From the Rector: Part II
Aug15

From the Rector: Part II

Part II of Answer to Letter written in March 2016 5).  Doesn’t He rather mean that unless we appropriate to ourselves by faith the value of His death for us on Calvary, we can never be saved? It is true that the first part of the dialogue concerns faith.  But Jesus doesn’t stop there.  He tells us plainly that “the bread I will give is my flesh” (Jn 6:51).  When Jesus explains that the bread of life is literally His flesh, we must accept His clear words.  We cannot prefer a different explanation to the one Jesus Himself provides.  Believing in Jesus (the teaching of the first part of the discourse, verses 22-47) means believing that He will give us His actual flesh and blood to eat (the teaching of the second part v. 49-51). 6).  We must believe on Him, receive Him, trust Him, and make Him our very own. Amen!  All this we do by believing what He says about His Body and Blood, receiving Him in Holy Communion, trusting that He can accomplish what He promises, and making Him our very own in this precious gift. 7).  The disciples partook of the bread and wine, but they did not literally eat His flesh and drink His blood.   Compare your commentary to what the Scriptures state plainly. “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”  Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mt. 26:26-28). Jesus nowhere explains away the obvious meaning of His words.  The blood they drank is the same blood which would be shed for the forgiveness of sins the next day on Calvary.  If you were at the last supper, and heard Jesus say ‘this is my body, this is my blood’, would you have objected and said “no, Jesus, it is not your body and blood”? 8).  We don’t find the first century church celebrating Mass.   You are mistaken.  First of all, Jesus commanded them to do so when He said, “do this in remembrance of Me”(1 Cor11:24).  The passage you quoted from Acts of the Apostles actually shows that they were celebrating Mass, the “breaking of bread”(Acts 2:42) is precisely the Mass. 1Cor 10:16 says “The bread we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ?  St. Paul also wrote the first letter to the Corinthians to correct abuses that were cropping up at the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, which is another name for the celebration of...

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From the Rector: Answer to Letter-Part 1
Aug09

From the Rector: Answer to Letter-Part 1

March 27, 2006 Dear ______, Thank you for your letter.  This is a wonderful topic so I am happy to do my best to answer your questions.  It may take a while to answer all of them adequately.  What I ask is that you really consider the answers, and not to have your mind made up ahead of time.  You asked the following: 1).  If the wafer is turned into the body of Jesus, how come it still looks like a wafer and the wine still looks like wine? I could likewise ask you, if Jesus is really God, how come he looked like a man?  The answer is that God can be present in any way He wants to be.  Jesus, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, joined a fully human nature to Himself. “Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who though he was by nature God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be clung to, but emptied himself, taking the nature of a slave being made like unto men.  And appearing in the form of a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross.” (Phil 2:5-8). If God can appear in the form of Man, why is it impossible for him to appear under the form of Bread and Wine if He chooses to?  In the Eucharist He changes bread and wine into His Body and Blood.  Jesus is present in the Eucharist sacramentally, that is, in a hidden way.  He is the one who says it is so; “This is my body” (Mt 26:26).  “This is my blood”(Mt. 26:28). St. Paul says to the Corinthians: “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.  For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.” (1Cor 11:27-29). Clearly St. Paul does not think the Eucharist is merely bread and wine, or only a symbol.  He warns of dire consequences for receiving unworthily.  Only if it is really His body and blood could someone have to answer for the body and blood.  He goes on to explain that because some of them don’t discern or recognize Christ’s Body in the Consecrated Bread  they eat and drink judgment on themselves, and as a consequence, many of them are ill, infirm, and a number of them were dying (see 1Cor 11:30). 2).  If we really ate Jesus’ flesh, isn’t that cannibalism? No.  Jesus gives us His Body and Blood sacramentally, under the appearances of bread and wine, precisely so that we...

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From the Rector: Sacred Heart Bazaar
Aug09

From the Rector: Sacred Heart Bazaar

Sacred Heart Annual Bazaar We are beginning to plan for the annual fall Bazaar fundraiser which will take place on Sunday November 4, 2018 at the Sacred Heart School gym. As in past years this event has been a community building, family fun filled day that supports our parish financially. Our custom is to have a Turkey Dinner, booths, games, and activities. In past years there have been couples, families, committees, and individuals who have spearheaded the effort. The first organizational meeting will take place on Tuesday evening August 14th at 7pm in the Family Center.  If you have ideas, suggestions, and the ability to pitch in, we need help on every level of organization, planning, volunteering, working, help soliciting for sponsors and donations. Please don’t keep your lamp under a bushel basket! Come join in to make this year’s Bazaar a great success....

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From the Rector: Can We Please Pursue Spiritual Excellence At Least as Hard as We Do for Sports and Academics?
Jul27

From the Rector: Can We Please Pursue Spiritual Excellence At Least as Hard as We Do for Sports and Academics?

