From The Font
“Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Politically incorrect as it may be, the Jews were and are the Chosen People. They were selected especially by God to receive His divine revelation and to be the race and culture of the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Because of that reality, the Jews were happy to welcome religious converts - but they couldn’t make them part of the chosen people. Converting to Judaism just wasn’t the same thing as being an ethnic Jew.
In our Gospel today, Jesus wants the Jews to understand that the winds, they are a-changin’. The ministry of Jesus was going to flip the relationship between ethnic Judaism and religious Judaism. After Jesus’ death and Resurrection, the chosenness was going to pass, so to speak, from race to creed, from blood to belief.
This message of Jesus was among the most disruptive of all of His teaching. It’s hard for us modern folks to understand, but the Jewish identity was entirely defined by this state of chosenness. Just as Americans tend to define ourselves by some ideal of freedom or self-sufficiency or justice, the Jews defined themselves by chosenness. When that identity is threatened, we become deeply fearful. So too, the Jews were deeply fearful of these kinds of teachings from Jesus. The ancient world didn’t have globalization or foreign history classes or even a map to look at. Most people only ever occasionally met foreign traders or soldiers. They didn’t spend much time thinking about other cultures. And so a change like the one Jesus is putting forward is earth shattering.
When we find our cultural or religious world shifting - for better or for worse - it’s essential to recall that Jesus wants us to be, first and foremost, citizens of the Church. He wants us to think of ourselves as sons and daughters of God first. After all, we are only pilgrims in this life, seeking to find our way to eternal life. We are all, ultimately, strangers in a strange land and those cultural identities that we connect with don’t have the power to save us. We can enjoy them, but we can’t depend on them.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
One of my very favorite writers, the Englishman GK Chesterton, wrote with a clarity and wit that is nearly impossible to describe. His insights are often so clear, profound and succinct that they are missed or dismissed as mere turns of phrase.
In his absolutely must-read The Everlasting Man, Chesterton describes the sane man as the one “who can appreciate what is normal.” It seems like a such an obvious thing to say. When I think, though, about how rare that is nowadays, I’m taken aback. How many of us are obsessed with newer, bigger and better? How many of us are always on the lookout for “wow” moments or “shockingly amazing” things? When we think about it, the abnormal is the basis of our culture. We want the clothes that the absurdly beautiful and perfectly fit ladies model. We want to be amazed by our meals at restaurants and blown away by our entertainment. We want our politicians to be bastions of morality, entertaining speakers, experienced and qualified leaders, physically attractive, outgoing, effervescent and unrealistically popular all while making not a mistake. We tend to want everything in our lives to be unambiguously in our favor and we want everything that we do to turn to gold. In short, we want our lives to be Hollywood Oscar-bait.
I’m certainly not above the fray. This line from Chesterton struck me precisely because I don’t find myself appreciate that which is ordinary and normal. I find myself feeling offended when I don’t get the respect that I think I deserve. I find myself feeling shortchanged when my meal isn’t as delicious as I expected it to be. I would prefer to see a pretty actress in a movie to someone who looks like a real person. I have, to put it bluntly, bought into the insanity. And, as the good folks in AA would say encouragingly, admitting that is the first step.
I think it’s worth taking a look at just how wacky our world has become and admitting to what degree - if any - that broken thinking has invaded our minds. Gender Identity didn’t come out of nowhere - it was a plotline on the TV Show “Friends” in the 90s. Seeing divorce as a good thing goes back to the Brady Bunch in the 70s. Euthanasia was the central plot line of “Million Dollar Baby” 12 years ago. We’ve been encouraged to think of the abnormal as normal for most of our lives.
I tend to agree with Chesterton that those people who can say they are happy are probably people who can appreciate the normal parts of their lives: their marriages, their kids, their food, their faith and their football. I’m also thankful that despite all the propaganda to which we are exposed, we here in the South do know how to appreciate what we have and to enjoy it.
I couldn’t be more thankful to be here in Tallulah where that appreciation is more widespread and more visible than it is elsewhere in our world. We have to hold fast to that sanity. We have to appreciate it and encourage it in our kids. We have to believe that the normal parts of life are a blessing from God and that those amazing moments are given to us to whet our appetite for heaven, because that’s what they are - blessings above and beyond the “blessing” of the normal.
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every Wed & Fri from 5p until Mass at 5:30p, 30m before weekend Masses
- Youth Mass on the third Sunday of the Month, Coffee & Donuts in the center after Mass
- Pastoral Council meeting monthly on the third Tuesday after the 5:30p Mass
- Altar Society meeting every other month on the second Tuesday after the 5:30p Mass
- October 16 Youth Mass – Coffee, juice, and doughnuts in Parish Hall following Mass. All are invited to participate
- October 18 Pastoral Council Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- October Finance Council Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m.
- Nov 19 Thanksgiving Bake Sale - Parish Hall - 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- Nov 20 Community Thanksgiving Service - First United Methodist Church -- 6 p.m.
