Weekly Bulletin and Mass Intentions

Weekly Announcements
Month of the Precious Blood

  1. Volunteers are needed for the Food Pantry on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays and Wednesdays of the month from 10am – 2pm. We will have the food pantry July 24/25 and August 7/8.
  2. We are still in need of various projects to be done or completed. If you have maintenance skills, please see Father to assist. We want to re-do the floor of the sanctuary and the nave.
  3. Enrollment for First Communion and Confirmation as also continued participation in CCD Classes is open. Classes have started begin July 13-16.
  4. As you take your summer vacations don’t leave God and your faith behind. Check for Mass locations to see if holy Mass is available, but always keep Sunday Holy.

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Rev. Pius Parsch

Meditation upon the Sunday. A. The Chants. Let us remember that the chants of the Proper have life and meaning only to the extent that they are used in union with their respective Mass actions. During the chanting of the Introit, for example, the priest clothed in festal vestments and accompanied by ministers or servers approaches the altar: he represents the "great Lord" who "in the city of our God" (the Church) is proceeding to "His holy mountain" (the altar) to make us the "receivers of His mercy" (the graces of the holy Sacrifice). What tremendous significance there is to the Introit thus understood!

The Gradual and Alleluia may be considered separately. The Gradual today is a prayer of petition, earnest and confident (Psalm 30 was prayed by Christ during His last agony). By nature the Gradual is not a joyous acclamation but a reflective prayer, an echo to the Epistle. The Alleluia verse again heralds the "great Lord" while the deacon readies himself for reading the Gospel; both he and the book of the Gospels are symbols of Christ appearing among us. And finally during the sacrificial Banquet the faithful in lengthy queues approach the Lord's table while the choir sings Psalm 33, the Communion hymn of the ancient Church. After each verse the whole congregation could well repeat the antiphon: "Oh taste and see that the Lord is sweet." Surely this lovely antiphon would make a deep impression if sung by all the assembled faithful. Happily it is becoming more and more evident that we will understand the missal better when the people also take an active part in the celebration of sacred mysteries.

B. The Golden Bridge from Earth to Heaven. The liturgy on the Sundays during the Pentecostal cycle develops three great themes. The first is that of baptism and its graces. We are baptized and in the graces of baptism we are to anchor; every Sunday means baptism repeated, a small Easter feast. The second theme, preparation for the Second Advent of the Lord, is treated in detail on the final Sundays of the season. The remaining theme, the burden of the Sundays midway after Pentecost, may be summarized in the phrase: the conflict between the two camps. Though placed in the kingdom of God, we remain surrounded by the kingdom of the world; and our souls, laboring under Adam's wretched legacy, waver continually to and fro between two allegiances. By these three great themes the liturgy covers rather adequately the whole range of Christian life. In baptism the precious treasure of the spirit was conferred; today's Epistle describes some aspects of this treasure. Through it we are God's children; we may call God Father. Through it we have become temples of the Holy Spirit, heirs and brothers of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, baptism has not translated us to a paradise without toil or trouble. No, the Church sends us out into a troubled world and commissions us to work and struggle. We must guard the holy land of our souls against hostile attack, must learn to know and conquer the enemy, and such is the task that will continue till we have taken our final breath. Mother Church is, we may say, both the heroine who teaches us the art of warfare and our strong fortress and shield in the conflict. Through the holy Sacrifice she bestows aid which repeatedly frees the soul from the enmeshments of temptation. We may ask, how does the Mass effect this? Courage and strength and perseverance flow abundantly from the word of God in the Mass of the Catechumens, but in a still fuller measure from the Sacrifice proper. Of ourselves we are helpless creatures wholly unable to withstand the attack, but in the Mass Another battles for us, the Mightier (Christ) vanquishes the mighty. By means of the Mass we league ourselves with our Captain, Christ; His battle becomes our battle, His triumph our triumph. His is the wondrous strength that renders us invincible. Having matured spiritually during the many weeks of the Pentecost season, the soul becomes ready to join the retinue of its heavenly Hero and King, Jesus Christ. Therefore on the final Sundays of the cycle the Church asks her children to direct their gaze to the Second Advent longingly and lovingly. In these three great themes we have the golden bridge that spans the years of life and reaches from earth to heaven. To overcome the tension between man's higher and lower natures, two forces must unite and espouse each other in bridal union, God's grace and the human will. If either is lacking, nothing good will happen. The most sublime example of cooperation between grace and free will occurred at the Annunciation; the angel of the Lord saluted Mary with an Ave (grace) while Mary gave consent with her Fiat (will). We have purposely placed grace prior to will because grace enjoys the primacy; it is the stronger and the nobler. This is an important point in liturgical piety. The human will is not to be placed in the foreground. Grant to grace primacy and precedence, and it will act; then, escorted and confirmed by grace, the will can accomplish great things. Pass in review what the human will can accomplish in the natural order of fallen nature. What will men not attempt when spurred on by passion, by politics, by the love of pleasure! The universe becomes too small for their journeys and the heavens too low for their banners! Now it is exactly because the children of the world put their wills to better use than the children of light that our Savior complains in the Gospel. The second point in liturgical piety, therefore, is that we show a determined will, for grace of itself can perform no human acts. Every Mass is an espousal between will and grace in a twofold way. In the Liturgy of the Word we offer the words of our prayers and receive in return the Word of God. At the Offertory we lay our will upon the altar, which in the Sacrifice is bedewed with grace; while at the Communion grace and will unite as the consummation of the Sacrifice. The union of God's grace and man's will always spells triumph in the affairs of life!

C.For many persons the parable of the unfaithful steward occasions difficulties. The story concerns a rich landowner who had several farms or estates but entrusted them to the care of an overseer or steward, while he himself lived in the city. This general manager enjoyed almost complete control, and since justice was not his chief virtue, he began defrauding his employer in goods and money. Others, however, observed and reported his conduct, and after some time he was told to make a report pending dismissal.

Without work, without means of sustenance, what would he do? But he was shrewd, and unscrupulous too. So while still in office, having summoned the various tenants, he asked the first: How much rent must you pay? He answers: A hundred barrels of oil (at that time rent was paid not in money but in kind). The steward quickly replies: Take your contract and change it to fifty. We may assume that the debtor did not hesitate doing it; for the year in question and perhaps for the year following he would then be legally obliged to pay only half the normal amount. The steward acted in this manner in order to gain the good will of the debtors. He was thinking that these people would later favor and support him when he would be jobless and low in funds. At this point the parable ends and Jesus states the moral or lesson. He praises the steward because he acted shrewdly. But can the Savior really praise a swindler and a cheat? Would not censures have been more appropriate? Read closely. Jesus does not praise the steward for defrauding another; neither does He hold up his conduct as such as a model. That would have been impossible for the holy and sinless Son of God. What Christ praises is the shrewdness and ingenuity with which that man provided for his future earthly welfare. And this shrewdness Jesus places before us, His children, for imitation on the supernatural plane. Accordingly He concludes: "The children of this world (of whom the steward was an example) are wiser in dealing with their fellowmen than the children of light (i.e., we Christians)." These words of our Lord may be illustrated by a further example. A man begins a business. To make it successful he will work day and night; he will take risks, endure hardships, virtually enslave himself. And all for the sake of financial success. Or another example—sportsmen. What severe discipline they subject themselves to in order to win the pennant…

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