Dear Friends, Peace and all Good!
Traditionally on this Second Sunday of Lent, we hear the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. For Matthew’s Christian community, the setting on a high mountain, the presence of Moses, the overshadowing cloud and Jesus’ transfigured face and clothes would have reminded them of the images of Exodus 19-24—Moses receiving the Law on Mt. Sinai. But Matthew goes beyond a remembrance of this Old Testament sacred story and presents this event with a new message: God’s definitive revelation now lies with his beloved Son. Just as God told Abram (Abraham) to trust him, God now calls the three disciples Peter, James, and John to trust the words of his beloved Son: “Listen to him” (Matthew 17:5) Like those apostles who came down the mountain from this amazing experience, so too we must not remain on the mountain top but rather go out to the world without fear, showing the loving face of God to others.
This morning, our candidates for full communion in the Catholic Church will participate in The Penitential Rite. This inspiring Rite will focus the attention of these candidates and ourselves on our need for Reconciliation. Let us pray for these brothers and sisters as they continue their journey toward the Easter Sacraments.
I know that we are all concerned about the spread of the coronavirus in the United States and throughout many other countries in the world. This demands that we face this situation, as Bishop McElroy says “with vigilance, prudence, and calm.” And so, the bishop is asking all parishes to suspend the sharing of the Precious Blood. Also, we are asked to please refrain from receiving Communion on the tongue. Reception on the tongue is quite susceptible to the spread of any disease like coronavirus. So, please receive the Eucharist in the hand. Also, you may choose not to shake hands at the Sign of Peace. Sadly, until further notice, we will temporarily drop our welcoming at the beginning of Mass. If you are sick for any reason, please stay home. Our parish features a “live streaming” of the 10:00 a.m. and the Noon Masses every Sunday specifically for those who are sick or homebound. See our web site to access this service. Let us pray for healing especially for those who most susceptible. God Bless us all!
Love, Fr. Vince