St. Justin & St. Michael Parishes
M E S S A G E  F R O M  T H E  P A S T O R





Parish Prayer April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday celebrates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and inaugurates the Holy Week. Going into Jerusalem was one of the boldest steps that any one has ever taken in history. A journey that culminates in Calvary. What awaited Him was clear: The persecution, the public insults and assaults, the denials and betrayals and so much more. Yet he soldiered on! The Salvation of our souls was at stake. ’For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent…until her vindication shines forth like the dawn.” Isaiah 62:1. Again and again we have seen God intervene in human history; especially in the darkest and most dire circumstances. Seems like we have one of those moments on our hands right now when fear and panic have become the prevailing emotions, when our hearts and souls seem to be drained dry of faith and hope. We must not fail to remember the words of the Psalmist: ‘Though an army encamps against me, my heart will not fear; though war breaks out against me, even then would I trust.’ Psalm 27:3. It does indeed feel like we are facing a warlike situation that presents nothing but danger to our lives and everything we hold dear. Jesus is standing by the door reminding us of His name and nature: I AM. I am your God and I changeth not. I am your rock, your fortress and your place of refuge. I will not forsake you. God has never spared any effort toward the salvation of his people and He will not do so now. Jesus’ triumphal entry had clearly in view, the victory of Easter. If we wait in hope, through these dark times, borne out of our faith, founded in love, our EASTER too will come, Amen.  



Parish Prayer March 8, 2020

What to give up for Lent



Give up complaining — focus on gratitude

Give up pessimism — become an optimist

Give up harsh judgments — think kindly thoughts

Give up worry — trust Divine Providence

Give up discouragement — be full of hope

Give up bitterness — turn to forgiveness

Give up hatred — return good for evil

Give up negativism — Be positive

Give up anger — be more patient

Give up pettiness — be more mature

Give up gloom—enjoy the beauty that is all around you

Give up jealousy — pray for trust

Give up gossiping — Control your tongue

Give up sin — turn to virtue

Give up giving up — hang in there


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Parish Prayer March 1, 2020

The message of this season is clear: Be reconditioned! Saint Paul, who calls himself an ambassador of the good news, makes this appeal in a very emphatic and passionate way. Paul recognizes that we each have been given an abundance of grace and are therefore called to ensure that such a privilege is not wasted.

To be reconciled is to shun old sinful ways and to live a true and authentic life that is characterized by kindness, compassion, love and sacrifice and the absence of hypocrisy. In Saint Mathew’s gospel which we heard on Ash Wednesday, Jesus reminds us of the need to pray, to fast and to give alms; which are the three pillars of Lent. Yet, these acts are only meaningful if they guide us toward re-embracing our calling as ambassadors of Christ. It is very symbolic that our foreheads were marked with the sign of the cross made in ashes. That sign reminds us of our mortality and the need to live and act as wise stewards while we enjoy this life. It reminds us that the faith we have is one that was won through the victory of the cross. It reminds us that we carry Jesus’s emblem everywhere we go and that we must make sure to represent Him in word and indeed. As we begin this holy season we pray, dear Lord, that the graces which you have given us may never be in vain, Amen.


Parish Prayer February 23, 2020

Now and again we come across scripture passages that make us wonder how lofty God's standards are. Today's gospel seems to be one of those. We are required to turn the other cheek when we are slapped on the one. We should go two miles when asked to go one, etc. Also, in the first reading, we are asked not to take revenge but to always act lovingly toward our neighbor. One begins to wonder how any of these could be possible considering our human nature that is often prone to weakness and to sin. And that is exactly the point. The call to 'Be Holy' which opens today's first reading is also a call to live more and more in line with our divine nature and less and less in conformity with our human nature. 'If you have been raised with Christ seek the things which are above.' God wants us to think more like Him, speak more like Him, act more like Him and to live more like Him so we can be with Him. So we are challenged to go the extra mile, make extra sacrifice, do what is unusual and out of the ordinary; pay a little price for the sake of a greater price. Saint Paul summarizes this in the second reading when he says that we are 'Fools for the sake of Christ.' In his first letter to the Corinthians chapter nine, same Paul reminds us that we compete for a price that is priceless; and for the sake of this incalculable price every sacrifice is worth the pain. Heavenly father grant us the grace to be holy as you are holy, Amen.

Parish Prayer February 12, 2020

Those who follow God's laws are blessed. They shall live. These two statements can be called the cardinal statements for reflection for this week; taken from the First reading and the Psalm. In line with the above statements, Saint Paul reminds us that the commandments of God reflect the wisdom of God whose purpose is to bring about our glorification. Our situations in life may change, times may pass, circumstances may vary, but these laws are timeless. They remain the eternal truths of God that save us. These truths, revealed in the sacred scriptures, invite us to live a life of virtue, be generous and merciful, forgiving and compassionate in the same manner that the father is compassionate toward us. As central as these truths are, God does not impose them on us. It is up to us to choose them or to despise them. Each choice, however, comes with consequences; which is why they are described in terms of life and death. We are each going to be held accountable for whatever choices we end up making.  If we choose God and his commandments, we shall live. Gracious God, grant us the grace to know, to love and to follow you as the one true and only choice for the salvation of our souls, Amen.


Parish Prayer February 9, 2020

Today's readings are profuse with imageries of light especially in contrast to darkness. The prophet Isaiah, in the first reading, clearly states that those who practice kindness and are just, will see their light shine even in the darkness. If you are generous and gracious, giving unsparingly to those in need, you are like a brilliant light in the darkness. If you give bread to the hungry, shelter the homeless and the oppressed and clothe the naked, your light will shine forth like the dawn and your wound will be healed. The Psalmist reminds us that the just is like a light in the darkness since he or she lives righteously. Same light and salt are used as two powerful imageries, in the Gospel, to demonstrate our vocation as Christians to be the light of the world and salt of the earth. These readings could not have been more appropriate and more inspiring as we celebrate Black History Month that reminds us of who we are as a people. As we celebrate the victory of justice over injustice and of love over hate, our minds go back to the central figures of the Civil Rights Movement like Dr. Martin Luther King and many others. In keeping with the prophecy of Isaiah, Dr. King's light has continue to shine ever so brightly throughout the world. In imitation of Jesus, the true and eternal light, Dr. King and others like him reflect the light of truth, of justice, of honor and of love. As true models, they point the way for us to follow. As we celebrate today, we must remember what this moment represents in our history and, beyond just remembering, we must become ourselves true champions of that which we celebrate. Are we fighting to eradicate oppression? Are we laboring to combat racism? Are we working to bring about a more compassionate, more tolerant more generous and more loving world? To do so would be the best way that we can truly become LIGHT IN THE WORLD AND LIGHT OF THE WORLD.


St. Justin-St. Michael Parish   230 Blue Hills Avenue Hartford, CT 06112

860 246-6897