Weekly Gospel Meditation
Encouraging Deeper Understanding of Scripture
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
Alleluia! Christ is risen! These exclamations have meaning for us and express the hope to which we are called. They also make sense out of all that Jesus did and said during his earthly life. Whether Jesus knew the fullness of his risen identity in God as the Christ, he lived his life and embraced his suffering and death believing in Emmanuel, his Abba. Jesus’ Father was the constant source of strength and purpose he needed in order to do what he did and say what he said. That ultimate trust became very evident as he faced his agony in the Garden and pleaded with his Abba to take this cup from him. While the resurrection is certainly the cause of our hope, it is our belief that God is with us in every moment of our existence that gives us purpose and endurance. It is for certain that we have been created and are loved by our Abba God who never will abandon us.
Who we really are remains to be seen, as St. Paul tells us, “Your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Our hope of falling into our resurrected self and discovering our full identity remains both a mystery and most anticipated surprise! But, what God will one day give us cannot be the only reason for our faith. It is far too self-focused and concerned to look exclusively at the prize. Like Jesus, we have to find our strength and purpose in the relationship we have with God, a relationship determined from the beginning of time that is at the core of who we are. We cannot be who we really are without being in God.
As we conduct the daily business of our lives, do we ever consider the full consequences of our thoughts, words, and actions? It is all too easy today to get caught up in what appears to be the “present moment” and set our sights purely on what is required to get us through our immediate concern. As folks who are called to proclaim to all of the world not only the glory of the risen Christ, but the truth of our identity in God, greater thought and consideration is needed. St. Paul also clearly tells us “to think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” For many of us, the “demands and obligations of the earth” can be overwhelming and all-consuming at times.
The only way we can get about the task of proclaiming our faith and showing others that our faith makes a difference in our lives is by developing a habit of prayer. This is what Jesus did. He often went off by himself to pray. To be fruitful, this does not require a lot of time. Rather, it necessitates an “inner distancing” of ourselves from the stuff in our lives and the world so that we can reconnect with our Source and be called back to the truth of who we are. It is only in this way that we can acquire the contemplative vision needed to see ourselves, others, the world, and God Himself as God sees. Then, although unaware of where our life journey will ultimately bring us, we participate, even though dimly, in revealing the hidden life we have with Christ in God.
Once we change our focus from what is below to what is above, even the smallest of our actions and the simplest of our thoughts take on greater depth, purpose, and meaning. It is no longer just about what I need at the moment but something more far reaching and greater. This is where the need for discipline comes into play. Without the discipline of prayer and commitment to the mission, discipleship is simply not possible.
Our world can easily convince us that our mission is something other than the Gospel. We can find ourselves, without difficulty, forgetting that there are consequences to our actions and thoughts that can affect not only others around us but generations to come. Minor omissions, errors in judgment, self-serving decisions, and sins may not appear to be all that significant, but in reality they are. We all live in and interact with a world that operates without an anchored value system. For the Christian, it is not enough to live by the motto “do no harm” or “just love one another,” wrongly thinking that these are sufficient so that we can “do what Jesus would do.” These are just road maps leading us to the “island of anything goes” and do little to help us reach the promise of our resurrected self in God.
The Gospel, driven and ratified by the resurrection of Christ, asks us to be countercultural. We cannot do things because they are socially acceptable, expected, or normative. If running the children from one event to another, working inordinately long hours each week, or giving into our technologically driven lifestyle is eroding the quality of our family life, we have to say “Enough”! If compromising our beliefs about the dignity and sacredness of human life is what is needed to keep our social relationships less confrontational, then we have to ask ourselves just how much we really do believe in the Risen Christ and our life in God. The resurrection of Christ, if we allow its power to touch us, can restore our relationships with God, ourselves, one another, and the world we are asked to manage. It can keep us focused and free us from the distortions that can often disorientate our lives.
Whether we like the idea, our faith is not a private matter. While it is not necessary to proselytize our faith, we can certainly give witness to it by how we structure and order our lives. Where and how we invest our money, how we conduct the business of our work, and what priorities we emphasize in organizing our family life, determining the importance of the regular practice of our faith, and carving out space for a life of prayer are just some of the ways we can be successful and credible contemporary disciples.
Above all else, the children entrusted to our care need to understand who they really are. This message is much different than the one they receive from the world. While the world provides us with many gifts, it cannot be where our eyes are fixed. It’s not just about us and what we need and want. Relativism is a problem we need to confront, and there are norms for how human beings are designed to structure and orient their lives. In short, some things are simply wrong.
Christ is risen! What does that really mean to you?
