From The Font
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.”
The idea of limited access to God is utterly foreign to us. (Nowadays, the idea of limited access to anything is utterly foreign to us… but I digress.) We know that we can simply raise our hearts and our minds to the Lord and He is present to us in that moment.
For basically every other god-based religion on the planet, though, god has asked to be contacted at a specific extension only during business hours. In Islam, believers offer the Salat five times daily. For traditional Jews, the Modeh Ani, the Baruch and others are offered at specific times during the day. While Moslems and Jews may think about God or call out to Him, they believe that their connection to God is through the fixed prayers they offer, not the spontaneous ones.
What’s more, most god-based religions have a holy place in which god has set up shop. For Islam, that’s Mecca. For Jews, it’s the Temple in Jerusalem. When Jesus was speaking with the woman in Samaria, that temple in Jerusalem did not welcome Samarians to drop by a sacrifice… The reason the Samaritans weren’t welcome is that the Samaritans had the very bad habit of building altars in their local communities and offer their sacrifices on those altars according to their own plans and with their own priesthood. (God forbade all that in the Law, by the way.) And so the Jews considered the Samaritans blasphemers because they worshiped wrongly.
As with so many things, Jesus was looking to restore as much as He was to innovate. In the Garden, Adam and Eve had seemingly unlimited access to God and so Jesus, in redeeming us, consciously wanted to re-establish that access. By expanding the Jewish notion of worship beyond the Temple in Jerusalem - or even the Samaritan notion of home-built altars - Jesus upended the tables on basically everyone.
Now, there’s A LOT more that needs to be said about “worship” and what that widely misunderstood word means. For now, suffice it to say that God offers us, in and through Jesus, constant access to Himself!
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
We’re already almost halfway through Lent. We’ve heard the stories of the Temptation in the Desert and the Transfiguration and this week, we get the story of the Woman at the Well. Next week, we’ll hear about the Man born blind and then we’ll get to Lazarus and finally, Palm Sunday. At first glance, the Lectionary - the readings scheduled week by week for us at Mass - seems somewhat random. Why the Transfiguration in Lent? What makes the Man born blind better for Lent than Jesus casting the demon into the herd of pigs? Where is the Prodigal Son???
The lectionary is a hotly debated topic nowadays. From the beginning of the Church, Mass had two readings: one from the Gospels and one from somewhere else. Those readings had been carefully chosen and adjusted over centuries to emphasize and to teach and to clarify. Well meaning folks in the 60s “updated” the lectionary to cycle every third year and to add a third reading on Sundays. The plan was to put more scripture in the ears of folks who attend Mass.
In some ways, that’s happened. We certainly hear Gospel stories and scripture readings at Mass that we didn’t hear read in the past. The downside, though, is the quantity can be overwhelming. Most people don’t remember clearly events and sermons from three years ago. (I certainly don’t!) That means that while we hear more scripture, we remember and internalize it less. Stories which used to take on more and more meaning over the course of years are now only faintly recalled.
I don’t say this just to bemoan an effort which hasn’t really paid off, but to encourage us not to become discouraged if we feel intimidated by the scriptures. The Bible was never meant to be read! The Bible is written to be heard. Basically all of the Old Testament lived in the oral tradition for decades, if not centuries, before it was written down. St. Paul wrote his letters to be read aloud in group settings. The Gospels were on paper, but most everyone encountered them through their reading at Mass. The scriptures don’t come alive on paper, they come alive in the context of proclamation and preaching.
Every preacher faces a daunting three-part challenge in giving a sermon. First, he has to bring the scriptures to life so that the modern man or woman can understand what they’re saying literally and spiritually. Then, he has to apply those meanings to the life of his listeners using teaching language which is understandable but not oversimplified or overwhelming. And, he has to do all of that in 8-15 minutes.
50 years ago, the sermons were longer, the general understanding of faith was more complete and the same readings came around every year and so the preacher could dig in a lot more... While that gives me a little bit of an excuse for not doing everything I’d like to do with my sermons - it doesn’t give anyone reading this an excuse not to study your Bible on your own!!! I’m here to answer any questions you might have so I encourage you to dig in on your own and read your bible - you don’t have to wait for a sermon - go for it!!
