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

  

 

WEEKLY REFLECTIONS & PRAYERS

 

July 21, 2019

In the first reading of this Sunday, we see the generosity of Abraham and Sarah towards the messengers of God. Through this act of kindness, God who can never be outdone in generosity, rewards them with their heart’s desire, the promise of a child. Martha and Mary were also generous to Jesus although each in their own way. Abraham and Sarah provided just what the three strangers needed in the same way that Mary gave Jesus the attention he deserved and longed for. Martha, on the contrary and, out of the kindness of her heart, gave what she thought that Jesus needed. In any case, there was an abundance of benevolence and the desire to serve the need of the person on either side. The Psalm of today speaks of those who do justice. They will live in the presence of the Lord. In most cases, Biblical justice goes beyond merely the civil idea of giving to each person his or her due. It means in addition, to walk blamelessly in the ways of the Lord, to live uprightly, to avoid slandering one’s neighbors, to speak the truth at all times. It means to avoid hurting other people needlessly and to be generous, merciful and compassionate. Such is a just man or woman and whoever lives in such a manner will live in the presence of the Lord. This Psalm continues the discourse from last Sunday about what we must do to inherit eternal life, responding: Live justly and act uprightly. Such were the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Martha and Mary. That is the life we all called to live as Christians. Loving God, make us holy as you are holy, just as you are just and loving as you are love itself, Amen.

July 14, 2019

What must I do to inherit eternal life?’ No question could be more critical and more urgent than the above and yet so few bother to even give it a thought. If we desire to have an inheritance with God, how must we live our lives? What must I do or not do? The first reading of this Sunday reminds us that God’s precepts and ordinances are ingrained in our hearts. By nature every human being is gifted with a sense of right and wrong. In our consciences, we hear God’s silent voice constantly reminding us to avoid evil and to do good. The Sacraments, beginning with baptism, equip us even more with the grace of the Holy Spirit that helps us discern what is right and wrong. As we receive these Sacraments and encounter Him in His word we are constantly enriched with the grace to live a virtuous life. Living virtuously, a holy life, is the requirement for the Kingdom of God. In the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus shows us in a concrete way what virtuous living means: Not being judgmental, being charitable even to the seemingly undeserving, being self-sacrificing not self-centered, loving without measure which is the true measure of love. This parable does indeed reveal to us the true nature and character of God and exactly how God wants us to live our lives as Christians. Doing so is the highway to eternal life! Dear God, help us to live as you lived and to love as you loved, Amen

July 7, 2019

After a long period of tribulation, the prophet Isaiah in the first reading of today invites the people to rejoice. The Psalm re-echoes the theme of joy for the marvels the Lord has done just as the seventy two disciples are reminded of the right reason to delight in their missionary success: Their names are written in heaven. When we stay close to God or keep Him in view, when God becomes the center of our lives who gives meaning to all we do, no matter what challenge we may face or what trials may come our way, we shall find reason to rejoice. A God-less life is a joy-less life. Everything becomes dark and gloomy, hopeless and worthless. From the Season of Lent until now, we have experienced the celebration of such awesome mysteries of faith that should enrich our lives and fill us with joy. The most recent, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is an acknowledgement and celebration of His loving heart wounded for our salvation and which continues to reach out to us in love. It is for this reason and more that we should rejoice aware that no matter what life may bring, God never abandons his own .Loving God, may the mysteries we celebrate each day fill is with hope and confidence in your tender and unfailing love for us your children, Amen.

Sunday, June 30. 2019

 

Today’s second reading from Saint Paul’s letter to the Galatians makes one of the strongest statements in line with our celebration: ‘...Serve one another through love.’ The Caribbean Catholics of North America was established as an association whose aim is primarily to provide a safe environment for those who feel like strangers in a foreign land.To such people,this group is designed to afford a place where they can freely worship,interact and to commune with one another and with the world around them in a manner that is respectful of their dignity and sensitive to their cultural diversities. It is the goal of the USCCB and the church at at large that wherever people may find themselves they should be made to feel welcomed and entitled like all children of God to their freedom to worship.The above goal spells out a clear mission for all those who bear this name; all of us. While we are thankful to all those who articulated this mission and vision, some of whom are here with us today, and while we enjoy all the fanfare, the questions we must ask ourselves are: Are we in truth living according to the obligations of this mandate?As a community, are we compelled by the imperatives of unity,harmony, generosity towards one another, compassion for the stranger, the immigrant,the oppressed and the needy?Have we so far been able to make the transition from compassion to compACTION? Are there still people in our midst who feel lonely in the crowd, abandoned and uncared for? Are we truly serving one another through love?We pray that the celebration of today may once again challenge us to continue to strive relentless in order to realize our raison d’être.
May God bless all the members of CCNA and the parish family of St.Justin-St.Michael.

 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi reminds us of the gift of His Sacred body and blood. Jesus gives us His body as a meal of everlasting life. In celebrating this solemnity we celebrate the ultimate sacrifice of His life on the cross for the cleansing of our sins. By it we honor Him whose body was broken and His side pierced with a lance for our sakes. But we also celebrate it as a reminder that we are called to be that bread broken for others. That is what Jesus means when He invites us to: Do this in memory of Him. This solemnity memorializes His passion, death and resurrection and by it we are called to be imitators of Christ. We are called to be forgiving, compassionate, humble, self-sacrificing and loving, just like Jesus. When we received the Eucharist, we each undertake to become mobile tabernacles and Sanctuaries of holiness who through their words and deeds spread the goodness of God. On this special day, we congratulations our dear Alijah, Aliyah and Khylee, as they make their First Holy Communion and pray that their lives may be transformed by the Eucharist which they receive. And for the rest of us, we pray that the meal of the body and blood of Christ may preserve us unto life everlasting, Amen.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The church resumes the ordinary season of the year with the celebration of the Most Holy Trinity. A mystery beyond human understanding: That there are three persons in one God or one God in three divine persons. Beyond the mystery and the complex theology, the Trinity is unity and union. It is harmony. It is love, above all. God the father is the lover, God the son is the loved one and God the Holy Spirit is that love between the father and the son. The Trinitarian model of community compels us to live and act as one community united in Christ. It helps to underline the need for the church of God to live and act as one family. In an ideal family, the young are cared for, the old are honored, the weak are strengthened and loved. To live according to the Trinitarian model, we must learn to forgive rather than condemn, build up rather than tear down, see the best in each other rather than the worst, be self-sacrificing rather than self-serving. Unless we did this our worship would be worthless. And so we pray: That the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communication of the Holy Spirit be with us all, Amen

 
 

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

860 246-6897