Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, November 11 2018

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GRATITUDE~ OUR LIGHT IN THE STORM

It is the time of year when we talk about gratitude. The days are getting shorter, and the darkness that comes so early in the evening tends to slow us down. It is the time of year when we reflect on how fast the days are going and how quickly we are coming to the end of another year. Where did the time go? The leaves have fallen off of the trees; the growth in the yard is done. We are gearing up for the frost and the wind and the cold. It is the perfect time to think, and with Thanksgiving approaching, to think about what we are thankful for. Most of us feel truly thankful for our family, our health, our home and maybe our job. But what about the times when being grateful is the last thing on our minds?

This week the students were challenged to think about times when things were not going their way. Times that seem a bit like a disaster or, at the very least, a disappointment. It seems that those are times when we need gratitude the most and we are the least grateful. Kallie, in the fifth grade, gave a great example. She told us that her family had adopted two dogs this past week and she had taken them for a walk in the woods. On the walk, she slipped and fell in the mud but she was grateful. Whatever for….we wondered. She was grateful that she was able to hang on to the leash. She knew the dogs would have run off and she might have lost them forever. Being muddy was a consequence that she accepted joyfully when faced with the thought of losing something precious.

It is easy to lose our joyful spirit when times are tough or stressful. I don’t know about you, but the season of gratitude is exactly what I need. My joyful spirit has been waning. Life can get hard, really hard; and the risk of failure can make it hard to see clearly. It is time to thank God for everything. To stop and open our eyes to the things that have become murky in our own struggles. We have so much to be thankful for. I pray that I can open my eyes and see everything in a new Divine light. Lately, I have been thankful to our church and school community. As a stranger to Hudson, Sacred Heart has been my rock and my home and I have learned an immeasurable amount from the people here. It has made all of the difference in my life and I am truly grateful.

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

 

Deacon’s Corner, November 11 2018

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Ever wonder why the cloth placed over Jesus’ face while buried in the tomb was found rolled up on Easter Morning?   John was first to enter the empty tomb, and when he did, he saw the face cloth was neatly folded and placed separate from the other burial cloths.  Then Peter went in and saw the same thing.  (John 20:1-9).  So, why did Jesus fold the cloth?

To understand the significance of the folded cloth, we need to know a little bit about Jewish tradition.  It had to do with the master and servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition at the time. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating.  The servant would not dare touch the table until the master was finished.   When the master was finished eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers and mouth, clean his beard, wad up his napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. The wadded napkin meant, “I’m finished.”  But if the master got up from the table, folded his napkin and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because the folded napkin meant, “I’m coming back!”

Did Jesus fold the cloth and set it aside so his disciples would KNOW He was coming back?  That He was not dead?   That He is ALIVE!  Jesus was not finished.  He will return.

While purifying the sacred vessels at the end of Mass, the last thing I do is neatly fold the corporal (the cloth placed under the vessels that acts as a sort of ‘placemat’) and place it on the chalice.  When I do, I think of the folded napkin – that, although the Mass is coming to an end, it is not finished.  Jesus is coming back.  He has not abandoned us.  He will return someday and take us to our eternal home.  Until then, our job is to continue bringing Jesus to the world.

The Mass calls us out of our busy world every Sunday to worship God and be empowered by His Spirit to bring people to Christ – the same Christ we just encountered in the Eucharist.   May we pray that “folding the napkin” at the end of Mass reminds us that He WILL return, of what Jesus did for us, and how we can do the same for others.

Deacon John

Adapted from Forums.Catholic.com

 

Fr. Todd Bulletin, November 11 2018

 

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Dear Sacred Heart Family,

This coming week I will be taking some vacation time (November 12th-16th) for a combination of things.  1) I have two priest classmates from Minnesota coming to Michigan for a visit.  2) I will be deer hunting with my twin brother.  3) I have family visiting from New York.  It is going to be a great week!

In this month of November, when we remember our loved ones, I want to continue our series on the four Christian responses to death.  Last week was taking time to grieve.  This week is our response of remembering and learning from those who have gone before us.

Most people are very good at this.  They naturally take time to look back and remember their loved ones.  Often enough it is only when someone is gone from our lives do we realize the magnitude of their actions and their true legacy.  Some lessons only are learned in hindsight

The challenge is to look at those who have died with truth, so that we can truly learn from them.  At times there is a temptation to vacillate between looking back at someone with cynicism so that their whole life is colored in a negative way or looking back at someone with rose-colored glasses so anything negative is obscured.  Well neither of those approaches do someone justice – only truth does.

