• 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

28th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

First Reading Isaiah 25:6-10

Second Reading Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20

Gospel Reading Matthew 22:1-14

Jesus' parable of the wedding feast (today's Gospel) is another portrayal of Israel's rejection of God's promise. The invitation is therefore extended to everyone - Gentiles, foreigners and those who do not know God - to come to the Lord's table. (Matthew's readers would see the "destruction of those murderers" and the "burning of their city" as references to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D.)

Jesus tells a second parable within the parable of the wedding feast. The wedding garment is the conversion of heart and mind required for entry into the kingdom. The Christian who does not wear this mantle of repentance and good deeds will suffer the same fate as those who reject outright the invitation to the wedding. As the apostle Paul writes (Romans 13: 14), we must "put on" the garment of Christ.

The image of the universal banquet has a long history in the mythological and folkloric traditions of the world. Eight centuries before Christ, Isaiah pictures for his Jewish hearers (today's first reading) the richness of the Messianic banquet on the heavenly mountain of God, when Yahweh will remove the sorrow and humiliation of Israel.

Imprisoned in Ephesus, Paul offers words of thanks to the Philippians for their gift of money sent through Epaphroditus. In today's second reading, Paul assures his good friends and benefactors that he is able to cope with whatever hardship because of the strength he receives from God.

THEMES

ACCEPTING GOD'S INVITATION TO HIS SON'S WEDDING BANQUET.

We can be so busy making a living that we fail to make a life; we can become so obsessed with organizing life that we overlook the essence of life itself. God has invited each of us to his Son's wedding feast - the fullness of God's life in the Resurrection. The only obstacle is our inability to hear his invitation amid the noisy activity that consumes our time and attention.

THE ONE WEDDING FEAST

All of us deeply admire the Mother Theresas, the Father Damians, the Albert Schweitzers, and the St. Francises of the world. Yet the same God who called each of them to their work calls us to do the same. The parables of the king's wedding feast and wedding garment confront us with the reality that we cannon be Christian without conversion; we cannot come to the feast of heaven while remaining indifferent to the empty plates before so many of the world's children; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we cannot love those we can see. The question posed by today's readings is how we respond to the invitation with excuses? with rationalizations? with refusals? Every one of us - saint and sinner, faithful communicant and lost soul - are invited by God to be his guests at the banquet of heaven.

PUTTING ON THE WEDDING GARMENT.

In accepting an invitation to a wedding, we must dress accordingly. The wedding garment of today's Gospel is the garment of good works we make for ourselves for the Lord's banquet: the garment sews of repentance, joyful expectation and humble service to others.

A FAITH RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS

The coronavirus outbreak is stirring up anxiety, confusion and major inconveniences. It is a situation in which we can easily overreact or underreact. How can our faith tradition guide and comfort us through this troubling time?

ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE- Of course, we see these same dynamics play out in Scripture, where fear leads to hoarding. The most famous story is when the Israelites are in the desert without food (Exodus 16). God rains down manna from heaven but also cautions them to take only what they need for now. They disobey but find that the food they attempt to store away goes bad immediately. The consistent message we hear in the Bible is that we need to trust in God, who will provide enough for everyone. The problems come when people begin to take more than they need.

Fear of the coronavirus has cause some to stockpile and hoard unreasonable amounts of hand sanitizer, face masks and other supplies against the recommendations of leaders. The problem is that this wipes out supplies for those who truly need them the most-health care workers and those most vulnerable to the disease- without really making the buyers safer.

PROTECT THE VULNERABLE- Scripture and the social teachings of the church remind us again and again that we-as individuals and a society-must protect and give priority to those who are most vulnerable and at risk. We see this from the laws in the Old Testament that looked out for the poor and the widows, to Jesus' embrace of people on the margins of society, to the early church's adamant support of those who had less. The Bible urges us to put those who are most at risk first.

In the midst of the coronavirus, the vulnerable take many forms. Most obvious are those who are elderly or have other health conditions that make them most susceptible to illness. Those who are younger may not be concerned about our own health risks, but if we help pass on the virus, it can be a life-or-death situation for others.

Others are financially vulnerable and do not have the flexibility to take sick leave that many of us take for granted. That puts them in a difficult situation when they become ill and may have to choose between putting their job at risk and staying home to protect others. Likewise, many parents do not have the flexibility to stay home when school is canceled for their children.

The situation is impacting many others, such as small business owners who may already be on shaky financial ground.

A SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE- This health crisis is challenging many of us to make sacrifices in our lives. Some are huge, such as those made by exhausted health care workers around the world, desperately trying to keep patients alive (while avoiding the illness themselves.)

Other sacrifices fall more in the category of inconveniences. It is inconvenient when events are canceled, schools close, and travel is limited. It is inconvenient to wash our hands intentionally and regularly.

But this kind of sacrifice is at the very center of our faith. Every time we gather around the Lord's Table, we celebrate the powerful way Christ showed us how to love others. He sacrificed everything in self-giving love for us. Truly loving others will always cost us something.

Actions that may not entirely make sense to us can have huge effects. Scientists point to the 1918 flu when St. Louis proactively and aggressively closed its schools to prevent infections. Death rates in the city were about one third those in Pittsburg, which was much slower to close its schools. Thousands of lives were saved.

We may grumble about or resist changing our habits, especially if it's unclear what's in it for us. But we need to remember that many of these actions are more about protecting others. Perhaps the invitation amidst this crisis is to embrace the inconveniences fully, and then move beyond them to seek out the best ways to serve those who are most in need.

LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR- Community is essential to us as Christians, We are the Body of Christ, and we know that when two or more gather in Jesus' name, he is present with us. So it may be a bit harder for us to handle the "social distancing" happening in many communities.

Our call to community is not only in the context of our church but also in our neighborhood community. How do we literally love our neighbor? How can we be witnesses on our streets?

One way is to regularly check in on your neighbors who may be vulnerable and isolated. Offer to deliver groceries or other items for them or to run other errands so they won't have to risk infection by leaving their home.

Be a positive, calming influence in any online neighborhood communities. Don't spread rumors or hysteria, but find ways to support each other through the crisis.

LIVING THE VIRTUES- Ultimately, as with life in general, we are called to live out the four cardinal virtues:

• Prudence-Carefully discern the best course of action not just for ourselves, but for the good of all. Ask: What action does God want me to take?

• Justice- Seek fairness for everyone, especially those who need it most. Ask" Who is not getting the help that they need?

• Temperance-Fina a healthy balance between self care and care for others. Ask: Do I err toward selfishness or an unhealthy co- dependence?

• Fortitude- Persevere in times of trial and difficulty. Ask: Do I have the courage to do the right thing even when the going gets tough?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AS WE MOVE FORWARD

Special Thanks

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION

Monsignor Delaney will be available for anyone who would like to go to Confessions on Thursday, May 6th at 6:30pm at Holy Cross Parish or by call the Rectory, 570-489-0752, for an appointment.

Thank you for your understanding and patience in helping us to move forward. As always, your continued generosity and support of our parishes helps us to together continue to conduct our mission.

A special note of gratitude to those who have agreed to set-up, direct and sanitize our churches in preparation for worship. United in the Love of Our God who reveals Himself to us as father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Sincerely,

Msgr. Michael J. Delaney

EEFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

We are stopping the collection of non-perishable food items. With the limited space and the wonder of limitless generosity, we have to take a break from the collection of non-perishable foods. We will continue to collect gift cards from local grocery stores. Thank you!

WE ARE STILL COLLECTING CLEANING SUPPLIES

Please place cleaning supplies on the porch (front or back) at Holy Cross/Blessed Sacrament Office, 200 Delaware Avenue, Olyphant. Continued thanks for your donations.

BAPTISMS - PLEASE CALL THE RECTORY TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS.

FUNERAL MASSES WILL NOW BE CELEBRATED IN OUR PARISHES

Cemetery chapels are not yet available for prayer.

Memorial masses are being arranged with families who have lost loved ones during the closure of our churches.

WEEKEND MASSES ON FACEBOOK

Every Saturday at 5:30pm from Blessed Sacrament and every Sunday at 11:00am from Holy Cross will continue to be broadcasted Live on Facebook. Our Facebook name is The Parishes of Holy Cross & Blessed Sacrament.

OUR ADORATION CHAPEL REMAINS CLOSED AT THIS TIME


Altar Flowers

Flowers

May 2, 2021

The flowers in the sanctuary at Holy Cross Parish this weekend have been donated in memory of Neil Smargiassi, offered by daughters Ana and Lucia.

BACKGROUND ON THE GOSPEL READING MATTHEW 25 14-30

This week's Gospel speaks of how Jesus' disciples are to conduct themselves as they await the kingdom of Heaven. In the preceding passages and in last week's Gospel, Jesus taught that there is no way to predict the coming of the kingdom of Heaven. His disciples must, therefore, remain vigilant and ready to receive the Son of Man at any time.

Jesus' parable talks about Christian discipleship using economic metaphors. Before he leaves on a journey, the master entrusts to his servants a different number of talents, giving to each according to their abilities. A talent is a coin of great value. Upon the master's return, he finds that the first and second servants have doubled their money, and both are rewarded. The third servant, however, has only preserved what was given to him because he was afraid to lose the money. He has risked nothing; he did not even deposit the money in a bank to earn interest. This servant is punished by the master, and his talent is given to the one who brought the greatest return.

Read in light of last week's parable, of the wise and foolish bridesmaids, this parable teaches that God's judgement will be based on the service we render to God and to one another in accordance with the gifts that God has given to us. Our gifts, or talents, are given to us for the service of others. If we fail to use these gifts, God's judgement on us will be severe. On the other hand, if we make use of these gifts in service to the kingdom of Heaven, we will be rewarded and entrusted with even more responsibilities.

This Gospel reminds us that Christian spirituality is not passive or inactive. Our life of prayer helps us to discern the gifts that have been given to us by God.

This prayer and discernment ought to lead us to use our gifts in the service of God and our neighbor. God's grace allows us to share in the work of serving the kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed Sacrament Parish

Blessed Sacrament

AUTUMN RAFFLE

Blessed Sacrament Parish Altar & Rosary Society is hosting a fundraiser to support our Parish needs. This is a safe and healthy way to promote a sense of community. Tickets are $5.00 each, and deadline for returns is October 26, 2020. For more information call Rose Kaminski (570-489-5125) or Barbara Long (570-489-8295).

Raffle Prizes 1st = $300, 2nd = $100.00, 3rd = $50.00, and 4th = $50.00 50/50 Grand Prize will be half of the total ticket sales.

BLESSED SACRAMENT STITCHERS

The Blessed Sacrament Stitchers meet the second Friday of each month at 10:00 A.M. in Blessed Sacrament Parish rectory. In order to create and deliver soft and cuddly booties and hats for the newly baptized infants of Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross Parishes the stitchers are seeking donations of the following items:

  • White soft baby knitting yarn
  • Small paper gift bags in pink, blue or white (approximately 5x7)
  • Pink and blue tissue paper and ribbon

Donations are greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at the Parish rectory. New members are always welcome!

BLESSING OF ANIMALS

This time of year, people in various places may notice something odd. A procession of animals, everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and even horses, is led to churches for a special ceremony called the Blessing of Pets. This custom is conducted in remembrance of Saint Francis of Assisi's love for all creatures.

Francis, whose feast day is October 4th, loved the larks flying about his hilltop town. He and his early brothers, staying in a small hovel, allowed themselves to be displaced by a donkey.

Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God's living things. "All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures." And there was testimony in the cause for Saint Clare of Assisi's canonization that referred to her little cat!

That there are today over 62 million cats in the U.S. attests to the continuing affection we have for our furry, feathered or finned friends. We've even had a cat called Socks in the White House. Other popular presidential pets range from Abraham Lincoln's Fido to Lyndon Johnson's beagles, named Him and Her.

For single householders, a pet can be a true companion. Many people arrive home from work to find a furry friend overjoyed at their return. Many a senior has a lap filled with a purring fellow creature.

The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic. Eye-to-eye, a man and his dog, or a woman and her cat, are two creatures of love.

At Franciscan churches, a friar with brown robe and white cord often welcomes each animal with a special prayer. The Blessing of Pets usually goes like this:

"Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired Saint Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen."

As the prayer is offered, the pet is gently sprinkled with holy water. Believe it or not, most pets receive this sacramental spritz with dignity, though I must admit I have seen some cats flatten their ears a bit as the drops of water lightly pelt them.

But the owner is happy, and who knows what spiritual benefits may result?

Usually the Blessing of Pets is held outdoors. But I remembered it rained one year, and all were invited inside St. Stephen's Church in Manhattan. It was quite a sight to see pairs of creatures-one human, one animal- sitting in the pews. The pastor joined right in with his beagle. Noah's Ark was never like this!

Some people criticize the amount and cost of care given to pets. People are more important, they say. Care for poor people instead of poodles. And certainly, our needy fellow humans should not be neglected.

However, I believe every creature is important. The love we give to a pet, and receive from a pet, can draw us more deeply into the larger circle of life, into the wonder of our common relationship to our Creator.

- Written By, Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, who is a Franciscan of the Holy Name Province.

BLESSING OF PETS

Sunday October 4th at 2:00pm

In the parking lot of Holy Cross Parish All pets are welcomed! Humans are asked to wear masks and kindly maintain appropriate social distancing. Thank you!

Check Out These Websites

  1. www.dioceseofscranton.org Scroll to "Resources for a Time of Social Distancing"
  2. www.aleteia.org This is a website whose mission is to explain the Catholic faith, with reliable sources you can trust, providing daily content to inspire readers.

COLLECTION OF PALMS

In preparation for Ash Wednesday (February 17th), you may drop off blessed Palms from your home in the entrance way of our parish churches.

Condolences for Monsignor Muldowney, V.G.

Martin Muldowney, father of Monsignor Thomas M. Muldowney, former pastor of Holy Cross Parish, passed away on April 15th. To send messages of condolences…

Monsignor Thomas M. Muldowney, V.G.
Office of the Vicar General
300 Wyoming Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

COUNSELING SERVICES AVAILABLE

Catholic Social Services of The Diocese of Scranton offers compassionate counseling in a safe, comfortable environment where your privacy is always respected. Counseling is about self-discovery and can be used for personal growth or when distressing conditions exist and you need a bit of extra support… help is available. Anyone who struggles with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, life transitions or a variety of emotional or psychological conditions is welcome. For more information or to make an appointment, call 570-207-2283.

