Pastor’s Pen – June 27, 2010

Published on 27. Jun, 2010 by in Pastor's Pen

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Editio Typica Tertio continued…

7. What about the rest of the Missal?
The text of Ordo Missae I (Order of Mass) is the first of twelve (12) sections of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia undergoing translation. The remaining sections, which include the Proper of Seasons, Ordo Missae II (containing Prefaces, Solemn Blessings, and additional Eucharistic Prayers), Proper of Saints, Commons, Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions, Votive Masses, Masses for the Dead, Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children, and Antiphons, as well as Introductory Material and Appendices, have undergone first drafts. The second drafts for several sections have been completed and await votes by the Conferences of Bishops. Each section must follow the same process as the Ordo Missae I.

8. When will all this be complete?
Because this work involves the participation of ICEL, the USCCB as well as other English–speaking conferences of bishops), and the Holy See, it is difficult to set a firm date for the completion of the process of translation and approval. The current estimate, however, for the completion of work by the USCCB is November 2010. Once the final section of the Roman Missal has been approved by the USCCB, the complete text of the Missal must still be submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for recognitio.

9. When will this be implemented for use?
The approved text of the Order of Mass has been released as a text for study and formation, but is not intended for liturgical use, that is to say it cannot be used in the celebration of the Mass. The intention of the Congregation for Divine Worship and of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is to enable and encourage a process of preparation and catechesis for both priests and the faithful, as well as to make the texts available to composers of liturgical music who can begin to set the texts, especially the acclamations, to music in anticipation of the implementation of the texts for liturgical use. It is hoped that when the time comes to use the texts in the celebration of the Mass, priests will be properly trained, the faithful will have an understanding and appreciation of what is being prayed, and musical settings of the liturgical texts will be readily available. The revised translation of the Order of Mass will be permitted only when the complete text of the Roman Missal (Third Edition) is promulgated.


In unrelated news
, WELCOME back to Fr. Emmanuel Luhumbu who once more will be staying here at the rectory, practicing his English and doing some missionary speaking in two parishes. (He also will be covering masses here while I am on vacation.)

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Below is an outline of the homily given by Deacon Jack Shannon


1. Gospel Reading: Jesus is beginning his journey to Jerusalem. (to end of October) To suffer, die, and rise.

2. Jesus Teaches us discipleship: “And to another he said, ‘Follow me.’

But he replied, ‘Lord, let me go first and bury my father.’

But he answer him, ‘Let the dead bury their dead.

But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

A worthy disciple must experience and AWAKENING: break all ties with the past, with former loyalties, and with any sense of home, security, or possessions. “Repent,” “choose Jesus as my Lord and Savior.”

3. DePaul Saturday evening in May, 2001. Jane: “I know…Jesus is with me.”

An AWAKENING

4. First Reading: Elijah: confronts evil kings of the Northern Kingdom. God tells him to appoint Elisha as his successor and…

“Elisha left him and, taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh and gave it to his people to eat. Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.”

An AWAKENING

5. So…what is an AWAKENING like? Second Reading: “But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” No external law is needed to direct us toward imitating Christ completely: the only law we can use for a guidance in totally imitating Christ is the law of the Holy Spirit written on our hearts.

When we experience an AWAKENING, our external actions may appear the same to observers, but the internal motivation has radically changed; we are attempting to live our life in response to an internal movement and not simply in conformity with an external directive given to us. (Hauser 13)

6. How does the awakening occur in our lives? Scholars suggest two ways: 1)For some it happens naturally with the passage from adolescence to young adulthood. With maturity, we seek a meaningful practice of faith…a faith that reflects our own needs and not merely a practice that reflects our previous indoctrination. 2)For others, a special experience triggers the grace of the AWAKENING for you…perhaps a positive experience like a good retreat, an encounter with a convinced believer, a memorable sermon, movie, or book; or attendance at a stirring religious service; It could be a negative or even a traumatic experience such as the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, the illness or death of a loved one, or a conflict with authority. Something happens that convinces you that YOU NEED A SAVIOR.

