FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, I discovered the following MEDITATION BY POPEFRANCIS that I thought would be beneficial to us as we prepare to enter more deeply into this Lenten journey to Easter. In talking about sin and trust in God’s mercy, the Pharisees, and having a right heart before God, Pope Francis says, “They (the Pharisees) observed the law: on the Sabbath they didn't walk more than one hundred meters and they never went to the table without washing their hands and performing ablutions; they were very law-abiding, very firm in their ways. However...this is true only in appearances. They were strong; but outwardly. They were cast in plaster. The heart was very weak; they didn't know what they believed in. And this is why their life was, the outward portion… completely regulated; but their heart went from one side to the other. ... Jesus, on the contrary, teaches us that Christians must have a strong, steadfast heart, which grows upon the rock that is Christ, and which moves with prudence.... This is the drama of the hypocrisy of these people. And Jesus never negotiated his heart as the Son of the Father, but he was open with people, looking for ways to help. The others, rather, said: "You can’t do this; our discipline, our doctrine says that you can't do this."... In other words, "they were rigid in their discipline" and believed: "The discipline is not to be touched, it's sacred." Pharisees were like this-"our discipline"-rigid in the flesh, but as Jesus says, "decayed in the heart," weak until decayed. Darkness in the heart.... Sometimes, when I've seen a Christian man or woman like this, with a weak heart, not firm, not steadfast on the rock, and with so much outward rigidity, I have asked the Lord: Throw down a banana peel in front of him, so he takes a good slip, is ashamed of being a sinner, and thus encounters you, who are the Savior.... Lord, cast light on the darkness of our hearts; that our hearts may be steadfast in faith.” POPE FRANCIS. May our hearts never grow hard, but may the light of the Lord’s mercy and love soften the deepest areas of our heart to be as merciful and loving as our God. And when we fall, may we be humble enough to ask for forgiveness, trusting in His mercy.
Please take note of the following dates and times and parishes where the CELEBRATION OF GOD’S
MERCY will be found:
- Monday, March 14 at Good Shepherd, State College, with Bishop Mark at 7:00 PM
- Tuesday, March 15 at Queen of Archangels, Clarence at 7:00 PM
- Wednesday, March 16 at St. Matthew’s, Tyrone at 7:00 PM
- Thursday, March 17 at St. Joseph’s, Renovo at 7:00 PM
- SUNDAY, MARCH 20 AT OLV, STATE COLLEGE AT 2:00 PM.
- Tuesday, March 22 at PSU, University Park at 7:00 PM
As you can see from the above schedule, the priests will be extremely busy, especially the week of the 13th. Fr. Mike, Fr. Val and I will be attending the services and thus our time here will be limited. Please note that there will be no evening Masses on the 15th nor the 22nd nor confessions since we will be in Clarence and on the PSU Campus respectively. Thank you in advance for your understanding for the adjustments that need to be made during this very busy time of year. And please note the time of the OLV Penance Service. We will have the assistance of many priests, so mark your calendar.
NEXT SUNDAY - I will be holding a session for New Eucharistic Ministers who would like to help in our HOSPITAL MINISTRY. It will be held after the 9:30 Mass on Sunday, March 13th. For those not attending the 9:30 Mass, please arrive at the church at 10:30. The session will only last about 20 minutes. Again, thanks to all the ministers who bring the Lord Jesus to those who are hospitalized.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - An old man who'd lived all his life back up in the hills came to visit a childhood friend. Now he'd never laid eyes on a train or the iron rails on which they run. Standing in the middle of the tracks one day, he heard a distant whistle... WOOOO--OOO---OOOOO, but didn't have a clue as to what it meant or his impending danger. Predictably, the old boy is hit -- fortunately it's just a side swipe, and he's thrown, head over heels off the tracks, gets off with minor internal injuries, a few broken bones, and some bruises. After weeks in the hospital recovering, he's at a friend's place for dinner one evening. Standing in the kitchen, he hears the rising whistle of the family tea kettle WOO --OOO....OOOO Springing into action, he grabs a rolling pin and mercilessly bashes and smashes the once merry kettle into a useless, shapeless hunk of copper. His friend, hearing the fuss, rushes into the kitchen, sees what's happened and asks his friend, "Why'd you wreck our lovely tea kettle?" The mountain man replies: "Man, you gotta kill these things when they're small."