• The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament

Mass Times

Saturday Vigil
4:00pmHoly Cross
5:30pmBlessed Sacrament

Sunday
8:00amHoly Cross
9:30amBlessed Sacrament
11:00amHoly Cross

Daily Mass
Mon, Wed, Fri: 8:00amHoly Cross
Tues,Thurs: 7:30amBlessed Sacrament

Reconciliation

Saturdays
Holy Cross
3:00pm to 3:45pm

Blessed Sacrament
3:15pm to 3:45pm

Outreach Services

ServicePhone
AA Helpline1-800-640-7545
Al-Anon1-800-339-9006
Birthright of Scranton570-961-1133
National Hotline For Abortion Recovery1-866-482+5433
Rachel’s Vineyard Post Abortive Healing1-877-467-3463
PA 24 Hour Child Abuse Hot Line1-800-932-0313

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TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE B

First Reading: Wisdom 2:13, 17-20 The just one is put to the test.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 54:3-4, 5, 6 & 8 A prayer for God’s protection.

Second Reading: James 3:16 –4:3 James teaches about the wisdom from above.

Gospel Reading: Mark 9:30-37 Jesus teaches his disciples that the greatest are those who serve all.

Background on the Gospel Reading: In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus again predict his passion, death, and Resurrection to his disciples. The setting here is important. Jesus and his disciples are preparing to journey through Galilee, a Jewish territory in which Jesus has already encountered problems with the Pharisees. Perhaps this is why Mark indicates that Jesus was trying to journey in secret. In predicting his passion, Jesus is acknowledging the danger they will face and is trying to preparing his disciples for it. Yet Mark tells us that the disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying and were afraid to ask what he meant. Such hesitation on the part of the disciples is not characteristic behavior. Peter had no fear about rebuking Jesus in last week’s Gospel. Perhaps this is an indication that the disciples were aware that a new situation was emerging.

Mark paints a vivid picture in today’s Gospel. Having arrived at Capernaum, Jesus and his disciples enter a house. In this private place, Jesus asks his disciples about the argument they had while they were journeying. Again, the disciples are uncharacteristically silent and afraid to answer. They have been found out. Jesus then summons the Twelve, whom Mark identified earlier in his Gospel as those chosen by Jesus to preach and to drive out demons. To this select group of disciples, Jesus teaches that those who would be first in God’s kingdom must be servants of all.

Jesus then calls forward a child and teaches the Twelve that to receive a child in Jesus’ name is to receive both Jesus and the one who sent him. We might easily fail to understand the significance of this action. In first-century Palestine, children were without status or power, possessing no legal right. In this action, Jesus is teaching his disciples and us that when we serve the least ones among us, we serve Jesus himself. Who are the people without power or status in our society that Jesus is calling us to serve? Do we do so willingly? Jesus teaches that God’s judgement of us will be based on this criterion alone.

THANK YOU AGAIN, MARK DECELLES

Mark DeCelles, a seminarian preparing for priestly ministry for the Diocese of Scranton, was kind to leave the Book of Christian Prayer (also referred to as the Liturgy of the Hours or the Breviary) in the Saint John Paul II Adoration Chapel for adorers prayerful use. Mark’s inscription: “Dear Parishioners of Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross Parishes, Thank you for a wonderful summer!”

“Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves more reservedly to Him.”----- St. Ignatius of Loyola Please pray for our seminarians, but more importantly, pray that more Christians, whether laypersons, seminarians, priests or religious may have the courage to abandon themselves without reserve into His hands.

We thank Mark DeCelles for his kindness and pray for him as he continues his discernment and formation. If you would like to drop a note of encouragement and support to Mark:

Mark DeCelles
St. Mary’s Seminary
5400 Roland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21210-1994

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, CYCLE B

This Sunday’s Readings:

First Reading: Isaiah 50:5-9

The suffering servant of Yahweh is assured of God’s help

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 116:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

A prayer of praise to God for his salvation.