Rev. Mark Suslenko
O Risen Lord, the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
Make us faithful followers of the spirit of Your Resurrection.
Grant that we may be inwardly renewed;
dying to ourselves in order that You may live in us.
May our lives serve as signs of the transforming power of Your love.
Use us as Your instruments for the renewal of society,
bringing Your life and love to all people,
and leading them to Your Church.
This we ask of You, Lord Jesus,
living and reigning with the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever.
April 14th—April 21st
Palm Sunday - Vigil 5PM
- Mass 10AM
- Tenebrae 8PM
Holy Thursday - Service at 7PM
- The Night Watch until 9PM
- Chaplet of the Devine Mercy @ 9PM
Good Friday - Service at 7PM
Holy Saturday - Easter Basket Blessing at Noon
- Mass at 8PM
Easter Sunday - Mass at 10AM
Catholic Men's Fellowship
Catholic Men's Fellowship kicking off a brand new year with a brand new series!
Join us this Saturdays at 7am in the chapel.
Sign-up for alerts via the OLPH App for meeting changes/cancellation.
Looking forward to getting back together!
Please stop by the office to schedule your requested masses and sanctuary candles.
ONLINE GIVING IS HERE!!!
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If you require assistance in setting up online giving please contract the office.
If anyone has old or broken rosaries, please bring them and leave them in the back of the church. We will fix them and send them overseas with the Sisters of the Infant Jesus missionaries.
Parish Membership and Benefits
To be considered an active, participating member of the parish, and thus eligible for sacraments, sponsor eligibility, and parish family discount at St. Mary’s and Notre Dame, OLPH takes into account a family or individual ministry involvement, and Mass attendance. Your collection envelopes, or online giving receipt, are the only way we can determine your attendance. If you are new to the parish, please stop by, call the office for registration forms or complete the online form on this site.
We Need You!!
Please consider offering service to our parishioners and the Lord by becoming an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion or Lector. You are attending Mass, why not assist others by participating in one of these ministries? Please contact Paula Taylor at email@example.com to arrange a time for training.
Altar Server News
If anyone, youth or adult, is interested in becoming an altar server, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and arrangements will be made to get you trained. We are great need of adult servers. Why not serve in the ministry? You are here at Mass anyway, what better way to participate in the Mass than as an altar server.
Rev. Walter Kedjierski Named as Executive Director of Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
04/24/19 7:14 am
WASHINGTON— Rev. Walter Kedjierski of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York has been appointed as Executive Director of the Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), based in Washington D.C.
Fr. Kedjierski will begin the new position effective June 3, 2019. Msgr. Brian Bransfield, USCCB General Secretary, made the appointment.Read More
04/23/19 7:33 am
WASHINGTON—Bishop Frank Dewane, of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Bishop Joe Vasquez, of Austin, Chairman of the Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in advance of the oral argument of Department of Commerce v. New York, before the United States Supreme Court regarding the importance of ensuring an accurate count for the U.S. Census.
“Our country conducts a Census every ten years to count the number of men, women and children residing in the United States. Census data helps direct more than $800 billion annually to key programs designed to advance the common good, strengthen families and reduce poverty. The Catholic Church and other service providers rely on the national Census to provide an accurate count in order to effectively serve those in need,” said Bishop Dewane.Read More
President of U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Statement on Terrorist Attacks atMultiple Churches and Hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday
04/21/19 12:02 pm
WASHINGTON—The following statement has been issued by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United StatesConference of Catholic Bishops regarding simultaneous explosions in Sri Lanka targeting the country’s minority Christian community as well as luxury hotels around Colombo on Easter Sunday morning. At least 200 people were killed and more than 400 injured inthe terrorist attacks.
Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:Read More
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Sundays: 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM
Monday: No Mass
Tuesday: 6:00 PM (Chapel)
Wednesday: 9:00 AM (Chapel)
Thursday: 6:00 PM (Chapel)
Friday: 9:00 AM (Chapel)
Consult "Events Calendar" for services on Holy Days of Obligation.
If we have a funeral, it will take precedence over daily Mass. We invite you to attend the funeral Mass.
If Harrison County schools are delayed or closed weekly Mass is canceled.
Mon - Wed - Thu: 9AM - 3PM
Note: Chapel is only open on weekdays
Religious Educator/Chair, Catholic Men's Fellowship
Chair, Finance Council
Chair, Perpetual Daughters
Chari, OLPH Food Pantry
Chair, Martha & Mary Ministry
Director, Altar Ministry
Director, Music Ministry
Chair, Social Committee
Pastorial Council President/Webmaster