07/01/12 Pastor’s Message

July 12th, 2012 by helen in Pastor Message Archive 2012

From Fr. Dennis’ Desk

Touching Jesus: Inviting Jesus to Touch Us

How many times a day do we exercise freedom? Think about it. From the most basic action – getting up and choosing to start our day, walking about freely or attending Mass without fear of persecution, traveling where we will, raising our children and teaching them to be people of peace. In just a few days, we will celebrate Independence Day, hearkening back to 1776 and the very beginning of these United States of America.

It is worthwhile to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy, not only to have a picnic with friends or to marvel at fireworks in the sky above. July 4th brings us time to reflect on our lives as Americans, and, most importantly, our lives as Catholics.

The “Fortnight for Freedom,” initiated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, affords us a two week period to pray more fervently for religious freedom. The prayer observance formally ends on July 4th, but in a sense it continues in these tenuous political times. The litany we handed out in last week’s bulletin can be prayed periodically as a family, helping to teach our children what it means to be free. There are some copies in the back of the church; it is also available on our website at www.stjohnofthecrosschurch.org — consider praying it in your own home.

In today’s Gospel, we let the Word shape our lives as we hear of two of Jesus’ miracles a: the healing of a woman suffering for many years, and the raising of the little girl from the dead. The woman touches the hem of Jesus’ garment and is freed of her illness – she has such strong faith that she knows her life will never be the same again. The little girl’s father begs Jesus – inviting Him to touch her and give her life back to her and her family. In both cases, touching Jesus or inviting Him to touch us, provides for healing, health, and new life.

Think of how powerful the encounter with the Risen Jesus in the Eucharist is for us. We both touch Him and allow Him to touch us. The Real Presence assures us that the same Jesus who called the woman and the girl to wholeness wants to do the same for us. When you say “amen” as you receive the Eucharist, pray that you are like the woman or the girl: touch Jesus, and invite Him to touch us.

**************************** May you enjoy a happy and healthy Independence Day with family and friends. In my own name, and that of Deacon Mike and Deacon Steve, we pray for you and your families. Wherever your travels take you, or just in your own backyard, savor the freedoms we enjoy as Catholics and Americans.

Fr. Dennis J. Vincenzo

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