrimony, shares in a special way in the mystery of God‟s eternal love.”
“Of all the kinds of human fruitfulness, marriage is unique. It is about a love that gives rise to new life. It involves mutual responsibility for the transmission of God‟s gift of life, and it provides a stable environment in which that new life can grow and flourish.” Francis recalled a time when he was a young child and he saw his father kiss his mother after he returned home from work. “What a beauti-ful thing! May your children see you like that, kissing, embracing. This is how they learn,” he advised.
At the beginning of the encounter, a couple that has been married for 50 years offered a brief witness, saying they wanted to tell young people that though fami-ly life is challenging, it is worthwhile.
This is wisdom that young people need, Francis answered, encouraging young couples to listen to the advice of their grandparents and other married couples. Even mothers-in-law have wisdom, he teased.
As a result of this, may of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer walked with him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (Jn 6:66-68)
What a perfect response from Peter. The context of this story is quite fas-cinating and revealing. Jesus had just completed His beautiful and pro-found discourse on the Holy Eucharist stating clearly that His flesh is real food and His blood is real drink and that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you have no life in you.
As a result of His teaching on the Eucharist there were many who “returned to their former way of life and no longer walked with Him.” In other words, Jesus’ teaching on the Eucharist was difficult for many to accept and believe.
Interestingly, after Jesus speaks this profound teaching on the Eucharist, and after many leave Him as a result, He does not backpedal or change what He had said. Instead, He asks His Apostles if they wish to leave also. This question by Jesus to the Apostles is important to understand. By ask-ing it of them in a very direct way, Jesus is giving them complete freedom to choose. He does not pressure them to believe what He just taught. This is significant because the level of detachment that Jesus offers is a way of inviting a completely free acceptance, on the part of the Apostles, of His glorious teaching on the Eucharist. They are truly free to accept or reject it. It is this freedom that allows them to radically deepen their faith in Je-sus.
Peter speaks up and gives a wonderful response. “Master, to whom shall we go?” These words of Peter reveal clearly two things. First, this was a difficult situation in that people were walking away from Jesus. But sec-ondly, Peter and the other Apostles were aware that they must believe de-spite the difficulty. Just because many left Jesus and refused to accept His words was no reason for the Apostles to leave Him, also. In fact, we can hear in Peter’s words a manifestation of faith that they have come to be-lieve in Jesus so completely that leaving Him would be utter foolishness. Where would they go? Why would they leave? Peter reaffirms his faith in Jesus even though following Him at that moment was not the “popular” thing to do.
Reflect today upon your own level of commitment to Jesus. Know that you are completely free to follow Him or to leave Him. But if you choose to follow Him, do not do it half way. Know that Jesus’ words are power-ful, challenging and demanding. He wants you to believe in Him and fol-low Him with your whole heart and with profound commitment. Jesus alone has the words of eternal life and we must accept and believe those words with all our might.
Lord, to whom else shall I go if I do not follow you? You and You alone are the one whom I choose to believe in and follow. Help me to embrace all that You have taught and help me to freely choose You each and eve-ry day of my life. Jesus, I trust in You.
GUIDELINES FOR THE RECEPTION OF COMMUNION
FOR CATHOLICS—As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect con-trition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.
FOR OUR FELLOW CHRISTIANS—We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21).
Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those church with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Commun-ion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 §4). Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of Communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 §3).
FOR THOSE NOT RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION—All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encourage to express in their hearts a prayer-ful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.
*Guidelines approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1996.
To receive Holy Communion worthily:
1. You must be in a state of grace, not having committed any mortal sin. If you have committed a mortal sin, you must go to confession before receiving Holy Communion.
2. You must believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. It is our Lord whom you receive in Holy Communion.
3. You must observe the Eucharistic Fast. The Church says we must fast one hour before Mass. This means no food or drink. The only exceptions are water and medication.
4. You must spend time thanking Jesus after you have received Him in Holy Communion. It is recommended that we pray the Anima Christi.
Additional resources: www.medjugorje.org/adorehim; www.uga.edu/cc/liturgy/adoration.htm; 2heartsnetwork.org/adoration.htm; In the Presence of the Lord: The History, Theology & Psychology of Eucharistic Adoration by Fr. Benedict Groeschel
Santa Barbara Parish Prayer Ministry
prays the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet
for prayer intentions.
May God Bless You & Your Family!
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Divine mercy adoration chapel:
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