Deadline For Bulletin Announcements

All parish societies and civic organizations are welcome to place an announcement in the bulletin regarding an upcoming event or meeting. Please note, however, because the bulletin must be submitted to the printer on Monday mornings, all announcements must be received at the Parish Office by the Wednesday before the week of the event.

DIOCESAN ANNUAL APPEAL BOUND TOGETHER IN HOPE

Diocese of Scranton

Retired priests continue to be a vital part of our Diocese. Before the COVID pandemic they assisted by offering Mass and administering the sacraments. From the most senior to the newly ordained, our priests selflessly serve us. We now ask you to support them through the Diocesan Annual Appeal.

Support our Diocesan Ministries and Help Our Parish reach its Annual Appeal Goal

Mail your gift to: Diocesan Annual Appeal 300 Wyoming Avenue Scranton, PA l8503

or drop an Appeal gift in your parish collection. Your gift supports Catholic School Students, Parish Food Pantries, assists retired Priests who served generously, Seminarians answering God's call.

PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL

Lord, in this season of Advent, we thank you for abundant blessings of treasure and abilities. Give us generous hearts to joyfully share our gifts for those in need through the Diocesan Annual Appeal. We pray to the Lord./p>

OUR DIOCESAN ANNUAL APPEAL GOAL FOR 2020

Blessed Sacrament: $16,000.00

Holy Cross: $47,000.00

TO DATE:

Blessed Sacrament: $18,205.00 114% of our goal of $16,000 has been reached!

Holy Cross: $41,568.00 86% of our goal of $47,000 has been reached, with $6,532.00 to go.

EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

First Reading Isaiah 55: 1-3

Second Reading Romans 8: 35, 37-39

Gospel Reading Matthew 14: 13-21

BACKGROUND ON THE GOSPEL READING

Today we jump ahead in our reading of Matthew's Gospel to Chapter 14. Last week, we heard Jesus conclude his discourse with the crowds about the Kingdom of Heaven. In Matthew's narrative, Jesus then leaves the crowds and returns to Nazareth, where he is rejected. Matthew then recounts the story of John the Baptist's arrest and execution at the hands of Herod. Today's Gospel reading begins at this point.

Upon hearing the news of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus seeks to withdraw, but the crowds follow him. Jesus reaches out to them in compassion and heals the sick. At the end of a long day, the disciples encourage Jesus to send the crowds away so that they might find provisions for themselves. Jesus again responds with compassion for the crowd. Jesus tells his disciples to provide food for the crowds. The disciples reply with a report of the meagerness of their own provisions-five loaves and two fish. The result is the very familiar miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish.

Matthew's Gospel tell us that 5,000 men were fed, and this number does not even include the women and children. Jesus' blessing brought abundance from the meager provisions of the disciples. In this action, Jesus offers us a sign of the Kingdom of Heaven that he has been teaching about in the parables. A feast results from the smallest of portions-remember the mustard seed and the yeast. In this miracle, we witness an example for Christian life and ministry. Even the smallest of offerings can produce abundant results when placed in the service of the Kingdom of Heaven.

We find the story of Jesus' multiplication of the loaves and the fish in each of the four Gospels. In the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, Jesus performs this same miracle on two separate occasions. The story of this miracle is an anticipation of the Eucharist in which we are fed by the abundant grace of God. The importance of the Eucharist has been a defining element of Christian life from the very beginning.

EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

Epiphany

Readings:

Matthew 2: l-l2

Isaiah 60: l-6

Ephesians 3: 2-3, 5-6

Today's Gospel, the story of the astrologers and the star of Bethlehem, is unique to Matthew's Gospel. Note that Matthew does not call them kings of "magi" but "astrologers," nor does he give their names or report where they came from - in fact, Matthew never even specifies the number of astrologers (because three gifts are reported, it has been a tradition since the fifth century to picture "three wise men"). In stripping away the romantic layers that have been added to the story, Matthew's point can be better understood.

A great many First Testament ideas and images are presented in this story. The star, for example, is reminiscent of Balaam's prophecy that "a star shall advance from Jacob" (Numbers 24: l7). Many of the details in Matthew's story about the child Jesus parallel the story of the child Moses and the Exodus.

Matthew's story also provides a preview of what is to come. First, the reaction of the various parties to the birth of Jesus augur the effects Jesus' teaching will have on those who hear it. Herod reacts with anger and hostility to the Jesus of the poor who comes to overturn the powerful and rich. The chief priests and scribes greet the news with haughty indifference toward the Jesus who comes to give new life and meaning to the rituals and laws of the scribes. But the astrologers - non-believers in the eyes of Israel - possess the humility of faith and the openness of mind and heart to seek and welcome the Jesus who will institute the Second Covenant between God and the New Israel.

Secondly, the gifts of the astrologers indicate the principal dimensions of Jesus' mission:

• Gold is a gift fitting for a king, a ruler, one with power and authority;

• ra is a gift fitting for a priest, one who offers sacrifice (frankincense was an aromatic perfume sprinkled on the animals sacrificed in the Temple);

• Myrrh is a fitting "gift" for some one who is to die (myrrh was used in ancient times for embalming the bodies of the dead before burial).

Today's first reading, from Trito-Isaiah, is a song of encouragement to the exiled Jews who are returning to Jerusalem from Babylon to rebuild their nation and their way of life. But Isaiah envisions more for the city than just its rebuilding: Jerusalem will be a light for all nations, a gathering place not only for the scattered Jews but for the entire world, where God will once again dwell in the midst of his faithful people Israel.

The letter to the Ephesians is Paul's "synthesis" on the nature of the Church. In today's second reading, Paul writes that the Church transcends national and cultural identities: in Christ, Jew and Gentile form one body and share equally in the promise of the Resurrection.

THEMES

A Messiah for all nations.

In Matthew's Gospel, it is the "Gentile" astrologers who discover the newborn "King of the Jews," while the people of the covenant (Herod, the chief priests and scribes) remain oblivious to his presence in their midst. The prophet Isaiah describes the Messiah as a "light for all nations". In Christ, God is present in all of human history - God is not the exclusive property of one nation or people; no religious group holds title to the wonderful things God has done. Epiphany calls us to a new vision of the world that sees beyond walls and borders we have created and to walk by the light which has dawned for all of humankind, a light by which we are able to recognize all men and women as our brothers and sisters under the loving providence of God, the Father of all.

The search for God in our lives.

Cardinal Newman said that "to be earnest in seeking the truth is an essential requisite in finding it." The astrologers' following of the star is a journey of faith, a journey that each one of us experiences in the course of our own life. Christ's presence is not confined to Scripture and churches; he is present in everyone and everything that is good. We find the true purpose of this life in our search for God, the great Shepherd of our souls.

The 'stars' we follow.

What we read and watch and listen to in search of wealth, fame and power are the "stars" we follow. The journey of the astrologers in Matthew's Gospel puts our own "stargazing" in perspective. The astrologers set their sights on a star that leads them to God. Where will the our "stars" lead us?

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them, O Lord

Please remember in your prayers our parishioners, family and friends who have recently died: Joseph J. Wallo, Carmen Vinciquerra, Helen Yourkowski, Robert A. Santarelli, John S. Kranick, Manuel Guerrero Sablan, Lawrence Pesarchik, John Mucha, Salvatore Rinaggio, Carlos Pineiro, Diane Bremer, Eldora Talenti, Michele Doyle,Deacon Stephen Napoli, Tracy Wood, Diana Clark, Victor Roshinski, Patricia Parlanti, Dawn Theresa Ruby, Magdalen Spegar, Susan Dodd, Rev. Scott R. Pilarz S.J., John Wrazien, Irene Tomaszewski, Getrude Louise Mikolaczyk,Jean F. “Jeanie” Gongliewski, Romayne Laniewski, Mary Ann Cucura, Richard Bialy, and Martin Muldowney.

Eternal rest grant unto them, and may perpetual light shine upon them

EWTN TV SCHEDULE

Masses: Sunday 8 am, 12 Noon

Monday - Saturday 8 am, 12 Noon, 7 pm Rosary: Sunday - Saturday 7:30 am/P>

Stations of the Cross - Fridays 7 am & 4 pm Comcast - Channel 12 & Channel 1668 (HD) for EWTN and CTV/P>

Directv - Channel 370 for EWTN - CTV not available./P>

Parishioners that do not have Comcast can view through websites./P>

Dish Network - Channel 261 for EWTN - CTV not available. Parishioners that do not have Comcast can view through websites./P>

You can also watch live at www.ewtn.com/tv or www.DioceseaOfScranton.org, then click on media tab.

FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

Feast of the Holy Family

Readings:

Luke 2: 22-40

Sirach 3: 2-6, l2-l4

Colossian 3: l2-2l

In today's Gospel, the faithful Joseph and Mary bring their son to the temple for his presentation to the Lord, a ritual required by the Law. The Book of Exodus taught that a family's first-born son "belonged" to the Lord who saved them when the first-born sons of the Egyptians were destroyed at the first Passover (Exodus l3: l5).

The holy man Simeon and the prophetess Anna are idealized portraits of the faithful "remnant" of Isreal awaiting the Messiah's coming. Simeon's canticle praises God for the universal salvation that will be realized in Jesus; in his prophecy, the shadow of the cross falls upon the Holy Family.

Anna, as an elderly widow, is considered among the most vulnerable and poor of society. Her encounter with the child typifies the theme woven throughout Luke's Gospel: the exaltation of society's poorest and most humble by God.

The Book of Sirach is a collection of carefully-crafted maxims and commentaries based on the Law. The author ("Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach" - 50: 27), a wise and experienced observer of life, writes on a variety of topics in order to help his contemporaries understand the role of faith in everyday life.

Today's first reading is a beautiful reflection on the fourth commandment. To honor one's parents, Ben Sira writes, is to honor the Lord God himself.

Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians at the urging of Epaphras, the leader of the church there. The young church was being torn apart by adherents of Gnosticism ("knowledge"), a philosophy that stressed the superiority of knowledge over faith. Paul writes that such Gnostic teachings are but "shadows"; Christ is "reality," the "image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation" in whom we are redeemed. In today's second reading from Colossians, Paul presents a picture of real community, formed in the perfect, unconditional love of Christ.

THEMES

The family: 'the little church.'

Today's feast is a celebration of family - that unique nucleus of society that gives us life, nurture and support throughout our journey on earth. Families are the first and best places for the love of God to come alive.

Within our families we experience the heights of joy and the depths of pain. The Fathers of Vatican II called the family "the first and vital cell of humanity.the domestic sanctuary of the Church." Families reflect the love of Christ: love that is totally selfless, limitless and unconditional, both in good times and (especially) in bad times. Today's Feast of the Holy Family calls us to re-discover and celebrate our own families as harbors of forgiveness and understanding and safe places of unconditional love, welcome and acceptance.

A model of holiness for all families

In Matthew and Luke's stories of Jesus' birth and childhood, life for the family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus is difficult and cruel: they are forced from their home; they are innocent victims of the political and social tensions of their time; they endure the suspicions of their own people when Mary's pregnancy is discovered; their child is born under the most difficult and terrifying of circumstances; Joseph and Mary endure the agony of losing their beloved child. And yet, through it all, their love and faithfulness to one another do not waver. The Holy Family is a model for our families as we confront the many tensions and crises that threatens the stability, peace and unity that are the joys of being a family.

FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD - TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND

Traditionally, candles used in our churches for the upcoming year are blessed on this Feast Day, remembering, 40 days after the celebration of Christmas, the words of Simeon as Jesus was presented by Mary and Joseph in the temple, "a revealing light to the Gentiles, glory for your people, Israel!" As we celebrate Jesus, the Light of the World, blessed candles for home use will be available as you leave Mass in our parishes. Suggested Donation is 3.00.

FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Job 7 1-4, 67, Corinthians 9 6- 9, 22-23 Mark 29-39

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

First Reading – Acts of the Apostles 9:26-31

Second Reading – 1 John 3:18-24

Gospel Reading – John 15:1-8

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today’s reading from the Gospel of John is part of Jesus’ discourse at the Last Supper. Recall that John tells the story of Jesus’ Last Supper differently from the other Evangelists. In John’s Gospel, the Last Supper begins with Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Jesus then provides them with a series of instructions. We call this section the Last Supper discourse of Jesus’ farewell discourse. In these chapters of John’s Gospel, Jesus instructs his disciples about the importance of following his example of love and service, about the gift they will receive when Jesus sends them the Holy Spirit, and about their relationship with Jesus and with the world. The Last Supper discourse concludes with Jesus’ prayer for his disciples.

Today’s Gospel reading is taken from middle of the Last Supper discourse. Jesus speaks about his relationship to his disciples. In his metaphor of the vine and the branches, Jesus is referencing the Hebrew Scriptures. In the Hebrew Scriptures, Israel is the vineyard, and Yahweh himself tends the vineyard. One of the primary themes of John’s Gospel is to show Jesus to be the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel.

In this passage, Jesus teaches his disciples that his relationship with them will not end after this death; he will remain with them always. This unity between Jesus and his disciples is the basis for their ability to continue to do the work that he began. Similarly, Jesus’ presence with us through the Gift of the Holy Spirit enables us to continue the work of love and reconciliation that he began.

Jesus also teaches his disciples about the importance of the words he has taught to them. Just as Jesus will remain in the disciples, so too will his words. We come to know Jesus through the Scriptures, the living Word of God. Our commitment to be Christ’s disciples is sustained through God’s Word. This commitment is also strengthened by our life of prayer and nourished by the Eucharist. Through the Eucharist, Jesus dwells in us, remains with us, and transforms us so that we might bear fruit in his name.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 2020

Statements for the 2020 calendar year will be mailed in late January 202l by request only. For tax purposes, donations for 2020 should have already been made. If you would like a tax statement, please call the parish office.

FIRST COMMUNION CONGRATULATIONS!

First Holy Communion

Congratulations to our children as they celebrate the reception of their First Holy Communion this weekend and next. We are delighted to share this special time with our children.

Thank you to parents, family members and friends for assisting our children in their preparation in this year of challenge. Thank you to Karen Doyle, Amanda Rimosites, Deacon John Musyt, Barbara Tracewski, Linda Sablan, Jackie Musyt, and our parish staff and music ministry in helping us to make these days special for our young people.

We pray that these beautiful children continue to pray with the same joy, anticipation and enthusiasm they feel at First Communion. May this be the beginning of countless Communions so that their hearts may always be full of joy, and above all else, gratitude.

We Congratulate and prayerfully support our children celebrating their First Holy Communion!


