Goal for St. Francis Church (#068): $98,500
Donations as of March 10: $15,270
Number of Donors: 41
Average Donation: $372.44
Catholic Education either through Catholic Schools or Parish Religious Education Programs has always been a priority for the church. The Archdiocese of New York provides training and ongoing education for those involved with the education of our young people. The Cardinal’s Appeal supports this important mission of the church.
Please send your gift to The Cardinal’s Appeal, 1011 First Avenue, NY, NY 10022.
And please indicate that your parish is the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Manhattan.
On this, the Third Sunday of Lent, we hear the Gospel of Jesus as he encounters a Samaritan woman at a well. It is an interesting dialogue in addition to the fact that Jesus, a Jew, is talking in public to a woman who is a Samaritan. This is also interesting because he is talking with her at a time of the day when women normally do not go to the well for water; they go in the morning. After the conversation, she returns to the village and tells about her encounter with “this man.” This causes many to come to believe in Jesus. Nothing can stop Jesus from fulfilling his mission from bringing good news to the various kinds of people that he encounters in the places where he travels. Nothing can stop him.
What about us as we continue the mission of Jesus?
We recently had a situation in our Adult Education building that made it necessary to make an unexpected decision. Several of the large windows in the building began to show their age by becoming dislodged from their casings. Some even fell out. Although we could fix them temporarily, it would only be a matter of time when something else might happen. Therefore, we decided to replace all 33 windows in the building since they had all been installed at the same time years ago. New windows are currently being installed, thanks to the promptness of the window company. Of course, this is an unexpected expense. The total cost is $33,000. We have some emergency funds available, but we could use help in paying for this expense. A few extra dollars in the collection or an outright gift (online is a possibility) would be greatly appreciated. These old buildings have served us well over the years, but they need our constant attention. Thank you for helping us with this situation.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
It may seem odd to hear the Gospel of the Transfiguration of Jesus during Lent. Wouldn’t it fit better after Easter? An answer is found a few verses after our Gospel selection. Jesus tells the disciples that he will suffer (Mt. 17:12). The vision of Jesus’ glory shared by Peter, James, and John was meant to help them not to become discouraged by Jesus’ death on the cross. Some of the details in the Gospel can help us understand how Lent leads to Easter. First, we hear about Jesus’ appearance, that “his face shone like the sun” (Mt. 17:2). If the disciples didn’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God before, they surely did now. For us this can be a reminder that God is with us during this season of Lent, helping our faith to grow.
Next, the three disciples see Moses and Elijah, symbols of the Old Testament. Peter wants them to stay, but the voice of God interrupts and tells them that now they should listen to Jesus. The Gospel tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus throughout Lent. Do I grumble about Lent, seeing it is as another set of laws to be obeyed? Perhaps I’m forgetting that Lent is not about how much I do for God, but a time to reflect on what God has done for me. The last line of the Gospel has Jesus telling the three not to tell anyone about their vision until after his resurrection. Maybe the disciples were tempted to brag that they were better than the other followers of Jesus. This reminds us that the sacrifices of Lent don’t just make us look holy; they lead us to the new life of Easter.
The Ugnayan Filipino Ministry is hosting an afternoon of recollection with Fr. Brian Smail, O.F.M.
Saturday, March 11
1:00 to 4:00 PM
Fr. Brian’s topic will be: ‘Our Lenten Journey: Where is God Calling You?’
The ministry extends its hospitality to the non-Filipino members of our church community.
In the Franciscan spirit, all are welcome.
For more information,please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hear the account of the Transfiguration on this Second Sunday of Lent. What a remarkable experience this must have been for those closest to Jesus! No wonder they didn’t want it to end. Although this scene on Mount Tabor is unique, experiences on mountains happen today. Recently, I went on retreat with 45 of our Young Adults to Mt. Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls, NY. It was on a mountain and wonderful transfigurations/transformation took place there. Whenever I have been to the city of Assisi, Italy, built on the side of a mountain, something happens there. At these times we are pulled away from our daily lives and the separation helps us experience God more clearly. We want to stay there, but we can’t remain on the mountain. If you haven’t experience this,look for an opportunity – it will transform you.
Our RCIA Elect and Candidates for full communion in the church are in their final weeks before the celebration of the Easter Vigil. Let us keep them in prayer because this is an important time in their lives. What would you be like if, as an adult, you were getting ready to be Baptized, receive Holy Communion for the first time and be Confirmed? This can be a time for us to be renewed and recommitted to our faith.
Next Saturday, March 18, is our Wills Seminar. It is free and will be held after the 4 PM Mass. This can be a great help to you, especially if you have been putting off doing something about these important decisions. You will be at peace after you take care of these issues and it will be a great help to your family.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
The second reading this Sunday is not easy to follow, especially when some of Paul’s sentences are more like paragraphs. But you will notice that he makes several important connections: between sin and death, between Adam and Jesus, and between obedience and disobedience.
Sin, he says, is the cause of death. Of course, everyone is subject to death at some point, even if they haven’t sinned. A less serious sin can be a little “death” when it makes us feel that we are not as close to God as we could be. And sins that we might think are not a big deal, like smoking, can lead to serious health problems.
The connection between Adam and Jesus is not so obvious. Adam was the first to bring sin and death into the world. Jesus is the first to bring forgiveness by his death on the cross. The main difference between them is that Adam disobeyed God, while Jesus was obedient to his Father. Adam reminds me of a child who knows what he is supposed to do, but thinks that he can do the opposite and get away with it.
In the Gospel, Satan can be thought of as trying to get Jesus to do things the easy way. When he tempts Jesus to turn stones into bread, he shows Jesus an easy way to feed the people. But Jesus takes a better way, when he feeds us with himself in the Eucharist. The devil says Jesus can throw himself off the temple as a dramatic way to attract followers; Jesus lets himself hang from the cross to draw people to himself. Satan promises the kingdoms of the world if Jesus will only worship him. But Jesus chose to be crowned with thorns and receive his kingdom when he rose fromthe dead.
Stewardship: Caring for God’s Creation – Laudato si: Chapter 6: Ecological Education and Spirituality
“At the end, we will find ourselves face to face with the infinite beauty of God and be able to read with admiration and happiness the mystery of the universe, which with us will share in unending plentitude. Even now we are journeying towards the sabbath of eternity, the new Jerusalem, towards our common home in heaven.
Jesus says, ‘I make all things new.’ Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place and have something to give those poor men and women who will have been liberated once and for all…
In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast.”
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