March 29, 2020 -5th Sunday of Lent

I.  The Blessing of Streaming Sunday Mass! You will not be surprised by the fact that Bishop Medley extended the directive that “no public Masses are to be celebrated in the Diocese of Owensboro until further notice (previously, it had been applicable to Palm Sunday).  It breaks my heart that the celebration of the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday) most likely will not be open to the People of God, to you who are the Church.  I assure you that we will be streaming the liturgies of this most solemn time of the whole liturgical Church year into your homes. The streaming of  Sunday Mass into your homes just recently became a reality at the Cathedral because of a generous donor. We are so very grateful—it’s a “God thing!” The timing is divine!

      We have been asked not to distribute Holy Communion outside of Mass, in order to protect both priest and faithful. Of course, in cases of genuine emergency, we want to offer Holy Communion with Anointing of the Sick and to offer Viaticum.

II.  “Untie him! Let him go free!” (John 11:44), said Jesus in the Gospel for the fifth week of Lent. Note that it is the community who unties Lazarus; he cannot do it himself. Others assist Jesus in this miracle of raising his friend from the dead. So with us. We are called to use our gifts, our faith, our hope, our charity and care, to untie and unbound one another, especially during this coronavirus pandemic. Jesus calls the community to actively assist one another back to life. What a great opportunity we have in this unprecedented time of physical separation, loss of jobs, and uncertainty, to serve one another. 

    In the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus assures us, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:26). Now is a great time for us to focus more on our relationship with Jesus, who can give us vision, hope, and new life. Jesus’ love for his friend shines through this miraculous story in the shortest verse of Scripture, only two words: “He wept” (John 11:35).  Read and reflect gratefully on John 11:1-45.

III. This Sunday is Vincent de Paul Collection: the fifth Sunday of the month is always a special collection for the needy in this area who are served through our Saint Vincent de Paul Society. Because of the coronavirus, members of Saint Vincent de Paul are no longer seeing the needy face to face, but are responding to needs of the poor through returning phone calls. You would be so proud, as I am, of our Vincent de Paul members, who have a “servant‘s heart!”  Funds are low; be as generous as you can be. (Use WeShare online, send it through U.S. Mail, or bring to the parish office—give us a call and we will meet you at the door).

   Please know of our deep gratitude for your continued financial support of our St. Vincent de Paul ministry and our parish during this difficult time. Thank you!

IV.  Our Cathedral Food Pantry is being used more and more these days of COVID-19.  It is about empty. With more people in need and without jobs, it’s important that we provide what we can for the hungry (Matthew 25 is sobering). Bring food to church, using the side doors or the elevator door. (Just a reminder that our church building is open 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sundays). We suggest bringing the following items: small jars of peanut butter (16 oz.), canned soup (ready to eat)—chicken noodle or beef vegetable is best, 16 oz. ready-to-eat chili, saltine crackers, boxes of spaghetti, and 24 ounce pasta sauce. Our challenge is sweet! It’s our time to shine!