In the gospel for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time a Pharisee comes to Jesus to test him by asking which commandment is the greatest. It is a question that is clearly intended to entrap him. But Jesus responds without hesitation, directing the scholar to two Old Testament passages, to the Shema, the great prayer found at Deuteronomy 6:5, which was recited by observant Jews morning and evening and at other times during the day as well. This commandment is to love God with one's whole being: heart, soul, and mind. The second commandment (Leviticus 19:18), love of neighbor, is "like it" (Matthew 22:39). These two commandments do not replace the others, but all the others depend on these. How do we love God? By loving our neighbor. If you are to love your neighbor as yourself, consider some small random act of kindness and do this for another. Pay some portion toward the bill of the person in line behind you. Rake your neighbor's leaves (probably while doing your own.) In small delights, great changes are make to one's fram of mind. Next consider the questions you ask. Are you seeking to silence a person or to affirm their opinion? In respecting the gifts of the person in your presence, you allow the dignity God places in each person to be honored and therefore learn to love God more in the life created.
If you are new to the community, or would like to get involved in one or more of our liturgical ministries, including Hospitality Minister, Altar Server, Lector, or Eucharistic Minister, a listing and brief description of each ministry is available at the Information Desk in the Gathering Space. Please return the attached sign-up form to the parish office by the end of October and you will be included in training in November and scheduled beginning the first Sunday of Advent. Any questions, please call Fr. Mark or Andrea Grasse at the parish office.
Saturday, November 1, if the Feast of All Saints and this year's Mass will be celebrated at 9:00 am. During Mass we will sing the Litany of Saints and remember those from our community who have died or have been buried in our cemetery this past year. A sign up for liturgical ministry is posted in the Gathering Space. On Sunday, November 2, we commemorate All the Fatihful Departed (All Souls). Again this day we express our faith in the communion of saints and our need to pray especailly for those who died in their human imperfection and await final entrance in to the joy of heaven. During all of our weekend Masses, everyone will have an opportunity to remember their beloved dead in a special ritual after the homily. We will also gather around the statue of St. Joseph at 12:00 noon in our cemetery, weather permitting, for a brief prayer service and an opportunity to visit the graves of those who have gone before us. As we remember and pray for those who have died we also need to provide for the care of the place they are buried. Please consider making a contribution for the perpetual care of St. Joseph's Cemetery; please mark your contribution accordingly. Creamation and conventional graves are available. To purchase a grave, please call the church office.
I am in the process of scheduling my fall pastoral visits. The pastoral care of individuals and families is very important to me and my ministry. If you or a family member is hospitalized, homebound, anticipating or recovering from surgery or receiving hospice care and would like to receive the Sacraments (Reconciliation, Anointing and Communion) or would like a visit by your pastor for any reason, please give me a call.