HOLY CROSS PARISH

Eric Balashaitis Milania Beier
Cassidy Borrelli Lucas Carroll
Mia Fazio Molly Havrilchak
Shayn Judge Madilyn Kalavsky
Nathan Kanuik Cassidy Kerecman
Tenley Kriger Jude McGrath
Logan McHugh Dominick McMaster
James Rabel Kayleigh Russin
Logan Tinney Addison Trently
Ella Vinansky Caitlin Walsh
Jake Crotti Wheeler Alexandra Wilson
Mya Misniewski

BLESSED SACRAMENT PARISH

Abigail Bronko Courtney Dixon
Alyssa Miller Owen Mills
Liam Mulally Sofia O’Brien
Maine Pell Jullian Pusateri
Juliana Scattone

First Sunday of Advent 2020

The beginning of the Christian year begins at the end- the promised return of Christ at the end of time. In this brief Gospel parable of the master of the house, Jesus articulates the Advent themes of waiting, watchfulness and readiness. Jesus calls us to realize our responsibilities in the present as we dare to look forward to the promise of the future.

Today's first reading from Trito-Isaiah is a prayer of hope at a very desperate and overwhelming time for the prophet's listeners. The long night of the Babylonian exile is over; now begins the hard and difficult work of restoration. Isaiah and the Jewish acknowledge their sinfulness and faithlessness, but plead not for justice but for mercy from the God who reveals himself as Father to his people. In the beautiful image of God as "potter," Israel asks God to re-create and re-form them into a people and nation worth of the covenant.

In his opening words of thanksgiving (to what will be a very stern letter of reprimand and reproof for the divisions plaguing the Christian community in Corinth), Paul reminds his readers, in the second reading, that the Lord's promised return is not a reason for fear and despair but a cause for hope, for the promise of the covenant renewed in Christ Jesus will be fulfilled. It is not the date of the Parousia that should concern us but our readiness to stand before the coming "Son of Man."

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Readings: Mark 13: 33-37

Isaiah 63 16-17, 19: 64 2-7

1 Corinthians 1: 3-9

THEMES

'Be on watch! Stay awake!'

Life is a constant Advent experience: the world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be; we are constantly waiting to become, to discover, to understand, to change, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of life's Advent. But the coming of Christ and his presence among us - as one of us- give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter darkness, that we can be liberated from our fears and prejudices, that we are never alone or abandoned by our merciful Father in heaven. We are not a Christmas people but an Advent people living our lives in patient faith and joyful hope for the Lord's coming in our lifetimes.

'An Advent people.'

The season of Advent confronts us with both the preciousness and precariousness of life, the inevitable - yet still always difficult - changes that we must content with in the course of the time we are given. We begin the liturgical season of Advent at the end: The first Sunday of Advent (and a new liturgical year) focuses on the last day, when Christ returns to lead us into a new time - the eternity of God's reign. The theologian Karl Rahner said that we are an "Advent Church," a Church that lives always in hopeful anticipation of the Christ who comes in its faithfulness to the Gospel of justice and reconciliation.

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE BISHOP

Dear Ecumenical Friend,

The theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which will take place from January 18th -25th, is "Abide in my love, you shall bear much fruit." (John,15).

This year, because of the pandemic, our commemoration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will take place in a slightly different manner. Our Ecumenical Service of Prayer to which you have been invited over the years will be conducted virtually. The Service will be broadcast on Tuesday, January 19th at 12:10pm. on Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton. At the same time, it will also be made available on the Diocese of Scranton website and through Diocesan social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram). The Reverend Russell McDougall, C.S.C., rector of the Holy Cross Community at King's College and former rector of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem will serve as homilist.

I invited you and the members of all your congregations to join with me during this time of prayer, reflections and praise.

With deep gratitude for your efforts to work for the unity that Christ desires every day, I am Faithfully yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L. Bishop of Scranton

Guidelines for Safely Returning to Mass




Safety Measures

  • If you are feeling ill, stay safe at home.
  • We highly encourage those who are vulnerable (such as the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions) to continue to participate in Mass via parish livestreaming or CTV: Catholic Television.
  • Mass from the Cathedral of Saint Peter will continue to be broadcast daily on CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton. It is also available on the Diocese of Scranton website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • People should wash their hands thoroughly before coming to church.


Face Masks

  • Face masks must be worn by all lay faithful who attend Mass. The only time a face mask may be removed is for the reception of Holy Communion.
  • Clergy are not to wear a face mask during the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy but must wear a face mask for the distribution of Holy Communion which takes place after Mass.


Social Distancing

Guidelines for Returning to Mass

  • Mass attendance will be limited to no more than 25-percent of a church’s seating capacity.
  • While within the church, all people need to maintain a safe social distance of six feet from others in all directions. The only exception is for immediate family members who may sit together.
  • Several pews may separate individuals/families to ensure the six foot distancing while within the church.
  • Parishioners will need to enter through only one designated door, follow social distancing guidelines during the line for communion, and exit the church through a separate door.
  • Congregational singing at Mass is discouraged at this time so as to minimize the spread of breath droplets.
  • Parishes may still utilize a cantor and organist for Mass as long as they are at least 10 feet away from each other, the assembly, and any ministers in the sanctuary.
  • Parishes may still utilize a cantor and organist for Mass as long as they are at least 10 feet away from each other, the assembly, and any ministers in the sanctuary.


Holy Communion

  • The distribution of Holy Communion will take place after the conclusion of Mass. After receiving communion, the faithful are to depart and not return to their pews.
  • Distribution of the Precious Blood remains suspended at this time.
  • Parishioners are strongly advised to receive the Body of Christ in the hand.
  • Priests and deacons (or any other minister) will wear a mask for the distribution of Holy Communion and are to use hand sanitizer before, immediately after, and if necessary, during the distribution of communion if contact is made with any person’s hand or tongue.
  • Holy Communion on the Tongue: Although it is strongly discouraged, anyone who still wishes to receive Holy Communion on the tongue can be instructed to wait until the end of the Communion distribution after everyone else has received. This will minimize the risk of spreading the virus to others, as well as allow time for the priest to sanitize his hands properly after each person who receives on the tongue.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sunday obligation to attend Mass remains suspended at this time


Please note: these measures will not take effect until June 8, 2020. Masses will continue to be streamed on Facebook until public masses return.


A Message from Monsignor Delaney

Dear Friends,

As Lackawanna County moves into the "Yellow" phase of re-opening, we are preparing to receive parishioners back to public Mass in a limited and responsible way.

In order to abide by social distancing requirements, our seating capacity is fewer than you might expect. Because of this, in order to attend Sunday Mass, you will be required to first call the Rectory to place a reservation. Calls will be received on a first call, first seated basis. Upon filling the number of seats available, you will be placed on the following weeks attendance list. Please do not come to Sunday Mass without having called us first. If not first registered, you will be asked to come to the next available Mass. We know that this sounds very strange and is unusual, but we also are all very aware that the guidelines are for the safety of our community. Masks must be worn in Church. Please, if able, bring your own hand sanitizer/wipes from home.

The Mass schedule is:

Blessed Sacrament Saturday 5:30 PM and Sunday 9:30 AM.

Holy Cross Saturday 4:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM.

Please note at this time, the 8:00 AM Sunday Mass is suspended.

You will be greeted upon entering and directed to where you will sit. Please be in church 15 minutes before the beginning of Mass to receive instructions.

For reservations, all the rectory: 570-489-0752, 570-489-1963

Thank you for your understanding and patience in helping us to move forward. As always, your continued generosity and support of our parishes helps us to together continue to conduct our mission.

A special note of gratitude to those who have agreed to set-up, direct and sanitize our churches in preparation for worship. United in the Love of Our God who reveals Himself to us as father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Msgr. Michael J. Delaney June 6-7, 2020

Holy Cross Parish

Holy Cross Parish

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION CHAPEL IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

ADORATION MASS

Thursday August 13, 2020 at 6:30pm Holy Cross Parish.

Those who have participated in Eucharistic Adoration are invited to celebrate Mass together. We know well that many miss deeply the opportunity to pray before the Eucharistic presence of Jesus in Adoration. The hour of prayer before the Lord has been a great source of strength and comfort to so many. hile we are not able to re-open our Saint John Paul II Chapel for adoration at this time, this invitation is extended to those who have received blessings and spiritual support in this important prayer. Please call the rectory to make a reservation, 570-489-0752.

WHAT IS EUCHARISTIC ADORATION?

Eucharistic adoration is the act of worshiping God as He is present in the consecrated Eucharist. Since the Last Supper, when Jesus broke the bread and distributed the wine, saying, “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood,” Catholics have believed that the bread and wine are no longer merely baked wheat and fermented grape juice, but the actual living presence of the Second Person of the Trinity. Spending time before the Blessed Sacrament, in prayer and devotion, is exactly the same as spending time before the living God. Adoration occurs whenever someone kneels in front of a tabernacle that contains the Blessed Sacrament, genuflects toward a tabernacle, bows before receiving the Blessed Sacrament at Mass, or, in a more focused way, when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration. Published by Our Sunday Visitor. Copyright 2003

An unsolicited comment from one of our own parish Eucharistic Adoration participant: A woman parishioner, also an eleven year participant, said when asked why she would commit to one hour for life, she replied, “It’s the best hour of my week”. Commitment is not for life, it’s for only as long as one is able to fulfill it.

CELL PHONE ETIQUETTE AT MASS

In keeping with the sacredness of the liturgy, please make every effort to turn off or silence your cell phone during the Celebration of the Eucharist. Children should also be reminded that Mass is a special time to listen and pray to God; it is not a time to be texting others.

CHURCH ETIQUETTE

  1. Dress appropriately.
  2. Arrive a few minutes early – take a few minutes to pray and ready yourself for the Celebration of the Eucharist.
  3. Observe silence before Mass begins – people are trying to pray.
  4. Please join the entire congregation by taking a seat; don’t stand in front of the confessionals, especially while Confessions are being heard.
  5. Don’t forget to bless yourself with Holy Water when you enter and leave the church building.
  6. Before entering the pew, as a sign of reverence, genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the tabernacle.
  7. Turn off all cell phones or any other electronic device that may disrupt the celebration.
  8. Please do not chew gum in church.
  9. Did you fast one hour before receiving Holy Communion? Are you in the state of grace?
  10. Don’t forget to make a bow as a sign of reverence before receiving Holy Communion.
  11. Did you say ‘Amen’ as you received Communion?
  12. Take a few moments after receiving Holy Communion to express your gratitude in private prayer. What are you saying to God if you leave church as soon as you receive Holy Communion?
  13. Pick up any tissues or wrappers that you may have left in the pew.
  14. What’s the rush? Stay until the priest exits the church.
  15. Don’t forget to take the bulletin home with you!

How You Can Make a Difference

Holy Cross Parish has served the Catholic community of the Diocese of Scranton by spreading the Gospel message, celebrating the sacraments and serving the poor in Olyphant. You can help keep that activity alive by providing for the future financial needs of each parish.

Please consider Holy Cross Parish in your estate planning. Some ways you can provide lasting benefits to the parish include:

  • Bequests through Will – Designate a dollar amount or percentage of your estate;
  • Annuities – Donation of stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. You receive the interest or dividends and upon death, the remainder of the gift goes to the parish;
  • Life Insurance – Name the Holy Cross Parish as the beneficiary to an existing life insurance policy;
  • Other Assets – A contribution of a specific cash amount or property.

Contact your accountant or financial ad visor for additional information on how you can benefit from making a charitable donation to your parish.

HOUSE BLESSING FOR THE EPIPHANY SUNDAY, JANUARY 3, 2021

Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night, Theophany, or Three King Days, marks the occasion of a time-honored Christian tradition of "chalking the doors." The formula for the ritual - adapted for 202l- is simple: take chalk of any color and write the following above the entrance of your home:

20 + C + M + B +2l

The letters have two meanings. First, they represent the initials of the Magi - Caspar, Malchior, and Balthazar - who came to visit Jesus in His first home. They also abbreviate the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat: "May Christ bless the house." The "+" signs represent the cross, and the "20" at the beginning and the "2l" at the end mark the year. Taken together, this inscription is performed as a request for Christ to bless those homes so marked and that He stay with those who dwell therein throughout the entire year.

The chalking of the doors is a centuries-old practice throughout the world, through it appears to be somewhat less well-known in the United States. It is, however, an easy tradition to adopt, and a great practice whereby we dedicate our year to God from its very outset, asking His blessing on our homes and on all who live, work, or visit them there.

The timing for the chalking of the doors varies somewhat in practice. This prayer may be prayed on the traditional Feast of the Epiphany - the Twelfth Day of Christmas. Most often, the chalking takes place after Epiphany Mass, and can be done at any church, home, or dwelling.

CHALK AND PRAYERS WILL BE AVAILABLE AFTER MASS AS YOU EXIT CHURCH.

HOW CAN WE HELP

(1) THE ANNULMENT PROCESS

If you are or know someone looking for information how to proceed and move forward after a divorce, please call the Rectory (570-489-0752).

(2) “HOW DO I GET MY MARRIAGE BLESSED IN THE CHURCH?”

If you’ve been married civilly (judge, mayor, justice of the peace, etc.) and are looking to have your marriage convalidated (blessed in the Church, celebrating the Sacrament of Matrimony), and need information or have questions, please call the Rectory and ask for Monsignor Delaney.

IMPORTANT - CHOIR LOFT SAFETY

Parents who are sitting in the choir loft with their children, are asked NOT to sit in the first row due to safety issues. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING PASTORAL HOSPITAL VISITS

Due to changes at area hospitals it has become increasingly difficult for us to know when a member of our parish has been admitted to the hospital. Due to Federal privacy regulations, the hospitals will no longer notify the parish about a parishioner’s admission. The family must contact the Parish so that Monsignor Delaney can visit with them. We apologize to any parishioner who may have been hospitalized recently and did not receive a visit. If your loved ones are being admitted to the hospital, please call the Parish Office. When registering at the hospital please indicate Holy Cross or Blessed Sacrament.

Interested in Becoming Catholic?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the way for non-Catholics to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church and for Catholics who have not been fully initiated to receive Holy Communion and/or Confirmation. If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming Catholic, the RCIA is for you. The RCIA is a regional program, coordinated by Deacon Jan Mroz at St. Mary’s Parish, Dickson City. Please call the Monsignor Delaney at 489-0752 if you or someone you know would like to become fully initiated in the Catholic Church. The Inquiry Phase of the RCIA will begin in early October.

