REFLECTION

11 February 2018

 Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Can our disobedience hinder the ministry of Jesus to others? It would appear so based on this week’s Gospel (Mk 1:40-45). After healing a leper Jesus instructed him, “See that you tell no one anything.” In response, what did the now healed leper do? – “The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad.” Obviously, he was disobedient to Jesus’ instructions. What was the outcome? “He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.” Thus, it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town because of the disobedience of the leper. There is an important lesson here: our spiritual life is not ours alone, it affects everyone around us for good or for ill. We might respond: “This is not fair! Why should I suffer because of someone else’s disobedience?” Or, “Why should others suffer because of my disobedience!” Fair or not, we all know this is reality, it happens every day!

The more we think about this fact of life, the more we realize the true nature of sin (i.e. acts of disobedience to God): sin is not only offensive to God, but it is always selfish, uncharitable, and even harmful to others. In fact, we could say that sin is offensive to God precisely because it damages the people whom He created and loves with an infinite love: it damages both the one who sins and all who are associated with him/her. Our purpose here, of course, is not to drive into despair those of us who are very conscious of our sins, rather, to motivate us to turn away from sin by revealing its true hideous, anti-God, anti-life, nature. If we do not realize the true horror of our sin, we will never realize the depths of God’s mercy and love. Our forgiveness was gained for us at the highest price: Jesus was slain and by His blood we were purchased by God (Rev 5:9, 1 Cor 6:20, 7:23). If you think I am exaggerating the destructive force of sin, look closely at a crucifix and ask the suffering Christ whether or not your sins are significant!

Finally, yes, disobedience is terribly destructive, but at the same time, and in the same measure, obedience is divinely powerful and fruitful! I leave you with the inspiring example of the father of St. Therese, the Little Flower, one of the greatest Saints of modern times. The faithfulness, obedience, of this man is undoubtedly one of the root causes of the making of this great Saint. Here are some of St. Therese’s childhood memories of her father as she recorded them in her autobiography:

What shall I say of the winter evenings at home, especially the Sunday evenings? Ah! How I loved, after the game of checkers was over, to sit with Celine on Papa’s knees. He used to sing, in his beautiful voice, airs that filled the soul with profound thoughts, or else, rocking us gently, he recited poems which taught the eternal truths. Then we all went upstairs to say our night prayers together and the little Queen [Therese] was alone near her King [father], having only to look at him to see how the saints pray. When prayer was ended we came according to age to bid Papa good night and receive his kiss; the Queen naturally came last and the King took her by the two elbows to kiss her and she would cry out in a high-pitched tone: “Good night, Papa, good night and sleep well!” Every evening was a repetition of the same thing.

She gives additional details of fond memories – playing with her father, going for walks, visiting the Blessed Sacrament with him, and while attending Mass:

. . . I looked more frequently at Papa than at the preacher, for his handsome face said so much to me! His eyes, at times, were filled with tears which he tried in vain to stop; he seemed no longer held by earth, so much did his soul love to lose itself in the eternal truths. . . . I would never come to an end if I really wanted to portray a thousand little actions like this which crowd into my memory. How could I possibly express the tenderness which “Papa” showered upon his Queen? There are things the heart feels but which the tongue and even the mind cannot express.

The obedience of St. Therese’s father obviously opened her heart to God; the universal Church and the entire world has benefitted immensely and for all eternity!! Yes, disobedience can hinder the ministry of Jesus; but ah! Behold the power of obedience!

Your Servant in Christ,

Fr. Terry Staples

 

Pray for the Sick and other Special Needs

 

Mass Intentions Next Two Weeks

(Feb 10-Feb 16)                                             (Feb 17-Feb 23)

Sat      5:00pm  +Glenn Anderson                         Parishioners

Sun:    8:00am     Parishioners                              +Jean Hogan

10:30am     Jack Firiollo                               +Floriska Harper

Mon: 10:00am  +Deceased Loved Ones                +Billy Smith

Tue:    8:30am      Conversion of Sinners             OPEN

Wed: 12:15pm  +Tim Irving                                    Gianna Kulick

            7:00pm     Jude O’Herron

Fri:    12:15pm     Philip Kulick                               +Carlos Varela

 

Pray for our Loved Ones in the Armed Forces


Food Bank: February items are toilet paper and canned fruit.

