Fruitful Follower

07-12-2020Weekly ReflectionFather Brighenti

Dear Parish Family,

Ultimately there are two things to which we’re called —to holiness and mission, to be a faithful disciple and an ardent apostle — and in today’s parable, Jesus helps us to understand both better, instructing us how to be a fruitful follower and an effective evangelist, how to hear God’s word well and proclaim it well, how to receive God’s grace and how to live in accordance with it. In the Parable of the Sower, the Seed and the Soil, Jesus tells us that good soil produces fruit, and not just a little fruit, but abundant fruit: 30, 60 or 100 fold, all huge numbers according to the Jewish mentality of the age. Do we listen to God’s word with the intention to bear great fruit? Do we respond to God’s work in our lives with an openness and a desire to do something great for him? Just as a sower would scatter seed over all four types of earth, so Jesus scatters his word, his grace, his saving deeds over all four kinds of people represented by the respective soil samples. We see all four soil types among his first listeners. The big question is how we’re going to listen: whether we’re truly going to hear with our ears and be converted, whether we’re going to receive what he teaches on good soil and allow that word to bear abundant fruit in our lives, or whether we’re going to receive what he says on the three types of soil that end up bearing little or no fruit at all.

The Bishop was very clear that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass will remain in effect until further notice. It is not a sin, in any way to not attend Mass especially if you are elderly or have underlining conditions where it is necessary for you to keep the Stay at Home Orders. The decision regarding whether to attend Mass is left to the individual. If you or someone in your household is ill, especially with a fever or flu like symptoms please do not enter the Church.

We will continue to live stream the daily Masses and the Sunday 9:00 am & 1:30 pm Spanish Masses for those that are unable to attend in person. We have also started having public weekday Mass at 8:00 am.

When you come to Mass, everyone will enter through the main doors, our Knights of Columbus members will be there to greet you and seat you in assigned seats. We have mapped out the Church taking in to consideration social distancing, and the limited capacity we are required to follow and have come up with a floor plan that we will use. It is this reason that you will be escorted to your seat by the Knights. Please note that you might not be able to sit where you normally prefer because of this reason. Once the Church is at capacity, we will have a limited number of standing room only in the Narthex. We have taken all precautions to follow the guidelines set by the State and Diocese in order to keep everyone safe.

Please remember that you will need a face mask to enter the Church. We also ask that if you can to bring your own sanitizer or to use the dispensers that we have provided in the Narthex and the Church. Our collection baskets have been placed in the back of the Church so that you may drop your envelope as you leave.

You will also notice that the missals and music hymnals have been removed this is to help with keeping surfaces clean, if you wish to follow along with the Mass each week we will have the readings and songs on our website that you can print and bring to Church with you, If you chose to do this, please do not leave the papers in the pews. Our bathrooms will be closed until further notice. We ask that you remember to social distance at all times including entering and exiting the Church, do not shake hands or congregate to socialize before or after Masses in order to keep the social distancing requirements from the State of NJ. Please also note that to help with social distancing the priests and deacons will not be in the Narthex after Masses to greet the parishioners.

Eucharistic Adoration is also available from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm . Please remember that we are to follow social distancing while in the Church. Our priests are available to hear confessions, from 3:45 - 4:45 pm Saturday in the old Chapel.

I want to thank our parishioners who are currently contributing through our auto offertory program as well as those who continue to send in their donations by mail. On our web page we have set up ways to donate either electronically or by text. These donations and our regular envelope system make a real difference for St. Magdalen de Pazzi, especially now. Your gift to St. Magdalen’s and any extra sacrifice during these difficult days are most needed and appreciated.

Know of my prayers for you and please keep me in your prayers. Stay well and safe.

Father Ken