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Today’s Gospel story can be easily misunderstood as an endorsement of our modern-day achieving Society, or a lesson in holding on to your money. Actually, the Lesson has nothing to do with investing money or accumulating wealth. Jesus merely uses the analogy of money to make an important point about our lives as Christians. Jesus is telling us that each of us is expected to perform our Christian duty according to her or his individual ability. Each disciple of Christ is graced with unique power and capability to perform God’s Will. Each is expected to live up to that power and that capability. Moreover, the Lesson is clear that the power conferred on each grows with use, and withers with disuse!
I once went to my nephew’s band concert when he was in the 4th or 5th grad and it was their first Christmas Holiday concert. The youngsters took their places on the bandstand, adjusted their music stands, and tuned up their instruments. Then, with a touch of drama, the music teacher raised her baton. I sat back and for some strange reason expected to hear a beautiful symphony. To my surprise, I heard, instead, a horrid cacophony of squeaks, honks, upbeat notes on the downbeat, and a march that sounded like a forty-five r.p.m. record played at thirty-three. ‘This is terrible,’ I thought, as I shriveled inside. “And then I heard a gentle voice speak within me: ‘These are children; they are learning; they are doing very well.’ The voice, of course, spoke truth. I was judging at first according to my expectations, not accepting that they were all expressing according to their ability. And, at that moment, the music became so lovely to me that I sat back and enjoyed every remaining moment of the concert. And I think I cheered loudest when it ended.
“By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples” Jesus said (Jn.13:35). If we come to Church cheering loudly before one another — congratulating ourselves on performing up to our capabilities, that is a sure sign that we have not! When we begin to think we’ve done enough, that is a sure sign that we have not. The power conferred on Christ’s disciples grows with use and withers with disuse. There can be no standing still. There can be no stalling. There can be no “I’ve got it made” attitude. There can be no hoarding of God’s Grace. Either we are moving ahead or we are moving back! Either we are spiritually growing or we are spiritually withering. In a very real sense, therefore, we come to Church to acknowledge before one another and before Almighty God, that whatever it is we’ve done in Jesus’ name, we must do more. We have been given the responsibility for preparing this earth as the Kingdom, the Presence of God with His people. And, through the life and death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, we have been given the freedom and the power to grow into the beautiful, unique persons God wants us to be, through love. Our spiritual beauty is enhanced only to the extent that we exercise our freedom and power to love one another; to see each other as having been chosen by God for fulfillment as a uniquely beautiful human person.
Many thanks for all those in our parish who have given their time to assist in making this parish function–for all those in the “Office Ministry,” ‘Gail, Katrina, and Dan. For our money counters on Susan, Matt/Larry and Julie/Vera/Sherilyn/ and for those who are involved at our liturgy our music choir lead by Rebecca, and our readers and Eucharist ministers; our Guild members as well as our financial committee members and our St. Vincent de Paul Society members who give their time and talent to serve you and the community.
PEACE AND BLESSINGS!
Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director,
Nov. 16th, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The readings today exhort us to fear the Lord, to walk as children of the light, to stay sober and alert, and to use the time, talents and gifts He gives us wisely.
During this month of November when we pray for all those who have gone before us, we can reflect on the shortness of this life and where we are going. What do we want our legacy to be? What do we want people to remember about us? Do we really believe in the promise of eternal life? Do we try to reflect the light of God in our everyday dealings with people? We hope the songs for today help us to reflect on these questions and declare our faith in Jesus promise of the resurrection of the body on the last day.
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Gathering Song: We Shall Rise Again (song sheet)
Psalm 128: O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in His ways.
Preparation of the Gifts: Lux Aeterna Litany
Lux aeterna, dona eis requiem
Communion Song: Journey For Home # 703
Recessional Song: Siyahamba (We Are Marching) # 678
Each Sunday at the 9:00 mass at St. Elizabeth’s the choir sings more of the names from the Book of Remembrance, a long list, sung at the offertory with “Lux Aeterna.” This is taken from the Catholic requiem mass, and is a prayer asking for eternal light to shine upon the deceased.
The names are provided by the parishioners in the envelopes located at the back of the church. If you have not done so, please enter the names of deceased loved ones so we can include them in our prayers. The names are also read at the weekly 9:00 am masses.
Nov. 16 Lux Aeterna Litany
In preparation for the series “Catholicism” by Fr. Robert E. Barron, we are presenting a screening of Lesson 6: A Body Both Suffering and Glorious – The Mystical Union Between Christ and the Church” at the Rio Theater in Monte Rio on next Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2:00 PM.
In this series Fr. Barron skillfully uses the beauty of the architecture and art of the Catholic church to illustrate and illumine the theology of the church. Specifically, in Lesson 6, he uses the beautiful mosaic from the apse of San Clemente. Described in CRISIS magazine (http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/a-sign-of-contradiction-the-apse-mosaic-of-san-clemente)
The focal point of this stunning mosaic is Christ on the Cross, depicted as the Tree of Life, from which flow the four rivers of paradise restored. Sprouting from an acanthus plant at the base of the Tree of Life are numerous vines, which nourish a breathtaking variety of images: birds, hinds, baskets filled with fruit, putti (pagan cupids), a shepherd with his sheep, a peasant woman feeding chickens, and the Doctors of the Church, just to mention a few. Taken together, these images symbolize the fecundity of nature and culture (secular and sacred, pagan and Christian), which find their origin in the life-generating power of the Cross. The vine motif is echoed in the mosaic floor that extends up the central aisle of the nave, as if to extend the offer of paradise to all who enter the church.
The half-dome, whose focal point is the Tree of Life, is set within a triumphal arch that tells the story of salvation history culminating in Christ, the eternal Logos, represented in the medallion set at the center point of the arch. On the right side of the arch, moving from base to top, we find the city of Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah, and Saints Peter and Clement. On the left we find Bethlehem at the base, the prophet Isaiah, then Saints Paul and Lawrence. Thus, just as the half dome depicts Christ crucified as the life-giving source of all things in nature and culture, the triumphal arch depicts Christ glorified, the eternal Logos, in whom nature and culture find their fulfillment and end.
This beautiful mosaic is used to illustrate the concept of the church as a body, a living organism, as described by John “I am the vine and you are the branches.” In Lesson 6 Fr. Barron discussses:
- The mystery of the church and the union of Jesus with his church, as Jesus said to Saul “Why do you persecute me?”
- Ekklesia: the world in communion with God; the unity of the Church contrasting with the disunity of the devil
- The Four Marks of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic
To get the most out of this series, please purchase the Study Guide which is $24.95 plus shipping and handling. You can purchase the study guide on line at http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/studyprogram/catholicism-student-study-guide-and-workbook/2372/. Contact Irene Deem at 707-486-9683 to get our code for a 15% discount on your order. You should also have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
We realize many people will not be able to attend all the lessons, but rest assured that each lesson is a stand alone lesson and even if you only attend one, the experience will inspire and emboldene your faith.We pray that you will open your hearts to this effort by Fr. Robert E. Barron, Rector/President of Mundeleine Seminary, to evangelize our culture.