Stonewood, West Virginia

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Spread the Good News of Jesus Christ by living our faith as a Catholic Community in worship, service, and support of one another.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church

Weekly Gospel Meditation

Connect! Sunday Reflection

The View from Heaven

November 29, 2019  •   Br. John-Marmion Villa

For Sunday, December 8, 2019
2nd Sunday of Advent

Honoring Our Anointing

Isaiah 11:1-10
Romans 15:4-9
Matthew 3:1-12

“God is mystery. This mystery is clearly revealed in paradox and balance. A paradox is an apparent contradiction that speaks of a deeper truth. Some paradoxes: 1.) We often find companionship, communion, and community in solitude. 2.) We often hear God’s Word best in silence. 3.) We find spiritual wealth in simplicity and poverty. 4.) We discover freedom in obedience to God and to His experienced teachers on earth.

We then go on to find such paradoxes as these: 1.) Glory in humility and even in humiliation. 2.) Peace in the midst of conflict. 3.) Joy in sorrow. 4.) Consolation in desolation. 5) Life in death.

These paradoxes all speak a deeper truth that can be understood on the deepest level by people searching for spiritual awakening in their lives. Paradoxes can open the doorway from the old, unhappy self to a new self, fulfilled in the Spirit of God.

These paradoxes are mysteries and cannot be comprehended by natural reason alone. They have a logic that defies mere human logic. To seek to understand such mysteries implies that one is opening up to the mystical, that which cannot be understood by logic alone.

But once we glimpse these paradoxes and mysteries, even from a distance, we see that all things proclaim a logic more complete and balanced than anything the world has ever known.”

—“Lessons from a Troubadour” by John Michael Talbot

We don’t like paradoxes because they aren’t easily explained systematically. We tend to prefer our knowledge to have a logical or predictable trajectory and result. But since our ways are not God’s ways, nor our thoughts His thoughts (cf. Is 55:8), we might sometimes feel frustrated that we don’t “get” God. Just look at the first reading: “The wolf shall be the guest of the lamb.” “The leopard shall lie down with the kid.” “The baby shall play by the cobra’s den.”

We might be thinking to ourselves, “WHAT?” This makes no sense! If a parent would let their infant child play in a snake den, a phone call would be placed to the proper authorities rather quickly. But there has to be some kernel of “kingdom logic” that is trying to be communicated in today’s readings. Perhaps we are being reminded by John the Baptist of the seemingly paradoxical nature of the person of Jesus. John’s message of repentance might be seen as jarring at least, offensive at best, but he is setting the stage for the coming of the Messiah and the new ways of the kingdom of heaven.

This message still makes us slightly uncomfortable today because of how distressing that first word is: repent. There are many connotations with that word, but if we look at it from the perspective of “heaven’s logic,” we can begin to understand the mystery of God’s coming to humanity in the form of a helpless baby born in obscurity.

As we train ourselves to become more comfortable with God’s ways — which, I will also attest, don’t always make the best pragmatic sense at the time — we will also begin to see that the logic of paradox is the way to describe how heaven’s logic is the path for which we had been searching all along. Maybe we need to go out into the desert in order to hear the voice of the one crying out. Maybe, it is in the desert that we can find the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Br. John-Marmion Villa, BSC

 

Prayer

Dear heavenly Father,
open the eyes of my heart.
Heal my shortsightedness,
my farsightedness,
and the astigmatism of my soul.
I want to see all things
from your perspective,
including the hope to which you have called us.
To see with eyes of hope
means that I will be able to discern
your heart and hand at work everywhere.
Things are not as they appear to the natural eye.
You are working in all things all the time,
for your glory and our good.
I surrender today, gratefully, and expectantly.
Amen.



 


Our Lady of Perpetual Help is sponsoring two Advent Projects this year. The first is the WVU Children's Hospital gifts for the children project. See the flyer below for gift ideas and bring your gifts to the OLPH Christmas Party on December 15th sponsored by the CCP Families. The other project is the Food Box Project and by adding one item a day during Advent we will have food boxed to give to those in need this holiday season. Please choose one or both for you and your family to participate on this year. - Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Catholic Men's Fellowship kicking off a brand new year with a brand new series!

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  • Dec 14 2019  5:00 pm - Vigil Mass
  • Dec 15 2019  8:00 am - Mass
  • Dec 15 2019  10:00 am - Mass

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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 protected] to arrange a time for training. 

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If anyone, youth or adult, is interested in becoming an altar server, please contact [email protected], 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.

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Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Funds Catholic Biblical Literacy and Interpretation Projects

WASHINGTON- This fall, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) has awarded $107,896 in grants to fund six projects that support the goals of the CCD to promote Catholic biblical literacy and Catholic biblical interpretation. These grants are funded by royalties received from the publication of the New American Bible and its derivative works, which the CCD develops, publishes, promotes, and distributes.

 

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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Paul Swain and Appoints Rev. Donald DeGrood as Bishop of Sioux Falls

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Most Reverend Paul J. Swain from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Sioux Falls and has appointed Reverend Donald Edward DeGrood to succeed him. Father DeGrood is a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

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U.S. Bishops Approve $1.6 Million in Aid for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe approved $1.6 million in funding for 100 projects in 22 countries in Central and Eastern Europe at its meeting on November 10 in Baltimore, Maryland.

“The Church in Central and Eastern Europe continues to work through the effects of decades of communism and repression. As the Church rebuilds and grows in the region, the faithful of the United States stand in solidarity and show our love to our brothers and sisters there through our prayers and generosity,” said Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton of Steubenville, chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.

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Mass Times

Saturdays: 5:00 PM
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)

PLEASE NOTE:
Consult "Events Calendar" for services on Holy Days of Obligation.

ALSO,
If we have a funeral, it will take precedence over daily Mass. We invite you to attend the funeral Mass.

NOTICE:
If Harrison County schools are delayed or closed weekly Mass is canceled.

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