Join the Choir - You'll Be Glad You Did

Join the Choir - You'll be Glad You Did!

As Augustine is remembered as saying “He who sings prays twice” Come join our parish choirs and help lead our parishes in prayers.

Choirs began meeting on Wednesday, September 7th at 6:30 pm. In both Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament Parishes. Holy Cross is under the direction of Mary Therese McKane, Blessed Sacrament.

Know a Marriage That Needs Help

Know a Marriage That Needs Help?  Throw them a lifeline and tell them about Retrouvaille, an international program that helps couples who are experiencing marital difficulties. This program is for all couples, at any stage of marriage that needs help to communicate with each other in a more attentive and loving manner. The next program in the Scranton Diocese begins Feb. 26-Feb. 28, 2016, at The Ramada Inn, Clarks Summit, PA. Please call 800-470-2230 for more information or to register or visit the website at www.helpourmarriage.org.

Lent in the Year of St. Joseph

St. Joseph

Apostolic Letter

"Patris Corde"

of the Holy Father, Pope Francis on the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Joseph as patron of the universal church.

*Parts of this Apostolic Letter will be shared in our bulletin as we are able*

WITH A FATHER'S HEART that is how Joseph loved Jesus, whom all four Gospels refer to as the son of Joseph .

Matthew and Luke, the two Evangelists who speak most of Joseph, tell us very little, yet enough for us to appreciate what sort of father he was, and the mission entrusted to him by God's providence. We know that Joseph was a lowly carpenter (cf. Mt 13 55), betrothed to Mary (cf. Mt 1 15; Lk 1 27). He was a just man (Mt 1 19), ever ready to carry out God's will as revealed to him in the law (cf. Lk 2 22.27.39) and through four dreams (cf. Mt 1 20; 2 13.19.22). After a long and tiring journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, he beheld the birth of the Messiah in a stable, since there was no place for them elsewhere (cf. Lk 2 7). He witnessed the adoration of the shepherds (cf. Lk 2 8-20) and the Magi (cf. Mt 2 1- 12), who represented respectively the people of Israel and the pagan peoples.

Joseph had the courage to become the legal father of Jesus, to whom he gave the name revealed by the angel You should call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (Mt 1 21). As we know, for ancient peoples, to give a name to a person or to a thing, as Adam did in the account in the Book of Genesis (cf. 2 19-20), was to establish a relationship.

In the Temple, forty days after Jesus' birth, Joseph and Mary offered their child to the Lord and listened with amazement to Simeon's prophecy concerning Jesus and his Mother (cf. Lk 2 22-35). To protect Jesus from Herod, Joseph dwelt as a foreigner in Egypt (cf. Mt 2 13-18). After returning to his own country, he led a hidden life in the tiny and obscure village of Nazareth in Galilee, far from Bethlehem, his ancestral town, and from Jerusalem and the Temple. Of Nazareth it was said, No prophet is to rise (cf. Jn 7 52) and indeed, Can anything good come out of Nazareth? (cf. Jn 1 46). When, during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Joseph and Mary lost track of the twelve-year-old Jesus, they anxiously sought him out and they found him in the Temple, in discussion with the doctors of the Law (cf. Lk 2 41-50).

After Mary, the Mother of God, no saint is mentioned more frequently in the papal magisterium than Joseph, her spouse. My Predecessors reflected on the message contained in the limited information handed down by the Gospels in order to appreciate more fully his central role in the history of salvation. Blessed Pius IX declared him Patron of the Catholic Church , Venerable Pius XII proposed him as Patron of Workers and Saint John Paul II as Guardian of the Redeemer. Saint Joseph is universally invoked as the patron of a happy death.

Now, one hundred and fifty years after his proclamation as Patron of the Catholic Church by Blessed Pius IX (8 December 1870), I would like to share some personal reflections on this extraordinary figure, so close to our own human experience. For, as Jesus says, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Mt 12 34).

My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic, when we experienced, amid the crisis, how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked. People who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, or on the latest television show, yet in these very days are surely shaping the decisive events of our history. Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests, men and women religious, and so very many others. They understood that no one is saved alone.How many people daily exercise patience and offer hope, taking care to spread not panic, but shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday ways, how to accept and deal with a crisis by adjusting their routines, looking ahead and encouraging the practice of prayer. How many are praying, making sacrifices and interceding for the good of all. Each of us can discover in Joseph - the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence - an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.

Part 1 . A beloved father

The greatness of Saint Joseph is that he was the spouse of Mary and the father of Jesus. In this way he placed himself in the words of Saint John Chrysostom at the service of the entire plan of salvation.

Saint Paul VI pointed out that Joseph concretely expressed his fatherhood by making his life a sacrificial service to the mystery of the incarnation and its redemptive purpose. He employed his legal authority over the Holy Family to devote himself completely to them in his life and work. He turned his human vocation to domestic love into a superhuman oblation of himself his heart and all his abilities a love placed at the service of the Messiah who was growing to maturity in his home.

Thanks to his role in salvation history Saint Joseph has always been venerated as a father by the Christian people. This is shown by the countless churches dedicated to him worldwide the numerous religious Institutes Confraternities and ecclesial groups inspired by his spirituality and bearing his name and the many traditional expressions of piety in his honour.

Innumerable holy men and women were passionately devoted to him. Among them was Teresa of Avila who chose him as her advocate and intercessor had frequent recourse to him and received whatever graces she asked of him. ncouraged by her own experience Teresa persuaded others to cultivate devotion to Joseph.

Every prayer book contains prayers to Saint Joseph. Special prayers are offered to him each Wednesday and especially during the month of March which is traditionally dedicated to him.

Popular trust in Saint Joseph is seen in the expression "Go to Joseph" which evokes the famine in gypt when the gyptians begged Pharaoh for bread. He in turn replied: Go to Joseph; what he says to you do (Gen 4 :55). Pharaoh was referring to Joseph the son of Jacob who was sold into slavery because of the jealousy of his brothers (cf. Gen 37: -28) and who - according to the biblical account - subsequently became viceroy of gypt (cf. Gen 4 :4 -44).

As a descendant of David (cf. MT : 6-20) from whose stock Jesus was to spring according to the promise made to David by the prophet athan (cf. 2 Sam 7) and as the spouse of Mary of azareth Saint Joseph stands at the crossroads between the Old and New Testaments.

Let us now make our prayer to him:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen.

Given in Rome, at Saint John Lateran, on 8 December, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the year 2020, the eighth of my Pontificate.

Part 2 A tender and loving father

Joseph saw Jesus grown daily "in wisdom and in years and in divine and human favour" (Lk 2:52) As the Lord had done with Israel, so Joseph did with Jesus: he taught him to walk, taking him by the hand; he was for him like a father who raises an infant to his cheeks, bending down to him and feeding him (cf Hos 11:3-4)

In Joseph, Jesus saw the tender love of God: "As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him" (Ps 103:13)

In the synagogue, during the praying of the Psalms, Joseph would surely have heard again and again that the God of Israel is a God of tender love, who is good to all, whose "compassion is over all that he has made" (Ps 145:9)

This history of salvation is worked out "in hope against hope" (Rom 4:18), through our weaknesses All too often, we think that God works only through our better parts, yet most of his plans are realized in and despite our frailty Thus Saint Paul could say: "To keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me: 'My grace is sufficient for you, for the power is made perfect in weakness'" (2 Cor 12:7-9)

Since this is part of the entire economy of salvation, we must learn to look upon our weaknesses with tender mercy The evil one makes us see and condemn our frailty, whereas the Spirit brings it to light with tender love Tenderness is the best way to touch the frailty within us Pointing fingers and judging others are frequently signs of an inability to accept our own weaknesses, our own frailty Only tender love will save us from the snares of the accuser (cf Rev 12:10) That is why it is so important to encounter God's mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where we experience his truth and tenderness Paradoxically, the evil one can also speak the truth to us, yet he does so only to condemn us We know that God's truth does not condemn, but instead welcomes, embraces, sustains and forgives us That truth always presents itself to us like the merciful father in Jesus' parable (cf Lk 15:11-32) It comes out to meet us, restores our dignity, sets us back on our feet and rejoices for us, for, as the father says: "This my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found" (v 24)

Even though Joseph's fears, God's will, his history and his plan were at work Joseph, then, teaches us that faith in God includes believing that he can work even through our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses He also teaches us that amid the tempests of life, we must never be afraid to let the Lord steer our course At times, we want to be in complete control, yet God always sees the bigger picture.

Part 3. An obedient father

As he had done with Mary, God revealed his saving plan to Joseph. He did so by using dreams, which in the Bible and among all ancient peoples, were considered a way for him to make his will known.

Joseph was deeply troubled by Mary’s mysterious pregnancy. He did not want to “expose her to public disgrace”, so he decided to “dismiss her quietly” (Mt 1:19).

In the first dream, an angel helps him resolve his grave dilemma: “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:20-21). Joseph’s response was immediate: “When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” (Mt 1:24). Obedience made it possible for him to surmount his difficulties and spare Mary.

In the second dream, the angel tells Joseph: “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him” (Mt 2:13). Joseph did not hesitate to obey, regardless of the hardship involved: “He got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod” (Mt 2:14-15).

In Egypt, Joseph awaited with patient trust the angel’s notice that he could safely return home. In a third dream, the angel told him that those who sought to kill the child were dead and ordered him to rise, take the child and his mother, and return to the land of Israel (cf. Mt 2:19-20). Once again, Joseph promptly obeyed. “He got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel” (Mt. 2:21).

During the return journey, “when Joseph heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. After being warned in a dream” – now for the fourth time – “he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth” (Mt 2:22-23).

The evangelist Luke, for his part, tells us that Joseph undertook the long and difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be registered in his family’s town of origin in the census of the Emperor Caesar Augustus. There Jesus was born (cf. Lk 2:7) and his birth, like that of every other child, was recorded in the registry of the Empire. Saint Luke is especially concerned to tell us that Jesus’ parents observed all the prescriptions of the Law: the rites of the circumcision of Jesus, the purification of Mary after childbirth, the offering of the firstborn to God (cf. 2:21-24).

In every situation, Joseph declared his own “fiat”, like those of Mary at the Annunciation and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

In his role as the head of a family, Joseph taught Jesus to be obedient to his parents (cf. Lk 2:51), in accordance with God’s command (cf. Ex 20:12).

During the hidden years in Nazareth, Jesus learned at the school of Joseph to do the will of the Father. That will was to be his daily food (cf. Jn 4:34). Even at the most difficult moment of his life, in Gethsemane, Jesus chose to do the Father’s will rather than his own, becoming “obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). The author of the Letter to the Hebrews thus concludes that Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered” (5:8).

All this makes it clear that “Saint Joseph was called by God to serve the person and mission of Jesus directly through the exercise of his fatherhood” and that in this way, “he cooperated in the fullness of time in the great mystery of salvation and is truly a minister of salvation.”

Part 4. An accepting father

Joseph accepted Mary unconditionally. He trusted in the angel’s words. “The nobility of Joseph’s heart is such that what he learned from the law he made dependent on charity. Today, in our world where psychological, verbal and physical violence towards women is so evident, Joseph appears as the figure of a respectful and sensitive man. Even though he does not understand the bigger picture, he makes a decision to protect Mary’s good name, her dignity and her life. In his hesitation about how best to act, God helped him by enlightening his judgement.”

Often in life, things happen whose meaning we do not understand. Our first reaction is frequently one of disappointment and rebellion. Joseph set aside his own ideas in order to accept the course of events and, mysterious as they seemed, to embrace them, take responsibility for them and make them part of his own history. Unless we are reconciled with our own history, we will be unable to take a single step forward, for we will always remain hostage to our expectations and the disappointments that follow.

The spiritual path that Joseph traces for us is not one that explains, but accepts. Only as a result of this acceptance, this reconciliation, can we begin to glimpse a broader history, a deeper meaning. We can almost hear an echo of the impassioned reply of Job to his wife, who had urged him to rebel against the evil he endured: “Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” (Job 2:10).

Joseph is certainly not passively resigned, but courageously and firmly proactive. In our own lives, acceptance and welcome can be an expression of the Holy Spirit’s gift of fortitude. Only the Lord can give us the strength needed to accept life as it is, with all its contradictions, frustrations and disappointments.

Jesus’ appearance in our midst is a gift from the Father, which makes it possible for each of us to be reconciled to the flesh of our own history, even when we fail to understand it completely.

Just as God told Joseph: “Son of David, do not be afraid!” (Mt 1:20), so he seems to tell us: “Do not be afraid!” We need to set aside all anger and disappointment, and to embrace the ways things are, even when they do not turn out as we wish. Not with mere resignation but with hope and courage. In this way, we become open to a deeper meaning. Our lives can be miraculously reborn if we find the courage to live them in accordance with the Gospel. It does not matter if everything seems to have gone wrong or some things can no longer be fixed. God can make flowers spring up from stony ground. Even if our heart condemns us, “God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” (1 Jn 3:20).

Here, once again, we encounter that Christian realism which rejects nothing that exists. Reality, in its mysterious and irreducible complexity, is the bearer of existential meaning, with all its lights and shadows. Thus, the Apostle Paul can say: “We know that all things work together for good, for those who love God” (Rom 8:28). To which Saint Augustine adds, “even that which is called evil (etiam illud quod malum dicitur).” In this greater perspective, faith gives meaning to every event, however happy or sad.

Nor should we ever think that believing means finding facile and comforting solutions. The faith Christ taught us is what we see in Saint Joseph. He did not look for shortcuts, but confronted reality with open eyes and accepted personal responsibility for it.

Joseph’s attitude encourages us to accept and welcome others as they are, without exception, and to show special concern for the weak, for God chooses what is weak (cf. 1 Cor 1:27). He is the “Father of orphans and protector of widows” (Ps 68:6), who commands us to love the stranger in our midst. I like to think that it was from Saint Joseph that Jesus drew inspiration for the parable of the prodigal son and the merciful father (cf. Lk 15:11-32).

MARRIAGE CONVALIDATION

Were you married outside of the Catholic Church? Would you like to have your marriage blessed by the Church?

This is called the marriage convalidation process, and the Church is here to help.

Couples may find themselves in this situation for a variety of reasons. It may be that a Catholic entered into a marriage outside the Church and did not realize that the Church asks us to marry in the Church. It might be that one, or both parties, was not free to marry in the Catholic Church due to a previous marriage or because he or she was awaiting an annulment.

No matter the situation, now is a great time to explore the convalidation process.

