Bravo St. Elizabeth’s choir and Director Rebecca Brown for this beautiful arrangement and rendition.
On October 30, 1935, at Wright Air field in Dayton, Ohio, the U.S. Army Air Corps held a flight competition for airplane manufacturers trying to build the next-generation of long –range bombers. A small crowd of Army brass and manufacturing executives watched as the Boeing Model 299 test plane taxied onto the runway. It was sleek and impressive, with a hundred-and three-foot wingspan and four engines jutting out from the wings. The plane roared down the tarmac, lifted off smoothly, and climbed sharply to three hundred feet. Then it stalled, turned on one wing, and crashed in a fiery explosion. Two of the five crew members died, including the pilot. An investigation revealed that nothing mechanical had gone wrong, rather the crash had been due to pilot to attend to many new features and variables necessary to keep the craft aloft. While doing all this, the pilot had simply forgotten to release a locking mechanism on one of the controls, and this resulted in the crash.
So a group of test pilots got together and considered what to do to prevent such accidents in the future. They could have required Model 299 pilots to undergo more extensive training. Instead, they came up with an ingeniously simple approach: they created a pilot’s checklist, with step-by–step checks for takeoff, flight, landing, and taxing. Its mere existence indicated how far aeronautics had advanced. In the early years of flight, getting an aircraft into the air might have been nerve-racking, but it was hardly complex. Using a checklist for takeoff would no more have occurred to a pilot than to a driver backing a car out of the garage. But this new plane was too complicated to be left to the memory of any pilot, however expert.
With the checklist in hand, the pilots went on to fly the Model 299 a total of 1.8 million miles without one accident. The Army ultimately ordered almost thirteen thousand of the aircraft, which it dubbed the B-17. And to this day, in preparation for flight, every pilot, no matter how experienced, works his or her way through a detailed checklist before heading down the runway.
From the very beginning, Jesus clearly stated that His calls to us to follow His instructions and His appeal to us to transform our lives are inseparable. And we must be constantly checking that we are conforming to His imperative. To follow Jesus is to change your life, necessarily. You cannot be the person He wants you to be apart from Him. To be a follower of Jesus you must let go of everything you have crowded in at the center of your life that is not God-centered. This is not a once-in-a-lifetime transformation Jesus is calling for. It is an ongoing, continuing change, a process of growth and development that stretches over your entire life. But to what degree have we actually followed the example of our Servant Leader? To what degree have we made His concerns our concerns? The apostle Paul had given us a convenient checklist of those concerns:
To “give encouragement to one another.”
To “to be at peace among yourselves.”
To “give courage to those who are apprehensive.”
To “care for the weak.”
To “be patient with everyone.”
To “make sure that people do not try to take revenge.”
To “think of what is best for each other and for the community” [1 Thes. 5:11, 13, 14-16]
I hope you reflect on this checklist this week and hope it will assist you in your own journey of faith and that your life be transformed to His will.
Peace and Blessings,
LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
Jan 25, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Remember that your compassion, O Lord, and your love are from of old”. (Psalm 25)
In today’s first reading, God calls Jonah to set out for the city of Nineveh and give them a message to repent, or Nineveh would be destroyed! Jonah did as God commanded and Nineveh was saved. There is much more to the story, of course, but what can we glean from it? Obedience, perseverance, and answering the call of God amidst the most uncomfortable of circumstances? The disciples gave up everything to follow Jesus. Let us do the same! God has chosen us as well, to go out and spread the Good News, to share the Gospel, and to urge all people to repentance. Let us not be afraid to give up everything to follow Jesus.
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Processional Hymn: God Has Chosen Me (BB #379)
Psalm 25: To you, Lord, I lift up my soul, O my God. (BB # 757)
Preparation of the Gifts: Here I Am, Lord (BB # 378 )
Communion Song: Pescador de Hombres (BB # 513 )
Recessional Song: All the Ends of the Earth (BB #554)
BB = Breaking Bread SS = Song sheets
Ordinary Time continues until Ash Wednesday, which falls on Feb. 18th. There are many beautiful songs in the new Breaking Bread hymnals. We are looking forward to introducing them and praying and singing them together!
Fr. Luis’ homily today focused on the need to be careful in today’s society to recognize free will and original sin. Social sciences suggest that personal responsibility is not as important as society’s responsibility to the individual. The individual sin of a person affects society; all sin is social in nature. Conversely, the individual’s virtue affects society, and that is what Jesus taught: we are to make up a society of virtue by being virtuous ourselves. Fr. Luis also suggested we take this on in small stages, saying “Life by the yard is hard, but life by the inch is a cinch!”
From the Webmaster: if it bugs you that Fr. Luis asks us to sing, let me share with you one of the benefits of singing at mass. The tune of the song and some of the words will be in your heart and come floating into your mind later in the week. What a joyful thing to come out of mass with a song in your heart. Part of Fr. Luis’ homily was on how resistant we are to change, but that how necessary change is to life.
Try an experiment: Listen to the beautiful Psalm 25 and just memorize a few bars. See if it doesn’t come back to you, maybe you might find yourself singing it to a friend who needs to hear it at some time in your life. Or you might just sing it to yourself.
The purpose of our choir and of our liturgy – and this website/blog – is to bring us closer to God. I pray that will happen to all who read this. Have a beautiful Sunday!
Don’t forget Thursday Jan 29 is the next session for CATHOLICISM. We have a light lunch served, so please RSVP so we can include you. (707) 486-9683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to Nina LaGuidice for the delicious Irish Soda Bread we enjoyed and to Nina and Larry for bringing coffee!
We are seeing the mustard blooming in the vineyards and some of the grocery stores and farm stands are selling mustard. You can make a wonderful soup of mustard greens using the Julia Child recipe for watercress soup, which was basically chicken broth, leeks (or onions or scallions), potatoes, cream if you aren’t on a low fat diet – if you are you can top it with non fat sour cream (it curdles, so just put it on after you remove from stove!) We will be having some Thursday with grilled cheese sandwiches, hope you can make it!
I would also like to share a great book for those of you who enjoy cooking – Fran Korn gave it to me and I just love it: “A Continual Feast – a cookbook to celebrate the joys of family and faith throughout the Christian year.” Written by Evelyn Birge Vitz, it has not only recipes but nice commentary and suggestions for traditions of Christian Hospitality, with recipes from all parts of the world and the universal Catholic church. Here is an example of the folklore: February 1 is the feast day for St. Brigid of Ireland who changed her bathwater into beer onc to quench the thirst of some ecclesiastical visitors! That story accompanies a recipe or Bairn Brack, a spiced yeast bread enjoyed with ale.
Cheers to all,