We welcome Bishop Cistone as we celebrate the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time! His Parish Visitation culminates with the celebration of 9:30 AM Mass followed by a reception in the Meeting Room of the Education Center. I know you will give our bishop a warm welcome. I do hope you are able to visit with him a bit after Mass over donuts, coffee, and juice.
During the celebration of Eucharist this Sunday at our parish, Bishop Cistone will confer the sacrament of Confirmation on two of our young adults: Spencer Kyle Goschke and Monica May Ginop. We congratulate both of them on the reception of this sacrament. We pray that, having received the fullness of the Holy Spirit, they will come to rely on his gifts daily, especially during the next couple of months of their immediate preparation for the sacrament of Matrimony.
This week’s Gospel is a continuation of last Sunday’s passage from Luke. It begins with the same line that ended last week’s Gospel: Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing. It goes on to say that even though some are amazed, they question: Isn’t this the son of Joseph? Jesus goes on to point out how a prophet is not accepted in his native place. He uses Elijah and Elisha as examples. At that point he is driven out of town. Below is a short reflection on prophets by Mary Frances Fleischaker, OP (a Dominican Sister from Adrian) who teaches at Barry University in Miami, and who has written reflections for Daily Prayer 2016 (published by LTP). She writes:
Who are today’s prophets? Those who are unafraid to speak the inconvenient truth everyone needs to hear. The job description of a prophet always seems to include some pretty stiff rejection. It is not a career one chooses lightly but a compelling call requiring dedication and courage. Jeremiah tried to resist, and so did Jonah, but to no avail. Jesus, on the other hand, embraced the role out of love, as an integral part of his mission. Paul reminds us that without love, prophecy is only noise.
As we further reflect upon the Gospel this coming week, let us ask ourselves: who are the prophets in today’s Church? What are they telling us?
Congratulations to Andrea and Logan Meyers whose daughter, Olivia Josephine, was baptized last Sunday! We pray for God’s blessings upon you and your daughter. As the parish community of Saint John Paul II, we promised to be credible witnesses to the faith for Olivia. You can count on our prayers and faithful discipleship in helping you raise your daughter in the Catholic faith.
The Mardi Gras Party next Saturday begins after 4:00 PM Mass in the gym at the Education Center. Chicken and sausage are being provided by the parish. Please bring a dish to pass. Make sure you sign up this weekend if you have not done so already. If you missed the sign-up sheets in Church, please call the Parish Office (755-0828) this week (so we have an accurate number for set up). The evening will consist of dinner, music, games, snacks, and a 50/50 raffle. Come meet some new friends and renew some acquaintances. It should be a fun evening.
If you are able to help out in any way with the Paczki Sale and have not yet signed up, please do so soon. We are only a week away from laying the cardboard and beginning the preparations for making the paczki. If you have any questions, please give Jim Szynwelski (753-3694) a call. Remember, if you are unable to work, but are able to prepare a dish for the workers, please bring it to the Education Center Meeting Room during the day on Monday, February 8.
I invite you to take a look at this weekend’s stewardship report. We had an unusually low collection last week. If you are behind on your contributions, I encourage you to try to catch up. Please also take note of the CSA 2015 update. If you have not yet made a pledge, it is still not too late to do so. You will notice that, even with 77.5% of parishioners who have made a pledge, we still have a significant CSA deficit this year. The parish must make up the deficit, so if you are able to help out, please consider making a pledge before we begin CSA 2016. Once again, to those who have made a pledge, I thank you for your generosity.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