Can We Please Pursue Spiritual Excellence At Least as Hard as We Do for Sports and Academics? Fr. Bill Peckman – July 21, 2018 Anything we deem as important, we usually will try to master. You see this with athletes. They will alter exercise routines, nourishment, and upend their schedule to grow better at a sport. You see this with gamers. They will spend inordinate amounts of time and energy to up their skill level to get better. You see this with craftsmen. They will dig down and learn techniques that help them master their trade. You see this with serious scholars who will spend hour upon hour learning, studying, and expanding their understanding. You see this with body builders who will get meticulous about nutrition, exercise, and spend long hours in the gym to sculpt what they deem to be the perfect body. These all take dedication and a willingness to sacrifice and suffer for whatever they deem worthy of that time and energy. It is true for physical pursuits. It is true for intellectual pursuits. Here is a fact: it is also true spiritual pursuits. While God gives us grace, the pursuit of holiness is not easy. Like matters of the body and soul, it requires discipline, time, energy, and a willingness to sacrifice and suffer to grow stronger. Here is another fact, a rather sobering one: the athlete and bodybuilder end up dying just like anyone else. So does the gamer, the scholar, and the craftsmen. Don’t let these pursuits become so primary that you ignore the only thing that lasts: your soul. We allow the pursuit of the temporary crowd out the pursuit of the eternal. We believe we can regulate the eternal as a matter of convenience that will be attended to once activities we deem more important are sated. This is short sighted. We teach our children what is more important and worthy of their time. This is not an either/or proposition. One can be a great athlete, scholar, or craftsmen without neglecting their soul. It is about priority and discipline. Think about this when the choice between sports and faith come up. Think about this when you cede ground on Sundays to yet more worldly activities. Balance. That is what I am proposing. To quote Christ, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8.36)...

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From the Rector: Catholic Communications Campaign
Jul20

From the Rector: Catholic Communications Campaign

Catholic Communications Campaign Special Collection Next week, our second collection is for the Catholic Communication Campaign. This campaign connects people with Christ, here and around the world in developing countries, through the internet, television, radio, and print media. And fifty percent of funds collected remain in our diocese to fund local communications efforts. Your support helps spread the gospel message! To learn more, visit www.usccb.org/ccc. Below is Bishop’s letter concerning this special collection. Bishop’s...

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From the Parochial Vicar: Missionaries, Not Mercenaries
Jul13

From the Parochial Vicar: Missionaries, Not Mercenaries

THEME : MISSIONARIES, NOT MERCENARIES                                                                         BY REV FR ANSELM CHIGOZIE AMADI INTRODUCTION: The Bethel sanctuary was built by King Jeroboam to prevent the people from going to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to God. This  was motivated by political reasons, to secure the Northern Kingdom from having contact with the temple of God in Jerusalem, less their hearts turn back to the king of Judah (1kings 12:26-30). He, therefore, established two royal sanctuaries as alternative places of worship for the Northern Kingdom. He appointed  Amaziah to be the priest of this “political sanctuaries”. Amaziah, so to say, was a minister of “political sanctuary” and ministered to the political interest of the king. Amos, on the other hand, was a minister of the Word of God and God’s spokesman. His prophetic utterances threatened the political security of Jeroboam and job security of Amaziah, the conventional priest. In defense of his politically based priesthood, Amaziah saw the message of the Most High as treason and banished the prophet. The two actors of the biblical scene mirror two  classes of religious workers in the church today, namely, missionaries and mercenaries. TWO GROUPS OF MINISTERS In the old testament we have court prophets who minister in the court of the king. They told  the king what he would like to hear and painted walls instead of speaking out when the king was in error. Those prophets and priests placed affinity with the king above relationship with God and counted material benefits more important than eternal reward. Such are the likes of Amaziah, mercenaries and not missionaries. Compromise is their Creed and gain their measure of success. Missionaries are those whose hearts the Lord has touched and who are sent by the Lord to proclaim the Word to the world, to both kings and nobles, rich and poor alike. They are empowered with the Word and spiritual authority as Jesus did to the apostolic emissaries in the gospel. They fear neither human nor spiritual strongholds in cognizance of their spiritual endowment. Real missionaries speak truth to power and combat the powers of darkness, be it sickness or demonic influence. SOMETHING MORE THAN BREAD Amaziah banished the prophet thus: “go to Judah and earn your bread there by prophesying ( Amos 7:12)”. Because of his bread apostolate, he could not see beyond the mercenary boundaries. Amos was motivated by a power beyond bread attractions. Jesus gave us in the gospel, the power that sustained true missionaries when he said “my food is to do the will of my father (John 4:34). In man, we have sensitive appetite which is satisfied by material and carnal gratification...

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From the Rector: Biblical Counsel
Jul05

From the Rector: Biblical Counsel

Here’s some helpful Biblical counsel for us all. Don’t open your mouth when: 1. In the heat of anger – Proverbs 14:17   11. When you are tempted to tell an outright lie – Proverbs 4:24 2. When you don’t have all the facts – Proverbs 18:13   12. If your words will damage someone else’s reputation – Proverbs 16:27 3. When you haven’t verified the story – Deuteronomy 17:6   13. If your words will damage a friendship – Proverbs 16:28 4. If your words will offend a weaker person – 1 Corinthians 8:11   14. When you are feeling critical – James 3:9 5. When it is time to listen – Proverbs 13:1   15. If you can’t say it without screaming it – Proverbs 25:28 6. When you are tempted to make light of holy things – Ecclesiastes 5:2   16. If your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord or your friends and family – Peter 2:21-23 7. When you are tempted to joke about sin – Proverbs 14:9   17. If you may have to eat your words later – Proverbs 18:21 8. If you would be ashamed of your words later – Proverbs 8:8   18. If you have already said it more than one time – Proverbs 19:13 9. If your words would convey the wrong impression – Proverbs 17:27   19. When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person – Proverbs 24:24 10. If the issue is none of your business – Proverbs 14:10   20. When you are suppose to be working instead – Proverbs 14:23 ” Whoever guards his mouth & tongue keeps his soul from troubles” – Proverbs 21:23...

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