– Welcome video from the Archdiocese of Newark –
– A Message from Pope Francis on Racism –
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you safe and well.
This pandemic has brought many questions and concerns to our minds regarding our lives. One of the most common and maybe the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is: “If I get infected and die, will I go to heaven?” Brothers and sisters, that is a natural reaction for us as Christians who are trying to live according to the Gospel.
Our Gospel parable this weekend talks about seed that is sown on different kinds of ground. This parable challenges us to take a closer look at our spiritual self. As Jesus explains in the parable, the seed represents the word of God that has been sown in our lives. It is up to us on how we receive that word.
The parable raises a question for us, namely, “How do we receive the word?” Are we like the pathway, the rocky or the thorny ground, or the rich soil?
If we have not been putting God’s word into action and have failed to produce the fruit of good works, then let today be the day to start doing so. But, if we have been progressing in our daily Christian way of life, then may God sustain and help us in everything we do. God knows how much we need His help every minute of our lives. Let Saint Paul be our example who said: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” (Romans 8:18).
May we not falter in doing what is right. There have been so many saints and great men and women who have persisted in doing good. They “fought the good fight and have finished the race.” (1 Timothy 4:7).
On a different note, Father Tom, Father Nol and I are happy to see everyone coming back to join us for Mass during the week and on the weekend. The attendance at our Sunday Masses is slowly increasing more and more.
I am glad to see that all of you who come to church are doing and following all the precautionary measures and directions of our hospitality ministers and staff. I am letting you know that you are all welcome to return if you are comfortable.
I thank you for sending your weekly donations either by mail or putting them in our collection box near the baptismal font. I also thank those who send or give extra donations for our church. It is surely and highly appreciated. It shows us how much you care and love your parish. Thank you and may God’s blessings be upon you all!
Take care of yourselves by staying safe and enjoy this summertime.
Please remember to fulfill your pledge to WE ARE LIVING STONES CAPITAL CAMPAIGN and to the SHINING THE LIGHT OF CHRIST 2020 ANNUAL APPEAL. Your generosity helps to fund Archdiocesan programs and also benefits Our Lady of Mercy Parish.
SOME WISDOM FROM CARDINAL DOLAN
The following is a shortened version of a commentary by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, that was published on the website of the Archdiocese on July 2, 2020.
Thank God some good can come out of evil. The horror of the nauseating death of George Floyd has brought thoughtful, necessary, sane reflection on the curse of racism that has afflicted our beloved country.
What is not helpful is the impetuous, cascading demand for the destruction and removal of monuments, portraits, statues, and literature that adorn our buildings, public areas, and culture. Such rash iconoclasm can lead to an historic amnesia that will eliminate something essential for our necessary common conversation on racism: the memory of flawed human beings who, while sadly and scandalously wrong on burning issues such as slavery and civil rights, were right on so many others, and need to be remembered for both.
Years ago, I was dedicating a new parish to Saint Peter. A woman protested: “Why would you name a Church after such a coward, a sinner who denied even knowing the Lord.” I wrote back, “If we can’t name churches after sinners, the only titles we’d have left would be Jesus and His Mother!”
Is not the same true with our country’s historical personalities? All of them had flaws, yet all of them still contributed a lot of good to our nation’s progress.
Defacing, tearing down, and hiding statutes and portraits is today’s version of puritanical bookburning. Our children need to know their country’s past, and her normative figures, their virtues, and vices. That’s how we learn and pass on our story.
The same could be true of the Church I love and serve. Yes, there are scandalous parts of our history.
God forbid we’d go through a “cultural revolution” like Mao’s China did five decades ago! What a mess! What a disaster! Beware of those who want to purify memories and present a tidy – inaccurate – history.
As a historian by training, I want to remember the good and the bad and recall with gratitude how even people of the past who had an undeniable dark side can still let light prevail and leave the world better.
I do not want to be infected by the new virus of today, “historical dementia.” As the saying goes, “Those not familiar with the past are bound to repeat its mistakes.”