You see that you cannot find your savior alone, so you surrender to Jesus. Suddenly…perhaps surprisingly…He is there. It is total surrender to Jesus that brings a deep peace to your life, in spite of the day-to-day crosses that you bear.

7. Journey (Mass) begins today…to be a disciple of Christ…one who lives by love of God and love of neighbor.

We need each other.


Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.

I am with you always, even to the end of the world.

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Are you usually able to see “the whole picture” of a situation?

In a conversation out in the hallway before a philosophy class, one of my professors gave me this bit of info. He said simply: “Kempf, you know well the things you know.” It was a perceptive statement about what and how I see the world. What he was telling me was that I, like many people, am very good at seeing and observing the things right in front of me. I ‘get’ those things. (The Native Americans would call that a ‘mouse’ personality which is the opposite of the eagle, soaring high, aloof, but seeing EVERYTHING spread out below it. The mouse personality is warm, excitable, caring, but focused on only what you can see right in front of you.) I am good at what is right in front of me.

But I am in awe of the people who can see the same things right in front of them and who somehow are instantly able to put it into a broader perspective. They are able to see “the whole picture”

Sometimes we don’t see the whole picture. Sometimes we only see what is right in front of us, or only get things half right. That certainly is the case in this Sunday’s Gospel. There the disciples tell Jesus the ‘right in front of them’ answers to his question. Elijah, John the Baptist, one of the prophets – all of them great figures in Israel’s history. Peter’s reply is even more hopeful and more ‘present to what is right there”: You are the CHRISTOS – the anointed one, the one who would restore the political fortunes of Israel.

Yet rather than commending Peter’s answer – Jesus tells the disciples to keep the answer to themselves. Don’t say anything until you are sure you see the WHOLE PICTURE. I am the anointed, but I “must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” And you who would respond to my question about who I am –must be prepared to take up your cross and follow me. To see ALL that is to see the WHOLE PICTURE.

When it comes to understanding Jesus as “the Christ of God” the tendency is to only see part of the picture. We readily accept Christ’s message about forgiveness, love, compassion, mercy, and eternal life, but we miss his message about denying ourselves, taking up our cross each day, and losing our lives in service to our neighbor and in faithful obedience to God. It is easy not to ‘see’ the whole picture because it involves suffering and sacrifice.

Perhaps an interesting way to pray for the grace to see the whole picture is to do a little behavioral examination of conscience using that question of Jesus: “Who do you say I am?”

What does my attendance at Sunday mass say about who Jesus is? (There is a great article by Archbishop Carlson on the third commandment in this week’s review – I recommend reading it in this regard.) Does it reflect my love for him, my devotion and commitment?

Who do I say Jesus is in the humor that I choose to pass on, the movies I choose to let my eyes see, the ‘tabloid stuff’ that I read?

Who do I say Jesus is in the prejudices I still nurture, the judgments I utter, and the gossip I pass on in the office or at the pool?

Who do I say Jesus is – in the prayers that I say and the time I set aside to spend with the Lord? Do my behaviors there say to Jesus that he is my Lord and Savior, my brother and my friend?

Finally, Who do I say Jesus is in the forgiveness I offer my fellow human beings; the charity I extend to those in need, and the compassionate concern I show to those whose life has taken an unexpected turn for the worse?

My hope is when you look at those things – you’ll have the grace of seeing the whole picture, of your life in Christ, how that effects your life here on earth, and how his love for you calls you to life here at this Eucharistic table…

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Pastor’s Pen – June 13, 2010

Published on 13. Jun, 2010 by in Pastor's Pen

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As you may have heard, the Vatican gave its official ‘recognitio’ to the revised English translation of the mass.  Though it will be probably a year or so till it is implemented, I thought it good to begin the process of education around the “editio typica tertia”

1.  Why the changes? Pope John Paul II promulgated the third edition of the Missale Romanum (editio typica tertia) as part of the Jubilee Year in 2000.  Among other things, the third edition contains prayers for the celebration of recently canonized saints, additional prefaces for the Eucharistic Prayers, additional Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions, and some updated and revised rubrics (instructions) for the celebration of the Mass.  To aid the process of translation of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued Liturgiam Authenticam, the Fifth Instruction on Vernacular Translation of the Roman Liturgy, in 2001, which outlines the principles and rules for translation.  In 2007, the Congregation for Divine Worship issued the Ratio Translationis for the English Language, which outlined the specific rules for translation in English.

