Welcome

About Us

Sacraments/Liturgy

Faith Formation

Get Involved

How Do I?

Calendar

Academy of Our Lady

Fr. Ron's Blog

logo

Dear Friends,
Last week, I introduced anyone who read my column to the RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. If you missed it, and want to catch-up, you can find it on the website (Click Here). As part of that introduction, I mentioned the scrutinies, those special rites, celebrated on the 3rd, 4thand 5thSundays of Lent, when those to be baptized at the Easter Vigil are invited to look deeply into their lives, to uncover and heal what is weak and strengthen what is upright. Each Sunday, this is accomplished through three different “signs” from the Gospel of John. Last week, it was the living water of the well of Jacob in Samaria. Today it is the “sign” of the man born blind. And the rite is celebrated at the 11:00AM Mass. But the rite, and its celebration, offer the whole community an opportunity to do what the catechumens are invited to do, to uncover and heal what is wounded through sin and to strengthen what is good.

Did you ever notice how “blind” all of us can be? Ask someone who has been in an unfamiliar place, a room, a building, etc. to describe the colors, the arrangement of furniture, and it’s amazing how many details go unnoticed. Likewise, when someone is trying to get across some non-verbal message, how blind we can be to his or her attempts. Usually our blindness is caused by our fixation on something or someone else.

That’s exactly what can happen in our spiritual life. Something or someone else can blind us to God’s presence, action and call in our lives. We begin to see wrongly, or not at all and God fades out of sight. In the prayers this Sunday we pray, “Free these elect (and us) from the false values that surround and blind them (and us). Set them (and us) firmly in your truth, children of the light forever.”

As we reflect in these weeks on our need to be healed, there is no better way than the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that special moment when, like the man born blind, we recover our sight. And an excellent moment to have the space, the time, the peace and the inspiration to do this is the Communal Celebration of the Sacrament (with individual confessions) on the Tuesday of Holy Week, April 16th, at 7:30PM. The quiet, the music, the Scripture all speak to our hearts, giving us the courage (and sometime we need courage) to admit our need for healing, seeking the gentle touch of Jesus, through the ministry of the priest. Start thinking about it now and maybe God will move you to come.

And speaking of reconciliation, we find it again in today’s readings from Cycle C (the Gospel of Luke) for the rest of the masses of this 4thSunday of Lent, with the exception of the 11:00 which I have already mentioned. This 4thSunday is called Laetare Sunday, taken from the words of the opening antiphon, Rejoice Jerusalem. Taken together, the readings call us to celebration and reconciliation, or I might better put it, celebration because of reconciliation. Because God has reached out to us, lifted us up and reconciled us to himself, we have cause to celebrate. In the 1stReading, the Israelites have finally reached the Promise, they are to enjoy the fruits of the land which God is giving them and celebrate in its fulfillment. In the Psalm Response, the psalmist invites the reader to rejoice because this God not only hears the cry of the poor, but acts in their behalf. In the 2ndReading, Paul proclaims a new creation, because we have been reconciled to God in Jesus, the Christ. In the Gospel, the father says to his hard-hearted son, “we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and has been found.” The cause of our rejoicing, then, is that God forgives us, heals us, raises us up and invites us back into the family. What could be better than to feel the warmth of that welcome and the peace of that relationship in a world which so often is filled with acrimony, anxiety and division?

This year, make the end of Lent a time of rejoicing, as the loud celebration in the house of the Father is for you who have been reconciled to your God. In addition to the Parish Penance Service, confessions are heard on the Saturday (4/13) before Palm Sunday, from 1:00 to 2:00, and on the Wednesday evening of Holy Week, from 7:00 to 9:00. You will not regret finding your way back to the Father’s house.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron

Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

weshare

 sgbcross 
Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

facebook

  newpriestnj