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

  

 

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 17

Black History is one that reveals a people that have faced and continue to face numerous challenges mostly relating to social justice and injustice.  Better than that, however, is a History principally characterized by the virtues of resilience and the determination to fight against and to OVERCOME all manners of injustice and oppression.  Today we gather as one community to celebrate those struggles, those challenges and, yes, those triumphs.  The readings of today could not be more to the point: ‘Blessed are those who trust in the Lord or hope in the Lord’. ‘They are pitiable whose hopes are in mere mortals, in the things of this fleeting world’.  These are among the best highlights from today’s readings. Without a doubt, besides faith in one another and support for each other, the greatest source of strength for Black people and indeed for all peoples in difficult moments is usually their dependence upon the one true God who never disappoints. As a people, a people of God, the flock that is led by his hand, we have come this far thanks to His love and mercy which endure forever. Those who put their trust in Him shall flourish come what may. In our prayer today, we ask that we remain constantly aware that those who put their trust in the Lord are like mount Zion that cannot be shaken; they will stand firm forever, Amen.

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 10

The greatest standard of the Christian life is He from whom it takes its name: Jesus Christ himself. And to conform to His calling is to live in line with His teachings. All three readings today reveal to us one great truth, which is: In comparison to the all holy God, we all fall short. Isaiah’s encounter with God in the temple brought him to the awareness of his inadequacy. Paul would be the first to call himself unworthy except for the grace of God. After long nights of laboring in vain Jesus appears on the scene and in the midst of His disciples to turn a hopeless situation into one of amazement. Our greatest challenges can be turned into our greatest opportunities if we invite him to walk with us. A humble acknowledgment of our unworthiness and a complete surrender to His ever provident care is all that is required to turn things around. The lives of Isaiah, Paula and the disciples were radically and completely transformed thanks to this complete abandonment to His holy Will. We are required to do no less. Gracious God, we are you people, the sheep of your flock. In your loving kindness Grant is the humility to surrender to your will for in that will lies our peace, Amen.

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 3

The Psalmist in today’s psalm declares his confidence in the Lord in whom there is neither shame nor disappointment. Rock, refuge and fortress are some of the strongest terms that the Psalmist uses to speak of God’s provident care and love. Such love is obvious in the first reading as Jeremiah is reminded of his appointment and commission from His mother’s womb. Paul underlines the unique character of love and more particularly God’s love in today’s second reading: It is patient, sincere and kind. Such is the love that God has for us and the foundation of His promises to defend us from all harm, protect us from every evil and provide our every need. It is a love so sincere and so complete that causes our hearts to sing for joy. Dear God, grant that our faith in you may remain ever steadfast, our hope undying and our love true and sincere, Amen.

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 27

After a period of weeping and sadness, his excellency, Nehemiah and Ezra, the priest, invite the people to rejoice in the Lord; for there lies their strength .For the sins of the people, God had turned his back on them; but now his favor returns and so the prophet and priest invite them to rejoice. Luke’s Gospel, as we hear today was written out of a need to present an accurate account of the life of Jesus; including the inauguration of His ministry in the synagogue of Jerusalem. Jesus’ declaration in this passage concerning the nature and character of His mission can only cause our hearts to rejoice: His good news is for the poor, the oppressed, those held captive by sin, the marginalized, the lonely and the seemingly hopeless. In Jesus, God’s promises find fulfillment and give us such great cause for rejoicing. It is not just in health or wealth, not in any created being, not even in our loved ones do we find that perfect joy and fulfillment. It comes from the riches of God’s grace which he lavished upon us in Christ Jesus. ‘See what love the father has lavished upon us by letting us be called children of God’ 1 Jn.3:1. In our prayer today, we ask God to help us realize the super sufficiency of His love and to see in this love a constant cause for joy  Amen.

 

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 20

It is fascinating that from the celebration of such extraordinary mystery of faith, the incarnation, we return to the ordinary time of the year. The meaning can only be that God equips us with such extraordinary graces to be able to engage the ordinary, day to day, challenges of life.  Which only goes to show that we always have the benefit of the super abundance of His grace. Isaiah brings the message home in the first reading as he writes: “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent”. You are the Zion of God. You are a crown of beauty in the hand of your God. You are His delight. And for your sake and mine God will never keep silent!  Jesus’s mother and our mother knew that He would do anything for those He loved; hence she was not worried when the wedding couple ran out of wine in today’s Gospel. Jesus asks His mother how her concerns and other people’s need would be His business but He knew why anyway: They both were chips of the same block. Like mother like son. Human misery pulled at their heart’s strings. Jesus never walked away from any situation of need without doing something nor would His mother. The crowning of all the gifts of God to us is the gift of His mother to be our mother also. Dear God, help us to know the depth of your love for us to constantly fly to the patronage of your blessed mother, the mediatrx of all graces, Amen.

 

 
 

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

860 246-6897