Second Reading: James 2:14-18

James teaches that faith must be demonstrated in one’s works.

Gospel Reading: Mark 8:27-35

Peter declares that Jesus is the Christ, and Jesus teaches that those who would follow him must take up his or her cross.

Background on the Gospel Reading:

Today’s reading is the turning point in Mark’s Gospel. In the presentation of the life and ministry of Jesus found in the Gospel of Mark, the deeds of Jesus have shown Jesus to be the Son of God. Yet many, including Jesus’ disciples, have not yet realized his identity. In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks the disciples for a field report by asking what others say about him. He then turns the question directly to the disciples and asks what they believe. Peter speaks for all of them when he announces that they believe Jesus to be the Christ.

The word Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for Messiah, which means “the anointed one.” At the time of Jesus, the image of the Messiah was laden with popular expectations, most of which looked for a political leader who would free the jewish people from Roman occupation. Jesus does not appear to have used this term for himself. As we see in today’s reading, Jesus refers to himself instead as the Son of Man, a term derived from the Jewish Scriptures, found in the Book of Daniel and in other apocryphal writings. Many scholars suggest that the phrase Son of Man is best understood to mean “human being.”

Now that the disciples have acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, Jesus confides in them the outcome of his ministry: he will be rejected, must suffer and die, and will rise after three days. Peter rejects this prediction, and Jesus rebukes him severely. The image of Christ that Jesus is giving is not the image of the Messiah that Peter was expecting. Jesus then teaches the crowd and the disciples about the path of discipleship: To be Christ’s disciple is to follow in the way of the cross.

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, CYCLE A

First Reading: Isaiah 22:19-23

God’s kindness is forever.

Second Reading: Romans 11:33-36

Paul Sings praise to God.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-20

Simon Peter acknowledges Jesus as the Christ and is given the key to the Kingdom of Heaven. It is important to read today’s Gospel and next week’s Gospel as two parts of a single story. These readings are a turning point in Matthew’s Gospel. This week we hear Jesus name Simon Peter as the rock upon which he will build his Church. Next week we will hear Jesus call this same Simon Peter “Satan” when he reacts negatively to Jesus’ prediction about his passion and death.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples what people are saying about his identity. The disciples indicate that most people believe that Jesus is a prophet of Israel. Then Jesus ask his disciples who they believe that he is. Simon Peter answers, identifying Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.

Jesus commends Simon Peter for this profession of faith, indicating that this insight has come from God. Because of Simon Peter’s response, Jesus calls him the “rock” upon which Jesus will build the Church. This is a word play on the name Peter, which is the Greek word for “rock.” Peter is then given special authority by Jesus, a symbolic key to the Kingdom of Heaven. Peter will play an important role in the early Christian community as a spokesperson and a leader.

In today’s Gospel, Peter’s recognition of Jesus’ identity is credited to a revelation by God. This will contrast sharply with Jesus’ rebuke of Peter in next week’s Gospel. When Peter rejects Jesus’ prediction of his passion and death, Peter is said to no longer be thinking as God does but as humans do.

The use of the term church in today’s Gospel is one of only three such occurrences in Matthew’s Gospel. Peter in this Gospel is being credited as the foundation for the Church, a privilege granted to him because of his recognition of Jesus’ identify. The Church continues to be grounded in the faith that Jesus Christ is Lord.

A PRAYER TO JESUS, SHEPHERD OF PEACE

Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace,
Listen to our prayers,
and join to your own suffering on the cross
the pain of all who have been hurt
in body, mind, and spirit
by those who betrayed the trust placed in
them.

