• The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament

Mass Times

Saturday Vigil
4:00pmHoly Cross
5:30pmBlessed Sacrament

Sunday
8:00amHoly Cross
9:30amBlessed Sacrament
11:00amHoly Cross

Daily Mass
Mon, Wed, Fri: 8:00amHoly Cross
Tues,Thurs: 7:30amBlessed Sacrament

Reconciliation

Saturdays
Holy Cross
3:00pm to 3:45pm

Blessed Sacrament
3:15pm to 3:45pm

Outreach Services

ServicePhone
AA Helpline1-800-640-7545
Al-Anon1-800-339-9006
Birthright of Scranton570-961-1133
National Hotline For Abortion Recovery1-866-482+5433
Rachel’s Vineyard Post Abortive Healing1-877-467-3463
PA 24 Hour Child Abuse Hot Line1-800-932-0313

Latest Tweets

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day

On behalf of Monsignor Delaney, and the entire parish staff, best wishes for a blessed and enjoyable Mother’s Day to all mothers, grandmothers and godmothers.

Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers, grandmothers and godmothers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

NEED A BUTTER LAMB ($5), PASKA,KOLACHI, OR EASTER COOKIES ($10) FOR YOUR BASKET

Empty Easter Basket

You can still order this weekend at the entrances to Blessed Sacrament Parish. Paska, with or without raisins, Kolachi-nut, poppy, cheese, lekvar, apricot and raspberry, a boxed dozen of Easter Cookies, all made by Bakery Delite; and our Hand-Made Butter Lamb. Pickup up is on Holy Thursday from 1 to 4:45 PM. Orders can also be made by calling Joseph Butash 570- 489-4515. The Holy Name thanks you for supporting this fundraiser.

BLESSING OF EASTER BASKETS

Saturday, April 20

11:00 AM Blessed Sacrament

12:30 PM Holy Cross.

A NON-PERISHABLE FOOD COLLECTION

will be taken up at the Holy Thursday evening mass. Please be generous. Food will be donated to our local food banks.

Easter Triduum Schedule 2019

Easter Triduum

Forty days of Lenten Preparation will being us to the most important days of our church year: praying together the Triduum; Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the great Vigil of Holy Saturday.

Please do all you can to join us for the most solemn and significant moments of grace. Experience and celebrate the Mercy of God.

Easter Triddum Schedule


Holy Thursday – April 18


Mass of the Last Supper

6:00 p.m.Blessed Sacrament – Throop
7:00 p.m.Holy Cross – Olyphant

Good Friday – April 19


The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

1:30 p.m.Holy Cross – Olyphant
3:30 p.m.Blessed Sacrament – Throop

Stations of the Cross

5:30 p.m.Holy Cross – Olyphant
6:00 p.m.Blessed Sacrament – Throop

Holy Saturday – April 20


Blessing of Baskets

11:00 a.m.Blessed Sacrament – Throop
12:30 p.m.Holy Cross – Olyphant

Easter Vigil - April 20

8:00 p.m.Holy Cross – Olyphant

Easter Sunday – April 21


8:00 a.m.Holy Cross – Olyphant
9:30 a.m.Blessed Sacrament – Throop
11:00 a.m.Holy Cross – Olyphant
11:00 a.m.Blessed Sacrament – Throop

Alleluia Alleluia!

Ash Wednesday Schedule 2019

Ash Wednesday

March 3, 2019 - Mass and Distribution of Ashes

7:30 a.m. Blessed Sacrament Parish – Throop

8:00 a.m. Holy Cross Parish – Olyphant

12:00 p.m. Holy Cross Parish – Olyphant

5:30 p.m. Blessed Sacrament Parish – Olyphant

7:00 p.m. Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Nehemiah 8:2-4a,5-6,8-10 Ezra reads from the book of the Law and interprets it for all to understand.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19:8,9,10,15 A song in praise of the Law of the Lord.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 (or shorter form, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14,27) Paul explains that all were baptized into the one body of Christ.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21 In the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus reads aloud from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and announces that this Scripture is now fulfilled.

Background on the Gospel Reading: Today’s Gospel reading combines two separate passages taken from the Gospel of Luke. First we hear the opening verses where Luke establishes the purpose of his Gospel. His style is typical of polished Greek and Roman literature. In this passage, we learn that Luke may have written to a specific person. Theophilus; but the word Theophilus may also be a general reference, functioning as the phrase “Dear Reader” might in contemporary writing. In Greek, the word Theophilus translates as “lover of God.”

