Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus, we are glad to celebrate the feast of the
presentation of our Lord Jesus in temple today. This feast reminds us the offering,
giving, presenting and coming of the Lord in every Eucharist we celebrate. He
comes to be with us. He unites us with Him. Shall we receive Him, relate with Him
and return to Him from our doubtful path!
The feast of presentation of the Lord was being celebrated before the practice of
Christmas because it was the first visit of Jesus to the temple. How this first visit is
special and unique. In the first reading we read that the Lord will come to the
temple. This prophecy of Malachi is fulfilled as we have Jesus being presented in
the temple narrated by St. Luke the evangelist. We need to know the words
of Ezekiel “the glory of the Lord left the temple” it says that the Lord deserted
them, departed from them and left the temple because their worship and offering
was not real. Priests were not loyal in their responsibility and commitment. So,
people too collaborated with the action of priests as they were offering blemished
(blind, lame) sacrifices and giving bad example (1:6-2:4). The people were
negligent in their support of the Temple (3:6-12). The religious, family and social
life of Israel was corrupt. So, as prophet Malachi proclaims Jesus enters, presents
and encounters first time in the temple to purify the actions of priests and people.
So, it is also called the feast of purification. The glory is returning back now as
human, personally to embrace and unite with humanity. This act is revealed
in Last supper, fulfilled on the cross and now repeated in every Eucharist we
celebrate. The Lord is being presented in every Eucharist as body and blood. He is
presenting, He is coming and He is giving to unite us with Him. We are called to
experience this encounter.
We are called to be light to present ourselves, to present the Christ within us to
others constantly. Our participation is presentation, our togetherness is
presentation. The presentation began on the day of our Baptism in the Church at
the altar continuous in every Eucharist. Shall we bring our self, our family, friends,
our emotions and struggle, our success and failures, our aspirations and anxieties to
be united with Him.
COLLECTIONS: Sunday, January 26 th , 2020 – ICC - $661.00; St. Margaret’s -
LITURGY COMMITTEE MEETING – A correction from last week – the
meeting will be Tuesday, February 4 th , 2020, at 4:00 pm in the Church.
The Eucharist: Catholic Beliefs and Practices The first in a series of teachings on
the Eucharist A Pew Research survey on religious views last year found that only
37% of regular Mass going Catholics accepted the teaching of the Church that
Christ is truly and actually present in the Eucharist. The teaching of the Catechism
of the Catholic Church asserts that Christ is present body, blood, soul and divinity
in the Eucharist species. While it is good news that 37% do accept this teaching of
the Church, it is sad news that 63% of active Catholics do not fully accept it. A
number of commentators quickly noted that the methodology used for the Pew
survey actually measured catechetical knowledge more so than actual belief, but
the results still are troubling. Even more troubling was that for self-identified
Catholics under forty, who only marginally practiced their faith, belief in the real
presence was at 26%. In light of these findings and after discussing the survey
with members of the Priests’ Council, I decided to begin a series of monthly
teachings on the Eucharist, brief in nature, that pastors could provide to
parishioners by a medium that works best for each parish. This is the first of the
series. Each will be posted on the diocesan website: www.diocesegfb.org.
Eucharist, a word derived from the Greek eucharistia, means thanksgiving. The
early Christian community began to use the word to refer to the Last Supper meal
of Jesus with his disciples. There are four accounts of the institution of the
Eucharist in the New Testament, the earliest account being by St. Paul in his First
Letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 11:23-26). These early Christians gathered on
Sunday in order to recall Christ’s passion, death and resurrection from death
because it was on Sunday that he rose from death. Their coming together offered
them time and opportunity to thank God for their redemption from sin and
lasting death in and through Christ. At the Last Supper, referring to Christ’s last
gathering before his arrest, Jesus instructed his disciples to “do this in memory” of
all that he would do for them in the following days through his death and
resurrection. He connected everything he would experience through his passion,
death and resurrection with the sacred meal they were sharing and which he
instructed them to continue. It was more than a sacred farewell meal. It was
participation in a saving action. Through their continuing to gather and share this
meal, they were able to join in his saving sacrifice by which he brought about the
possibility of salvation for people once and for all.
ST. MARGARET’S BULLETIN
St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rocky Boy was destroyed by fire in December. Bishop
Warfel is reaching out to all in the diocese asking for help to rebuild St. Mary’s church.
If you would like to aid in this effort put your donation in the Sunday collection clearly
labeled FOR ROCKY BOY CHURCH.
Valentine Plates will be prepared on Sunday, February 9 before 11:00 am Mass.
Please have your donation to the church before 10:00 am. All types of snacks are
appreciated-sweet, healthy, nutty, fruit, etc. We will prepare about 40 plates.
Everyone is invited to take a couple plates to deliver.
Reflection by Trish—Have You Eaten?
Recently I was watching a special on the celebration of the Chinese New Year, which
took place a couple weeks ago. During the program I learned that a common Chinese
greeting is translated, “Have you eaten?”
What a wonderful way to be greeted. Imagine stopping by to visit someone, being
sincerely asked if you have eaten, and then offered something to eat. The offering
does not have to be a full plate or anything special, just something to share.
Sharing a meal in many countries is an important event. Meals are not rushed, time is
taken, often at least an hour for a meal. Often food is shared with families, neighbors
or friends. Eating with someone is therapeutic, a chance to talk and reflect on the day.
Even sharing a cup of coffee can be meaningful.
All faith traditions hold up the sacredness of shared meals. Sharing a meal is core to
connecting as a group of people. In the Christian tradition the table is central to our
worship service. Every Sunday we hear the words, “Take and eat.” We do not have a
whole meal at our table on Sunday morning. We receive Jesus, in a morsel of bread
and a sip of wine, so that we can take Jesus to the world.
The human family is created by the Divine Love. We are called to be One Family, to be
neighbor for one another. There is a song we sing at church that says:
We are companions on our journey, breaking bread and sharing life; and in the love we
bear is the hope we share for we believe in the love of our God.
The word companion comes from the Latin root –with bread. When we take time to
listen, when we reach out to someone due to care or concern, when we pause our
schedule to acknowledge another-we are companions. When we share a moment from
our life we are helping to nourish another. We may not be offering bread or food to all,
but we can feed the hearts and souls of others.
This week when you encounter someone pause long enough to offer a greeting and a
few moments that might warm their heart giving them food for their journey.