Father Carey’s Pastor’s Corner
My Dear Friends,
This Sunday we celebrate the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. With this Sunday we begin reading from the Gospel of Mark. John the Baptist has been arrested and Jesus now sets out to proclaim the Good News from God.
Jesus is beginning his public ministry and so he starts to call people to follow him. Did you ever notice that Jesus always made a point of meeting and calling people wherever he found them? He met and called Matthew (Levi) the tax collector when he was counting his money. He met and called the Samaritan woman when she came to the well for water.
In the gospel this Sunday Jesus meets people while they are doing their ordinary daily work of fishing and mending their nets on the sea shore. They weren’t necessarily on their knees praying in the temple or the synagogue. Jesus called these men by their own names, so he must have seen them before and known them. Today in the same way, Jesus continues to call us by our name. In the Old Testament, there are two beautiful pieces of scripture through which God says, I have called you by your name, you are mine and that I have written your name on the palms of my hands. This is how personally and intimately God knows and loves each of us!
Jesus calls us wherever we are, regardless of who we are. Each of us is called by Jesus. He breaks into our world through our ordinary daily lives and activities. Jesus has not stopped calling people to follow him. Today we are the ones he looks at, calls by name and says, “Come follow me.” Those in the gospel dropped everything they were doing and followed Jesus when he called them. This was all very sudden and dramatic. Our response may not be as quick and decisive. But it doesn’t need to be. We all follow Jesus at our own pace, in our time and in our own way. The important thing to remember and realize is that Jesus never stops calling us by our name. He is still inviting us to follow him with these words, if you want to be my disciple, come, take up your cross and follow me.
After Jesus called these men and women to follow he sent them out in his name to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God. He sent them out in his name, not their own. Today we are the ones who are not only called, we are also sent out to proclaim the gospel through how we live; through what we say and what we do. This very day Jesus is calling you by your name, what is your response?
As you may have heard already, this current year marks the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To commemorate this important anniversary, our Holy Fa-ther, Pope Francis, has named this year a holy year (December 8th, 2020-December 8th, 2021) dedicated to St. Joseph and has accompanied this commemoration with an Apostolic Letter addressed to the entire Universal Church. In his Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde, Pope Francis highlights the unique role of Saint Joseph in the life of the Church. Outlined in it are three pillars, we might say, for the observance of this year dedicated to St. Joseph which are simply; to increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession, and to imitate his virtues and his zeal.
With that in mind, last Wednesday the Archdiocese of Philadelphia hosted a webinar for pastors and catechists which explored this letter and further explained the reason for our Holy Father’s initiative to celebrate this year. In addition, we discussed the many ways we will celebrate it here in our Archdiocese and also ways that we might celebrate this year fruitfully in our local parishes. With this in mind, I look forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks and months ahead the ways that we here at Our Lady of the
Assumption will commemorate this anniversary and celebrate the life of this great saint. It is my hope to increase our prayers with reflections and various devotions to him, to look to his virtues to enrich and strengthen our own faith, and to celebrate the Eucharist in his honor with even greater frequency, joy and solemnity. We will keep you informed as this year unfolds as to the ways that we hope to honor St. Joseph on this important 150th anniversary.
Once again, I thank you all for your continued generosity and support for our parish. It means so much! Until next week, may God continue to bless you and your families.
Love and prayers, Father Carey