Today’s Gospel reading then skips several chapters in which one would find the Infancy Narratives, Jesus’ baptism by John, the temptations Jesus faced in the desert, and the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. In chapter four of Luke’s Gospel, we hear that Jesus is in his hometown of Nazareth, attending the synagogue on the Sabbath, which is said to be his custom. In this account, we find another important clue that Jesus lived as a faithful, observant Jew. We will continue to read from Luke’s Gospel in sequence for the next two Sundays.

As Jesus stands in the synagogue, he reads from the scroll handed to him; it contains the words of the prophet Isaiah. At this early moment in his ministry, Jesus announces his mission in continuity with Israel’s prophetic tradition. This reading from Isaiah defines Jesus’ ministry. We will find more evidence of this as we continue to read from Luke’s Gospel throughout the year. Jesus’ ministry will include bringing glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, healing to the sick, freedom to the oppressed, and proclaiming a year acceptable to the Lord.

Through this text from Isaiah, Jesus announces God’s salvation. The “year acceptable to the Lord” is a reference to the Jewish tradition of Sabbath years and jubilee. The Sabbath year was observed every seventh year. It was a year of rest when land was left fallow and food stores were to be shared equally with all. A year of Jubilee was celebrated every fiftieth year, the conclusion of seven cycles of Sabbath years. It was a year of renewal in which debts were forgiven and slaves were freed.

This tradition of Jubilee is the framework for God’s promise of salvation. And yet in Jesus, something new begins. Jesus not only announces God’s salvation, he brings this salvation about in his person. Jesus is Yahweh’s Anointed One, filled with the Spirit of God. The Kingdom of God is now at hand. It is made present in Jesus, in his life, death, and Resurrection. Jesus will send the Holy Spirit so that the Kingdom of God can be fulfilled.

The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ gift to the Church. The Holy Spirit enables the Church to continue the mission of Jesus. When we do what Jesus did—bring glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, healing to the sick, and freedom to the oppressed—we serve the Kingdom of God.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2-PRESENTATION OF THE LORD

This day the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs 40 days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas day, sine the blessing and procession of candles is included in this day’s liturgy.

Candles blessed this day are available to be taken home for family use. Candles are available in the vestibules of our parishes. Suggested offering $3.00.

January 22, Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

The over 56 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton reflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.” As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms.

A great prayer for life is urgently needed,

a prayer which will rise up throughout the world.

Through special initiatives and in daily prayer,

may an impassioned plea rise to God,

the Creator and lover of life,

from every Christian community,

from every group and association,

from every family and from the heart of every believer.

……..Pope Saint John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 100

INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity January 18-25, 2019

The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16:18-20). According to Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute GEII)…, Christian communities “become newly aware of their unity as they join in a common concern and a common response to an unjust reality. At the same time, confronted by these injustices, we are obliged, as Christians, to examine the ways in which we are complicit. Only by heeding Jesus’s prayer ‘that they all may be one’ can we witness to living unity in diversity. It is through our unity in Christ that we will be able to combat injustice and serve the needs of its victims.” To purchase materials for your worship community for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, check out GEII on the web…

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over 100 years…, in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity. By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper “that they all may be one.” (cf. John 17:21)

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be marked locally on Thursday at 12:10 PM at St. Peter Cathedral, Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, gathering pastors, leadership and members of various Christian congregations reaching across Northeastern PA. All are invited to come and join in this beautiful prayer calling us to celebrate our dedication to building up the Body of Christ in our time.

FEAST OF ST. BLAISE-FEBRUARY 3

Saint Blaise was martyred in Armenia in 316. He served as a holy Bishop and was known to have worked ardently for the benefit of his people.

At all Masses February 2nd & 3rd, all are invited to receive the traditional blessing as we seek healing of body and spirit.

“Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, Bishop and martyr, may you be healed of every ailment of the throat and all other ailments, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

PRAYER FOR THE NEW YEAR

Remember us, O God;
from age to age be our comforter.
You have given us the wonder of time,
blessings in days and nights, seasons and years.
Bless your children at the turning of the year
and fill the months ahead with the bright hope
that is ours in the coming of Christ.
You are our God, living and reigning, forever and ever.
R/. Amen.

Diocese Adds Names to List of Credibly Accused Individuals

Following the release of the Grand Jury report last year, Bishop Bambera made a promise that he would be more open and transparent in the way that the Diocese handles occurrences of child sexual abuse. That commitment remains true.