Hear our cries as we agonize
over the harm done to our brothers and
sisters

Breathe wisdom into our prayers,
soothe restless hearts with hope,
steady shaken spirits with faith:

Heal your people’s wounds
and transform our brokenness.
Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace,
so that we may act with justice
and find peace in you.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

……Adapted from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

2019 Mass Intention Book to Open

The 2019 Mass Intention Book for Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament will be opened on Tuesday, September 18. All masses will be scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. Because of the limited number of Masses, families will only be allowed to request one weekend Mass and one daily Mass. Mass intentions must be paid for at the time of the request. Please note: the parish reserves the right to reschedule any Mass intention request or to send Mass intentions to the missions. Mass intentions may be changed due to a change in the daily Mass schedule or a priest’s availability. Thank you for understanding. Sanctuary Candles are limited to two per family.

13th Annual Family Festival

Highlights from Saturday


Highlights from Friday


BLESSED SACRAMENT FAMILY FESTIVAL

13TH ANNUAL FAMILY FESTIVAL IS HERE!!! The 13th Annual Family Festival of Blessed Sacrament Parish will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 17, 18, & 19. Join us after 5:30 PM Mass (Saturday, August 18). Piggie Dinner available until 7:00 PM or sold out! (in the Parish Hall).

Piggies, Potato Pancakes, Chrusciki, Haluski, Corn on the Cob, Free Ice for kids! (courtesy of J&J Snack Foods Mia Products), Pierogi, Pizza Frita, Broccoli & Noodles, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Pizza, Sausage & Peppers, Hot Dogs, Porchetta Sandwich, Hamburgers, French Fries, Funnel Cake Fries, Wimpies, Bake Sale, Breakfast, Bingo, Pirate Ship, Entertainment by “Ned the DJ,” and much more!

On Sunday (today, August 19), we begin with 9:30 AM Liturgy followed by a Cash Breakfast-eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, orange juice and coffee. Bingo will follow at 1:30 PM, seating begins at 12:30 PM, games start at 1:30 PM. Tickets available at the door. Bingo admission includes entrance in Bingo Raffle with a first place prize of $100. Basket Raffle and 50/50 grand prize drawing to follow at 4:20 PM.

GOOD LUCK!

If you can help clean-up and dismantle the tents outside on the Parish Grounds it will take place this weekend (Sunday, August 19) beginning at Noon. All Sunday events take place in the Parish Hall. All ages are welcome. If young people need service hours, this is an excellent opportunity. THANK YOU to Blessed Sacrament Parish Holy Name Society for purchasing specially designed baseball t-shirts for the participants in our PLAY WIFFLE! Event.

TWENTIETH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME, CYCLE B

First Reading: Proverbs 9:1-6

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34:2-3,4-5,6-7

Second Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20

Gospel Reading: John 6:51-58

On this Sunday, we continue to read from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. Today’s Gospel elaborates further on the teaching that Jesus began in our liturgy last week. In that reading, the crowds wondered about how Jesus could say that he had come down from heaven because they knew Jesus to be the son of Joseph. In this Gospel, some have difficulty with Jesus’ teaching that he is the living bread sent from God. Recall that Jesus had told them that just as God gave the Israelites manna to sustain them in the desert, so now God has sent new manna that will give eternal life. We hear the concluding verse of last week’s Gospel repeated in today’s reading: Jesus himself is the bread sent by God; Jesus’ flesh is the bread that is given for the life of the world.

Among the stumbling blocks for those who heard but did not understand Jesus is the teaching that the bread that Jesus will give is his own flesh. In response to the people who quarreled over his words, Jesus teaches with even greater emphasis that salvation comes to those who eat his Body and Blood. Jesus doesn’t seem to answer the question posed about how salvation will come about, perhaps because this reality can only be understood after his death and Resurrection. Instead, Jesus teaches about the life that he will give to the world.

To many ears, Jesus’ words are jarring and difficult to hear. Many who heard Jesus could not accept what he said. Many today continue to struggle to accept these words. But they are important words because they reveal our intimate connection with Jesus.

This is the mystery that is at the heart of our eucharistic theology. In the elements of bread and wine, Jesus’ Body and Blood are made truly present. When we share in the Body and Blood of Christ, Jesus himself comes to dwell within us. This communion with the Lord makes us one body, brings us eternal life, and sends us forth to be Christ’s body for the life of the world.

