Prayer Corner

Lectio Divina for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

We begin our prayer:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O God, life of the faithful, glory of the humble, blessedness of the just, listen kindly to the prayers of those who call on you, that they who thirst for what you generously promise may always have their fill of your plenty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Reading (Lectio)
Read the following Scripture two or three times.
John 10:1-10
Jesus said: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will runaway from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” Although Jesus used this figure of speech, the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Meditation (Meditatio)

After the reading, take some time to reflect in silence on one or more of the following questions:

• What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
• What in this passage comforted you?
• What in this passage challenged you?

If practicing lectio divina as a family or in a group,
after the reflection time, invite the participants to share
their responses.

Contemplation (Contemplatio)

Read the scripture passage again, followed by this reflection:

How does this passage connect with the experience of your daily life?

As the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. To what is God calling me? Where is God leading me?

The sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. Where do I hear the voice of God? How do I recognize Jesus’ voice in the tumult of daily life?

I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. How does faith make my life richer? How can I share this abundance with those I meet?

Prayer (Oratio)
Read the scripture passage one more time. Bring to the Lord the praise, petition, or thanksgiving that the Word inspires in you.
After all have had a chance to make their prayer, all
recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following:

Closing Prayer:

The joyful shout of deliverance is heard in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand works valiantly;
the Lord’s right hand is raised;
the Lord’s right hand works valiantly.”
I shall not die but live and declare the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord chastised me harshly, but did not hand me over to death.
(Psalm 118:15-18)

Our Lady of Fatima

May 13th is the 100th anniversary of the first apparition to the 3 shepherd children. Mary appeared to three peasant children near Fatima, Portugal, six times between May 13 and October 13, 1917, and asked for prayers for world peace and an end to World War I, for sinners, and for the conversion of Russia. She entrusted the children with three secrets, regarding devotion to her Immaculate Heart, a vision of hell, and a “bishop in white” shot by soldiers firing bullets and arrows.

People asked the children for a “sign” that she was appearing, so on October 13th, 1917 the Miracle of the Sun happened. It was raining and there were 70,000 people there and all of a sudden, the sun came through the clouds and it started pulsating and came thrusting toward the earth. The people thought they were going to die. Then, it stopped and went back into the sky, in it’s normal appearance and everyone was dry, as was the earth, like it had not rained at all.

Many connect the third secret to the attempted assassination of St. John Paul II on May 13, 1981; the pope thanked Mary for guiding the bullet and saving him. At the Vatican on October 13, 2013, Pope Francis stood before the statue of Our Lady from Fatima and formally entrusted the world to Mary.

Book Club

The book Club has selected the book: “American Philosophy: A Love Story,” by John Kaag. Kaag embarks on a thrilling journey that leads him to the life-affirming tenets of American philosophy―self-reliance, pragmatism, and transcendence―and sees them in a 21st-century context.

Part intellectual history, part memoir, American Philosophy is ultimately about love, freedom, and the role that wisdom can play in turning one’s life around. Our next meeting is Tuesday, May 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the Mary Room. Questions: Jane Salm at 476-3724 or [email protected] ALL ARE WELCOME!

Dinner Dance

The Parish Dinner Dance featuring our 1st annual raffle drawing will be happening on Friday May 12th. The dance will be a “Smart and Elegant” affair featuring an appetizing roast beef dinner. The dance will be held in the St. Joseph’s hall so get your shoes shined and ready for the dance floor. Don’t forget that one person will leave $10,000 richer and others will receive one of the many other gifts. Tickets are available for sale in parish office during the weekdays. Tickets are $25.00 each.

Please volunteer to help make our dinner dance a huge successful fun evening! All are invited to participate on the dinner dance committee and help with the planning and hosting of this fun social event. Please contact the parish office, ask for Carol, and sign up if you are interested in participating, all are welcome !

Prayer Corner

The Easter season is a traditional time for the blessing of homes. Blessings can be prayed by anyone who has been baptized, “in virtue of the universal priesthood, a dignity they possess because of their baptism and confirmation”. The blessings given by laypersons are exercised because of their special office, such as parents and household leaders.