In August, the Diocese published on its website a list of all clergy, staff and volunteers who had been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Since then, additional victims have come forward. Eleven new names have been added to the online list. Those new names are listed below. We will continue to alert you periodically in the case that additional individuals are added to this list.

If you are aware of additional allegations of wrongdoing or any information that should be included on this list, please contact our Victim Assistance Coordinator Mary Beth Pacuska at 570-862-7551 or Monsignor Thomas Muldowney, Vicar General at 570- 207-2269. If you have suffered abuse by clergy or anyone working on behalf of the Diocese, you are encouraged to contact Mary Beth Pacuska.

These names have been added to the original list of credibly accused individuals:

DIOCESAN CLERGY

Polcha, Michael C.
Pulicare, Michael J.

MEMBERS OF RELICIOUS ORDERS

Bourbon, Francis C. (S.J.)
Fertal, Joseph (SVD)
Garrity, Stephen M., (S.J.)
Long, Arthur J. (S.J.)
Pisaneschi, Sister Clare (M.P.F.)
Rebovich, John (OSJ)

LAITY

Maroni, Mark
Smith, Richard
Yarros, David

Notice Regarding Reposting Sexual Abuse of a Minor

It is the policy of the Diocese of Scranton to report any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to law enforcement. If you are a victim of sexual abuse committed by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee or volunteer of the Diocese of Scranton, you are encouraged to immediately report the matter to law enforcement. If any priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the diocese of Scranton has cause or reason to suspect that a minor has been subjected to any form of abuse, including child sexual abuse, the matter will be reported to law enforcement. In accordance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Service Laws, reports of suspected child abuse should also be made immediately by phone to the 24-HourChild Abuse hotline (ChildLine) at 1-800-932-0313 or electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis

It is also the policy of the Diocese to adhere to all civil and state regulations. To this end, the Diocese is equally committed to adhering to the norms of the Code of Canon Law and to upholding the tenets of the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which includes supporting victims of sexual abuse in their pursuit of emotional and spiritual well-being. As such, information regarding an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor should also be reported to the Victim Assistance Coordinator Mary Beth Pacuska at 570-862- 7551 or to Diocesan officials, including the Vicar General, Monsignor Thomas M. Muldowney, V.G,. at 570-207-2269.

FEASTS OF THE EPIPHANY AND THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord – the manifestation of the Christ to the Gentiles. The feast is traditionally celebrated the 12th day after Christmas, January 6th (hence the Christmas Carol: the 12 Days of Christmas). In the diocese of the United States, however, this feast has been moved to the Sunday between January 2 and January 8. On Monday, the Church concludes the Christmas Season with the celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord celebrates a turning point in the life of Jesus. It was time for Jesus as the anointed servant of God to begin his ministry. The Father pronounces Jesus as his beloved Son and Jesus began his public ministry. As we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, we are reminded of our own rebirth in baptism. We are invited to look to Jesus and to our own lives and to listen to where Jesus is calling us. Through Jesus we are blessed on our mission in life.

Baptism Of the Lord

GREETING THE NEW YEAR THE CATHOLIC WAY

No fear, no matter what comes. Bring it, 2019.

According to Fides News Service, as of October 2017, there are 1.28 BILLON Catholics in the world. Some 70.4 million of them are in the United States. The USA has a population of approximately 330,000,000 people. That works out to about 22 percent of the American population being Catholic.

From the pope down to the vagrant, each of us is an individual creation made by God. We are all unique. Incredibly, we will all be judged individually. And, as Catholics, we will be held to a higher standard. After all, we proclaim that we are part of the Mystical Body of Christ, which has the deposit of faith. No matter how we lived our lives, the common denominator for all of us will be: How much we loved each other.

Based on that, here are some points to consider if we focus, before all else, on pleasing God in the New Year, the Catholic way:

• Never forget that you are God’s individual creation and therefore a gift He has bestowed on the world. Be humbled by the fact that He certainly has you in the palm of His hand. Without Him you are nothing.

• Be happy with who and what you are. God made you and loves you. If you feel you need to change to please Him, you can do it. Just ask for His help.

• The choices you make are your responsibility. Sometimes our choices hurt us. Embrace them and learn from them and move on. Thank God for the experience.

• Sometimes NOT getting what you want or what you think you need is a blessing. If you trust God, you will thank Him. When “one door closes another opens.”

• Always count your blessings, not your troubles.

• Always do your best. The “best” is all God expects from each of us.

• You can make it through whatever comes along. Grace will be there, but it only comes one day at a time. Don’t fret about the future.

• Prayer is the most powerful of weapons and can be your greatest ally in all diversity.