KEEP IN MIND



The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (a Holy Day of Obligation) is August 15.

Mass schedule: Tuesday, August 14….5:30 PM at Blessed Sacrament.

Wednesday, August 15….7:30 AM blessed Sacrament; 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM at Holy Cross.

THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU MARK DECELLES

We are grateful to have had the pleasure of sharing these past weeks with Mark DeCelles, Ph.D., a seminarian preparing for priestly ministry to, for and with the People of God of the Diocese of Scranton.

Blessed Charles de Foucauld said, “As soon as I believed that there was a God, I understood that I could do nothing other than to live for him.”

The process of discernment, study and spiritual formation, responding to God’s invitation to priestly ministry, is filled with joys and challenges. Mark, in his openness to sharing his many talents as well as receiving the faith and example of the good people of Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross Parishes, has given witness to his desire to “live for God.”

We ask Almighty God to bless and to deepen that desire as Mark moves forward in prayer and preparation. We pray this prayer for vocations for Mark and all those discerning a call to priestly ministry.

PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

God our Father, You made each of us to use our gifts in the Body of Christ. We ask that You inspire young people whom you call to priesthood and consecrated life to courageously follow Your will.

Send workers into Your great harvest so that the Gospel is preached, the poor are served with love, the suffering are comforted, and Your people are strengthened by the sacraments.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

A FEW WORDS FROM MARK DECELLES

It’s hard to believe that August is already upon us. A new school year is right around the corner, with new joys and new possibilities, new things to learn, people to meet, places to be.

For me, it is a bittersweet time, since August 5 marks the last day of my summer assignment here at Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament. I am so very grateful to have had the privilege of accompanying this community during the past eight weeks, to pray with you, mourn with you, celebrate with you, learn with you. I have been edified by your faith and lifted up by your kindness and love.

What a wonderful gift, to have been able to minister to you alongside Monsignor Delaney. Many thanks to Monsignor for putting me up and putting up with me; to him and Deacon John for mentoring me and challenging me to grow in pastoral ministry; to all the parish staff for your help, support and encouragement; to the altar servers and liturgical ministers who showed me the ropes; to all those who participated in Vacation Bible School, adoration and benediction, and our adult bible study in Kelley Hall; and to all the parishioners of Blessed Sacrament and Holy Cross for your generosity, hospitality, kind words, and prayers.

You will always have a special place in my heart. As I return to seminary later this month, I humbly request your continued prayers for me, as I will be praying for you. God bless you all.

CONGRATULATIONS ON 33 YEARS OF SERVICE TO GOD'S PEOPLE MONSIGNOR DELANEY

Thank you so much for all you do for us!

14TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

Readings

Mark 6: 1-6

Ezekiel 2: 2-5

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10

Mark begins a new theme narrative with today’s Gospel: the blindness of people to the Power and authority of Jesus. The people of his hometown reject his message. They consider Jesus too much “one of them” to be taken seriously. They are too obsessed with superficialities – occupation, ancestry, origins – to realize God present in their midst and to be affected by that presence.

Today’s first reading is the story of another prophet who experienced trying times. Ezekiel is called by God to speak his word to his own people – Judean Jews who have been repatriated from their beloved Jerusalem to Babylon. They are a defeated, distrusting people who feel abandoned by God and suspicious of anyone who claims to speak of the God they, in fact, had themselves “rebelled” against.

In the final reading in this weekly series from his letters to the Corinthians (second reading), Paul reflects on the difficult challenge of discipleship.

Themes:

The authority of inspiration.