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
- March 24 Lenten Devotions & Movie Night (“The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima”), 5p
- March 31 Lenten Devotions, 5p ~ 6:15p
- April 7 Lenten Devotions & Movie Night (“The Passion of the Christ”), 5p
- April 8 Bake Sale - Church Hall - 10 to noon (see notes elsewhere)
- April 10-14 Holy Week
- April 15 Easter Egg Hunt - Church Grounds - time TBA
Lent: March 1 - April 15, 2017
Every Catholic over the age of 14 is required to abstain from meat each Friday of Lent.
Here at St. Edward, our traditional Lenten devotions will take place on Fridays:
- 5:00p - 5:25p Confession Available
- 5:30p - 5:50p Stations of the Cross
- 5:50p - 6:15p Holy Mass
Every other Friday, Fr. Ryan will host a movie night in the Parish Center. He will prepare a Penitential Soup. Those would like are welcome to bring a simple salad.
- 3/24, "The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima" (90m)
- 4/7, "The Passion of the Christ" (126m)
- Tentative meat-lover’s feast on Friday in the Octave of Easter, which is 4/21, and watch "Risen."
For Your Information:
YOUTH MASS is being observed and coffee, juice, and donuts will be served in the Church Center immediately following the 9:30 a.m. Mass. Please join us!
PASTORAL COUNCIL..will hold its regular meeting on TUESDAY, MARCH 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.
PALM SUNDAY WEEKEND BAKE SALE….On Saturday, April 8, we will have our parish-wide bake sale to support the repair work that was done on our buildings. Dust off your favorite recipes and plan to make your contributions to the event. We will have a list at the entrance of church for you to indicate the items and the quantity of items that you plan to prepare.
Please pass the word among your families and friends….Time - 10 - noon; Place - Church Hall
EASTER EGG HUNT… Mark your calendar for Holy Saturday...Time TBA...Church Grounds...more to come… Stephenie Marsh and Kate Copes will provide leadership. Offer your assistance to them!
The Voice of the Basket
- Weekly Budget FY 2016-17 $1,865
- February Budget $7,460
- February Income (Reg $7,927; Bldg $455) $8,382
- February Actual Expenses $7,081
- March Budget $7,460
- Collection March 11/12 $1,200
- March Income to Date $3,972
Stewardship When Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water, He opened the door for a life-changing relationship with Him. Scripture says her testimony drew many others to Him as well. We, too, must be ready to respond whenever and wherever the Lord speaks to us and be prepared for it to change our lives!
Special Collection Next week, our parish will take up The Catholic Relief Services Collection. This Collection supports six Catholic agencies that touch more than 100 million lives around the world. The funds from the Collection help provide food to the hungry, welcome and support to displaced refugees, and invaluable life skills to those seeking a better life. How will you help? Next week, please give generously to The Catholic Relief Services Collection and Jesus in disguise.
Mass Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Darryl Ellerbee, Sr for March 19 anniversary/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- Mon No Mass
- Tue 5:30p In memory Carson Donham/family
- Wed 5:30p In memory of Norman S Ernst for death anniversary/family
- Thurs 9a In honor of Meg Keene Thomas for 23rd/family (Mass offered at the Olive Branch)
- Fri 5:30p In memory of May DiTommaso
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Paul VanderVieren/family
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo For the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
Altar Candles this week are provided by Cathy VanderVieren
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 3/18 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: Youth
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 3/19 9:30a
- Servers: B Wood & C Donham
- Lector: Youth
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 3/25 5:30p
- Servers: N & C Hall
- Lector: MA Gilfoil
- EMHCs: P & B Wilks
- 3/26 9:30a
- Servers: P & A Collins
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Angel Farlow (March 20), Weston Dukes (March 21, 2013)
Happy Anniversary Alyce and C.W. Keene (March 21)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; our Bishop David and Bishop-Emeritus Ronald. Our President, our Governor, our Mayor and our national, state and local elected representatives.
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or otherwise in 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 and Delia Trichell.
Our parishioners who are under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo and Juanita Storey. Also, Robert Anderson of Delhi, Jim Farrell and James Speyerer of Vicksburg, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, and 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), Kyle and Marti Dukes Dill, 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), Rhonda and Lee Miller (CCopes), 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), Elizabeth, Randy and Camille Watts and Betty Kurfiss, Rusty White (Bullard), Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our collegeates: 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 our local Detention Centers and for their families and loved ones.
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.