“It is impossible to persevere in a fervent evangelization unless we are convinced from personal experience that it is not the same thing to have known Jesus as not to have known him, not the same to walk with him as to walk blindly, not the same to hear his word as not to know it, and not the same thing to contemplate him, to worship him, to find our peace in him, as not to. It is not the same thing to try to build the world with his Gospel as to try to do so by our own lights.
We know well that with Jesus life becomes richer and that with him it is easier to find meaning in everything. This is why we evangelize. A true missionary, who never ceases to be a disciple, knows that Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes with him, works with him. He senses Jesus alive with him in the midst of the missionary enterprise. Unless we see him present at the heart of our missionary commitment, our enthusiasm soon wanes and we are no longer sure of what it is that we are handing on; we lack vigor and passion.”
Well… it’s summer time and we want to make your giving easy too. If you haven’t done so already, please sign up for online giving. It’s the way we live, it’s how we pay our bill, it’s what we do.
In the Christian tradition, giving alms always included our financial support for the Church in addition to our offerings to care for those in need. And the fact is the Church of St. Francis of Assisi needs your help. Our collections still fall short of our budgetary needs.
We ask everyone to commit ONE HOUR of their weekly salary for the support of the Church. That’s a 2.5% tithe. Please do your part to keep our parish going strong.
You can make your donations weekly or monthly. You can use a credit card, debit card or your bank account. You can change your donation schedule at any time and you can print out your own summaries for tax purposes.
In today’s Gospel, we hear that Jesus instructed the disciples “to take nothing on the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.”
This was quite a radical way for these first disciples to carry out their mission, but isn’t this how Jesus himself moved from town to town? He wanted to show them that it may appear that they have nothing, but what they carry with them is the important factor – their dependence on God. The reception that people in the towns would give them when they heard the “good news” of Jesus Christ would supply all of their other needs. This was a daring venture for those who were new to following Jesus, but we hear later what they did accomplish: they drove out demons, anointed the sick and cured them. All of this with so little, yet they brought with them what mattered.
This is the second week in the series on The Psalms. The presentations on July 18 and 19 will be: The Psalms: Prayer Book of the Christian Church. At Mass we pray a psalm after the first reading. Many people pray the Liturgy of the Hours or a brief form of it, and a number of psalms are included during these times of prayer. Fr. Bill Beaudin will show how the psalms have been included in the life of the church since its beginning. He will also talk about how we can use them as part of our personal prayer life. Two sessions are offered, at 12 noon and 6:15 PM.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M
These words, from the beginning of Psalm 149, are echoed throughout the other 149 poems/prayers that make up the Book of Psalms. For nearly 2500 years, the psalms have played a central role in the lives of Jews and Christians alike. They have been sung in public worship and prayed in private devotion. They have been meditated upon by saints, commented upon by scholars, and set to a variety of musical styles ranging from Gregorian chant to Bach and Brahms, Ives and Stravinsky. The Book of Psalms is not only a treasury of prayers. It is a school of prayer in which the inspired Word of God teaches us how to pray just as Jesus, God’s Word made flesh, taught his disciples when he introduced them to the Our Father.
St. Francis Adult Education Center is pleased to offer an intensive summer workshop on the psalms. This course will meet twice a week for three weeks in July. For the first five classes, participants will have the option of registering for the noon session (12 – 1:15 p.m.) OR the evening session (6:15 – 7:30 p.m.). Taught by three members of St. Francis of Assisi’s parish staff—Mr. Joseph Nuzzi, Fr. Bill Beaudin and Fr. Timothy Shreenan—the course will cover the following topics:
Week 1 (July 11, 12) The Psalms: Hymnal of the Jerusalem Temple
Joseph Nuzzi will introduce participants to the various types and major themes of the psalms, the characteristics of the Hebrew poetry in which the psalms were written, and the role of the psalms in the religious life of Israel.
Week 2 (July 18, 19) The Psalms: Prayer Book of the Christian Church
Fr. William will explore the influence of the psalms on the New Testament, the Church’s liturgy, and Christian spirituality, and will discuss what it means to find Christ in the psalms and to pray the psalms with Christ.
Week 3 (July 25) The Psalms: Muse for Artists and Musicians
Fr. Timothy will demonstrate how the psalms have been the inspiration for some of the western world’s finest artistic creations in images and sounds.
The workshop will conclude on the evening of July 26 in St. Francis of Assisi Church where the various themes of the course will be brought together in an introduction by Fr. William and a celebration of Solemn Sung Vespers by the workshop’s participants.
INSTRUCTORS: Joseph Nuzzi, Fr. William Beaudin, Fr. Timothy Shreenan
Wednesdays and Thursdays: July 11, 12; 18, 19; 25, 26
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM OR 6:15 PM – 7:30 PM; San Damiano Hall
or click HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE.
For more information, please email Edward Trochimczuk at email@example.com or call him at 212-736-8500 Ext. 361.
“The missionary is convinced that through the working of theHoly Spirit, there already existsin individuals and peoples an expectation, even if an unconscious one, of knowing the truth about God, about man and about how we are to be set free from sin and death. The missionary’s enthusiasm in proclaiming Christ comes from the conviction that he is responding to that expectation.
Enthusiasm for evangelization is based on this conviction. We have a treasure of life and love which cannot deceive, and a message which cannot mislead or disappoint. It penetrates to the depths of our hearts, sustaining and ennobling us. It is a truth which is never out of date because it reaches that part of us which nothing else can reach. Our infinite sadness can only be cured by an infinite love.”
Today we hear St. Paul say: “That I might not become too elated… a thorn in the flesh was given to me… to keep me from being too elated.” There have been many theories about the meaning of the “thorn in the flesh.” Was this an illness or a disability or depression or a constant temptation he had to deal with? Does it refer to a person or those who opposed him?
He is showing his humanness here and it is easy to identify with his “torn in the flesh” because we can have many “thorns” in our lives. Paul is not defeated by this, but shows how this allows himself to be open to the power of Christ to dwell within him. This is a helpful passage from St. Paul when we are dealing with something that might be a real “pain.”
Take a look at the advertisement for the workshop on the Psalms that begins this week. This program will be presented over the course of three weeks and will conclude with Solemn Vespers on Thursday, July 26. The Psalms are an important part of our worship both at Mass and at the Liturgy of the Hours. They are also beautiful prayers that can enhance anyone’s prayer life. Understanding their history and theology can help us appreciate why these prayers from our Hebrew roots have had such a significant role in the church over the years. Sign up now!
Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.
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