From The Font
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
What a question! The Jews were a people surrounded by history. By the time of Jesus, the Jews had already been a culture with a shared history, language and religion for two thousand years. The Catholic Church is just getting to that point now.
Even more than Catholics, the Jews were a people surrounded by an all encompassing religious worldview. Everything in their lives was seen through the lens of faith. And because they lived a subsistence lifestyle (there was no middle class), the Jewish people depended on the Lord for every harvest. They depended on good weather for fishing. They depended on God to defend them against the enemies that surrounded them. They depended on God to keep the Roman Emperor or the Babylonian Sultan or the local governor or procurator in a good mood so that he didn’t start up a new round of religious persecution. In a world where childbirth was deadly about half the time and a fever meant death nine out of ten times, the Jews lived their faith as a way of life. And when that faith included prophecies, those prophesies were paid attention to!
Just like the Jim Bakers and Joel Olsteens of today, plenty of false prophets and fake messiahs passed through Jerusalem and the surrounding regions. That makes John’s question all the more interesting, what good does it do to ask a con man if he’s a con man? And that’s why Jesus doesn’t answer the question directly. He tells the people to look around and see what He’s done. He tells them to look not to His own teaching, but to the prophesies of Isaiah and to the proven, real-deal prophets. He tells them to see the miracles He’s done in light of the greater tradition rather than as parlor tricks. In this way, Jesus manages to convince the disciples of John the Baptist and to establish both His teaching and His miracles in the larger context of Jewish history. After all, Jesus does say that He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. We, ourselves, have to remember that we are the spiritual successors of the Jews and of their culture and history.
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
Of all the things that we Christians say to one another, none is more cliche and none is more rarely followed through on than “I’ll pray for you.” It’s not for lack of authenticity or genuineness or even good intentions, it’s just incredibly vague. The Baltimore Catechism says that “prayer is the lifting of the heart and the mind to God.” The Sign of the Cross is a prayer. “Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you, Save Souls!” is a prayer. The Rosary is a prayer. A novena of Rosaries is a prayer.
For the most part, unless the person you’re praying for is really OCD, the offer of prayers is accepted warmly and the gesture speaks for itself. Sometimes, though, especially when someone wants to make the gesture of praying for another (which is called “intercession”), it helps to make the offer of prayers more concrete. I’ve tried to get in the habit of being specific when someone asks for my prayers. I might say, I’ll offer my Rosary for you this evening or I’ll remember you at the Altar (which means I’ll pray for them during Mass). The concrete and specific offer of prayers is good for the person we’re praying for because it gives them a sense of the concrete value of prayer. It’s also good for us because it nails down how much and when we’re going to pray for this person.
The Spiritual Bouquet is a French tradition in which a person or a group lists the prayers, penances or acts of mercy which they intend to offer for the recepient. The Diocese of Alexandria sent a spiritual bouquet to Pope Benedict and to Pope Francis at the times of their repsective elections to the office of Pope. That bouquet took the form of a letter on fancy paper indicating that four hundred and twleve Our Fathers and six hundred and fifty Rosaries and seventy-four individual days of fasting and two hundred and six visits to the sick. (I’m making up these numbers.) Basically, each parish put out a sign up sheet and people pledged whatever they wanted. Some only pledged a single Hail Mary, some pledged a dozen Rosaries. Each parish submitted their signup sheet and the Diocese combined them and sent them along to the Holy Father.
I’d like to send the same kind of thing to Bishop Talley on behalf of our parish as a Christmas Gift.
This weekend, you’ll find a few sheets of legal sized paper at the back of Church. There’s no need to write your name or to stick to any formula. If you want to offer Masses or Rosaries or Holy Hours, just put what you want to do. If you want to offer some form of penance, perhaps fasting or “offering up” something, list that. If you’d like to do a work of mercy, indicate that. There aren’t any really rules to follow. I’ll compile the pledges and put them into a single list as part of a letter wishing Bp. Talley a Merry Christmas.
If you are unable to write your intentions on the page at Church, please feel free to email them to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. All pledges will be kept confidential and private.
Please be generous with your pledges of prayers, penances and mercies!
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every 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
- Dec 11 Raffle Drawing for the “Christmas Party on the Bayou” following Sunday Mass
- Dec 10 & 11 Parkview Baptist “Scenes of Christ” -- 5:30 p.m.