Consider this your invitation! Call the Rectory for an appointment with Monsignor Delaney (570)489-0752 or email Monsignor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

MASS CARD OR DONATION TO THE PARISH

When a person dies, many people often request a Mass card as a way of praying for the deceased person and expressing their sympathy to the family. Because Canon Law requires that a Mass request be celebrated within a year of its request, parishes often have to send the Mass intention to the missions. Instead of requesting a Mass card, please consider making a donation to Holy Cross or Blessed Sacrament Parish in loving memory of the deceased. Your donation to the parish expresses your sympathy while helping to financially support the parish. Thank you for your consideration.

MASS SCHEDULE

8:00am mass is back at Holy Cross!

Blessed Sacrament Parish: Saturdays at 5:30pm and Sundays at 9:30am

Holy Cross Parish: Saturdays at 4:00pm and Sundays at 8:00am and 11:00am.

At this time, reservations are required for weekend Masses.

You will be greeted upon entering each church and directed to where you will sit.

Please be in church 15 minutes before the beginning of Mass to receive instructions.

TO MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR MASS

Please call the rectory at: 570-489-0752 570-489-1963

Thank you for your understanding and patience in helping us to move forward. As always, your continued generosity and support of our parishes helps us to together continue to conduct our mission.

A special note of gratitude to those who have agreed to set-up, direct and sanitize our churches in preparation for worship. United in the Love of Our God who reveals Himself to us as father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Sincerely, Msgr. Michael J. Delaney

WEEKEND MASSES ON FACEBOOK

Every Saturday at 5:30pm from Blessed Sacrament and every Sunday at :00am from Holy Cross will continue to be broadcasted Live on Facebook.

Memorial /Honor Candles

sanctuary candle

April 25th, 2021

Blessed Sacrament Parish - In Loving Memory of Joseph T. McCarthy, Andrew Chobey, and Mildred Chobey, requested by Florence McCarthy and Family.

Holy Cross Parish - In Loving Memory of Neil Smargiassi, offered by Family.

May 2th, 2021

Holy Cross Parish - In Loving Memory of Elliott Houston and Kostage Family, offered by Family..

Monthly Visitations

Any parishioner who is homebound and wishes to receive the Eucharist on a monthly basis is asked to contact the Parish Office to schedule a visit.

Neighboring Parish & Community Events

ST. JOSEPH’S CENTER AUXILIARY COLLECTING FOR SUMMER FEST AND SIDEWALK SALE

The Auxiliary is looking to collect Gently Used Household Items, Jewelry, Holiday Decorations, Toys, Used Books (no textbooks), and DVDs (no VHS). Items can be dropped off at DeNaples Family Community Services Building, 320 S. Blakely St. in Dunmore (across from CVS) every Saturday Morning 9am-Noon and every Monday Evening 5pm-7pm between April 12th and May 10th.

GRIFFIN POND ANIMAL SHELTER ANNUAL “MEGA PRICE BINGO AND MORE”

Sunday May 16th from 3pm-7pm at Scott Township Hose Company, 1027 Montdale Rd., Montdale. Admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, Clarks Summit or at www.tickettailor.com/events/lchf/409777. Event will include 16 games, four specials, a door prize, basket/gift certificate and 50/50 raffles, and food for sale.

BACCALAUREATE MASS FOR GRADUATING SENIORS IN HIGH SCHOOL

The mass will be held at Sacred Heart of Jesus, Peckville on Tuesday May 25th at 7:00pm. The mass is open to seniors in high school from Queen of Angels Parish, Christ the King Parish, Holy Cross Parish, and Blessed Sacrament Parish. If you are interested in attending, please contact Theresa @ 570-335-3075 by May 15th. On message, please leave your name and contact number. Reservations are required.

TAKE-OUT ONLY SPAGHETTI DINNER

Delicious Spahgetti!

Eureka Hose Co. No. 4 717 E. Grant St. Olyphant. Saturday March 6th from 3-7pm at the fire station. Tickets are $10 each and are available from members or at the first station on Monday evenings. Proceeds benefit the Hose Company which is a volunteer organization.

ST. CYRIL'S, OLYPHANT

Hosting a "Spring Fundraiser." Lenten Foods, Easter and Mother's Day Flowers. Food: Pierogy, pizza and soup. Food sale will take place each week during Lent. Phone your order in by 6:00 PM Monday of each week. Pick-up Thursdays between 4:30 and 6:00 PM at the Parish Hall. For information about the food sale and flower sale please call Jule 570-357-6171 ; Michaelene 570-209-2026 or Mary Ann 570-313-1989.

VALLEY COMMUNITY LIBRARY COLLECTING BOOKS FOR BOOK SALE

Books!

The library, located at 739 River St., Peckville is now accepting donation of books that are in good or excellent condition from now until March 31st.

The book sale will be inside the library on Saturday, April 10th from 10am – 4pm and Sunday, April 11th from 11am – 4pm. Masks will be required and social distancing will be enforced. Any questions, please call the library at 570-489-1765.

THE FRICCHIONE EARLY LEARNING CENTER AT MARYWOOD UNIVERSITY

Toddler Lead Teacher and Toddler Assistant Teacher are the two positions available. Visit www.marywood.edu/employment to submit resume and application. For more information, contact Natalie Lucas at 570-961-4701 or

COME BE A PART OF LA SALLE ACADEMY

La Salle Academy is Jessup is now accepting registration applications for the 2021-2022 school year for students in Preschool 3 – 8th grade. Visit us at www.lsaelementary.org, like us on Facebook, or call us at 570-489-2010 to explore and discuss all that La Salle has to offer in a faith filled, safe and academically excellent family-oriented environment. Tuition assistance opportunities are available.

Newly Baptized

Newly Baptized!

For the weekends of:

April 25, 2021

Congratulations to Crew Joseph Caputo, son of Joseph and Kim Jubinsky Caputo, who was baptized last weekend at Holy Cross Parish.

Congratulations to Carter Christopher Lynch, son of Christopher and Angela Liford Lynch who was baptized last weekend at Blessed Sacrament Parish.

Congratulations to Kole Anson Powell, son of Kevin and Kelly Blackledge Powell, who was baptized last weekend at Holy Cross Parish.

Crew, Carter, and Kole – May God bless you and your families, and may Jesus, the Light of the world, always guide and protect you.

NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

First Reading 1 Kings 19:9a,11-13a

Second Reading Romans 9:1-5

Gospel Reading Matthew 14:22-33

BACKGROUND ON THE GOSPEL READING

Today's Gospel directly follows last week's account of Jesus feeding a crowd of more than 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. For the sake of the crowds, Jesus had postponed his time of solitude. Now, at last, Jesus finds some time for quiet prayer. He sends his disciples ahead of him by boat, dismisses the crowds, and then withdraws to the mountain to pray.

The disciples do not fare well. They struggle to weather the wind and waves, making little progress in their journey. We are reminded of a previous story in Chapter 8 of Matthew's Gospel, when Jesus calms the seas. This time, however, Jesus does not calm the seas, and the disciples do not express fear until they see Jesus walking toward them on the water. In this story, it is not the storm that is feared but the sight of Jesus before them, whom they mistake for a ghost. Clues like these suggest that this story is about the disciples' growing understanding of the identity of Jesus. In continuity with last week's Gospel about the feeding of the multitude, today's Gospel is also about what the disciples' faith in Jesus will enable them to do.

In last week's Gospel, when the disciples see the crowds, they ask Jesus to send the crowds away. Jesus turns the situation around, telling the disciples to feed the crowd with the provisions that they have. Both of these Gospels tell us much about ministry.

Jesus calls to the disciples and calms their fears. He is not a ghost. The impulsive Peter seeks proof that the person is indeed Jesus. He asks Jesus to call him out onto the water, and Jesus grants this request. Peter's fear and doubt overtake him, however, once he is walking on the water. Jesus reaches out to Peter and saves him. When Jesus and Peter enter the boat, Matthew reports that the wind ceases, and the disciples confess that Jesus is the Son of God.

Faith in Jesus will enable the disciples to do the work that Jesus has done. Peter walks on water. The five loaves and two fish feed a multitude of people. The disciples can and will participate in the work of the kingdom of heaven. When Peter fears and doubts the person of Jesus, however, he falters. Peter's example teaches us that true Christian ministry emerges from the faith that Jesus is the Messiah, God's only Son.

NOTICE TO THE ROMAN CATHOLIC FAITHFUL OF THE DIOCESE OF SCRANTON

From the Office of the Bishop

The Fraternite Notre Dame Community, since its acquisition of the former Saint Mary of Assumption Parish complex in South Scranton in 2020, has generously provided support to the poor, particularly during the course of the current health crisis. The Community, however, describes itself as a Traditional Catholic Religious Order that is not in union with the Pope. As such, it is not a legitimate religious order of the Catholic Church.

The faithful of the Diocese of Scranton should not attend Masses nor receive the sacraments provided by the Fraternite Notre Dame Community when Masses are available in nearby Churches of the Diocese. Particularly regarding the sacraments of Confirmation and Marriage, these celebrations would not only be illicit, but also invalid.


Diocese of Scranton

ORDINARY TIME DURING WINTER

This year, there are only 5 Sundays of Ordinary Time between the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17th). In the cold and dark wintertime, the Eucharistic Liturgy, the Mass we share, is all the more important because it is where we are drawn into the "compelling love of Christ" who "sets us on fire." During Ordinary Time, we pray that God will "direct our actions" so that "we may abound in good works."

Parish Registration & Membership

Recently, we have received phone calls from people indicating that they are members of either Holy Cross or Blessed Sacrament Parish; however, they are not listed on our parish census. Please note, parish membership is not automatic; just because a person was baptized or married at a parish does not make him/her a member of the parish. To be considered a member of the parish, all persons should be listed in the parish database and receive envelopes. Parishioners who do not use their envelopes after three years are removed from the parish census and are no longer considered parishioners. People who have been removed from the parish census and no longer receive envelopes and would like to re-register at the parish should call the Parish Office. Children over the age of 19 should be registered as adults and no longer registered as children of their parents.

PASCHAL CANDLE DONATIONS

Samples of Paschal Candles.

PASCHAL CANDLES HAVE BEEN DONATED!! THANK YOU!

Blessed Sacrament Parish: In Memory of Jackie Glinsky donated by wife Adele and Family.

Holy Cross Parish: In memory of the Deceased Members of the Griggs Family donated by Son Bill Griggs and Granddaughter Kaitlin.

PASSION (PALM) SUNDAY 2021

Mark 14: 1-15:47

Mark’s Gospel of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is the most subdued version of the event in Scripture. Mark downplays the crowd’s enthusiasm surrounding Jesus’ arrival; he is acclaimed neither as the Messiah nor the king, but as a great prophet.

In John’s version, however, Jesus is enthusiastically welcomed as the Messiah-king by the crowds, many of whom had seen or heard about Jesus’ raising of Lazarus. John also makes a specific reference to Zephaniah’s prophecy that the Messiah-king will enter the city seated on “a donkey’s colt.”

Jesus’ entry into the holy city and his “cleansing” of the temple with the demand that it be a “house of prayer for all people” will bring his clash with the ruling class to a head. In his account of the Passion, Mark portrays the anguish of Jesus who has been totally abandoned. Mark’s Jesus is resigned to his faith. He makes no response to Judas when he betrays him nor to Pilate during his interrogation (and Pilate makes no effort to save him, as the procurator does in the other three Gospels). As he does throughout his Gospel, Mark pointedly portrays the utter failure of the disciples to provide any assistance or support to Jesus or to even understand what is happening. The “last” disciple who flees naked into the night when Jesus is arrested is a powerful symbol of the disciples who left family and friends behind to follow Jesus but now leave everything behind to get away from him.

THE ’ATTITUDE’ OF CHRIST, THE ‘SUFFERING SERVANT.’

The Gospel call us to take on the “attitude of Christ Jesus” in his passion and death: to “empty” ourselves of our own interests, fears and needs for the sake of others; to realize how our actions affect them and how our moral and ethical decisions impact the common good; to reach out to heal the hurt and comfort the despairing around us despite our own betrayal; to carry on, with joy and in hope, despite rejection, humiliation and suffering. The celebration of Holy Week calls us to embrace the attitude of Christ’s compassion and total selflessness, becoming servants of God by being servants to one another.

PLEASE CONSIDER

We are looking for adult servers to assist in serving funeral Masses in our parishes. Thanks to the generous volunteers who help us as we support and pray with grieving families in our parishes. If you are able, please consider making the sacrifice of your time to assist us in this special ministry. Please contact the Rectory 570-489-0752 or 570-489-1963.

PLEASE CONTACT THE PARISH OFFICE WHENEVER A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY HAS BECOME SICK OR HOSPITALIZED

PLEASE NOTE, BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS REGARDING PRIVACY, HOSPITALS CANNOT RELEASE INFORMATION WITHOUT A PATIENT’S CONSENT.

Prayer for Vocations

Loving God, you call all who believe in you to grow perfect in love by following in the footsteps of Christ your Son. Call from among us more men and women who will serve you as religious. By their way of life, may they provide a convincing sign of your Kingdom for the Church and the whole world. We ask this in Jesus' name.

Gracious and loving God, help the men and women of our parish to hear the call to serve in the Diocese of Scranton. Our needs are great and our people thirst for your presence.

Open the hearts of many, raise up faithful servants of the Gospel dedicated, holy priests, sisters, brothers and deacons, who will spend themselves for your people and their needs.

Bless those who are serving now with courage and perseverance. Grant that many will be inspired by their example and faith. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

As we celebrate Christmas we join with the shepherds in adoration at the Manger. May God send shepherds to our church to guide our families and communities to Jesus Christ, our Messiah and Savior of the world. O Jesus, good and gentle shepherd, grant that the men and women of our community may have the grace and courage to answer Your call to priesthood and religious life. Give them the wisdom to remain open to the invitation to serve, to spread the gospel message of Christmas joy and to be instruments of Your peace in our world.

God our Father, You made each of us to use our gifts in the Body of Christ.

We ask that You inspire young people whom you call to priesthood and consecrated life to courageously follow Your will.

Send workers into Your great harvest so that the Gospel is preached, the poor are served with love, the suffering are comforted, and Your people are strengthened by the sacraments.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen

PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

Mary Most Holy, as a young woman living in obscurity you nurtured with loving care the Word of God make flesh.

Please protect and accompany all young men and women, especially from our parish, who are called to a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.

Amen.

PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

Father, you call each one of us by name And ask us to follow you.

