January 03, 2016

The Epiphany of the Lord

The New Year
“Mary reflected in her heart.”

– Luke 2:20

Tick, Tock, God is Near

One of the most significant inventions of all time is the mechanical clock. To be sure, there were sand clocks and water clocks and sun clocks and candle clocks for many millennia, but with the mechanical clock the human race incorporated the night hours into its schedules. And that was momentous. For, up to that time, night was a time to eat, to tell stories, and to sleep. Jesus, living in the pre-mechanical time, makes reference to that … he says, ‘Night time comes when no one can work.’ Now we say, ‘Work and shop until you drop’ at the stores, and factories open 24 hours a day.

The mechanical clock met a need, the need of monks to pray at set times. But the clock takes on a different function today. It does not summon us to prayer, but tempts us to fill every hour, every minuteand every second of our lives with a thousand bits of busy-ness that leave us no time for God, or for ourselves.

Advertisers add to the problem by compressing time for us. In July they advertise back-to-school sales; in September, Christmas gifts; at Ash Wednesday, Easter finery; in May, Summer sales. They move us constantly round and round like squirrels on a wheel, never giving us the time to savour the current celebration and mystery, in the hot economic pursuit of the next … As some wrote in a rather cynical poem:

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This is the age of the half-read page,
The quick has and the mad dash.
This is the age of the bright night and the nerves tight,
And the plane with a brief stop.
The brain strain and the heart pain
The catnaps till the spring snaps and the fun is done.

Scripture

‘Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?’

– (Isaiah 43:18-19)

And the one who was seated on the throne said,
‘See, I am making all things new.’

– (Revelation 21:5)

Quiet Prayer

Intercessions
Response: We bless you, Lord, for your gift of time.

With our trust in you, O Lord, we look forward to the days and weeks and months that lie ahead, knowing that they will never fail to reveal signs of your providence.

Rejoicing in you, O Lord, we reach out to embrace all the moments and occasions of the coming year, knowing that they will ever surprise us with opportunities for celebrating your salvation.

May times of happiness teach us the depth of your love. May times of adversity teach us to reach of your care. In all times may we bless you, Father, Son and Spirit, in whom it is our destiny to live, forever and ever. Amen

– Prayer for Parish Groups
– Donal Harrington & Julie Kavangh

Bless Your Home on Epiphany

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The blessing of homes on the Feast of the Epiphany brings the presence of Christ into our lives. The origin of this ritual comes from Europe when homeowners marked their doors with the sign 20+C+M+B=(year). CMB were the initials of the three Wise Men: Caspar, Melchoir and Balthasar.

Another interpretation given of this sign was: Christus Mansionem Bededicat (Christ Blesses this Mansion). We welcome you to bless your home for the New Year using the blessed chalk and rite given below:

One person makes the inscription with chalk above the door (20+C+M+B+13), while another proclaims the corresponding words: The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthasar followed the star of God’s son who became Man (20) two thousand years ago. (+) May Christ bless our dwelling (+) and remain with us throughout the New Year.

Prayer:

Almighty Father, incline your ear. Bless us and all those who gather here. Send us your angel who will defend us and fill with Grace all who dwell in this place. Amen

Journey with Us
Open Your Heart to God
Discover the Keys to the Kingdom

RCIA

Are you interested in exploring your spiritual life?
Do you want to discover the abundance of God’s love and peace?
Would you like to have greater motivation for service?
Do you want to know more about the Catholic Faith?
Did you ever think about becoming a Catholic?
Are you a Baptized Catholic and have never made your First Communion and/or Confirmation?
Are you baptized in another faith and have a desire to become Catholic?
Have you never been baptized in any faith but wonder?

Journey with Us!

Through the process of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA, we explore all these questions and discover the keys to the kingdom. RCIA is a restoration of the ancient practice of initiation into the Church. Through a process of discernment, spiritual development and ritualizing stages of conversion, you are guided to sacramental initiation. These Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist which are celebrated at the Easter Vigil open your hearts and empower you to lives of service, charity and justice as witnesses to our mission of OPUS CHRISTI, Christ’s work. RCIA is not a program but a sacramental process.  RCIA reflects a sacramental attitude that is at the heart of all Christian living: CONVERSION, turning your heart to God.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN US!
Our next session is Monday evening, January 4, 2016 from 7:00-8:30 PM in the Russo Room. Make-up sessions will be available.

We invite you to be our companion on the journey and discover the keys to the kingdom. If you would like more information about RCIA, please call Donna Scancarella at 973-779-6200.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Religious Education Classes schedule
Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6: January 24, February 28
Grade 2:  January 10 & 24, February 7 & 28
Grades 7, 8: January 10, February 7
Confirmation Grade 9, 10: January 10, February 7

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