From The Font
“Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.”
In the ancient near east where Jerusalem and Bethlehem were located, most folks were polytheists. They believed in many gods some of whom were good, even angelic while others were tricksters or pranksters. Almost all of gods from this place and time were fickle and expected specific quid-pro-quo for whatever they did as the god of whatever. The god of the rains might expect a temple to be built and incense burned whereas the god of the grain harvest may require a blood sacrifice on an altar built in the field.
In a lot of ways, the God of Israel was one among many. Sure, He said that these other gods weren’t real, but only imitations… But God prescribed worship, expected obedience and punished disobedience as He does now. Where things really start to go a different way is that the God of Israel seemed to want a family relationship with His “chosen people.” He wanted to love them even more than He wanted to be loved by them. And He wanted what was best for them - even at the expense of His own worship… Ashur, god of Assyria, didn’t play around like that! You did what He said or you lost a war and your whole generation was slaughtered. The God of Israel forgave!!!
God wants an obedience that arises from love, rather than fear. He wants worshippers who imitate Him and seek holiness over control or benefits. This holiness is based on God’s example, rather than simply on His will… Jesus, in the Gospels, will point this out when he criticises the Pharisees who teach rightly, but fail to “practice what they preach.”
The One True God who created all things may well have some things in common with other gods throughout history… But when we considered that the only gods we know about were the ones who had serious, devoted followers and that the only gods who had serious, devoted followers were those who were close imitations of the One True God, it’s not all that odd for us to recognize similarities. What’s important for us to take away from this first reading today is that God makes Himself the standard for holiness and imitation and so we must be fearless and faithful in imitating Him!
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
Next weekend, our new Bishop David Talley will be visiting us. Due to to some last minute adjustments, he won’t be here Saturday night, but only Sunday morning. I certainly want to encourage everyone to make effort to join us for our Mardi Gras Brunch at the parish center!
Well, Lent is right around the corner! It’s time for all of us to start locking in our Lenten penances and I want to encourage everyone to consider giving up something new. It’s easy to get into a rut of giving up chocolate or sweets or coke every year. The problem with doing the same thing, is that our human minds are really quite skilled at adjusting… And adjusting is just the word we use to describe our human ability to deny attention to something. If I get used to pain in my leg, I mean that I’ve learned to ignore that pain. But fasting isn’t about learning to ignore discomfort - it’s about using discomfort to keep ourselves focused!
Self-Help books have listed six billion different ways to keep ourselves aware of this that or the other. One book recommends putting a rubber band around your wrist and snapping it every time you want a cigarette. Another one recommends setting a bunch of alarms on your phone to remind yourself to pray or meditate. Another one recommends putting post-it notes on the fridge to ward off the temptation to break your diet.
Fasting is designed to have a lot of effects, one of which is attention. And so if we just go ahead and choose the same Lenten penance we’ve done for years, then we’re far less likely to get the benefits of being attentive and a lot more likely to tune out that discomfort for six weeks.
I should add that the Lenten penance is about fasting. You can’t just “do something extra.” The generic name for all the spiritual stuff we do is “Spiritual exercises.” That sums up all the praying, fasting and works of mercy that we do. Lent should be an excuse for us to up our game on spiritual exercises. But, in particular, we need to fast. Modern Catholics are awful at fasting. In 1965, we had about 90 days of fasting on the Church calendar. 90 days of one meatless meal and as many as two large meatless snacks only as needed to keep up our strength… That’s some serious spiritual exercising! Nowadays, we only have two. Yes 2… And some of us are going to be invited to be at Crawfish Boils on Good Friday… Which is as far from penance and fasting as you can possibly be. There’s literally no worse day in the entire year for a Crawfish Boil. Good Friday Crawfish Boils need to become Holy Saturday Crawfish Boils.
We need our fasting! We need to take seriously those words of Jesus about fasting being ⅓ of the spiritual life. So whatever you gave up or did extra last year, my challenge to you is to give up something new and different this year. Try giving up meat or coffee or bread. Give up smoking or watching TV or delete all the games on your phone for Lent. Also, don’t fret about taking Sunday off. Sundays have never been days of fasting and so everyone ought to feast and celebrate on Sunday, even during Lent! It’s not cheating!