Bless your Church by raising up Dedicated and generous leaders from our families and friends who will serve your people as Lay Ministers, Sisters, Priests, Brothers and Deacons.

Inspire us as we grow to know you, And open our hearts To hear your call.

We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

PRAYER TO MARY MOST HOLY MOTHER OF VOCATIONS

O Mary, we entrust to You the apostolate of the laity, the ministry of the priests, the witnessing of religious. We pray that priestly and religious vocations may be widely felt and followed for the glory of God and the vitality of the Church. May the new springtime of vocations, their new growth in the whole Church, become a significant proof of your motherly presence in the mystery of Christ in our times, and in the mystery of the Church throughout the world. Amen.

……..Saint John Paul II

PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

O God, Father of all Mercies,

Provider of a bountiful Harvest,

send Your Grace upon those

You have called to gather the fruits of Your labor;

preserve and strengthen them in their lifelong service of

you.

Open the hearts of Your children

that they may discern Your Holy Will;

inspire in them a love and desire to surrender themselves

to serving others in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ.

Teach all Your faithful to follow their respective paths in life

guided by Your Divine Word and Truth.

Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,

all the Angels, and Saints, humbly hear our prayers and grant Your Church’s needs, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

A FAMILY PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

In a special way, help us strive for holiness in our current states of life. Should You call some of us to the priesthood or religious life, help us to respond with courage and joy.

Together, we make heaven our goal, and pledge, with Your grace, to help each other on life’s journey to You. +Through the intercession of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.

CHRISTMAS PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

As we celebrate Christmas we join with the shepherds in adoration at the Manger. May God send shepherds to our church to guide our families and communities to Jesus Christ, our Messiah and Savior of the world.

O Jesus, good and gentle shepherd, grant that the men and women of our community may have the grace and courage to answer Your call to priesthood and religious life. Give them the wisdom to remain open to the invitation to serve, to spread the gospel message of Christmas joy and to be instruments of Your peace in our world.

PRAYER THE KEY TO HEAVEN

Prayer
In order to hear the voice of God, one has to have silence in one’s soul and to keep silence; not a gloomy silence, but an interior silence, that is to say, recollection in God. One can speak a great deal without breaking silence and, on the contrary, one can speak little and be constantly breaking silence.

……..St. Faustina Kowalska

Meditation is the mother of the love of God, and contemplation is the daughter of the love of God. Contemplation is nothing other than taking delight in the goodness of him whom we have learned to know in meditation, and whom we have learned to love by means of this knowledge.

………..St. Francis De Sales

Let us put our hope in Jesus, the name of salvation given to men and women of every language and race. Confessing his name, let us walk trustfully toward the future, certain that we will not be disappointed if we trust in the most holy name of Jesus. - St. John Paul II

Every moment of prayer, especially before our Lord in the tabernacle, is a positive gain. The time we spend in having our daily audience with God is the most precious part of the whole day.

……….Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Prayer is nothing else than union with God. In this intimate union God and the soul are like two pieces of wax molded into one; they cannot anymore be separated. It is a very wonderful thing, this union of God with his insignificant creature, a happiness passing all understanding.

……..St. John Vianney

Our Lady of the Rosary

Mary, Mother of Christ, tech us to pray your rosary as it should be prayed. For these ordinary beads strung on threads hold within themselves all the mysteries of our holy faith and all the main ways of prayer. Mary, Queen of the Rosary, open to us its holy secrets. Let it be our door to the heart of your son, his Father, and the Holy Spirit. ………….Catherine Doherty

"May is a month which the piety of the faithful has long dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. This is the month during which Christians, in their churches and their homes, offer the Virgin Mother more fervent and loving acts of homage and veneration; and it is the month is which a greater abundance of God’s merciful gifts comes down to us from our Mother’s throne."

……..Pope Paul VI

Meditation is the mother of the love of God, and contemplation is the daughter of the love of God. Contemplation is nothing other than taking delight in the goodness of him whom we have learned to know in meditation, and whom we have learned to love by means of this knowledge. ……..St. Francis De Sales

The More you pray, the more you want to pray. It’s like a fish that starts by swimming near the surface of the water then plunges and goes on swimming deeper and deeper. The soul plunges, is swallowed up, loses itself in the delights of conversation with God. ….St John Vianney

Religious Education News

WORLD YOUTH DAY, LISBON PORTUGAL 2023

Information Meeting: Tuesday, December 1st 7:00pm

Young Adults, join us for a virtual meeting to learn more about the Diocese of Scranton's pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the virtual meeting link.

IMPORTANT MEETING FOR PARENTS OF 8TH GRADE CONFIRMATION CANDIDATES

Only one parent or guardian is asked to attend. Masks must be worn, and social distancing will be observed. 8th Grade Confirmation Candidates do not need to attend.

Monday, November 23, 2020 6:30pm - Holy Cross Parish

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 6:30pm Blessed Sacrament

HOLY CROSS HIGH SCHOOL VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE

Holy Cross High School is a comprehensive high school providing each student with the opportunity to reach their fullest potential while promising to help them fulfill their future goals.

Academic excellence concentrated in the promotion of a truly Catholic life of faith and morals is the primary purpose of Holy Cross High School. 40 honors courses, 9 AP course offerings, more than 20 clubs and activities are just some examples of what Holy Cross has to offer, along with tuition assistance. Register today at hchspa.org to receive the Virtual Open House link.

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITION OF ADULTS (R.C.I.A.)

We are currently assisting adults in our community who are interested in becoming Catholics. The R.C.I.A. program is a process of welcome and spiritual formation/preparation for adults who would like to know more about the Roman Catholic Church. If you know of someone who might be interested, or if you are someone who

1. Has never been baptized

2. Has been baptized into another Christian community

then please call the Rectory to being what we know will be an invaluable journey.

If you are a Roman Catholic adult and have not yet received Communion and/or Confirmation, we are here to provide support. Please call the Rectory at (570) 489-0752, and ask for Monsignor Delaney.

CCD REGISTRATION

Please send in your child's registration form as soon as possible. At the beginning of the month, registration forms were mailed to parents, but you can also register online on this website.

Students in grades ,2,7, and 8 will received direct instruction on Sunday mornings, with a start date of Sunday October 4th. Parents with children in grades 3-6 will receive textbooks along with an outline to follow to help you help your child continue their religious formation at home. More information will be sent to parents as soon as numbers are totaled based on the completed registration forms. Thank you for your cooperation and patience.

CATECHETICAL PROGRAM

THANK YOU to all of our Religious Education teachers and aides who served our children and their families last year and those who are willing to assist us this year. God Bless you all, and thank you for helping our children to grow in their faith.

Holy Cross Donald Fenocchi, Mari Finlon, Jeff Foley, Gina Gilgallon, Donald Healey, Carrie Krott, Kelly Letteri, Alison Lott, Tara Murphy, Jackie Musyt, Angela Saar, Linda Sablan, Theresa Sandrowicz, Heather Schroeder, Kelly Schuler, Vince Talluto, Barbara Tracewski, Marissa Vinansky, Stanley Yanoski, and a very special thank you to Georgeann Shotto who will be retiring after many, many years of service in our program. Best of luck Georgeann and know you will be missed.

Blessed Sacrament Jesse Doyle, Margaret Rabel, Amanda Rimosites, Jean Rabel, Tricia Pesotine, Adam Davitt, Thomas Collins, Roseanna Laskowski, and Maureen Pitcavage.

BAPTISMAL INSTRUCTION

Parents anticipating the birth of their first child are required to attend baptismal instruction. Baptismal classes are held on the first Sunday of every month from 12 Noon until 1:00 PM. We suggest that you attend this session before the birth of your child, if possible. Please contact the Parish Office to register. Baptisms cannot be scheduled until all the necessary paperwork is completed.

ALTUS FOR WOMEN

is a ministry in partnership with the Office for Parish Life in the Diocese of Scranton. They have offered faithfully Catholic courses and events to women in the area for 4 years and are now offering their first FREE-READ-ALONG both online and in local groups! They will be reading and discussing the book, “My Sisters the Saints”. Are you looking for something meaningful and exciting to do during the cold winter months? Do you like to connect with other women? Are you looking for a good book to read? If you answered yes then the Altus Winter Readalong is for you! All details can be found at https://www.altusforwomen.com/about-read-along.

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE ANNULMENT PROCESS?

In the Diocese of Scranton, the annulment process is now more “user friendly” than you might expect, and there is no longer a processing fee. Please contact your pastor or the Diocesan Tribunal Office (570-207-2246) to begin a conversation. It is possible to get clear answers to these questions and to renew your connection with the Church.

REQUEST FOR SPONSOR CARDS

Any parishioner who is asked to be a godparent for baptism or sponsor for confirmation should call the Parish Office at least two weeks in advance of the event.

RETREAT FOR MARRIED COUPLES

If your marriage is tearing you apart, if there is little or no meaningful communication, if you are considering separation or divorce Retrouvaille can help you! Retrouvaille is helping couples put the pieces back together and rebuild loving relationships. All calls confidential. Cost by donation. For more information or to register, please call 800-470-2230

REGISTRATION & MEMBERSHIP

Parish: Canon Law requires anyone who wishes to be considered a member of a particular parish to be officially registered in the parish. Lately, we have had a number of requests for sponsor cards for individuals who are not registered, but yet attend Mass at the parish. It is most important that one be registered and actively participating in order to obtain sponsor cards for Baptism and Confirmation. Attending Mass does not automatically mean that a person is a member of our parish family. If you know that you are not registered, or are unsure as to your registration status, but attend Mass on a regular basis, please call the office to inquire about registering so that when requesting sponsor cards one is not turned away because of a lack of registration. Also, any child of the parish who has turned eighteen years old needs to register independently from his or her parents/guardians in order to be considered a member of the parish. All families who register children for any Catholic Elementary School or Holy Cross High School must be registered members and actively participate in our faith community. Yearly, each school notifies the supporting parishes of those families who stated they are members of a particular parish. We are obligated to notify the school if families are not full and active participants which could result in a higher tuition rate if families are not participating in our faith community.

IHM EDUCATIONAL ENRICHMENT INSTITUTE

IHM Educational Enrichment Institute, located in the IHM Center, is offering an individualized tutoring Program. For further information, contact: Sister Rose Marie Mozzachio, IHM, 570-346-5429.

CELL PHONES

In keeping with the sacredness of the liturgy, please make every effort to turn off or silence your cell phone during the Celebration of the Eucharist. Children should also be reminded that Mass is a special time to listen and pray to God; it is not a time to be texting others.

WHAT IS EUCHARISTIC ADORATION?

Eucharistic adoration is the act of worshiping God as He is present in the consecrated Eucharist. Since the Last Supper, when Jesus broke the bread and distributed the wine, saying, “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood,” Catholics have believed that the bread and wine are no longer merely baked wheat and fermented grape juice, but the actual living presence of the Second Person of the Trinity. Spending time before the Blessed Sacrament, in prayer and devotion, is exactly the same as spending time before the living God. Adoration occurs whenever someone kneels in front of a tabernacle that contains the Blessed Sacrament, genuflects toward a tabernacle, bows before receiving the Blessed Sacrament at Mass, or, in a more focused way, when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration. Published by Our Sunday Visitor. Copyright 2003.

VIRTUS DIOCESE OF SCRANTON

This class is necessary for anyone teaching Religious Education or their aides. If you have not attended this course, please make arrangements to attend.

VIRTUS: Protecting God’s Children for Adults Program.

This training session is required for all adult volunteers who work a minimum of 20 hours or more per year with children. During the three-hour training, a facilitator, who will teach you the tools and show you the resources to maintain a safe environment for all children, will incorporate techniques in a discussion format to help you recognize the warning signs of child sexual abuse and how to respond to it appropriately and effectively.

Two Year Preparation for Sacraments

The Diocese of Scranton requires that all students preparing for the Sacrament of 1st Holy Communion or Confirmation must be enrolled in religious education classes for at least two years. Children who are not enrolled for at least two full years of classes and participate in all scheduled activities may be delayed in the reception of the Sacrament. If you have questions about your child’s eligibility to receive a sacrament this year, please contact Monsignor Delaney or John Musyt.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR GODPARENTS FOR BAPTISM & CONFIRMATION SPONSORS

Any parishioner who is asked to be a godparent for baptism or sponsor for confirmation should call the Parish Office at least two weeks in advance of the deadline or date needed and request to meet with the pastor to review their qualifications for being a godparent or sponsor. In order for a person to be a Godparent for Baptism or a Sponsor for Confirmation, Canon Law (Church Law) identifies several qualifications for that person:

  1. Must be registered in a Catholic parish, attend Mass weekly, and receive the sacraments. Please note, the pastor is not allowed to give a sponsor card for people who are not registered at the parish;
  2. Must have completed their sixteenth (16th) year and cannot be the father or mother of the one being baptized or confirmed;
  3. Must have received the three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist;
  4. If married, the marriage must be recognized as valid by the Catholic Church; couples who are not married may not be living together;
  5. Those Catholics who have joined another religion may not act as a Godparent or Christian witness;
  6. For Baptism, two sponsors are suggested, one of each gender; however, only one sponsor is required. For Confirmation, only one sponsor is needed;

How to Receive Communion

Holy Communion under the form of bread is offered to the communicant with the words "The Body of Christ." The communicant may choose whether to receive the Body of Christ in the hand or on the tongue. When receiving in the hand, the communicant should be guided by the words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem: "When you approach, take care not to do so with your hand stretched out and your fingers open or apart, but rather place your left hand as a throne on top of your right, as befits one who is about to receive the King. Then receive him, taking care that nothing is lost." (General Instruction of the Roman Church, #51). The communicant should not take or grab the Eucharist from the minister but rather should receive the Eucharist from the minister. Before you receive either the Body of Christ or the Blood of Christ, the Church asks that you make a sign of reverence by bowing to the sacred species before you respond ‘Amen.’

Reminder - Driveway Courtesy

A REMINDER FROM MSGR. DELANEY

Please remember to keep the Rectory Garage clear of cars so that I can get back and forth to our parishes for Mass each day, as well as being able to get to hospitals in the event of an emergency. Seminarian Michael Boris will be living with us for the summer and will also be using our garage. Thank you for your understanding.

RENEWAL OF BAPTISMAL PROMISES

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have celebrated this Christmas season together, remembering the Lord's humble beginnings, commemorating His birth and celebrating the Mystery of the Incarnation. Today, as we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we invite all to be renewed in this covenant, as we promise to love God, to love our neighbor and to serve in prayer and action in this family of faith.

Do you renounce sin, so as to live in the freedom of the children of God?