This practically means looking back at someone who has gone before us and remembering and learning from both the good and bad aspects of their lives.  We learn in two ways – from positive examples that we wish to emulate and from negative examples that we want to avoid doing ourselves.  To truly learn from someone, we need to be able to learn in both of these ways.  All of us are a mixed bag, none of us are perfect.  Just like we wouldn’t think people would be scandalized by that fact so we shouldn’t be scandalized to realize this is true about those who have gone before us.

For the same person then we will have many memories of their acts of sacrifice, their love, their kindness and also things we will need to forgive them for.  This is all part of grieving.  Sometimes people die leaving unresolved hurts that still need to be dealt with, still forgiven even after they are gone. This is not a disservice to them or their memory.  Wounds that remain after someone’s death are too often passed down if we can’t bring them into the light of God’s grace for healing.

Let’s pray for this grace to truly remember and learn from our loved ones.

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

 

Fr. Todd Remembrance Mass Homily, November 6 2018

               

 

A reading from the Book of Lamentations    

My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is;

I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the Lord.

The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall; Remembering it over and over

 leaves my soul downcast within me.

But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope:

The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; They are

renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness.

My portion is the Lord, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Good is the

Lord to one who waits for him, to the soul that seeks him;

It is good to hope in silence for the saving help of the Lord.

The word of the Lord.

 

Fr. Tomy Homily, November 4 2018

SUNDAY 31ST WEEK YEAR B

The central message of today’s readings is the most fundamental principle of all religions, especially ChristianityGod Himself tells us that we are created to love God in loving others and to love others in loving God. In other words, we are to love God living in others.

The first reading reminds us to love God by keeping His commandments. It also describes the blessings reserved for those who obey the commandments. The second reading tells us how Jesus, the eternal and holy High Priest, offered Himself as a sacrifice on the cross to demonstrate God’s love for us. Today’s Gospel teaches us how we should return this love by loving others.

We are commanded (1) to love God, (2) to love our neighbor, and (3) to love ourselves. We are to love God, for it is in loving Him that we are brought to the perfection of His image in us. We are to love our neighbor and ourselves as well, because both of us bear God’s image, and to honor God’s image is to honor Him who made it. We are to love our neighbor and our self as a way to love God: God gives us our neighbors to love so that we may learn to love Him. It means sharing with others the unmerited love that God lavishes on us. This is the love for neighbor that God commands in His law.

Loving with all of one’s heart is a truly radical challenge, in imitation of Christ. But it is our Christian vocation. For we believe that life comes from death, that gain comes from loss, that receiving comes from giving, and that Jesus himself had to die to come to the fullness of life. We profess to be followers of one who made a complete offering of himself to the Father and spent his energies and his time in the service of others, who returned to his Father devoid of any earthly goods.

If I am going to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, then I have to place His will ahead of mine. This means that I may have to say no to some things that I might want to do. It also means that I am going to have to seek the Lord’s will and make it paramount in my life. Taken together, loving God means we open our hearts, give Him our will, develop our minds, direct our emotions, use our bodies and deploy our resources in ways that reveal our love for Him in active, loving service of everyone we encounter in our lives.

Since every human being is the child of God and the dwelling place of the Spirit of God, we are actually giving expression to our love of God by loving our neighbor as Jesus loves him and us.  This means we have to help, support, encourage, forgive, and pray for everyone without discrimination based on color, race, gender, age wealth or social status. If I am going to love my neighbor as I love myself, it will cost me as well! I may have to seek forgiveness when I think I have done no wrong. I may have to sacrifice something I think I need to meet a brother’s need. I may have to give up time to help someone. I may have to spend time in prayer for people, go to them, and reach out to them in the name of the   Lord. Love for our neighbor is a matter of deeds, not feelings.

Nicole Oyola, a 23-year old from Clearwater, told Fox 13 that she suddenly pulled to the side of the Howard-Franklin Bridge outside of Tampa on Thursday when she spotted a man on its edge. “I started talking to him. I told him, you’re worth it. You’re enough,” Oyola said. “I don’t know what you’re going through, but I love you and God loves you and everything is going to be okay.”

He looked at me, and  after he looked at me he started crying and I said, “I just want to give you a hug”. So he came to the other side and I gave him a hug. “God has a purpose for everyone”, she added “I believe in that, so I stopped. I just wanted to help him feel better.

This is what Jesus is asking from you and me today. Love God and love our neighbor. Loving our neighbor doesn’t mean we have to give lot of money or our material possessions. But a kind word to the one who is depressed, sad, disappointed, distressed and feel confused will bring transformation in that person’s life.  In this incident, the woman didn’t give any money to that man but she shared with him what God has given her the great gift of LOVE. When she said those words, there was a total change and transformation in that man’s life. His attitude was changed, there was change of decision and there was a change his outlook toward life. So let us also do the same to our needy brothers and sisters. Amen.

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