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every Wed, Fri & Sat from 5p until Mass at 5:30p and on Sun from 9a until 9:30a 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
- Feb 21 Pastoral Council Meeting – Parish Hall – following 5:30 p.m. Mass
- Feb 26 Bishop David’s visit -- Potluck Brunch--1st quarter social -- following 9:30 a.m. Mass
- March 1 Ash Wednesday -- Mass at the Olive Branch at 9 a.m. and at church at 5:30 p.m.
For Your Information:
RELIGION CLASS will be held following Sunday Mass in the Church Hall.
ALTAR SOCIETY DUES PAYABLE FOR 2017…All ladies of the faith family of St. Edward are considered members of the Altar Society which is responsible for the needs of the altar such as candles, wine, hosts, altar clothes and linens and decorations. It is now time to pay your $10 dues for 2017 and there are envelopes at the entrance of church for your convenience. You may return your envelope in the collection basket or to the church office.
PASTORAL COUNCIL..will hold its regular meeting on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, at 6:00 p.m(after 5:30 p.m. Mass) in the Church Center. All members are requested to make special effort to attend. Parishioners are encouraged to attend and contribute to the discussions.
Members of the Council include Libby Bullard, Kendra Collins, Dana Dukes, Michael Lancaster, Stephenie Marsh, Terry Murphy, Betty Smith, and Blanche Wilks. Appointed as Trustees by the Bishop are Brian Johnson and Dale Magoun. Appointed by the pastor to serve as Finance Council Chair is Darryl Ellerbee. Additionally, serving on the Council in an ex-officio capacity as President of the Altar Society is Cathy VanderVieren.
FIRST QUARTER SOCIAL COMMITTEE: For the February 26 Potluck Brunch….First Quarter (Jan, Feb, March) group consists of Margo Corulla and Darryl and Abby Ellerbee (co-chairs), Norman and Marie Ernst, Brian Johnson, Sidney and Mary Jane Johnson, Robbie and Tori Kivett, Ed Mills, Kathleen Mills, Teddy and Alyssa Oliver, Mike and Sue Rome, Juanita Storey, Jason Trichell, Mary Trichell, Levi Washington
ASH WEDNESDAY… Please mark your calendars now for Ash Wednesday services (February 28) that you have ample time to plan which service you will attend. The first service that day will be at 9 a.m. at the Olive Branch. The second service that day will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Church.
COFFEE AND DOUGHNUTS...As we celebrate Youth Mass this weekend, we also take time for a Faith Family gathering and have coffee, juice, and doughnuts. Our thanks to the family that has taken responsibility for making that happen this weekend!!!!
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2016-17 $1,865
- January Budget $9,325
- January Income (Reg $10,576; Bldg $676) $11,252
- January Actual Expenses $9,648
- February Budget $7,460
- Collection February 11/12 $1,375
- February Income to Date $4,362
Stewardship In today’s first reading, the Israelites are urged to love their neighbors as themselves.In the Gospel, Jesus spells out how we are to do that--to give generously to those who ask of us and not to turn our backs on those who seek to borrow.
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 Rosa Gremshell
- Wed 5:30p In memory of John and Marie Johnson/family
- Thu 9:00a In memory of Felicitas D and the Ghamogha Family/Mbenkum(Mass offered at the Olive Branch)
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Rosa Gremshell
- Sat 5:30p In memory of SeSe Holstead/S Wood
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 2/18 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: N & C Hall
- EMHCs: A Farlow & MA Gilfoil
- 2/19 9:30a
- Servers: P & A Collins
- Lector: Maddie & Blake
- EMHCs: P & B Wilks
- 2/25 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: P Gilfoil
- EMHCs: MA & M Gilfoil
- 2/26 9:30a
- Servers: Blake, Carter, & Walker
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 3/4 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: M Rome & L Bullard
- 3/5 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: K Collins & B Smith
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Todd Beene (Feb 18)
In Our Daily Prayers…
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, and the leaders of our church, including David, our Bishop, and Ronald, our Bishop Emeritius; 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 Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or in other need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Billy Hodge, 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, Juanita Storey AND Robert Anderson of Delhi, Jim Farrell, and James Speyerer of Vicksburg, Consuelo Marsh of 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), Patsy Lancaster, 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, Chon Shiers and Deborah Shiers Stewart (Hall), Michael Stamper (Wilks), Lazette Thomason (Dyer), David Thompson (Wilks), 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, Matt Hall, Josh Hall, Kathleen Oliver 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.