This weekend we celebrate the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus is teaching in the synagogue. There is a man present with an unclean spirit. That spirit cries out to Jesus, calling him by name, asking: “Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God.” Jesus tells him to come out of the man; the unclean spirit convulses the man and then, with a loud cry, comes out of him. In the culture at the time of Jesus, people believed if you named someone or something you had power over that person or thing. The Jewish people never called God by name because they knew they had no power over him, nor could they control him. In today’s Gospel, by daring to address Jesus of Nazareth – the Holy One of God, the unclean spirit discovers he has no power over Jesus. Without even calling the unclean spirit by name, Jesus has power over him, is able to expel him and drive him away from the man in the synagogue. All gathered realize Jesus has a new kind of authority in his teaching and in the works he performs.
This week is Catholic Schools’ Week. The theme this year is: Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed. Usually some of the students speak at announcement time at the weekend Masses. However, at this writing, I have not received the names of any students in our parish who may be speaking. Please keep our Catholic School students, teachers, staff, and parents in your prayers. If you are able, please join all the Nouvel students, teachers, and staff for a special Mass on Thursday, February 1 at 10:00 AM at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church. If you wish to make a donation to the parish in the name of the Catholic Schools, it would be greatly appreciated.
Friday is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. On this feast, which years ago was called Candlemas (the official end of the Christmas Season), the tradition of the ritual blessing of candles developed. Each year, the Church blesses candles to be used for the celebration of Mass and the sacraments throughout the year. Please join us for Mass at 8:30 AM. If you have a candle you would like to have blessed, please bring it along with you to church on Friday. We will have some smaller candles that will be blessed that you can take home with you if you do not have your own prayer candle.
The Mardi Gras Party is next Saturday, February 3, beginning with hors d’oeuvres at 5:00 PM. If you did not have the opportunity to sign up at Church, please call the Parish Office by 4:00 PM Wednesday, January 31. Don’t forget to bring a dish to pass. Please see the flyer in today’s bulletin for more details.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