PASTOR’S REFLECTION

28 January 2018

 Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In this week’s Gospel (Mk 1:21-28), Jesus with his disciples enters Capernaum and causes quite a stir. The scriptures say the people were “astonished” and “amazed” at Jesus’ presence for two reasons: 1) “he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes,” and 2) “He commands unclean spirits and they obey him.” These two amazing and astonishing characteristics of the ministry of Jesus have not disappeared from the face of the earth; rather, they have been extended throughout history precisely through the instrumentality of the Holy Catholic Church which Jesus founded for this purpose. Our Catechism teaches us:

Jesus’ words and actions during his hidden life and public ministry were already salvific, for they anticipated the power of his Paschal mystery. They announced and prepared what he was going to give the Church when all was accomplished. The mysteries of Christ’s life are the foundations of what he would henceforth dispense in the sacraments, through the ministers of his Church, for “what was visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries” (St. Leo the Great). Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1115.

I recall thirty years ago as an anti-Catholic Christian being confronted with the claims of the Catholic Church. Initially I was anything but astonished and amazed; however, as I explored the claims of Catholicism and began to realize from Scripture and history that they may in fact be true, astonishment and amazement began to creep over my soul . . . could it be true? I wondered in growing amazement: Is the Pope really the successor of St. Peter entrusted with the keys of the Kingdom of God? Does the teaching of the Church really have the same infallible character as the teaching of Jesus and His Apostles? Is the Mass really instituted by Jesus Himself as a Sacrament wherein the Sacrifice of Christ is made present to me today and I can receive our Lord – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – to be united with God’s Divine Son in my body, blood and soul? Did Jesus really offer His own holy mother to me as He did to St. John at the foot of the Cross inviting me to take her into my home, share my life with her, and be the recipient of her motherly love and care? Can I really have access to the prayers and support of the greatest Christians who ever lived, the Saints, as though they were standing beside me ready to help? My friends, I could go on and on with a list of astonishing and amazing truths Jesus continues to provide us through His Holy Church, but in harmony with “the people” encountering Jesus in today’s Gospel, I believe the most amazing and astonishing fact which serves as the foundation of all the rest, is the fact the Catholic Church speaks with an authority unknown anywhere else in the world – the authority of God Himself.

Pope Benedict XVI summed it up well:

There needs to be a renewal of what you could call a curiosity about Christianity, the desire really to discover what it’s all about. . . .  [to overcome the] feeling of staleness, this feeling that we are already long familiar with this, to create curiosity about the richness hidden in Christianity, so that this richness is regarded, no longer as a matter of burdensome systems, but as a living treasure that it is worth knowing. (Salt of the Earth)

I pray that as we hear and contemplate the Gospel this week, we might somehow share in the astonishment and amazement of those fortunate souls who experienced the unearthly authority with which Jesus spoke. After all, we as Catholics have every reason and means to experience Jesus in the exact same way! The voice and presence of Jesus are not hidden in the annals of history; His Holy Catholic Church continues to convey His message and presence with the same unearthly authority! For those who have ears to hear, this is absolutely astonishing!

Your Servant in Christ,

Fr. Terry Staples

Mass Intentions Next Two Weeks

(Jan 27-Feb 2)                                             (Feb 3-Feb 9)

Sat      5:00pm  +Tim Irving                                     +George Dooley

Sun:    8:00am    Parishioners                                Parishioners

10:30am    John a. Dormer               +Charles & +Erma Conroy

Mon: 10:00am        N/A*                                           Mary Ann Behnke

Tue:    8:30am        N/A*                          Women of Grace & Families

Wed: 12:15pm        N/A*                                          +Adele Murtha

Fri:    12:15pm       N/A*                                          Finn Reese

*Fr. Staples will be on Retreat, so there will not be daily Mass or Friday Adoration.

 

Pray for the Sick and other Special Needs

 

Pray for our Loved Ones in the Armed Forces


Ushers Needed!

Would you be interested in serving your parish in a fun and easy way?  St. Isidore needs more friendly people willing to be ushers during all Masses.  Men and women are welcome!  Please call the office if interested.

2017 Contribution Statements available

2017 contribution statements are on the window sill outside the office. These statements are only for cash or check contributions. If you participate in online giving, you should have received a separate statement via email.

 

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.

 

National Catholic Schools Week

Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. This year it is January 28 – February 3. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2017 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. For more information about events at individual schools, please contact the school you are interested in.

 

2018 Bishop’s Lenten Appeal Begins!

This month many of us will receive a mailing from Bishop Burbidge regarding the 2018 Bishop’s Lenten Appeal (BLA). The theme for the 2018 BLA is “Living in Faith ~ Giving in Gratitude.” After reflecting upon the many blessings that God has given you, please prayerfully consider making a pledge to this important appeal that funds many programs and ministries that serve the people in our diocese.

Saturday        Readers:        Joe Pauli, Cheryl Pauli (EM)

Jan 27              Ushers:        John Robert Clemente, Patricia Harbin

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

Sunday          Readers:        Mary Ann Behnke, Louise Monticello (EM)

Jan 28                 Ushers:        Aubrey Treakle, Mike Monticello

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

Sunday           Readers:        Len Whitehead, Karen Primeau (EM)

Jan 28              Ushers:         Scott Johnson, Craig Lawson

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

Counters:       John & Carol Keeney, Jesse Evans

_____________________________________________________________

Saturday        Readers:        Daniel Strogis, Patricia Harbin (EM)

Feb 3              Ushers:          John & John Robert Clemente

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

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

Feb 4                 Ushers:         Aubrey Treakle, Romie Powell

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

Sunday           Readers:        Carla Passarello, Joyce Cyrus (EM)

Feb 4              Ushers:          Ron Lloyd, David Bowman

10:30am   Altar Servers:        Danni, Joseph

Counters:       Chris & Tina Riley, Thomas Allsbury

 

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 $55 through Feb. 1; $65 after. Make sure to register ASAP as slots get filled quite easily!

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 $55 through February 1; $65 after. Please register ASAP to reserve your slots!

 

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.

 

Post-Abortion Healing Retreat for Women

An Entering Canaan Day of Prayer & Healing for women who have experienced abortion will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Come begin your healing journey and experience God’s hope and mercy. You are not alone. There is hope. For more info and confidential registration, please contact Project Rachel Ministry: 888-456-HOPE (4673) or info@helpafterabortion.org.