2.  Who did the work of translation?
The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) was chartered to prepare English translations of liturgical texts on behalf of the conferences of bishops of English–speaking countries.  Currently 11 conferences of bishops are full members of the Commission: the United States, Australia, Canada, England and Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Scotland, and South Africa.

The USCCB and the other member Conferences of Bishops receive draft translations of each text from ICEL and have the opportunity to offer comments and suggestions to ICEL.  A second draft is proposed, which each Conference of Bishops approves (a Conference reserves the right to amend or modify a particular text) and submits to the Vatican for final approval.

At the level of the Vatican (the Holy See), the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments examines texts and offers authoritative approval (recognitio) of texts and grants permission for their use.  Currently the Congregation is aided by the recommendations of Vox Clara, a special commission of bishops and consultants from English–speaking countries convened to assist with the English translation of the Missale Romanum.

3.  What’s new or particularly different about the revised translation?
From the Ratio Translationis:

The unique style of the Roman Rite should be maintained in translation.  By “style” is meant here the distinctive way in which the prayers of the Roman Rite are expressed.  The principal elements of such a style include a certain conciseness in addressing, praising and entreating God, as well as distinctive syntactical patterns, a noble tone, a variety of less complex rhetorical devices, concreteness of images, repetition, parallelism and rhythm as measured through the cursus, or ancient standards for stressing syllables of Latin words in prose or poetry. (no. 112)

The texts of the revised translation of the Roman Missal are marked by a heightened style of English speech and a grammatical structure that is based on the Latin text.  In addition, many biblical and poetic images, such as “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…” (Communion Rite) and “…from the rising of the sun to its setting” (Eucharistic Prayer III) have been restored.

4.  What is the significance of the translation pro multis in the words of Institution of the Eucharistic Prayer?
In October 2006 (after the bishops of the United States approved the Gray Book text of the Order of Mass), Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, communicated to Conferences of Bishops the desire of the Holy Father for a faithful translation of pro multis as “for many” in the formula for the consecration of the Precious Blood at Mass.  The use of “for many” renders a translation more faithful to the accounts of the Last Supper found in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.  The phrase “for many” does not mean to imply that Christ did not come to save all, but that salvation rests in part on personal acceptance of the salvation freely offered by Christ. Please see the separate section, “Six Questions on the Translation of Pro Multis” for more information.

5.  What is the significance of the changes to the Nicene Creed?
Some of the most significant changes to the people’s parts in the Order of Mass are found in the Profession of Faith (the Nicene Creed).  Changes to this text fall into two categories: preservation of the syntax of the original text and preservation of expressions of faith which contain Catholic doctrine.  The first change is the translation of Credo as of “I” instead of “We” in the opening phrase in order to maintain the person and number indicated in the Latin text.  While the profession of faith is a communal liturgical act, each individual in the liturgical assembly professes his or her own faith which is joined to the profession of the whole assembly.  The second change concerns the translation of particular expressions of faith such as Unigenitusconsubstantialis, and incarnatus.  The theological terminology has been preserved, in accord with Liturgiam Authenticam, in the translation to English: “Only Begotten,” “consubstantial,” and “incarnate.”

6.  “And with your spirit”?
One of the more noticeable changes in the people’s parts of the Mass is the response to the greeting, “The Lord be with you.”  The Latin response, et cum spiritu tuo, is rendered literally in English, “and with your spirit.”  Liturgiam Authenticam calls for the faithful rendering of expressions that belong to the heritage of the ancient Church, and cites et cum spiritu tuo as an example (no. 56).  Most modern languages have translated this phrase literally, so the English text now more closely parallels other vernacular translations.

