Pastor's Message - November 26, 2017
“Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.” ~Psalm 23
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Welcome to everyone who is visiting this Thanksgiving weekend!
This is a time to appreciate God’s countless blessings.
This weekend, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Jesus is our Good Shepherd, our King who seeks the lost and has laid down His life for the sheep. We seek to give of ourselves to Christ our King in everything we do. Each moment of life is a blessing from God, even during times of trouble and tribulation. Our Scripture readings from this past week and today remind us to have courage, to pray constantly, and to place our whole trust in God who will never disappoint.
As we will begin our new church year next weekend with the start of Advent, may God bless you and your family on this Feast of Christ our King!
An Introduction to Sunday's Scripture Readings - November 26, 2017
The Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
LORD, WHEN DID WE SEE YOU HUNGRY AND FEED YOU?
In this last Sunday in our liturgical year, the Church celebrates the universal kingship of Jesus and the end times when "the Son of Man comes in his glory". As we get ready to prepare for the first coming of Christ in the nativity (Advent), the Church turns our attention to the final judgement when Christ will come in his glory to judge all nations.
In our first reading (Ezekiel 34:P11-12, 15-17), the Lord God promises both comfort and justice when he himself will come and rescue his scattered sheep while judging harshly those shepherds (leaders of Israel) who have fattened themselves at the expense of their flock.
Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly. As for you, my sheep, says the Lord GOD, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.
In our Gospel reading (Matthew 31-46), Jesus concludes his "end times discourse", which we have been reading the past few Sundays, with a vivid description of his second coming. "When the Son of Man comes in his glory", Jesus will judge the nations according to their actions. The righteous will be astonished to learn that in caring for the needs of others, they were ministering to the Lord.
Jesus said to his disciples: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
In our epistle reading (1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28), St. Paul proclaims Christ's death, resurrection and coming again as the new "Adam". He talks about those who "belong to Christ" being raised at his coming, and then the end, when all nations will be subjected to the King.
Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.
Both our first reading and Gospel use the metaphor of the separation of goats and sheep as the final judgement. It is a distinction possibly lost on us, but not on the original audience of these readings. Sheep are meek, gentle and defenseless, totally dependent on their shepherd for their protection and nourishment. They know their masters voice and will follow him anywhere. Goats, on the other hand, are strong willed, quick tempered and independent. They tend not to follow their goatherd and are not easily led. In a sense, sheep are poor in spirit, goats are the opposite. Christ is our shepherd, we are his sheep.
to read, reflect and pray on the full readings for Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017
Please consider nominating a high school senior (graduating class of 2018) for the diocesan Hands of Christ award. The Hands of Christ is a recognition program to assist parishes in affirming their high school seniors who are “Hands of Christ” in their church, home, school and community.
A nominated senior needs to meet the following criteria:
+ Demonstrate a Christian attitude by word & example
+ Be actively involved in their parish as well as their school community.
+ Be a positive role model for their peers.
+ Is a participating Roman Catholic in a parish in the Diocese of Rochester.
+ Is currently a High School Senior.
All nominations are due by Monday, November 27.
To nominate a senior, please pick up a nomination form in the greeting area of church, at the parish office, or fill one out online here. Questions? Call Elizabeth at 671-1100 x 14 or send an e-mail.
At Masses December 2 & 3
Each year we collect mittens, hats and scarves for those less fortunate. If you have purchased or knitted any items and have items to donate you can leave them in the greeting area in church. On the weekend of December 2 & 3, baskets will be available in church to collect the mittens at all Masses.
Sunday, December 3 at 9:00am will be our Monthly Children’s Mass. Children are invited to bring their mittens to the altar when they come forward for the homily that weekend.
The Christmas Angel Project has begun! Pick up your tags in the greeting area over the next three weekends. Gifts must be returned by Sunday, December 10. See the bulletin for more complete details.
Our St. Rita Society is hosting a
Musical entertainment with
our Music Director Joe Kwiatkowski
Tuesday, December 12
at 7:00pm in the Parish Center
December is here and we are ready to have our annual Christmas party, complete with entertainment and holiday treats. We are pleased to have our Joe Kwiatkowski and our own St. Rita’s musicians entertain us with a medley of Christmas tunes.
Members are asked to please bring an appetizer, chips & dip, cheese & crackers, or a dessert to share with our guests.
Everyone is invited and please feel free to bring your husband, a friend, or a guest!
Also, please bring unwrapped health care products (shampoo, toothpaste, soap, etc.) that will be donated to those in need in shelters and nursing homes.
with Individual Confession
(available in English and Spanish)
Wednesday, December 13 at 7:00 pm
Regular times for Confession:
Saturdays from 3:30 - 4:30 pm and
Wednesdays at 8:45am (after morning Mass)
"Legends of a Christmas King" ~ a Christmas pageant presented by students in grades K, 1, & 2.
Come enjoy this wonderful play.
There are 3 performances--Thursday, Dec 14th at 1:00pm and Friday, Dec 15th at 10:00am and 7:00pm.
Kindergartners are in the Angel choir.
Hope to see you there!
Advent is a joyful season as we await the celebration of the Lord’s coming among us. Take some quiet time to spend with our Lord. Adoration will be held on Wednesdays:
December 6, December 13, December 20
from 1:00 - 3:00pm in Church
St. Rita School . . .
Where Faith and Knowledge Meet!
St. Rita School invites you to our
PROSPECTIVE FAMILY INFORMATION NIGHT
Thursday, January 18 at 7:00 pm
~Tours will be given~
Meet in church starting at 7:00 pm. Babysitting will be provided. In addition to tours, there will be separate presentations by the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers.
St. Rita School is committed to fostering the God-given gifts of each child. In an atmosphere where faith and knowledge meet, our goal is to shepherd the spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth of our students.
St. Rita School offers grades PK3 & PK4 (half & full day options) and full day Kindergarten through Grade 5.
We offer a Before School Care Program which is available beginning at 7:00am and an After School Care Program which is available until 6:00pm.
We are Common Core Compliant and Middle States Accredited.
If it becomes necessary to close school due to inclement weather, such notice will be given over the local radio stations beginning at 6:00 a.m.
The announcement will indicate that ALL WEBSTER CENTRAL SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED. Families are requested to listen to the radio and not call the School office.