May 22, 2020
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
This past Thursday, we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven. We recall Jesus’ words to His apostles and disciples, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
The disciples must now figure out what are they to do? They know the answer and so do we – to take on the words of Jesus and to continue building the reign of God on earth. I think it’s safe to say that our understanding of God influences how we live our lives. We know and must accept the example of Jesus accepting everyone – women, men, outsiders, and even forgiving his executioners. If this is how God acts, how Jesus acts, then we are challenged to live and love as God does. This is the prayer of Jesus for His disciples and us. So the way we treat one another reveals who we are.
We call ourselves Christians. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to show people God’s way of living. This is what he commissioned His disciples to do at the time of His ascension and He commissions us likewise. May we come to understand and accept the mandate of Jesus given at the Last Supper: “Do this in memory of me.”
For your information: the Diocese is currently preparing guidelines for the opening of Churches for prayerful celebrations in accordance with those issued by the Governor. As of this letter, funerals, weddings and baptisms are now permitted but with no more than 10 people in attendance including the celebrant. Face masks and/or coverings are required for anyone over the age of two (2) years. Holy Communion will not be distributed until further notice at any of these Masses or Services. Diocesan guidelines are clear that only the priest and deacon can receive. Home Masses with a “select” group of people are not permitted. Discussion is also underway for “Drive-Masses”. However, time is necessary to make plans and preparations/arrangements for a means of transmitting the audio via online devices or outdoor amplifiers. The time for such a Mass may have to be adjusted from our regular Sunday schedule. I will keep you informed and let you know how and when we can begin with an outdoor Mass.
Hopefully we will soon be gathered around the table of the Lord to be nourished by His Word, the faith of one another, and in the Spiritual reception of Holy Communion. Thank you once again for remembering HNJ in and through your mail-in and online offerings.
Please read Bishop Barres’ letter for the Seventh Sunday of Easter by clicking here: Bishop Barres Letter 5/24
With a prayer and blessing for you,