I do.

Lord, all I want to is live in the freedom you offer me. I want to reject the unloving choices I have made, and the sinful failures to love anywhere in my life. I reject all injustice, all violence, all that disrespects the dignity of all human life.

Do you reject the lure of evil, so that sin may have no mastery over you?

I do.

Lord, I admit that some evil has a hold on me: it is attractive, it has such powerful rewards, it has become a habitual way for me to be myself. Lord, I renew my commitment this day, to turn from that evil and from letting any disordered attachment, and empty promises master me, and try to separate me from you. By this promise, I commit myself to greater courage in acting justly and refusing to let unjust systems and structures numb my conscience or dull my heart.

Do you reject Satan, the author and prince of sin?

I do.

Lord, as I renew my promises that accompany my becoming one with you in the baptism of dying to sin and rising to life, I know that an Enemy tries to tempt me to sin and to many dark patterns, I now promise to you, and to my sisters and brothers who depend upon my fidelity, that I renew my commitment to reject that Enemy, and all his ways of subverting your reign and the coming of your kingdom.

Do you believe in God, the ather almighty, creator of heaven and earth?

I do.

Lord, you made me and give me life every day. I believe in you, I turn to you, and I place my life, and the graces I need each day, in your loving hands.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose again from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father?

I do.

Jesus, my Lord and Savior, my life is in your hands. I believe in you, I turn to you, I commit myself to growing closer to you, placing myself with you, in love compassionate, self-sacrificing love for others.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

I do.

Holy Spirit of Jesus, Jesus promised not to leave us orphans. I so desire to be enkindled with the fire of your love, that I might be renewed in courage. I believe in and renew my commitment to your work among us. I want to contribute to the unity that you desire for us. I promise to be as merciful, for I have known your mercy. And I pledge to live my life each day on this earth, full of faith in the resurrection Jesus gained for me.

And may almighty God, the ather of our Lord Jesus Christ who has given us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and bestowed on us forgiveness of our sins, keep us by his grace, in Christ Jesus our Lord, for eternal life.

Amen.

Lord, Our God, this Christmas season has renewed me. I have come to know more intimately the complexity of my weakness and the depths of your love for me. By your grace, I have come to experience the mystery of the gift of life you offer. Please help me to remain free and faithful that I might grow as a servant of Jesus' own mission. I ask this with growing faith in the name of Jesus, my Lord.

Retrouvaille Weekend for Couples

Is your marriage going down the right road…or is it a little off track? Are you already separated? Retrouvaille can help and offers hope for a better relationship. Retrouvaille is a peer ministry of volunteer couples that can help you learn the tools of healthy communication. Couples of al faiths as well as non-religious couples are welcome. For more information contact 717-356-2185 or visit the website at www.HelpOurMarriage.org.

SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Mark 1: 21-28

Deuteronomy 18: 15-20

1 Corinthians 7: 32-35

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT 2020

Readings

Mark 1 1-8

Isaiah 40 1-5, 9-11

2 Peter 3 8-14

John's brief appearance in Mark's Gospel begins a new era in the history of salvation. Mark's details about John's appearance recall the austere dress of the great prophet Elijah. The Jews believed that Elijah would return from heaven to announce the long-awaited restoration of Israel as God's kingdom. For Mark and the synoptics, this expectation is fulfilled in John the Bapti er. In the Bapti er's proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah, the age of the prophets is fulfilled and the age of the Messiah begins. His baptism with water is an act of hope and expectation in the very Spirit and life of God.

Today's first reading begins the second section of the Book of Isiah, often called the Book of Consolation. The prophet preaches that the long night of exile at the hands of the Babylonians is at an end and the Israelites will soon be able to return to their homeland. It is a time for joy and expectation, of course, but also a time for reali ing the difficult work that lies ahead in rebuilding their nation.

In today's second reading, Peter confronts the notion that somehow Christ's return has been "delayed." The point is not the exact timetable of the Parousia (for our concept of measured time means nothing to God), but that God's "delay" is a gift of grace to allow time for repentance and reconciliation with God. This time of grace marks our identity as an "Advent people." Theme - Our Call To Be 'Prophets' of the Lord. Each one of us is called to be a prophet of Christ. The word prophet comes from the Greek word meaning "one who proclaims." Not all prophets wear camel skns and eat locusts - there are prophets among us right now who proclaim in their ministries, in their compassion and their kindness, in their courageous commitment to what is right that Jesus the Messiah has come.

Theme - ' Making straight the wastelands.' There are so many wastelands and barren places into which we can bring life, so many roads and avenues we can transform into highways through our charity and forgiveness. In giving the needs of others priority over our own interests, in taking the first humbling steps toward reconciliation with another, in seeing in other people the face of Christ, we make a "highway" in our world for the Lord who comes.

SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

First Reading: 1 Kings 3:5,7-12

Second Reading: Romans 8:28-30

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:44-52 (shorter form Matthew 3 44-46)

BACKGROUND ON THE GOSPEL READING

Today's Gospel concludes three weeks of readings from the 3rd Chapter of Matthew's Gospel.

Throughout these three weeks, we have heard Jesus teaching crowds about the kingdom of heaven, and we have heard Jesus interpret some of his teachings for the disciples. In this week's Gospel, Jesus offers three more short parables.

The first two parables describe the great value of the kingdom of heaven. In the first parable, Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a buried treasure that is worth possessing even if it means giving up everything else. In the second parable, Jesus proposes that the kingdom of heaven is like a pearl of great worth for which one will sell everything else to possess. These parables teach us that we are to place everything we value in the service of the pursuit of the Kingdom of God.

The third parable that Jesus proposes in today's Gospel is different from the first two, but it is reminiscent of the parable of the sower heard in last week's Gospel. The kingdom of heaven is compared to fishing with a wide net. After the fish have been collected, the good fish are kept and the bad fish are thrown away; so too, in the final judgment, will the wicked and the righteous be separated.

Today's Gospel concludes with a curious statement about the scribe who understands the kingdom of heaven. Here a metaphor is offered this scribe is like the head of a household who "brings from his storeroom both the new and the old." The scribes referred to here are experts of Mosaic law. It is possible that Jesus is here instructing the early Christian community on how to proceed in the interpretation of Jewish law with respect to Jesus' "new" teaching.

Jesus' teaching about the kingdom of heaven does not replace the Jewish tradition; it interprets it in a different light.

SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

First Reading: Wisdom 12:13,16-19

Second Reading: Romans 8:26-27

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:24-43 (shorter form: Matthew 13:24-30)

BACKGROUND ON THE GOSEPL READING

In today's Gospel, Jesus offers three parables to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. He also explains why he speaks to the crowds in parables and interprets the parable of the sower for the disciples. This reading is a continuation of Jesus' discourse that we began reading last Sunday.

All three parables use commonplace experiences to describe aspects of the Kingdom of Heaven. The first parable is longer and more detailed than the next two, and it alerts us to the two-fold reality of the Kingdom of Heaven. The beginnings of the Kingdom of Heaven can be found in this world. The fruition of the Kingdom of Heaven, however, will not be realized until the final judgment. In the meantime, as Jesus' explanation to the disciples cautions, any effort to judge the progress of the Kingdom of Heaven is premature. Only God, in the final judgement, will distinguish the fruit of the Kingdom of Heaven and offer its reward.

The second and third parables call to our attention the abundance that will result from the small beginnings of the Kingdom of Heaven. Just as a mustard seed - the smallest of all seeds- will become a large bush, so too God will bring his Kingdom to full bloom. As a small amount of yeast will leaven the entire batch of bread, so too God will bring about the expansion of his Kingdom. In each case, the image is of the superabundance that God brings out of even the smallest of signs of the Kingdom.

Contained within these parables are words of caution as well as words of consolation. In the parable of the sower, we are warned against judging others. To judge and uproot the "weeds" prematurely will harm the wheat; final judgement rests with God. In the parables of the mustard seed and the yeast, we are consoled by the message that God can work wonders and produce abundance from even the smallest beginnings of the Kingdom of Heaven.

SOCIAL CONCERNS COMMITTEE

SOCIAL CONCERNS COMMITTEE MEETING

Tuesday January 14th @ 6:30pm, Kelley Hall

Deacon Ed Shoener of St. Peter’s Cathedral Parish will join us for our conversation on how the local church might better serve members of the community with mental health needs: about support, education, compassionate care. Join us for our dialogue, we’re always looking for new faces and ideas.

SOLEMNITY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

It is providential and most fitting that we re-gather the People of God as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body of Christ with great joy!

We've been waiting so long for this day - to receive the Eucharistic presence of Our Lord together.

Moving forward with the guidelines given to us for public safety, we give thanks to God for this moment, mindful of the responsibility to keep all safe. We pray that we will live as a Eucharistic people, giving and sharing ourselves, as Christ continually does for us, breaking open and pouring out our love in selfless service. It's a wonderful day!

As most members of our parishes will continue to pray with us at home, we remember that there is no substitute for the reception of the Eucharist.

Moving forward ever so carefully, we pray for the grace to be mindful of the needy, to care for the lonely, to work for justice of people so that the love of Our Lord will be known in the world through us.

SPEEDY RECOVERY, MSGR. MULDOWNEY

Monsignor Muldowney

Monsignor Thomas Muldowney, who was a former pastor at Holy Cross Parish, is currently on the mend after having surgery recently. To send get well cards and prayerful best wishes, you can send your greetings to:

Msgr. Thomas M. Muldowney, V.G. Cathedral of Saint Peter
315 Wyoming
Scranton, PA 18503

St Katherine Drexel

St. Katherine Drexel

"If we wish to serve God and to love our neighbor well, we must manifest our joy in the service we render God and to God's people. Let us open wide our hearts." St. Katherine Drexel

St. Katherine Drexel, the first saint born in the United States, committed her life to serving Native American and African American communities. Her message "Open Wide Our Hearts" is a clear call to people of good will as we create a path leading us to a more just society. She calls us to a humble and expansive love that challenges us to honestly look within and seek the grace needed to be changed more and more into the love of God. A love that respects human dignity and unites us all into a community in Christ. It is the ongoing work of the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is our mission. Celebrating this feast day, we pray through the intercession of Saint Katherine Drexel of Philadelphia, that we can find inspiration to live with each other in more just and loving ways.

THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS!

Blessed Sacrament Parish has received a check in the amount of $1,178.25 from the Development Office of the Diocese of Scranton. Surpassing our goal for the 2019 Diocesan Annual Appeal, the Appeal Rebate check represents 75% of the amount our parish raised over our appeal goal of $17,000.00.

Thank to all who have made this happen - your generosity is a blessing as we do the work of the Gospel in the backyard and supporting the mission of the Roman Catholic family of the Diocese of Scranton.

With the help and support of parishioners and friends, more than $4.1 million has been raised in the 2019 Appeal, directly supporting the wonderful ministries of our Diocese.

Thanks to all those at Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross Parishes for your ongoing support and commitment.

Thank You!!! 2021

Thak You!

Thank you to all those whose continuous financial and prayerful support permits us to continue our mission of sharing and bringing Good News to all.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO: JOHN J. TURKO & SONS, FUNERAL HOME, INC., 404 Susquehanna Ave., Olyphant, 570-489-3401 And 402 Boulevard Ave., Dickson City, 570-489-3489, Family Owned Since 1924

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO: DUNMORE DRUG STORE, 702 North Blakely St., Dunmore, PA 18512, 570-342-8427, Dunmoredrugs.com, Proudly Serving the Community Since 2003

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO: SCHOONOVER EYE CARE, 240 Main St., Peckville, PA 18452, Icare4eyes.com, Helping You See 20/20

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO: MEDICAP PHARMACY, 514 Burke Bypass, Olyphant, PA 18447, 570-383-6700, Eric M. Pusey, R. Ph., Owner/Manager, Free Delivery * Medication Flavoring

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO: Sylvester Chevrolet, 1609 Main St., Peckville, PA 18452, 570-489-7586, www.sylvesterchevrolet.com

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO Law Offices of Fanucci and Kolcharno, 1711 Main St., Blakely, PA 18452, 570-383-0652

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK SPECIAL THANKS TO: Michael P. Glinsky, Funeral Home, Inc., Corner of Willow & Grant Streets, Olyphant 570-489-5661, www.glinskyfuneralhome.com

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO Community Bank, N.A 128 Lackawanna Ave., Olyphant, PA 18447, 570-487-4821, www.communitybankna.com

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO Yeselavage Rug 577 Main St. Eynon, PA 18403 570-876-0172 www.yeselavagerug.com

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO Dunmore Drug Store 702 North Blakely St. Dunmore, PA 18512 570-342-8427 www.dunmoredrugs.com Samuel Sebastianelli Jr., Pharm. D. Pharamicst/Owner

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO Forget Me Not Cemetery Care 570-586-1257 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Specialized Personal Care for Your Loved Ones

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO KATRINA'S PIZZA & HOAGIE 813 Boulevard Ave. Dickson City, PA 18519 570-489-8955

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO TROY MECHANICAL INC. 100 State Highway Moosic, PA 18507 570-451-0140

PLEASE REMEMBER TO SUPPORT ALL THOSE WHO ADVERTISE IN OUR WEEKLY BULLETIN THIS WEEK A SPECIAL THANKS TO: FANUCCI AND KOLCHARNO, Attorneys at Law 1711 Main St., Blakely, PA 18447, 570-383-0652

The Month Of October is Respect Life Month

During the month of October, which is Respect Life Month, all Catholics are invited to join in prayer with Pope Francis for an end to abortion, euthanasia, and the many social ills that bring illness, broken families, unhappiness, and premature death, especially for the most vulnerable.

By reflecting on the teachings of Pope Francis and calling upon the help of Our Lady, we can deepen our commitment to the Gospel of Life and support the most vulnerable through prayer.

"Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God's creation."

O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life: Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers

of babies not allowed to be born,

of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence,

of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of out time.

Obtain for them the grace to accept the Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.

Amen.

- St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)

The Social Concerns Committee

SOCIAL CONCERNS COMMITTEE NEWS

1. The Social Concerns Committee of Blessed Sacrament and Holly Cross Parishes are hosting a “Pampered Chef” Party to benefit Catholic Social Service Drug and Alcohol Programs.
Where: Blessed Sacrament Parish Hall, 215 Rebecca St., Throop.
When: Sunday, November 19, 2:00 to 5:00 PM. Come join us for an enjoyable afternoon. Get some Christmas shopping done! RSVP by November 14- Rose Kaminski- 570- 489-5125.

