Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you safe and well.
In our present situation where we cannot sacramentally receive Holy Communion it is not easy to hear the passage from today’s Gospel for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51).
I encourage you to stretch your patience a little more and never stop praying that we will soon be able to celebrate Mass together and receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Nevertheless, what Jesus says in the Gospel is still true, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” (John 6:53-56).
Jesus keeps telling us that we need to stay connected with Him all the time. Our Church leaders dispensed us from Sunday Mass and told us to stay home and receive Christ spiritually along with our brothers and sisters. That shows that it is imperative for us to have Christ in our life every minute of our existence no matter what the circumstance or situation around us.
You see, Jesus continues to share his very life with us because he knows that we need him. Let us not take this for granted, especially now where everything is uncertain, including how long or how short our life will be. Be thankful for Jesus’ grace-filled presence among us. Let us celebrate his living presence with us in his Most Holy Body and Blood!
Brothers and sisters, we are still waiting for the announcement regarding the date for phase two of the reopening of churches. We are working on preparing our facilities for everyone’s wellbeing.
Meanwhile, please keep praying for peace and safety in our world, country, cities and communities. Also, try your best to financially support your parish. There are many ways for you to do that. Please check our website regularly (olmnj.org) and pay attention to all the announcements.
Be safe and God bless you.
A Message from Pope Francis: Words of Challenge and Hope
My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, it has to be recognized that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.
I pray for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism. May there be national reconciliation and peace.
Today I wish to emphasize that the problem of intolerance must be confronted in all its forms: wherever any minority is persecuted and marginalized because of its religious convictions or ethnic identity, the well-being of society as a whole is endangered and each one of us must feel affected. With particular sadness I think of the sufferings, the marginalization and the very real persecutions which not a few Christians are undergoing in various countries. Let us combine our efforts in promoting a culture of encounter, respect, understanding, and mutual forgiveness.
Scapegoats are not only sought to pay, with their freedom and with their life, for all social ills such as was typical in primitive societies, but over and beyond this, there is at times a tendency to deliberately fabricate enemies: stereotyped figures who represent all the characteristics that society perceives or interprets as threatening. The mechanisms that form these images are the same that allowed the spread of racist ideas in their time.
Let nobody turn their back on society and feel excluded! No to segregation! No to racism!