Blessing Of Homes

When all have gathered, a suitable song may be sung. The leader makes the sign of the cross, and all reply, “Amen.”

The leader greets those present in the following words:

Let us praise God, who fills our hearts and homes with peace.
Blessed be God forever.
R/. Blessed be God forever.

In the following or similar words, the leader prepares those present for the blessing:

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling place among us. It is Christ, risen from the dead, who is our source of hope, joy, and comfort. May all who enter this home find Christ’s light and love.

One of those present or the leader reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example:

Listen to the words of the holy Gospel according to Luke: 24:28-32

As the disciples approached the village to which they were going, Jesus gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”

The intercessions are then said:

Leader: The Son of God made his home among us. With thanks and praise let us call upon him.

R/. Stay with us, Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, through you every dwelling is a temple of holiness: build those who live in this house into the dwelling place of God in the Holy Spirit. We pray:
R/.
Lord Jesus Christ, the disciples recognized you in the breaking of the bread: grant that the members of this family may be open always to the presence of Christ in Word and sacrament. We pray:
R/.
Lord Jesus Christ, you appeared to the frightened Apostles and said, “Peace be with you”: grant that your abiding peace may remain with the members of this family. We pray:
R/.

After the intercessions the leader invites all present to say the Lord’s Prayer.

The leader says the prayer of blessing with hands joined:

Lord,
we rejoice in the victory of your Son over death:
by rising from the tomb to new life
he gives us new hope and promise.
Bless all the members of this household
and surround them with your protection,
that they may find comfort and peace
in Jesus Christ, the Paschal Lamb,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
R/. Amen.

The leader may sprinkle those present and the home with holy water brought from the church. During the sprinkling the leader may say:

Let this water call to mind our Baptism in Christ, who by his death and Resurrection has redeemed us.

The leader concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying:

May Christ Jesus dwell with us,
keep us from all harm,
and make us one in mind and heart,
now and forever.
R/. Amen.

The blessing may conclude with a suitable song.
—From Book of Blessings

First Saturdays – a Fatima request

During her July 1917 apparition at Fatima, Our Lady said to Lucia, “I shall come to ask… that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.”

Request of the Two Hearts

On December 10, 1925, our Blessed Mother again appeared to Lucia at Pontevedra, Spain. Sr. Lucia, while a Dorothean postulant, was in her cell when Our Lady appeared to her, placing one hand on Sr. Lucia’s shoulder and in the other hand showing her a heart surrounded by thorns. Next to the Blessed Virgin was the Child Jesus borne by a luminous cloud and He said to her:

Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.”

Then the Most Blessed Virgin said:
Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

Five parts of the request

1. Spirit of reparation
A loving desire to make reparation to and console the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Our Mother.

2. Confession in the spirit of reparation
If one cannot go to confession the first Saturday of the month, one can go within eight days.

3. Reparatory Communion
This is the essential act of this devotion.

4. Recitation of the rosary
To comply with the request of our Blessed Mother, it must be offered in reparation for the offenses committed against her Immaculate Heart and said properly while meditating.

5. 15-minute meditation
This meditation should be the richest of any meditation, because Our Lady promised to be present when she said “…those who keep me company….”

Outreach Ministry to the Homeless

St. Josephs began an outreach ministry to the homeless this winter. Rita Law and Carol Curlett organized this event as a Lenten project. We joined the Association of Faith Communities to serve the homeless at the VFW winter shelter.

Over 40 people from St. Josephs volunteered their service and 30 people set up and served dinner for 6 evenings. We served 30-50 homeless men and women each night.

All of the volunteers enjoyed this rewarding project meeting and serving the homeless.

If you would like to help with future events, please contact the St. Joseph office and leave your name and phone number. A big thank you to all our volunteers!

Prayer Corner

The Exsultet or Easter Proclamation, is the hymn of praise sung, before the paschal candle during the Easter Vigil in the Roman Rite of Mass.The words are printed below so you can enjoy and reflect on them with your family.