2. Non-perishable Food Drive. This drive is conducted through the month of November each weekend, also please remember to bring foodstuffs to Thanksgiving Day Mass! Food donated will be given to our local food pantries. Please help us to serve needy families in our community.

3. Social Concerns Committee Meeting: Tuesday, November 14 at Blessed Sacrament Parish Hall.

THEMES OF THE READINGS OF SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

God's persistent invitation to us to 'Come and see.'

The mystery of God's love is its limitlessness; throughout human history, despite our rejection of God and obtuseness to his ways, God never ceases to call us back to him, to "come and see." Our God is a God of newness and beginnings, who constantly extends his grace to "start over" and begin again.

"Come and see" is both an invitation and a challenge. Jesus dares us, really, to come - to leave behind the things that deter us from God - and see - to focus not on what the world exalts as important but on the values of God.

To be disciples in our own time and place.

Henry West Beecher observed that "if a person cannot be a Christian in the place where they are, they cannot be a Christian anywhere." The challenge of the call to discipleship/prophecy (as Samuel hears in today's first reading and the disciples hear in the Gospel) is to discern and respond to that call within our own lives, in the context of our own experiences. Regardless of social standing or lifestyle, regardless of where we live, God calls every one of us to life in him. Whether we are creatures of Wall Street or denizens of Sing-Sing, we can make God's reign a reality in our own time and place through our faithfulness to the Gospel values of servanthood, reconciliation, justice and compassion.

THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2021

Readings: Mark 1: 14-20,

Jonah 3: 1-5, 10

1 Corinthians 7: 29-31

The day of the Messiah has dawned; but newness demands change: a “turning away” from business as usual and a complete trust in the life and love of God. Simon and Andrew’s “abandoning” their nets and James’ and John’s “abandoning” their father in today’s Gospel illustrate the total trust and commitment Jesus demands of those who would be his disciples.

Jonah is a reluctant prophet. Nineveh was the capital of the despised Assyrians, Israel’s one-time occupier and bitter enemy. When first sent by God to Nineveh, Jonah refused, believing that Nineveh deserved to be destroyed. But Jonah is made to realize that every nation and every people who turn to the Lord are precious to the loving Creator and Father of all. To be God’s holy people, Israel must abandon its sense of intolerance and vindictiveness.

For Paul and many of the early Christians, Jesus Christ’s return was imminent – they fully expected Christ to appear in their lifetimes.

Despite the near alarmist urgency of today’s brief second reading. Paul makes an important point about the impermanence of our relationships and material goods in this world, a world that “as we know it is passing away.”

THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME THEMES

Our value and worth before God.

Jesus began his ministry by calling simple fishermen to be his most trusted friends. Although the Twelve were hardly scholars or men wise in the ways of the world, Jesus saw beyond their gruff simplicity to call forth from them faith, sincerity and integrity. As Mark's Gospel unfolds each Sunday this year, the first disciples will misunderstand Jesus, desert him and even deny and betray him. But Jesus entrusts to them, for all of humankind, the proclamation of his Gospel. We, too, possess such value and trust in the eyes of our God.

Jesus' call to 'abandonment' for the sake of the Gospel.

Their families must have thought that the first disciples were crazy for just dropping everything to follow the itinerant rabbi from Nazareth. To be a disciple of Jesus means abandoning the world's values to embrace the demanding values of the Gospel. Thomas Merton wrote "How many fear to follow their consciences because they would rather conform to the opinion of others than to the truth they know in their souls? How can I be sincere if I am constantly changing my mind to conform with the shadow of what I think others expect of me? Others have no right to demand that I be anything other than what I ought to be in the sight of God."

The possibilities of change through the Gospel.

The Gospel is about possibilities. Christ came to show us how it is possible to love life to the fullest, if we dare to make forgiveness, reconciliation and selfless charity the center of our lives. It is difficult to move beyond our biases and prejudices and to rise above the pressures and deadlines imposed on us to hear that small voice of the Spirit within us. That is the challenge of discipleship to see forgiveness when the rest of the world demands vengeance; to see Christ in the faces of those who have been "written off" by society; to work for justice when there is nothing in it for us; to embrace the role of servant when the conventional wisdom dictates "me first." Jesus' Gospel is challenging, demanding and unreasonable - but, oh, the possibilities!

COLLECTION OF PALMS

In preparation for Ash Wednesday (February 17th), you may drop off blessed Palms from your home in the entrance way of our parish churches.

THIRTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

First Reading: 2 Kings 4:8-11,14-16a

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 89:2-3,16-19 Sing God's praises forever.

Second Reading: Romans 6:3-4,8-11

Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:37-42

BACKGROUND ON THE GOSPEL READING

Today's Gospel is the conclusion of the instructions and consolations that we have heard Jesus offering to his disciples during the past few weeks. In this passage, Jesus summarizes both the costs of discipleship and its rewards. Once again, our understanding of the Gospel is strengthened by considering the context in which it was written and the perspective of Matthew's audience.

The conditions of discipleship outlined in Matthew's Gospel may appear harsh. Yet they underline for us a truth - choosing anything with one's whole heart has consequences. Choosing life with Christs means that every relationship we have must be understood from a new perspective. For many in Matthew's community, this choice brought division to their family.

Matthew also outlines the reward of hospitality offered to Jesus' followers. In today's Gospel, Jesus explains the difficulties of discipleship, yet reveals that those who welcome the disciples have also welcomed him. Today's Gospel also highlights for us the importance of hospitality in the Christian life. To welcome another in Jesus' name is to extend hospitality to Jesus himself.

We have many opportunities in our daily life to reach out to others, to be a welcoming presence and a sign of God's love.

TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2020

First Reading: Isiah 56:1,6-7. The Lord reveals his salvation to all.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8. All the nations will praise God.

Second Reading: Romans 11:13-15,29-32. God's favor to Israel is irrevocable.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 15:21-28. Jesus heals the daughter of the Canaanite woman because of her great faith.

BACKGROUND ON THE GOSPEL READING

Today we move ahead in our reading of Matthew's Gospel. Last week, we read about Jesus walking on the water and the disciples' confession of faith that Jesus is the Son of God. If we were reading Matthew's entire Gospel, we would have read about Jesus' debate with the Pharisees about Jewish purity laws. Jesus argues that it is not what goes into us that makes us unclean; he is referring to the strict Jewish dietary rules. Instead our words and our actions-what comes out of us-make us unclean because they emerge from a heart that is unclean.

Knowing about Jesus' debate with the Pharisees helps us to understand today's Gospel. In fact, the story heightens the surprise and shock we feel as we hear Jesus' exchange with the Canaanite woman. The woman, who is not Jewish, approaches Jesus, requesting that he heal her demon-possessed daughter. At first Jesus ignores her; he says nothing. The disciples ask Jesus to send her away, and Jesus agrees, remarking that he was sent to minister to the Jews alone.

The woman persists, paying homage to Jesus, and yet Jesus denies her request again. He even insults her, using a Jewish word of derision for Gentiles, "dog." But the woman cleverly turns Jesus' insult into an affirmation of faith. Only then does Jesus grant her request and heal her daughter.

Jesus' unresponsiveness to this woman may strike us as uncharacteristic or shocking. Yet in Matthew's Gospel, Jesus' ministry is directed primarily to the people of Israel. At only a very few points, such as the one found in today's Gospel, do we find Jesus anticipating the later Christian ministry to the rest of the world.

Behind Matthew's text, we can hear this early Christian community's struggle to understand how God's selection of Israel is consistent with two events:Isreal's rejection of Jesus and the Gentiles' acceptance of Jesus. Just as Jesus was surprised by the faith expressed by the Canaanite woman, so too the first Christians were surprised that the Gentiles would receive the salvation God offered through Christ. In today's second reading from Paul's letter to the Romans, we hear the apostle Paul considering this same concern.

The faith that the Canaanite woman expresses is an affirmation of and confidence in God's abundant mercy. Yes, salvation comes through Israel, but it overflows for the benefit of all.

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2020

First Reading: Isaiah 22:19-23

Second Reading: Romans 11:33-36

Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-20

BACKGROUND ON THE GOSPEL READING

It is important to read today's Gospel and next week's Gospel as two parts of a single story. These readings are a turning point in Matthew's Gospel. This week, we hear Jesus name Simon Peter as the rock upon which he will build his church. Next week, we will hear Jesus call this same Simon Peter "Satan" when he reacts negatively to Jesus' prediction about his passion and death.

In today's Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples what people are saying about his identity. The disciples indicate that most people believe that Jesus is a prophet of Israel.

Then Jesus asks his disciples who they believe that he is. Simon Peter answers, identifying Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.

Jesus commends Simon Peter for this profession of faith, indicating that this insight has come from God. Because of Simon Peter's response, Jesus calls him the "rock" upon which Jesus will build the Church. This is a word play on the name Peter, which is the Greek word for "rock." Peter is then given special authority by Jesus, a symbolic key to the Kingdom of Heaven. Peter will play an important role in the early Christian community as a spokesperson and a leader.

In today's Gospel, Peter's recognition of Jesus' identity is credited to a revelation by God. This will contrast sharply with Jesus' rebuke of Peter in next week's Gospel. When Peter rejects Jesus' prediction of his passion and death, Peter is said to no longer be thinking as God does but as humans do.

The use of the term church in today's Gospel is one of only three such occurrences in Matthew's Gospel. Peter in this Gospel is being credited as the foundation for the Church, a privilege granted to him because of his recognition of Jesus' identity. The Church continues to be grounded in the faith that Jesus Christ is Lord.

TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

First Reading: Jeremiah 20:7-9 Jeremiah laments but cannot fail to speak in God's name.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9 Our souls yearn for God.

Second Reading: Romans 12:1-2 Paul encourages the Romans to stay faithful to God.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:21-27 Jesus speaks of his Passion and rebukes Peter for his objection.

BACKGROUND ON THE GOSPEL READING

Today's Gospel continues the story that began in last week's Gospel. Simon Peter was called the "rock" upon which Jesus would build his Church, and yet Peter continues to show the limitations of his understanding of Jesus' identity. Now that the disciples have acknowledged that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus confides in them the outcome of his ministry: he must suffer and die in Jerusalem to be raised on the third day. Peter rejects this prediction, and Jesus rebukes him severely, calling him "Satan." In opposing this aspect of Jesus' mission, Peter shows that he is no longer speaking based on the revelation from God but as a human being.

Jesus then teaches all of the disciples about the difficult path of discipleship: to be Christ's disciple is to follow in his way of the cross.

Peter could not yet understand what it meant to call Jesus the Messiah. It is unlikely that the other disciples understood any better. Messianic expectations were a common aspect of first-century Judaism. Under Roman occupation, many in Israel hoped and prayed that God would send a Messiah to free the Jews from Roman oppression. The common view was that the Messiah would be a political figure, a king that would free Israel from Roman rule. This is perhaps what Peter envisioned when he was led to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. In this passage, however, Jesus is beginning to teach his disciples that he would be the Messiah in a different way.

Jesus would be more like the suffering servant described by the prophet Isaiah than the political liberator. Those who would be Jesus' disciples would be called to a similar life of service. Perhaps this is what Peter feared most in Jesus' prediction of his Passion. He whom Jesus had called "rock" would also be called upon to offer himself in sacrifice and service to others. Christian leaders today are still called to sacrifice and serve others as Jesus did.

TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, CYCLE A

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2020

Gospel Reading: Matthew 21:28-32

Jesus poses a question to the chief priests and elders on the meaning of obedience.

Family Connection

The example Jesus poses in today's Gospel could have been taken directly from family experience. Each of us can recall instances in which family members spoke one thing but then did another. The point of Jesus' story is to show that our actions speak louder than words, even with God.

As you gather as a family, talk about times when a family member said one thing and then did another. Acknowledge that sometimes the action taken displays a true change of heart. Then read today's Gospel, Matthew 21:28-32. Observe that Jesus faulted the religious leaders for not allowing John the Baptist's message of repentance to change their hearts and actions. The word we sometimes use for this change of heart is conversation. Jesus wants us to do more than pay lip service to the Gospel; he wants us to be transformed by his word.

Pray together that your family will experience a conversion to God and show evidence of this in both actions and words. Pray together today's second reading, Philippians 2:1-5.

2020 Loyola Press

UPDATE NURSING HOME LISTS

If your family member is a resident of one of the local nursing homes or long-term facilities, we ask that you contact the Parish Office in the next two weeks so that we can update our lists. Over the next few months, the priests will be visiting the local facilities in order to pray and anoint our parishioners. Thank you for your assistance and may the grace of God continue to help you and support you and your loved one.

VISITING ANOTHER CHURCH

Did you know that if you celebrate Mass at another church in the area, you can still support your home parish by placing your Holy Cross or Blessed Sacrament envelope in the collection basket? It is customary for parishes to forward a parishioner’s weekly offertory envelope to the parish that issued the envelope. On a given weekend, we forward envelopes to many of the neighboring parishes. Please continue to support your parish by placing your envelope in the basket where ever you attend Mass.

Volunteers Needed - Soup and Stations

Soup and Stations

Holy Cross Parish invites you to join in soup and fellowship after Stations of the Cross each Friday during Lent in Kelley Hall.

Volunteers are needed to help make Lenten soup and set-up and clean-up.

We are stopping the collection of non-perishable food items.

With the limited space and the wonder of limitless generosity, we have to take a break from the collection of non-perishable foods. We will continue to collect gift cards from local grocery stores. Thank you!

WEDNESDAY LUNCH VOLUNTEERS

We are hoping to re-open our Wednesday lunch in a limited way, sharing a take-out only box lunch for our guests. We can only do that if we have a sufficient number of volunteers. If you were a Wednesday lunch volunteer and feel comfortable returning to assist, or would like to join us in this worthwhile venture, please call the Parish Office at 570-489-0752.

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity continues (January 18th - 25th).

Bishop Bambera, serving as the chairman for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued this statement marking the 25th Anniversary of "Ut Unum Sint" (That They May Be One, Saint John Paul II).

"This anniversary should serve as a reminder that the way of ecumenism is the way of the Church, and that all Catholics are called to espouse a strong commitment to building Christian unity."

Let's pray that we will live up to our responsibility for the sake of the Gospel to pray for unity, develop ecumenical friendships, and cooperate for the common good.

Welcome to New Parishoners

Our parish family welcomes all who joined us for the celebration of the Eucharist this weekend. If you are not a registered member of the parish and would like to join the parish, please contact the parish office or see Monsignor Delaney for more information.