7.  What about the rest of the Missal?
The text of Ordo Missae I (Order of Mass) is the first of twelve (12) sections of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia undergoing translation.  The remaining sections, which include the Proper of Seasons, Ordo Missae II(containing Prefaces, Solemn Blessings, and additional Eucharistic Prayers), Proper of Saints, Commons, Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions, Votive Masses, Masses for the Dead, Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children, and Antiphons, as well as Introductory Material and Appendices, have undergone first drafts (called “Green Books”).  The second drafts (called “Gray Books”) for several sections have been completed and await votes by the Conferences of Bishops.  Each section must follow the same process as the Ordo Missae I.

8.  When will all this be complete?
Because this work involves the participation of ICEL, the USCCB as well as other English–speaking conferences of bishops), and the Holy See, it is difficult to set a firm date for the completion of the process of translation and approval.  The current estimate, however, for the completion of work by the USCCB is November 2010.  Once the final section of the Roman Missal has been approved by the USCCB, the complete text of the Missal must still be submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for recognitio.

9.  When will this be implemented for liturgical use?
The approved text of the Order of Mass has been released as a text for study and formation, but is not intended for liturgical use, that is to say it cannot be used in the celebration of the Mass.  The intention of the Congregation for Divine Worship and of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is to enable and encourage a process of preparation and catechesis for both priests and the faithful, as well as to make the texts available to composers of liturgical music who can begin to set the texts, especially the acclamations, to music in anticipation of the implementation of the texts for liturgical use.  It is hoped that when the time comes to use the texts in the celebration of the Mass, priests will be properly trained, the faithful will have an understanding and appreciation of what is being prayed, and musical settings of the liturgical texts will be readily available.  The revised translation of the Order of Mass will be permitted only when the complete text of the Roman Missal (Third Edition) is promulgated.

10.  What about the U.S. Adaptations to the Order of Mass?
When the bishops of the United States approved the translation of the Order of Mass in June, 2006, they also approved eight (8) adaptations of the Order of the Mass for use in the dioceses of the United States.  These included additional texts for use in the Act of Penitence, the Mystery of Faith (Memorial Acclamation), the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer, and the Dismissal, as well as the placement of the Blessing and Sprinkling of Holy Water as part of the Introductory Rites of the Mass (rather than in an Appendix), and the insertion of a Prayer Over Water Already Blessed among the prayers of the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling.  The Congregation for Divine Worship has not yet responded to these adaptations, but at this point has granted the recognitio only for the texts to be used universally in English–speaking countries.

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When was the last time you wept over your sin?

It is an image that is hard to get out of your head once it climbs in there.  Perhaps you have seen it in your own life.  Or perhaps it comes from your reading of the gospel today.  It is the image of a woman (or anyone for that matter) crying bitter tears over the mess they have made of their life.  It is bearable if you are the ‘official listener’ – if they have come to you for comfort or counseling or advice.  Somehow that context makes it ‘okay’ for them to be weeping and you to be there to support them and let them unburden their burdens.  But it is so awkward when you stumble upon it, isn’t?  You are walking in the park, and come around the corner, and there is a couple crying on a park bench.  Or you are in a restaurant, and suddenly tears and sobbing erupt from the table next to you.  Do you avert your eyes and pretend it is not happening?  Do you quiet your own conversation in deference to the obvious pain next to you?  What do you do?

It is not hard, then, to imagine the reactions around the table at the dinner where Jesus was at.  Slack jawed astonishment.  Embarrassed silence.  Awkward shuffling of chairs.  People looking at one another – thinking: “Where are the bouncers?”  The only one who seems to not be bothered is the one who had the most cause to be embarrassed – Jesus.  After all, it was his feet being washed by tears, his feet dried by hair and anointed with oil.  What do you do when someone throws themselves at your feet weeping?

