I. The Nativity of John the Baptizer (June 24th): The great “bridge” prophet between the Jewish and Christian covenants, and herald of Jesus the Messiah, John the Baptizer prepared the way of the Lord and revealed Jesus to others as both the Messiah and the Lamb of God. John exemplifies the Christian life as one who proclaims the Gospel message of healing and repentance, while he points out Christ to others and shows them the way to become united with God. This is an ancient solemnity, reaching back to the fourth century; in the East, the birth of the forerunner was celebrated on the day after Epiphany, January 7, because of the association of that feast with the Baptism of the Lord. In the west, it was celebrated on June 24, in keeping with Luke 1:36, which notes that Elizabeth was six months pregnant at the time of the Annunciation of the Lord. Does your life and mine point others to Jesus.
II. Saint Stephen Liked Ice Cream! Celebrate the feast of our patron, Saint Stephen (his actual feast day is December 26, exactly 6 months ago; so we are celebrating his 1/2 feast day!) AND welcome Fr. Sinoj Pynadath, HGN, to our parish as assistant pastor (parochial vicar according to Canon Law). Fr. Sinoj’s birthday is June 30! How old do you think he will be? Bring your friends and neighbors Tuesday, June 26 at 6:30pm in our Community Center.
“I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.” Psalm 139
III. Two Great Sinners Become Great Saints! Like Peter, we confess that Jesus is the “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” when we take the time to teach (our children their prayers and that God loves them). We confess that Jesus is at the center of our lives when we are consistent in the Gospel values we live and aren’t afraid to talk about them with others. Like Paul, we pour out our lives as a libation when we speak out against injustices or when we go the extra mile for someone in need. We are like Paul when we encourage another and compliment another for a task well done. Like Peter and Paul we must not shrink from adversity, but act boldly because we know that God delivers us from harm so the mission of Christ can be fulfilled. Jesus didn’t choose the holiest or smartest or bravest of disciples. He chose ordinary people who would be open to the strength He provides. Both were martyred around the year 64 AD during Nero’s persecution following the Great Fire of Rome. Peter was crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to meet his death the same way as Christ; Paul was beheaded because, as a Roman citizen, he could not be subjected to the indignity of crucifixion. Remember these two great leaders, who often disagreed, but both loved Jesus and this fledgling Church Jesus founded. Masses on Friday, June 29, are 7:00am & 12:05pm.
IV. Donna Murphy Will Stay On Part Time! The RCIA and RCIC program along with working with Sponsor Couples with Fr. Sinoj and I, pairing prayer partners on the Feast of the Holy Family, will still be part of Donna’s ministry here at the Cathedral. Donna will work on an hourly basis so that her schedule can be flexible. I’m delighted that Donna Murphy is not retiring completely! More later!
V. Communal Anointing of the Sick at all Masses on the weekend of June 30-July 1. What a tremendous insight of Jesus to share His gift of healing with the Church through this Sacrament of support. The sacrament is celebrated with those “who, having reached the age of reason, begin to be in danger due to sickness, major surgery, or the weakening of the aging process.” The laying on of hands and the anointing with the “oil of the sick” blessed by Bishop Medley at the Chrism Mass during Holy Week, are the two outward signs in this healing Sacrament.