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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear friends,
The flip of a calendar doesn’t necessarily mark anything special, but it does afford the opportunity to stop and “take stock” of what’s going on. That change of calendars happened last Friday, and so it is a good time to take that stock.

Firstly, to recognize blessings and say thanks. The first reading of the Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, New Year’s Day, begins “Say to them (the Israelites): ‘The Lord bless you and keep you.” We here at OLMC are so blessed in so many ways. One of those blessings is the people who are so good to us, sharing their time and talents.

Dear friends,
Today is Holy Family Sunday, the day on which the Church celebrates family life and asks us to reflect on the family as the basic unit of society. It is the family in which we are nurtured and nourished and which, throughout our lives, offers the support that allows us to continue to grow and, at the same time, to be secure in the knowledge that there is a place where we are loved. It is in the family that we experience the ties that bind, bringing us together into the most intimate of all human relationships.

Dear friends,
I conclude this week a summary of Pope Francis’ bull of indiction, The Face of Mercy, announcing the Jubilee of Mercy which began a week ago on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

After reminding us that God never tires of reaching out to us, always ready to listen, the Holy Father takes up the question of justice and mercy. Justice and mercy are not contradictory realities because, in Sacred Scripture, justice is understood essentially as faithful abandonment to God’s will. Faced with a vision of justice as the mere observance of the law that puts people into two groups – the just and the sinner- (as the Pharisees do), Jesus reveals the great gift of mercy that searches out sinners and offers them new life.

Dear friends,
We continue our reflection on The Face of Mercy, convoking the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy by Pope Francis.
The Pope invites us to see this year as a pilgrimage representing the journey each of us makes through life. The desired destination of this year’s pilgrimage is the Holy Door in Rome, or the local cathedral (in our case the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark), or a church designated by the local Bishop (again, in our case, Presentation in Upper Saddle River). To pass through the Holy Door in any one of these places is a sign of the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us.

Dear friends,
We continue our reflection on The Face of Mercy, convoking the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, God exercises his omnipotence particularly in his exercise of mercy. Even in the Old Testament, God’s mercy is more concretely demonstrated than his punishment and destruction. “Patient and merciful” are abiding words most often used to describe God’s relationship to his people. Especially in the Psalms is the goodness and mercy of God visible, in such references as, “he forgives all your iniquity, heals all your diseases, redeems your life, crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.

Dear friends,
And so, Advent begins (as if you didn’t know – Black Friday was only two days ago). Preparing for Christmas, as more than just the usual card-sending, gift-giving, family (and workplace) partying. And, by the way, none of these are bad. God is inviting you to look deep into your hearts this year, to clean it up and to find, anew, a place for Him and for the special gift He has given to all of us – the life of His Son, the life of Himself.

Dear friends,

Two celebrations dominate the calendar this week, The Feast of Christ the King, which we celebrate today and Thanksgiving, which we celebrate on Thursday.
Christ the King is really the late-comer feast. It was inaugurated by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as a counterweight to the growing trend to deify the state as the ultimate source of both power and loyalty. This was most especially exemplified by the totalitarian governments of the time, especially the communists in Russia, the fascists in Italy and, later, the Nazis in Germany.

Dear friends,
If the quality of a vacation can be judged by the length of time it continues to affect the vacationer, my trip was “over the top,” since I still feel relaxed and refreshed. Truly amazing, the calming the rolling ocean can bring to a person’s heart and mind.
That being said, upon returning, some things do “fall through the cracks.” Last week was the Academy of Our Lady Weekend. Along with the readers, intercessory prayer “pray-ers,” gift bearers, and greeters, I usually dedicate my column in the bulletin to the Academy. And so I take this opportunity to offer some thoughts today. They certainly are not new, but I think we need to remind ourselves of them at every opportunity.

Dear friends,
The final words on the Philadelphia experience.
PS. It’s nice to be home, but if you’re looking for a really relaxing vacation, and a time to re-charge, I recommend a two week cruise, to wherever. And the days on the ocean were a reminder of the vastness, even of our own planet, and the “smallness” of humankind in its face.

Dear friends,
As you read this, I will be on my way home. The last two weeks you have been reading the reflections of some of the men, women and children who attended the Pope’s meetings/Mass in Philadelphia. The weekend before that, some adults from the parish went to learn about and to serve the poor in Camden. Here are a few of their reflections on their trip.

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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 

 

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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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