(It happened to me once at the cathedral when I was a deacon – when a woman whom by her own admission was 2,000 years old – explained the nature of the curse upon her.  She was also mother eve, Mary Immaculate and the 14th daughter of the Cosmoscrator –whatever that is, and she bore upon herself the curse of the entire world because she did not bear Louis IX’s child. [mime flipping through a book, trying to find directions when someone tells you all this] “You don’t believe me, do you?  Here is the curse – and then she did this elaborate ritual dance around me, finally collapsing, and the she wrapped both arms around my feet, sobbing and weeping there.  I can tell you, I was very uncomfortable.  It was very awkward.)

Jesus does not miss a beat.  And in that moment, you and I get a glimpse into the heart of our savior.  Because Jesus does what is in his heart to do “*snap” – just like that.  He tells a story about debts forgiven and love returned for love, and a mercy that wants to free, not just the woman at his feet, but all those in the room.  And you can imagine the end of that conversation when he looks that woman in the eye and says – “because you have loved much, your sins are forgiven.”  Because you have been willing to weep over your sins, and seek forgiveness, it has been granted to you.  And more over, Jesus tells the slack jawed group gathered around her, that this woman has greater potential then all of them because she was not afraid to show her love, not afraid to weep in her sorrow, not afraid to love her God.

Two things flow from this gospel for us to ponder on and pray about this week.  The first is the attitude of the woman and today’s gospel question.  When was the last time you wept over your sins?  When was the last time that you realized how harmful your actions were – to your relationship with your spouse, your friend, your family, your parish, your son or daughter, parent or grand parent?  When we are in touch with how much we have been forgiven and how well we have been loved, there is a great power in that for good, a great freedom which comes that allows us to pass on that goodness to others.

Secondly, reflect a while on the response of Jesus to the woman and the crowd at table.  He didn’t run from the woman’s sins and tears and sorrow.  Nor did he hide from the hardened hearts of Simon and those who were judging her in their hearts.  Rather, in both cases, he offered the divine mercy, the forgiveness of the debt, and the chance to begin anew.  That stance of Jesus toward all who approach him, should give us great confidence in our own sinfulness – that we can approach the throne of mercy and love.  Concretely, do an examination of conscience this week, and set aside some time to make use of the sacrament of forgiveness sometime over these summer days.

You see, God is neither put off by our tears nor discouraged by our hardness of heart around our sins.  His one desire is that we be free to love.  May we who receive this love around this altar never cease to anoint our Lord’s feet with our love.

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Pastor’s Pen – June 6, 2010

Published on 06. Jun, 2010 by in Pastor's Pen

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Of oil spills and responsibility…

There were two disparate stories in today’s Post Dispatch. The first announced that the U.S. attorney general is launching both civil and criminal investigations into the Deepwater well explosion which precipitated the worst oil spill in history. The second announced a search for permanent sites to dispose of hazardous household wastes by mid-2011. There was something about the juxtaposition of those stories that caught my attention.

The Gulf oil spill garners all the attention, and perhaps rightly so, because it is SOO visible in its effects. Part of what makes the spill so horrendous is how obvious it is. We can see the polluting oil gushing into the gulf. We can observe the oil slick as it is carried by currents through the region. But we feel pretty powerless to do much about it. At a mile down, it is an area where only machines can operate safely. So we sit by helplessly and watch the damage intensify.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have a shelf full of half filled paint cans (some still good), old pesticides, and miscellaneous chemicals that would be harmful if they were disposed of improperly. Who would see it, though, if you snuck a can into the trash here, a box into the dumpster there? Though there are six ‘collection days’ spread throughout the year, it is not easy or convenient to spend the time to dispose of the hazardous waste in appropriate ways. (I would love a permanent year round site!) And when those items get thrown without fanfare into the trash, they contribute to the pollution of our waters and planet. And that I do have responsibility for and control over.