Knights of Columbus Quilt Raffle

The Knights of Columbus are raising money for the Orange Pregnancy Center to purchase an ultrasound machine. This will provide a “window into the womb,” to help those struggling with a crisis pregnancy to see the dignity and beauty of the child that is growing within. All of the monies collected will go towards the purchase of the machine. Tickets are 1 for $2.00 or 3 for $5.00. Please see Jennifer or Jesse Evans to purchase a ticket.

 

Have you ever wanted to go on a pilgrimage?

Fr. Wooton of St. Patrick’s is hosting a pilgrimage to the Holy Land October 1-12, 2018, and a $500 deposit reserves your spot. The height of the trip will be a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but you will also visit Mt. Nebo, where Moses was laid to rest; the ancient city of Petra; Nazareth, where you will celebrate Mass and visit Mary’s well; Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus; and Cana, the site of Jesus’ first miracle, where married couples will have the opportunity to renew their vows. If you have any questions, please pick up a packet in the gathering area, or contact Fr. Wooton at 202-277-2883 or frwooton69@gmail.com.

Saturday        Readers:        Daphnie Sowa, Hazel Arruda (EM)

Feb 10              Ushers:         John Robert Clemente, Larry Deeds

5:00pm    Altar Servers:        Isaac & Adrian, Joseph

Sunday          Readers:        Joe Pauli, Cheryl Pauli (EM)

Feb 11                 Ushers:         Mike Monticello, Gordon Genovese

8:00am    Altar Servers:       John, Shane, Jamie

Sunday           Readers:        Jesse Evans, Karen Primeau (EM)

Feb 11              Ushers:          Ron Lloyd, Bill Saunders

10:30am   Altar Servers:        Christopher & Peter, Brendan

Counters:       Chris & Tina Riley, Thomas Allsbury                                                                                          _____________________________________________________________

Saturday        Readers:        Daphnie Sowa, Patricia Harbin (EM)

Feb 17              Ushers:         John Phelps, Tom McDonnell

5:00pm    Altar Servers:        Christopher & Peter, Grace

Sunday          Readers:        James Dillon, Mary Ann Behnke (EM)

Feb 18                 Ushers:         Romie Powel, Mark Hogan

8:00am    Altar Servers:       Eric & Matthew, Shane

Sunday           Readers:        Jesse Evans, Joyce Cyrus (EM)

Feb 18              Ushers:          Craig Lawson, Scott Johnson

10:30am   Altar Servers:        Danni, Joseph, Jackson

Counters:       John & Carol Keeney, Jesse Evans

 

2018 BLA Living in Faith, Giving in Gratitude

This weekend every household in our parish will be asked to complete a BLA pledge form at Mass. If you have already donated through the mail or online or are not able to participate, there will be a place to note that on the form. After reflecting upon the many blessings that God has given you, please prayerfully consider making a pledge of support to this important appeal that funds many programs, offices and ministries that serves people in need and further the mission of Jesus Christ in our diocese.

 

2018 Men’s Conference

ALL MEN are invited to the 2018 Men’s Conference “Marked Men: Made for Greatness” on March 3, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Herndon, VA. The conference will feature one of the most celebrated Catholic speakers in the world of social media: Fr. Mike Schmitz, who will be joined by Bishop Burbidge and Billy Atwell, Chief Communications Officer of the Diocese. Continental breakfast and lunch will be served. To REGISTER, go to www.arlingtondiocese.org/men. Registration is open. Ticket price is $65. Make sure to register ASAP as slots get filled quickly!

2018 Women’s Conference

All women of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington are invited to the 2018 Women’s Conference “From Darkness into Light” on March 10 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Herndon, VA. Featuring Diane Foley, mother of slain journalist, James Foley, and Sr. Grace Dominic, writer and national speaker. Holy Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Michael Burbidge. To REGISTER, go to www.arlingtondiocese.org/women. Registration is $65. Please register ASAP to reserve your slot!

 

Women’s Silent Retreat

The Women’s Silent Retreat: Encountering the Eucharistic Lord in the Mystery of the Mass will take place from March 15-18, 2018 at San Damiano Retreat Center in White Post, VA. It will be led by Fr. Jacob Restrick, OP. Online registration begins on January 3 at 9 a.m. To learn more visit www.arlingtondiocese.org/retreatforwomen.