There is the kind of authority that one possesses by virtue of an office or position, the authority that bestows the “power” to make decisions and set policy. But there is another kind of authority that one possesses by virtue of study, performance or commitment to a high set of moral and ethical standards, an authority that give that individual the “power” to inspire. Such is the authority of Jesus. His authority is not derived from his ability to manipulate the fears, suspicions, apathy or ignorance of those around him but from the spirit of mercy, justice and compassion he is able to call forth from them. Those who speak not to our emotions and wants but to our consciences, who speak not in catchy slogans and buzz words but in the conviction of their actions possess the authority of Jesus that is deserving of our respect and attentiveness.

THE PARISH OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 4

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

A PRAYER FOR OUR NATION FOR THIS FOURTH OF JULY

God of justice and Lord of all, You guide all creation with fatherly care.

On this Independence Day, we recall the day when our country claimed its place among the family of nations.

You reveal that those who work for peace will be called your sons and daughters.

Continue to send your spirit to touch the hearts and minds of all who cherish the rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As you have called us to be one nation, grant that under your providence our country may share your blessings with all the peoples of the earth.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.


A Prayer for Our Nation

NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

THE FEAST OF THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

Readings:
Isaiah 49: 1-6
Acts 13: 22-26
Luke 1: 56-66,80.

This fest, a segment of Advent in the season of Ordinary Time, makes us aware of the wonderful inner relationship between the sacred mysteries; for we are still in the midst of one Church year and already a bridge is being erected to the coming year of grace.

Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint’s death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and of St. John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, hence, were displeasing to God. But Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin (for which reason even her very conception is commemorated by a special feast), and John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother. This is the dogmatic justification for today’s feast. In the breviary St. Augustine explains the reason for today’s observance in the following words:

“Apart from the most holy solemnity commemorating our Savior’s birth, the Church keeps the birthday of no other person except that of John the Baptist. (The feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had not yet been introduced.) In the case of other saints or of God’s chosen ones, the Church as you know, solemnizes the day on which they were reborn to everlasting beatitude after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.

“For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their Earthly service is honored. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace.

In other words, today’s feast anticipates the feast of Christmas. Taking an overall view, we keep during the course of the year only two mysteries, that of Christ’s Incarnation and that of His Redemption. The Redemption mystery is the greater of the two; the Incarnation touches the human heart more directly. To the Redemption mystery the entire Easter season is devoted, from Septuagesima until Pentecost; and likewise every Sunday of the year, because Sunday is Easter in miniature.

The Christmas season has for its object the mystery of God-become-Man, to which there is reference only now and then during the remaining part of the year, e.g., on Marian feasts, especially that of the Annunciation (March 25) and today’s feast in honor of the Baptist. In a sense, then, we are celebrating Christ’s incarnation today. The birth of Jesus is observed on December 25 at the time of the winter solstice, while the birth of His forerunner is observed six months earlier at the time of the summer solstice. Christmas is a “light” feast; the same is true today. The popular custom centering about “St. John’s Fire” stems from soundest Christian dogma and could well be given renewed attention. St. John’s Fire symbolizes Christ the Light; John was a lamp that burned and shone. We Christians are called to be the light of the world.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

MISSION APPEAL JULY 14 – 15

Join in the world wide mission of Jesus… July 14 and 15 we are invited to take part in our Church’s worldwide mission by special “prayer and sacrifice” through the Propagation of Faith Appeal.

Catholics have extended their love and generosity to the missions of the world through the Propagation of Faith, the Church’s central source of mission support.

This year, the missionary priest from the Philippines, Rev. Joey B. Manaran of the Disciples of Mary will be sharing his missionary experience among the young people in the Philippines. We would like to invite you to take part in his mission apostolate through your prayers and donations as he reaches out to so many youth who are confronted with the serious challenges of addiction, materialism, violence, and abuse.

What an opportunity you will have on July 14 and 15 to respond to our baptismal call to take part in our Church’s missionary challenge…and to receive the full graces of the Eucharist offered for us by this missionary priest.

Please be as generous as possible in responding to our Lord’s call to each one of us to take part in His mission to all people.