The Exsultet:
The Proclamation of Easter

Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven,
exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,
let the trumpet of salvation
sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph!

Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
ablaze with light from her eternal King,
let all corners of the earth be glad,
knowing an end to gloom and darkness.

Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,
arrayed with the lightning of his glory,
let this holy building shake with joy,
filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.

(Therefore, dearest friends,
standing in the awesome glory of this holy light,
invoke with me, I ask you,
the mercy of God almighty,
that he, who has been pleased to number me,
though unworthy, among the Levites,
may pour into me his light unshadowed,
that I may sing this candle’s perfect praises.)

(V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.)
V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up to the Lord.
V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is right and just.

It is truly right and just, with ardent love of mind and heart
and with devoted service of our voice,
to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father,
and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten.
Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the eternal Father,
and, pouring out his own dear Blood,
wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness.

These, then, are the feasts of Passover,
in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb,
whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers.

This is the night,
when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children,
from slavery in Egypt
and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.

This is the night
that with a pillar of fire
banished the darkness of sin.

This is the night
that even now, throughout the world,
sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices
and from the gloom of sin,
leading them to grace
and joining them to his holy ones.
This is the night,
when Christ broke the prison-bars of death
and rose victorious from the underworld.

Our birth would have been no gain,
had we not been redeemed.

O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
O happy fault
that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!

O truly blessed night,
worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!

This is the night
of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day,
dazzling is the night for me,
and full of gladness.

The sanctifying power of this night
dispels wickedness, washes faults away,
restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners,
drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.
On this, your night of grace, O holy Father,
accept this candle, a solemn offering,
the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,
an evening sacrifice of praise,
this gift from your most holy Church.
But now we know the praises of this pillar,
which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor,
a fire into many flames divided,
yet never dimmed by sharing of its light,
for it is fed by melting wax,
drawn out by mother bees
to build a torch so precious.

O truly blessed night,
when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,
and divine to the human.

Therefore, O Lord,
we pray you that this candle,
hallowed to the honor of your name,
may persevere undimmed,
to overcome the darkness of this night.

Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,
and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.

May this flame be found still burning
by the Morning Star:
the one Morning Star who never sets,
Christ your Son,
who, coming back from death’s domain,
has shed his peaceful light on humanity,
and lives and reigns for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Excerpt from the English translation of the Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy
Corporation. All rights reserved.

Easter Time

The Easter Vigil is the “Mother of All Vigils.” Easter Sunday, then, is the greatest of all Sundays, and Easter Time is the most important of all liturgical times. Easter is the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection from the dead, culminating in his Ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. There are 50 days of Easter from the first Sunday of Easter to Pentecost. It is characterized, above all, by the joy of glorified life and the victory over death, expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of the Chistian, Alleluia! All faith flows from faith in the Resurrection: “If Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith” (1 Cor 15:14).

“What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind; . . . So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one. So, too, it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living being,’ the last Adam a life-giving spirit. But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one” (1 Cor 15:36-37, 42-49).

The Octave of Easter comprises the eight days, which stretch from the first Sunday of Easter to the Second Sunday of Easter. It is a way of prolonging the joy of the initial day. In a sense, every day of the Octave is like a little Sunday.

The word “Easter” comes from Old English, meaning simply the “east.” The sun that rises in the east, bringing light, warmth, and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true Light of the world. The Paschal Candle is a central symbol of this divine light, which is Christ. It is kept near the ambo throughout Easter Time and is lit for all liturgical celebrations.

First Eucharist

The First Eucharist celebration is on Saturday, May 6th at 11:00 a.m. In preparation here are some important dates for parents to remember

Our next class to prepare the children will be on Sunday, April 30th at 9:30 in the hall. The children will also practice the readings and the prayers of the faithful.

We have scheduled a mandatory meeting for parents on Sunday, April 30th from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. in the hall. We ask that all parents attend this meeting to discuss the true meaning of the First Eucharist. There will be a panel of parents discussing ways of how to continue sharing your faith with your children and continuing the relationships you have built in this class.