The good news is that, thanks in a great measure to Tim's good administration, we have been finally able to get caught up on our bills. Earlier last year Mr. Tom Swim helped get a clearer picture of parish finances and due to his and Tim's presentations, a deeper commitment has been made to the economic needs of Holy Family. I of course encourage you to continue your support each week in the first collection in order to maintain the basic operation of our parish. I will be keeping you informed as we move forward in this area.
On a more contemplative note I would like to offer a second reflection toward appreciating the wonderful church we have been blessed with. Last week I described the first of upper west stain glass windows: St. John the Baptist and his call to repentance. After him comes the saint who sums up the joy of forgiveness - St. Mary Magdalen. We see her with eyes lifted up to heaven (not downcast) because she beholds in her mind's eye, Jesus who has been risen from the dead. She wears a purple dress which is the color of penance. But her green outer garment with its red border with white crosses has the appearance of a liturgical garment. She carries in her left hand a gold container studded with jewels in which she carries the costly nard ointment. This was used to anoint Jesus before his death and symbolizes the anointing which a Christian receives in baptism, confirmation, priesthood and the healing of the sick. By her left foot is a basin which represents the washing of Jesus' feet by a woman who was a public sinner. Her own tears bathed our Lord's feet and her long hair was used to dry them. This woman has been identified with Mary Magdalen. What the Gospels say for sure about her is that she was among the women who accompanied Christ and ministered to Him (Luke, viii, 2-3) and that Jesus freed her from seven demons (Mark, xvi, 9). She is next named as standing at the foot of the cross (Mark, xv, 40; Matt., xxvii, 56; John, xix, 25; Luke, xxiii, 49). She saw Christ laid in the tomb, and she was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection. In the background of our stain glass window are trees and rock. This refers to a French tradition that Mary, Lazarus, and some companions came to Marseilles and converted the whole of Provence. Magdalen is said to have retired to a hill, La Sainte-Baume, near by, where she gave herself up to a life of penance for thirty years.
Please give generously to today's second collection, Peter's Pence, to assist, Pope John Paul II in his apostolic and charitable works. We have been blessed to have his as our Holy Father for almost twenty-two years now. He continues to serve the Church in spite of the weakness of his years and declining health. We can show our gratitude to God by making a good donation to this special collection.
Congratulations to our children who received their First Communion at the special Mass yesterday morning. It is the tradition in our Hispanic community to celebrate this sacrament of the weekend of Corpus Christi.