FATHER’S DAY WISHES

Happy Father's Day

On behalf of Monsignor Delaney and the entire parish staff, best wishes for a blessed and enjoyable Father’s Day to all fathers, grandfathers and godfathers.

God, bless all the fathers in the world. Guide them to be good role models and loving to all their children. Help them to be a father like You are. Give them grace and patience to handle situations in a loving way. Amen

THE DAILY DECALOGUE OR TEN COMMANDMENTS OF SAINT POPE JOHN 23RD

1) Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

2) Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

3) Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

4) Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

5) Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

6) Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

7) Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.

8) Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

9) Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearance, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

10)Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.

SEMINARIAN- MARK DECELLES

My name is Mark DeCelles. You may have seen me at Mass this past weekend, but for those who have not….I am a seminarian for the Diocese of Scranton and I am in my second year of theological studies at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland.

I am thrilled that the diocese has assigned me to Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament Parishes for the summer!

My family and I are parishioners at Immaculate Conception Church in Scranton, where we got to know Monsignor Delaney many years ago. I am a native of Dunmore and I studied at St. Clare’s, St. Paul’s and Scranton Prep. I have a Ph.D in theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; my Bachelor’s and Master’s came from the same school.

I am looking forward to getting to know you all over the next several weeks. God Bless You!

.......Mark DeCelles

ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD

Deacon Edward Casey and Deacon Ryan Glenn have been ordained priests of the Diocese of Scranton by our Bishop, Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L. on Saturday, June 9.

Congratulations to Father Casey and Father Glenn. May God bless them with many happy years of service to the Church of Scranton.

HAPPY 60TH ANNIVERSARY, FR. CAMPBELL!

Father William D. Campbell, a native son of St. Patrick Parish, Olyphant, celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood for ministry and service to the people of God in the Diocese of Scranton. We join Father Campbell’s family and friends in love and celebration as we mark this special moment with Father Campbell. Notes of congratulations may be sent to:

Father William D. Campbell
Little Flower Manor
200 South Meade Street, Room 204
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702

THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD

Readings:

Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26

Exodus 24: 3-8

Hebrews 9: 11-15

Today’s celebration of the Body and Blood of the Lord originated in the Diocese of Liege in 1246 as the feast of Corpus Christi. In the reforms of Vatican II, the feast was joined with the feast of the Precious Blood (July 1) to become the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Today, we celebrate the Christ’s gift of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our life together as the Church.

Today’s Gospel is Mark’s account of the Last Supper. At the Passover meal marking the First Covenant, Jesus, the Lamb of the New Covenant, institutes the New Passover of the Eucharist.

The ancients believed the source of life was contained in blood – blood, therefore, belonged to God alone (that is why even today a devout Jew will never eat any meat which is not completely drained of blood). In marking Israel’s covenant with the Lord who brought them out of slavery and into freedom, Moses splashes half of the offerings’ blood on the altar, the symbol of God, and sprinkles the other half on the people, joining the covenanted people to their God (first reading).

This understanding of the sacredness of blood is central to the theme of the letter to the Hebrews (second reading). Jesus is both priest and victim on the cross, whose own blood seals a new covenant and creates a new Israel.

Themes:

Eucharist: becoming the body of Christ.

“If you have received worthily,” St. Augustine preached, “you are what you have received.” The gift of the Eucharist comes with an important “string” is attached: it must be shared. In sharing the body of Christ, we become the body of Christ. If we partake of the one bread and cup, then we must be willing to become Eucharist for others – to make the love of Christ real for all.

Eucharist: the table of the Lord.

Christ calls us to his table, offering his peace, affirmation, support and love. We come to the Eucharist to celebrate our identity as his disciples and to seek the sustaining grace to live the hard demands of such discipleship; we come to the Eucharist seeking the peace and hope of the Risen One in the compassion and support we offer and receive from one another. At Christ’s table, we are always welcome. In celebrating the Eucharist, we make our parish family’s table the Lord’s own table, a place of reconciliation and compassion.