Bulletin (November 5, 2006)

In recent years we have heard a lot about Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure. This Sunday we are emphasizing the most basic of those three gifts, namely, the gift of Time. Time comes first because without it, we obviously can do nothing else. Each day, each moment, is a precious gift from God. In his homily this weekend, Deacon Ted will explain the importance of making a conscious commitment to give at least two hours of time each week in prayer and service, beginning with participation at weekly Mass. I ask you to read carefully the Stewardship of Time card, which you received in the mail (and which is also available in the pews), and to consider the commitment you will make. You will notice that the commitment is divided into three categories: Spiritual, Family and Community. Please indicate your commitment, and place the card in the collection. After compiling the commitment cards, we will return your card as a reminder of your pledge of Time.

This conscious commitment of Time is very important. We do not achieve our goals unless we make a conscious commitment. Let me give a personal example. Like all of you, I know that I should eat right and get a certain amount of exercise each week. Nevertheless, it’s easy to get busy and not take the time for a walk or a proper meal. A few years ago, the Archdiocese instituted a health plan for priests which included making a commitment to a certain amount of exercise each week and servings of vegetables and fruit each day. To avoid fooling oneself, the program explained what is and what is not considered a serving of vegetables. For example, they pointed out that the lettuce on a Big Mac or the slice of bell pepper on a pizza does not count as a serving of vegetables. It is easy to fool oneself regarding diet and exercise - and it is even easier to fool oneself regarding one’s relationship to God and family. In both areas we must make a conscious commitment. That is what we are asking you to do this weekend.

The most fundamental commitment of Time is attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. I ask you to check that first on your Stewardship of Time card. There is still a commandment which says, “Keep holy the Lord’s Day.” The Catechism explains this very clearly:

The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass. The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day." The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin. (#2180-2181)

Regarding our celebration of Mass, we will have a small change beginning in Advent. For several reasons, (which I will explain in greater detail in other bulletin columns), we will no longer have missalettes in the pews. This will be a significant financial savings to the parish, but I believe it will have other advantages, such as a more conscious participation in the Liturgy of the Word. At the same time, I realize that there is some benefit from reading along during the Liturgy of the Word. For that reason we will still have a certain number of missalettes at the entrance that a person will be able to pick up to use during the Mass. I would, however, encourage you to purchase your own Sunday Missal so you can study and pray over the readings in your home - and bring with you to Mass. Missals can be purchased by calling Vercillo’s at 253-471-8399. Also, they can be obtained through Howell’s Religious Gifts in Kent, 253-520-0695, or Kaufer’s, 206-622-3100.

I want to thank the Knights of Columbus for the great Halloween Party. We had a wonderful participation from parish families and it seemed like everyone had a safe and fun time. Also, I want to say a word of gratitude to St. Martha’s Sodality for all the great work they do for our parish. At this time they are taking orders for Christmas Wreaths. The proceeds will help towards providing a parish dinner and breakfast on the Third Sunday of Advent. The date has special significance for me, which I will write about later.

If you haven’t already voted by absentee ballot, be sure to vote this Tuesday. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory … to exercise the right to vote.” (2240). In 1998, the United States Catholic Bishops issued Living the Gospel of Life, their most comprehensive statement on the political responsibility of Americans. In that document they made this plea: “We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity to meaningfully participate in building the culture of life.”

Este domingo el Diácono Abel va a hablar sobre la Mayordomía del Tiempo. Espero que todos ustedes hayan recibido mi carta con las tarjetas de compromiso. Lo mas básico es el compromiso de Tiempo, comenzando con la Misa Dominical. Aquí es lo que el Catecismo dice sobre la obligación del domingo:

“El mandamiento de la Iglesia determina y precisa la ley del Señor: ‘El domingo y las demás fiestas de precepto los fieles tienen obligación de participar en la misa...Cumple el precepto de participar en la misa quien asiste a ella, dondequiera que se celebre en un rito católico, tanto el día de la fiesta como el día anterior por la tarde. La Eucaristía del domingo fundamenta y confirma toda la práctica cristiana. Por eso los fieles están obligados a participar en la Eucaristía los días de precepto, a no ser que estén excusados por una razón seria [por ejemplo, enfermedad, el cuidado de niños pequeños] o dispensados por su pastor propio. Los que deliberadamente faltan a esta obligación cometen un pecado grave.” (#2180-2181)

Después de marcar el compromiso para asistir a la misa dominical, favor de considerar otro compromiso en cuanto a la oración, familia y comunidad. Que Dios los bendiga abundantemente.

–Padre Felipe Bloom