- Dec 11 Rescheduled “Christmas on the Bayou” Parade at 3 p.m. with fireworks at 8 p.m. on Mississippi Street Bridge
For Your Information:
“SCENES OF CHRIST” will be presented by Parkview Baptist Church, 104 Kimbrough Boulevard, this Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11, between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. The scenes that will be presented include The Birth of Christ, Jesus in the Manger, Garden of Gethsemane, The Crucifixion,The Resurrection, and The Ascension. The format will be that visitors will walk thru the six sites on the church grounds.
CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS We are now accepting contributions for poinsettias and other decorations for the church for Christmas. Envelopes for your contribution are on the table at the entrance of church. If you would like your gift to be “In Memory” or “In Honor” of someone, please indicate that. You may place your gift in the collection basket or return to the church office.
CHRISTMAS ON THE BAYOU Due to the bad weather last weekend, “Christmas on the Bayou”, the Tallulah/Madison Parish Annual Christmas event was rescheduled for this Sunday, December 11. Arts and Crafts vendors can be found on the campus of Tallulah High School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., a parade originating from THS at 3 p.m., followed by fireworks from the Mississippi Street bridge at approximately 9 p.m.
BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR JESUS Our children’s Christmas Party will be on Sunday, December 18, in the Parish Hall following Mass. Kendra Collins will be giving leadership to this project so please contact her to offer your assistance! The children will present a play telling the story of the Nativity and all family and friends are invited to attend.
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2016-17 $1,865
- November Budget $7,460
- November Income (Reg $6,817; Bldg $383) $7,200
- November Actual Expenses $7,598
- December Budget $7,460
- Collection December $2,312
- December Income to Date $2,312
Stewardship Each of us has his or her own role to play in the coming of the Kingdom of God. John the Baptist was called to be the herald of the Messiah, preparing the way of the Lord. To what is the Lord calling me?
Special Collection Retirement Fund for Religious … The average age of retired women and men religious currently living in nursing homes is 75 and older. In 2012 alone, the total cost of care for senior religious was more than $1.1 billion. For most of their lives, elder religious worked for small stipends and today, in their old age, they need your help. All proceeds from the Retirement Fund for Religious are distributed to 440 religious communities across the United States, who need it most. Please be generous.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Paul VanderVieren/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory of Joseph and Louise Testa/Magoun
- Wed 5:30p In memory of Bruce Dorbeck/Andrews
- Thu 9:00a In memory of Rosa Gremshell (Mass offered at the Olive Branch)
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Elvinia Roussel/Florence
- Sat 5:30p In memory of C. L. Keene/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 12/10 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: P Wilks & B Wilks
- 12/11 9:30a
- Servers: B & W Sullivan
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: N Ernst & M Ernst
- 12/17 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: Youth
- EMHCs: A Keene & L Magoun
- 12/18 9:30a
- Servers: EL Marsh & C Marsh
- Lector: Youth
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Norman Ernst (Dec 12), Katherine Ernst Bedgood (Dec 14), Madeline Oliver (Dec 14), Johnny Gilfoil (Dec 15), Peggy Scurria (Dec 16) Happy Anniversary Nap and MaryKathryn Book (Dec 14)
In Our Daily Prayers…
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, and the leaders of our church, including Bishop Ronald Herzog and Co-Adjutor Bishop David P. Talley; our President and President-elect, 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 Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or in other need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Bill Kennedy, Becky and Michael Lancaster, Dale Magoun, Kathleen Mills, Sue Rome, Sue Scurria, Delia Trichell, Our parishioners who are in the nursing home: 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, Ruthie Boudreaux (Storey), Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Issac “DoDo” Crothers (Donham), 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), Krystal King (Gilfoil), Patsy Lancaster, Tut Lancaster (D Wood),Ben Legendre (Gilfoil), Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), 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), Addison Petracca (S Marsh), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Yvonne Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Dana Rogers (Dyer), Bailey Rome, Lee Rome, Tiffney Rome, Beverly Sabille (Gilfoil), Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Andy Sevier, Michael Stamper (Wilks), Lazette Thomason (Dyer), Elaine Trimble (Rome), Nicole Warren (Donham), Elizabeth, Randy and Camille Watts and Betty Kurfiss, Rusty White (Bullard), 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.