• Don’t take things too seriously, especially yourself.

• The key to happiness is to give of yourself, not to “get” for yourself.

• Miracles happen; you are one – I am one – we all are one.

• Temptation is everywhere. It is okay to say “NO.”

• Finally, never fail to help a neighbor, whoever it may be, even a stranger.

We all will experience “highs and lows” during the coming year. As Catholics, we have the armor of the Church to shield us and the angels and saints to help us fight our battles with the evil one.

St. Michael the Archangel will always “defend us in battle.” St. Anthony will help us find lost items. St. Jude will help us through seemingly impossible barricades. Good St. Joseph is ready to help us, and especially to help all men be good fathers and husbands. St. Monica will help moms and St. Dymphna will help those experiencing emotional difficulties or suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. And, of course, the Blessed Virgin Mary is always there for all of us.

Virtually every day of the calendar year honors a particular saint, and that saint is especially inspiring with certain needs – such as St. Padre Pio who is the patron of adolescents and volunteers, or St. Maximilian Kolbe, martyred in the Holocaust, who is the patron of drug addicts. Help is always available when you are Catholic.

Lastly, we have in place for our salvation the most beautiful thing this side of heaven: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We can actually be at the foot of the Cross and then witness the resurrection. Yes, that’s what is happening at Mass. It is there for all us every day if we so CHOOSE. Then there are the sacraments, always available to build us up and restore us to where we should be, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2019 – “No Fear”

……….By Larry Peterson for Aleteia

Happy New Year!!!

REJOICE AND BE GLAD!

REJOICE AND BE GLAD!

CHRISTMAS 2018

MERRY CHRISTMAS, ONE AND ALL!

Rejoice and Be Glad!

Rejoice!

- a second grader excitedly stops by with his Dad to drop off the Christmas gift they’ve chosen for a young boy;

- our social concerns committee provides Christmas dinner for the homeless at St. Anthony Haven;

- an organization calls for “2 more families” happily adopting more people to bring Christmas joy;

- gifts are shared with local nursing homes and Saint Joseph Center, carols are sung at homes of shut-ins, flowers taken to the homebound, our children celebrate with Santa;

- we ask for 100 bottles of shampoo and 200 + show up!

- our parish vestibules are filled with packages to share with special families;

- our weekly community lunch brings gifts to share with our guests;

- countless kindnesses and faith-filled gestures of devotion are extended to those in need.

Be Glad!

Pope Francis writes: “The Holy Spirit bestows holiness in abundance among God’s holy and faithful people, for “it has pleased God to make men and women holy and to save them, not as a people…who might serve him in holiness.”

At Christmas we commemorate the birth of Emmanuel, “God with us” as one family, one people. God has “taken into account the complex fabric of interpersonal relationships present in a human community. God enters into the life and history of a people.”

Rejoice and Be Glad!

God continues to enter into our lives, our history, calling us to be a community of faith, holy and joyfilled. Pope Francis writes: “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to serve their families, in the sick, in the elderly who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church. It is a holiness found in our next door neighbors, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence.”

I certainly get that – understand that, see it. I see the holiness of God each and every day reflected and lived out in the faith communities of Blessed Sacrament, Throop and Holy Cross, Olyphant. Signs of holiness at Christmas and everyday – rejoice and be glad!

Jesus Christ is born! May this Christmas find us living our lives in love and bearing witness to this love in everything we do.

Merry, Merry Christmas, may our homes be filled with joy and peace, faith and hope, love and holiness!

United In His Service,
Monsignor Delaney

Mass Schedule for Christmas 2018

Holy Cross Parish – Olyphant
Blessed Sacrament Parish – Throop

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Christmas MASS SCHEDULE

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the long-awaited savior of the world, Emmanuel – God with us! The Christmas Mass schedule is as follows:

Christmas Eve - Sunday, December 24, 2018

4:00 p.m. at Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant
4:00 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Parish – Throop
9:00 p.m. Blessed Sacrament Parish – Throop
11:00 p.m. Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant

Christmas Day - Monday, December 25th, 2018

8:00 a.m. Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant
9:30 a.m. Blessed Sacrament Parish - Throop
11:00 a.m. Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant

New Year’s Mass Schedule

New Year’s Day is the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, a Holy Day of Obligation

New Year’s Eve, Monday December 31

4:00 PM at Holy Cross Parish – Olyphant
5:30 PM at Blessed Sacrament – Throop

New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1

9:30 AM at Blessed Sacrament Parish – Throop
11:00 AM at Holy Cross Parish - Olyphant

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ The King (Thirty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time), Cycle B

First Reading: Daniel 7:13-14 Daniel prophesies about the coming of the Son of Man.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 93:1,1-2,5 A prayer of praise to God our king.

