Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
A note from Fr. Norm, Associate Pastor
Today we take a break from our usual reflection on the Sunday readings to reflect on the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick which will be celebrated at a Mass on Saturday, 27 October at 11:00am. Throughout his public ministry the sick came to Jesus to be healed. People brought their loved ones to him so that he could touch them and give them comfort and hope. Sometimes that healing was physical, at other times the sick were restored to their family and community where they could receive the love, acceptance, and care they needed. St. James tells us (James 5:14-15) , “Is anyone among you sick? They should summon the priests of the church, and they should pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord and the prayer of faith will save those who are sick, and the Lord will raise them up…”. When we celebrate the Sacrament of Anointing, we come asking Jesus for mercy and help. Through the ministry of the Church He is present and by His touch and the anointing of the Holy Spirit he offers us what we need. We may come seeking a cure, but Jesus may offer us peace of mind, and inner calm. We may come seeking relief from the stress or anxiety or depression caused by the pressure of our lives and the Holy Spirit gives us strength to fight against the darkness. We may come because our illness or state of mind separates us from others and we are given a welcoming community that tells us that we are loved and not alone. We invite all who would like the healing and comfort of this Sacrament. A light lunch will be served following the Mass. All are welcome and please invite those you think may need to experience the loving touch of Jesus.
Becoming the Servant of All
By Erica Tice, USMC Campus Minister
Today’s Gospel features the second prediction of Christ’s passion and death and Christ uses it as a teaching moment when His disciples neglect to fully comprehend the lesson He is trying to teach. He tells his disciples that if they wish to be first in the kingdom, they must be not only the last of all but also the servant of all. Although it is not yet clear to the disciples, sacrifice, service, and sanctity are necessary for following Christ who, being the master teacher, will lead by example and make the lesson clear when He accepts His passion and death. Practical 21st century application of this lesson means that our life of service springs from our own devotion to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist which is so deeply tied to Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. Lumen Gentium describes the Eucharist as being “the source and summit of the Christian life,” (no. 11). Sacrifice is, therefore, at the heart of our Christian life in the presence of the Eucharist. Our active participation in the Mass and our attentiveness in Adoration can fill us to the brim with the love of God present in the Eucharist, thereby allowing us to become conduits of God’s grace and agents of humble service. We are sanctified through the sacraments and through the self-gift of our lives to others. In today’s Gospel, however, the disciples cannot yet see the connection between sacrifice, service, and sanctity. They do not yet have the grace that flows from the Eucharist; they cannot yet make their lives about humble service because their teacher has not yet instituted the Eucharist and ratified it by His passion and death. This is not the case for us: we can let the sacraments fill us with God’s love so that we might become the least of all and the servant of all in imitation of Christ, our teacher and our Lord.
Wisdom 2.12, 17-20
James 3.16 – 4.3
Keeping up Appearances By Fr. Morgan V. Rice, CSB If I am going to watch any TV shows, I tend to opt for the British ones such as those on PBS’s Masterpiece. I look forward to Sunday nights to spend an hour or so watching Downton Abbey, Sherlock, or whatever series is airing. In my earlier years, one of my favourite British shows was the sitcom Keeping Up Appearances with the colourful character Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced “bouquet”, please!), who sought to follow the etiquette book to a T. Appearing proper and limiting the amount of association she had with the “less-respectable” members of her family, she always sought to impress others “of importance”, including the Anglican vicar. Often, though, what she tried to downplay or hide rose to the surface to humorous effects! One of the things that we human beings are sometimes very concerned about is looking good. I invite us to consider the appearance we put forward and who we might be trying to please or impress. I admit that physical appearance is important to me; it bothers me when my shoes are not polished or when I have not had time to iron my shirt, though many people would never notice or even care. Some people’s concern might be avoiding looking old or weak; others might want to avoid the appearance of ever being wrong. Whatever we do to maintain a particular appearance can take a lot of energy and effort that perhaps could be directed in more beneficial ways. In the Gospel this weekend, Jesus decides not to keep up the appearances that the Pharisees and scribes are expecting him and his disciples to have. For example, they are not washing their hands before they eat, and they are being judged for not doing so. Yet, Jesus is not swayed. Instead, he points out that what is truly important is what flows out of us from the heart. In the second reading, St. James writes of the importance of being a “doer” of the word, that is putting our faith into action. Like it was for Jesus’ disciples, living this way might solicit criticism rather than popularity or praise, but living out God’s word within us is what will help us to appear most authentically as a reflection of Christ.
Deuteronomy 4.1-2, 6-8
James 1.17-18, 21-22, 27
Mark 7.1-8, 14-15, 21-23