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Evangelization-4H Fair

08-18-2013Weekly ReflectionFr. Tim Christy

Dear Parish Family:

We are currently in the season of last chance vacations and shifting into the mode of "School" and resuming our regular activities that begin in the fall. Whatever we find ourselves doing these days of August: rest, relaxation, family reunions, back yard BBQ's…we always belong to God. It's a choice to recognize and see with the eyes of faith God's love and presence is everywhere.

I am excited to share with you a new way that our parish is taking a regular local summer activity and bringing the gift of faith to life. This week (August 21-25) St. Magdalen's will be at the Hunterdon County 4-H Fair with a booth for the whole duration of the fair. The purpose of St. Magdalen having a booth at the fair is very simple: to meet people where they are at and to let the community know that we are a presence here in Flemington and that they are welcome here at our parish. We are not going to the fair to try to convert people or to try and start arguments with people of other faiths, but rather we are going to engage people in conversations and be the face of Christ to them. This has been something that we have wanted to do for awhile and the Lord is just now opening the doors to make this possible. We were on a waiting list up until this past week when another parish dropped so we were next on the list. After we discerned the movements of the Holy Spirit, we decided that the Lord was inviting our parish into the great opportunity of evangelization and we are happy to see what the fruits of our yes will be. The fair runs from 10am-10pm, Wednesday through Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday. There will be people from our parish staffing our booth the whole time so I encourage you to stop by and check us out and invite your friends to stop by too. We should be reminded that inviting others is a great tool of evangelization that we can never underestimate.

At our booth we will have brochures on the parish, religious articles, "We are Catholic" DVD looping all throughout the day, and a section where people can write down their prayer intentions that they wish us to pray for. We are emphasizing to the people we encounter that the larger parish community is praying for them and will continue to do so at all our masses so I ask you to join me in this cause. Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone came back to the Church after they came to the booth and got misconceptions cleared up that they have had for years? There is so much potential here but we are reminded that all of our works are fruitless and dead if they are not being pushed with prayer. So I come to you all with a request.

What we ask of you is you fervent prayer. As we are reminded from the verse above from Colossians, we can never underestimate the power of prayer. Our job, as a community of faith, is to be lifting up all the people in prayer who will be coming through our booth. In this manner, we all are playing a role in the mystical body and Christ and no role is greater than the other. Be assured that your prayer will bear fruit not only in the lives of the people at the fair but in the life of your own.

In this Year of Faith we are called to be anchored deeper in the gift that God gives us to know Him and not only to know Him but to fall in love with Him. It is through our genuine commitment to Jesus that people will see Jesus in the world. I hope to see many of you at the Hunterdon County Fair next week. Look for our booth and stop by to say hello!

On another note, please consider joining the parish over the next several weeks to be Consecrated to Mary. If you have never given yourself completely to God and realize you are holding back…then come and find out what the Saints have told us is the quickest way from our heart to God's heart. You will hear more about this over the next few weeks.

Have a good week and keep the Lord in the forefront of everything!

Peace and Prayers, Father Tim