Second Reading: Revelation 1:5-8 Jesus is the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of all.

Gospel Reading: John 18:33b-37 Jesus is questioned by Pilate about the charge brought against him that he is “King of the Jews.”

This Sunday is the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical year. On this Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. Each year we set aside this Sunday to reflect upon this title that we have given to Jesus. In Lectionary Cycle C, we read a portion of the passion from the Gospel of John, which is also part of the Gospel reading proclaimed each year on Good Friday.

Jesus refers to a kingdom that does not belong to this world. This has been mentioned earlier in John’s Gospel. Recall that in his prayer during the Last Supper discourse (see John 17:6-18), Jesus prayed for his disciples who are in the world but do not belong to the world. Yet like Jesus, they are sent into the world for the world’s salvation. In today’s reading, we see Jesus identify the final proof that his kingdom is not of the world: If his kingdom were of this world, then there would be people fighting to save him. Again we hear echoes of John’s theme – salvation is worked out through a cosmic battle. It is helpful to return to the first chapter of John’s Gospel to understand the context for Jesus’ words to Pilate. Jesus came into the world, but the world did not know him. In John’s language, the world prefers the darkness, and yet the light will not be overcome by the darkness.

Truth has been another important theme in John’s Gospel. We see it emphasized in the conclusion of the dialogue between Jesus and Pilate. Those who know the truth will recognize Jesus as king and will know how to interpret this insight. Yet Jesus’ kingship was hidden from many of his contemporaries. Only those chose, those who have the eyes of faith, are able to see. As modern disciples of Jesus, we also struggle at times to recognize Jesus as king. Today’s Gospel invites us to see with eyes of faith that we might recognize that Jesus, through his crucifixion and death, is indeed king and Savior of all.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception Mass Obligation

Immaculate Conception

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is on December 8, which this year falls on a Saturday. Please note that the obligation to attend Mass is not lifted (as with other Holy Days) for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Thus, the faithful must fulfill this obligation by attending Mass for the Holy Day (either Friday vigil or Saturday), and they must fulfill their Sunday Mass obligation (either Saturday or Sunday). Our Mass schedule for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is:

Friday, December 7, 5:30 PM – Blessed Sacrament

Saturday, December 8, 8:00 AM – Holy Cross

THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - Cycle B

First Reading: Daniel 12:1-3 Daniel prophesies about the judgement of the last days.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 16:5,8,9-10,11 God protects us and shows us the path of life.

Second Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14,18 Jesus’ offering for sin has made all to be consecrated perfect forever.

Gospel Reading: Mark 13:24-32 Jesus teaches about the signs of the coming of the Son of Man.

This Sunday is the second to last Sunday of our liturgical year. As we approach the end of the Church year, our Gospel invites us to consider Jesus’ predictions and teaching about the end of the world. In the context of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus’ words about this are spoken to his disciples as he prepares them for his passion and death.

Last Sunday we heard Jesus’ observation about the contributions being made to the temple treasury and the example of sacrificial giving that he saw in the poor widow’s offering. If we had been reading Mark’s Gospel continuously, we would have heard Jesus predict the destruction of the Temple, his teaching about the costs of discipleship, and the woes that will accompany the end times. Finally, we would have heard Jesus instruct his disciples about the need for watchfulness so that they will not be caught unprepared for this final day of judgment.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus continues this teaching by offering his disciples signs to look for that will indicate that the coming of the Son of Man is near. His words and images draw upon Old Testament imagery, especially images found in the Book of Daniel. Next, Jesus offers the lesson of the fig tree, a parable that teaches that if one knows how to read the signs, one can be prepared for the end times. Jesus also teaches, however, that no one knows when the end time will come, except the Father. In the verses that follow this reading in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus continues to warn his disciples to be on watch for this end time.

Jesus’ words are not spoken to frighten his disciples, nor should they frighten us. Rather, they are offered to prepare us for the changes we will experience during our lifetimes and at the end times. Our consolation and hope is found in the lasting nature of Jesus’ words and God’s never ending love for us.

YOU’RE ASKING WHERE IS FR. KIZIS

Fr. Kizis has changed his address and wants to pass it on to his friends and former parishioners:

Rev. Kenneth G. Kizis
Little Flower Manor
200 South Meade Street
WilkesBarre, PA 18702