April 26th, 2020
My Dear Parishioners,
My dear parishioners,
As a Catholic people we find ourselves liturgically in this “in between” time. Today, we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, the great Solemnity that marks the 40th day since Easter when we celebrate Jesus ascending to the Father’s right hand. We call this the “in between” time because Jesus has now ascended to the Father, and the Holy Spirit, the Advocate whom Jesus promised to send in His name, has yet to come! This Gift of the Spirit we celebrate at Pentecost, the 50th day after Easter.
Days after the Ascension event, the experience of the apostles speaks of this “in between” time. “After Jesus had been taken up to heaven the apostles returned to Jerusalem…they went to the upper room where they were staying…devoted themselves with one accord to prayer.” One can only imagine that this prayer was for the Gift of the Holy Spirit that the Risen Lord had promised. It is in this very Upper Room where the Holy Spirit will descend upon the Apostles and the Church will be borne by this Gift of the Spirit.
Isn’t it interesting how the liturgy so often corresponds to our reality? The Apostles were in an “in between” time and now we are as well. We find ourselves in this “in between” time of strict quarantine and self-isolation at the arrival of Coronavirus and now the beginning of some normalcy in day-to-day activity. With the slow openings happening in businesses, workplaces, and restaurants, some may still find themselves hesitant. And that is ok! Remember as I said last week I know we all long for getting back to some type of “normal” whatever that may be, but as we begin to see things reopen, please remember the COVID 19 pandemic continues. The virus is still active, it is still being passed on, and people are very sick and some even dying because of it. So as we see things start to reopen let us do our part to be smart and vigilant and protect one another from this disease.
We also find ourselves in this “in between” time of awaiting the opportunity to celebrate Holy Mass with one another in our parish churches while, like the Apostles, finding ourselves devoted to prayer in our own homes. As we begin to move closer to some normalcy in our lives I pray that each of us will continue to draw ourselves closer to God in prayer each and every day of our lives.
However, even as we are aware and cautious of the reality of the pandemic, I would like impart a Eucharistic Blessing upon you and your loved ones in person this coming Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the church. We will begin with a Mass, livestreamed via our parish website at 9:00 AM. Eucharistic Blessing follows at 10:30 AM at the church parking lot. Please enter through the parking lot access way near 202. You will be met with volunteers for parking direction. Nobody is allowed to get off their cars. If the parking lot is already full, please park first at the corral and wait to be called for the next batch of Eucharistic Blessing. Weather permitting, I will go from car to car for the Eucharistic Blessing, otherwise, it will be a General Eucharistic Blessing. Please exit Parking lot once you receive your blessing.
Happy Memorial Day to all of you. As we find ourselves slowly coming out of this time of self-isolation and quarantine we do so as we approach Memorial Day Weekend. For the past three years, I would normally deliver the benediction at the Mahwah Veterans Park. This is a holiday that is about remembering; about being grateful, and about honoring the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We also honor all those men and women who proudly bear the title Veteran who are still with us. This honor is not merely about monuments and memorials, nor simply the placing of flags in a cemetery as important as those are; this honor is about showing them the respect and support they deserve.
We express profound gratitude for the unselfish sacrifices of the men and women in our armed forces have made through the years to God, to country, and to us. We salute them. We express gratitude for those who support and aid our veterans and those who work to advocate for a greater respect for and recognition of those who have served us.
To all our parishioners who serve and have served I say thank you for your service and you have the promise of our grateful prayers for you!
God bless you all and praying for your safety and good health.