The metaphor of "inviting myself to the mirror to see my nose" as applied to our parish family
Dear Parishioners and visitors,
Allow me to greet you with the words that St. Paul addressed the people of the Church in Rome: "To you all, God's beloved in Rome, called to be his holy people. Grace and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 1, 7). It is a very beautiful salutation because it inspires us to realize that we are also God's beloved people and we are called to be his holy people.
On the other hand, I have realized that even if my nose is so near to my eyes, I have never seen my nose, other than in a mirror or photographs. Have you ever seen your nose with your eyes? Try it now. Anyway, the point I want to make is that even if I work and live in this parish, I have not been aware of the many good things that people do in this parish, which in reality are concrete pathways to holiness.
Therefore, this letter is geared at sharing with you some of the things that happen in this parish but may escape the visibility of many people, especially those who come only for Sunday Mass or on Ash Wednesday. These things are great inspirations to how people are responding to God's love by sharing their faith with others and reaching out to those in need. You can be a part of these experiences or activities and thereby extend your manifestation of the call to holiness by participating in some of them. Examples of such special moments of Grace include but not limited to participating in: the Daily Mass (Monday through Friday), Saturday morning Mass followed by recitation of the Rosary, Adoration on every Friday after the 9 am Mass, Overnight Adoration every first Friday of the Month, Confession every Saturday, Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help every Wednesday, Prayer Group in Spanish on Mondays and many other spiritual moments.
There are also other hands-on activities that help us to put the Gospel message into practice. A typical example is the " The Lord's Supper". What is The Lord's Supper? It is part of our social ministry outreach program. There are many volunteers that twice a month get together to prepare meals for the homebound and also the Women's Crisis Center. These meals are prepared by our own parishioners at our Parish Center and delivered to the homes of the recipients. There is also a Home Bound program that meets twice a month. These homebound individuals are driven to Church from their homes by many volunteers. They attend Mass, enjoy a meal and then socialize in our Parish Center. This is an opportunity for them to get out of their homes for a little while and come to the Church. Let us remember, what they are, we will most probably be! So, it is a holy thing to care for them.
There are so many good things that we as a faith community have and do here at St. Magdalen de Pazzi. Some of them are in front of our eyes like the nose, but we do not see them. Consequently, we need to invite ourselves to events and get involved more deeply into the life our parish family. Otherwise, we may run the risk of trying to solve problems that have already been addressed. This reminds me of a parishioner in another Church who asked his pastor: Father, why haven't you started a Children's choir? I have been in this parish for 30 years and we have never had a Children's Choir. The Pastor responded with a question: Which Mass do you usually attend? Always the 7:30 am on Sundays, responded the parishioner. Consequently, the Pastor replied, can you invite yourself to the 9:00 am Sunday Mass? The children will be singing and as a matter of fact, they have been singing for the last thirty years! Bingo!
In closing, I want to thank you for everything you do for the greater glory of God and the well-being of others. Let us continue to pray for one another and continue to become aware of what goes on in our parish. For more details, visit our parish website at www.stmagdalen.org and for the other ministries in the parish see the listing in back of the bulletin.
May our eyes of faith and participation this weekend in the Feast of Corpus Christi (Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ) bring us closer to Jesus Christ and to see him in one another. Let us continue to "Greet one another with a holy kiss" (Rom. 16,16).
In Christ, Fr. JosephBACK TO LIST