For Your Information:
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FOR OUR CHILDREN classes will meet on SUNDAY following Mass (about 10:30 a.m.) in the Church Hall.
THANKSGIVING BAKE SALE On SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, our Faith Family will have a Bake Sale to benefit our recent repairs to the church. This will be a parish-wide function and we ask that everyone plan to contribute and assist. The event will be held in the Parish Hall from 10 a.m. to 12 noon very similar to our Easter event. Please mark your calendar and begin planning how you can help!
CHRISTMAS FUNDRAISER “Christmas Party on the Bayou” has been selected as the theme for our upcoming Fundraiser to support our recent church renovations. Beth Sullivan and Libby Bullard will be chairing this event and will appreciate your assistance in making this successful. A galvanized container on a metal stand which doubles as a wine rack will be the bases of the party items. If you have or know of any Louisiana/Bayou/Christmas items that could be added to the party container, please give one of the organizers a phone call. Libby will soon be distributing raffle tickets and your help is needed in selling these raffle tickets.
The Voice of the Basket
Please see the printed bulletin for financial data while Fr. Ryan is out of town
Stewardship Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time…Jesus healed ten lepers in today’s Gospel. Only one (10%) came back to say thank you. I, too, have received many blessings from the Lord--indeed, all I am and all I have is gift! How and how often have I remembered to thank Him?
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of John C.B. “Skeezix” Jumonville (death)/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon-Wed No Mass
- Thu 9:00a In memory of Alex E. “Bubba” Jumonville/family (Mass offered at the Olive Branch)
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Charlie Phillips (death)/Hodge
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Doris Guzman (death anniversary 10/3)/Florence
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Sharyn Marsh (Oct 8),Mazie Dukes (Oct 11, 2014), Marsh Wood (Oct 11), Sidney Johnson (Oct 13), Kenny Smith (Oct 14)
In Our Daily Prayers…
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, and the leaders of our church, including Bishop Ronald Herzog and Bishop David P. Talley; our President, and the leaders of our nation as they and other world leaders seek peace in the world; our Governor and our legislators; success of our religious education program, safe travel for all those on the highways; good weather for our farmers; our friends and family in the Philippines;
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or in other need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Josephine Hodge, Bill Kennedy, Becky and Michael Lancaster, Angela Vilardo Lusk, Dale Magoun, Stephenie and Lance Marsh, Kathleen Mills, Sue Rome, Sue Scurria, Delia Trichell,
Our parishioners who are in the nursing home: Billy Hodge, Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo, AND Jim Farrell, and James Speyerer of Vicksburg, Consuelo Marsh, Lake Providence, and our family members and friends, Jean Cantrell, Geneva Russell
Our friends and relatives who need our prayers: Lee Adams (Smith), Ashley Weimer Alexander (Regan), Jenna Faye Allen (Florence), Margaret Baker (Magoun), Marie Farlow Bellard, Tommy Bishop, Ruthie Boudreaux (Storey), Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Sarah Cannon (Gilfoil), Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Savannah Payne and her parents, Tim and Stephanie, Allison Crotwell (A Ginn), Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Reba Duncan, Renee Edwards and parents (VanderVieren), George Eisworth family (Dyer), Joe Farlow, Rosemarie Finn (Hodge), Madge and Don Finney (Dyer), Tracy Jones Fortenberry (Donham), Thom Gilfoil, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Jerry Ann Harmon (Hodge), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Alan Henley (Copes), Monroe Hill (K Dukes), Bo Holloway, Lou Horath (Hernandez), Kenlie Jackson (Dyer), Diane Johnson (Johnson), Jim Johnson(Dyer), Patsy Lancaster, Ben Legendre (Gilfoil), Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Ann Maxwell (Gilfoil), Will and Michelle (MS) McGuire (Gilfoil), Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Marie Phillips Michelle (Hodge), Lindsay Mills, Ashley Priest Moberly, Loyd Moore (Donham), Debbie Mullin (Dyer), Wanda Murphy (Terry), Savannah Payne and her family, Addison Petracca (S Marsh), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Yvonne Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Dana Rogers (Dyer), Bailey Rome, Lee Rome, Tiffney Rome, Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Betty Sanders (Gilfoil), Andy Sevier, Michael Stamper (Wilks), Lazette Thomason (Dyer), Elaine Trimble (Rome), Elizabeth, Randy and Camille Watts and Betty Kurfiss, Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our college students Will Donham, Courtney Ernst, Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Emily Ginn, Matt Hall, Josh Hall, Eric Nguyen, Roland Nguyen, Kathleen Oliver, Lori Sullivan
Those Catholics residing at Christian Acres, Louisiana Transitional Center for Women, and Madison Detention Center and the families of all of these.
PLEASE LET US KNOW OF ANYONE WHO IS ILL OR HOSPITALIZED OR WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE A VISIT.
PLEASE HELP US TO UP-DATE OUR PRAYER LIST BY ADVISING US OF ANYONE WHO SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE PRAYER LIST.