The same goes with recycling. Sure it is inconvenient to have those bins, and the occasional ant may find their way into the house, but it is a part of my stewardship of the earth to make that extra effort. Pollution takes on many forms. Some are writ large upon the gulf. Others happen quietly on curbsides throughout our neighborhoods. Both of them cry out for justice and proper stewardship of this earth.

So, the next time you find yourself tossing that empty bottle in the trash, I ask you to remember the image from the camera at the gulf recording the oil gushing out. Writ large or writ small, it is the same act of pollution. Remember, and then make a different choice…

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If the pope was giving out a free pass to every Catholic which said:  “You never have to go to mass again in your life, and there would be no eternal consequences” – would you take it?  Would you ever come back to mass?

As the church celebrates this last ‘feast day’ (Corpus Christi) before ordinary time returns in earnest, I found myself thinking about this Eucharist that sometimes I take for granted.  At some point in my prayer, that quirky gospel question popped in there – which was another way of saying: “Why do I bother to go to mass anyway?  Does it do anything for me?  For us?”  If you ever got a free pass from mass, would you ever darken the church doors again?

The line that started this thinking for me was the simple command of Jesus to “have them (the crowd) sit down in groups of fifty.”  Jesus had some choices there.  He could have had them sit down en-masse, a whole disorganized, milling crowd – and they would have stayed that way.  He could have had them each find their own little quiet place – a kind of me and God moment.  Or he could have followed the disciple’s suggestion and sent them away – given them a free pass of sorts.  Instead, he has them sit down in groups of fifty – no longer crowds, but communities; no longer teeming masses of people, but little neighborhoods; not solitary individuals but people bonded together into villages of concern and care.  It is not an accidental choice.

In language that our liturgy has been so careful to pick up, Jesus takes, blesses, breaks and has the people eat – a clear reference to that Last Supper which he would eventually institute on Holy Thursday.  In this miracle, Jesus is foreshadowing the Mass that he asks us to do in his memory.  And it all begins by having the crowds sit in those groups of fifty – in those communities of life and love. Did you ever notice that?

Besides the fact that I am the pastor – so you’d all be pretty mad if I didn’t show up, it was that issue of sitting in those small communities that began my reflection about why I would not take the pass.  Though I can’t speak of what it is like from your vantage point of mass – let me tell you what I see from up here each time I celebrate.

  • I see the widower praying in grief and loss, after having spent a little time in our cemetery visiting his wife’s grave prior to coming to pray, and here being connected to his spouse who celebrates on the other side of this altar in heaven.  How could I not be with him in that moment of communion?
  • I see a single mom herding 3 active kids, making the effort to come here, because she knows she needs to draw strength from the Lord for the task of raising them on her own.  How could I not be here?  How could I not pray with her and for her?
  • I see a mom and dad gathering a week after the big wedding weekend – the first in the clan to get married – with a mix of joyfulness and that touch of emptier nesting that goes along with weddings – and how could I not pray with them?
  • I see an elderly spinster, never married, with most of her family gone, coming here because this is her family now, and these are the people who know her story and look out for her and ask her how she is doing.  How could I not be with her?
  • I see a parishioner who has struggled long and hard with belief – hoping that God hears their prayers, but not feeling it too much in their life.  Yet there they are, Sunday after Sunday, still on their knees, still being faithful to God because that is the choice they have made to love God with all their heart, mind and soul.  How could I not be here to pray for that gift of God’s presence in their life?
  • I see the family who gathered last week for the Baptism of their infant son, filled with all the joy and hope of new life, tinged with that sense of “How do I raise them well?”  How could I not be with them?

And so it goes.  You know the stories too.   You know all those connections of life and love and neighborhood and family that we are invited to become a part of each time we gather around this altar; each time we do this in memory of our Savior.  It is why we gather, not in a group of fifty, but our own community of life and love and fellowship.  Because we matter to each other, and we hold each other’s stories and lives in our hearts and our prayers and our loves.  And in so doing, we become that which we receive – the Body of Christ for and with each other.

Would you take the free pass if the pope gave it to you?  I hope your answer is the same as mine:  How could we not be here?

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