This Week's Message from
John the Baptist spoke from his heart and he was arrested for it! Jesus, in light of this event, does not back off in any way as to the message He will proclaim, “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the good news.” This is a strong bold message that will penetrate the hearts of many. The reaction of people will either be to embrace these words and make changes in their lives that are necessary or cower from these words because of the incredible challenge that they present.
Jesus does not hesitate to call Andrew, Simon, James and John. There almost appears to be an urgency to His call and the four put everything down to follow Him. They leave many aspects of their life that they are comfortable with and follow Jesus, not having a clue as to what life might be like if they continue to follow Him. Here is the Good News for the Kingdom of God… they follow Jesus! Clearly in this call Jesus has a purpose for their company.
They will observe His every word, action and feat and will take to heart what they see to have an eternal affect on their own personal life, getting wrapped up in the empowerment of His message. That message is about fulfillment, repentance and belief in the Good News. What do we learn from the call of Jesus Christ? If we allow His words and actions to have an affect on us we will see that life is beyond ourselves. It is not a matter of calculating our own human destiny, rather, it is this personal relationship with God that carries us through life. God gives meaning to everything we encounter in life… the explainable and that which cannot be explained.
This Saturday, January 24th, we celebrated the certification of Mrs. Debbie Lokar as a pastoral minister at the Cathedral in downtown Cleveland. This means that after much academic study, research, prayer and effort, Debbie will now be recognized by the Church as an ecclesial pastoral minister. Since she joined our staff, we have been blessed by her dedication to our liturgical ministers scheduling, the Bereavement and Miracles of Mercy Ministries, Parish Council, Prayer & Purpose and the Sunday Meals Programs and many other ministerial duties. Debbie is a dedicated church minister who always thinks of others before herself. She is a positive, upbeat person who takes her spirituality seriously and strives to be more like Jesus every day. We congratulate Debbie on this milestone in her life. Our parish will only continue to benefit from all that she has accomplished.
This past week was dedicated as Christian Unity Week…. a time that as a Church we pray for all Christians throughout the world, especially those whose lives are threatened because of war, violence or terrorism. Here in the United States we have the luxury of living in a safe and secure environment that is protected by our freedom. There are many people in the world who do not have what we have. We pray for all Christians, that our unity may be strength for a world that is in need of so much.
January 22nd was the day to remember the historical decision of Roe vs Wade that led to the legalization of abortion. Over the years, the abortion issue and the right to terminate a pregnancy has certainly caused controversy in the political and Church worlds. The Church continues to uphold the right of every human being to live life to the fullest from the moment of conception to natural death. Please pray in a special way for those women and men who are struggling with the possibility of terminating a pregnancy. Pray that they will clearly think about the long lasting emotional and spiritual impact of their actions. Every person should have the right to live!
This coming week has been set aside for the recognition of Catholic Schools. In our Diocese we are still blessed with Catholic grade schools and high schools. As difficult as it is to operate a school, the mere fact that we have them available for our young people can, and will, make a difference in the lives of so many. We pray for the continued success of our Catholic schools and for the many teachers, students and administrators who dedicate their time and efforts to Catholic education.
of the Sick
Saturday, January 31st at the 5 PM Mass
This sacrament is reserved for those preparing
for surgery or struggling with end-of-life issues
as well as those in need of anointing
because of an emotional, mental, physical or spiritual difficulty that they cannot resolve on their own.
At these times people seek out the Church
and this sacrament.