From The Font
“There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee...”
If we only think about Weddings that we see on TV, the modern wedding is twenty minutes in Church followed by a party and that’s it. In contrast, the Roman wedding involved a crowd walking the bride from her home to the home of her fiancee - usually in the morning - and lasted all the way through the evening with various levels of religious ceremony and party.
The Jewish wedding took place in three parts over the course of months or years. It began with the betrothal. Then, some days or months later, what we would think of as the Church part took place. And then, minutes or months later, the husband “took his wife into his home,” which is where what we would think of as the reception took place. Each of those parts was steeped in traditions, rituals and very specific symbolic gestures of wealth and honor. The poor could be prosecuted in some places for using fabric beyond their means and the rich could well be ostracized and basically cast out from the community for cheaping out on things.
When we join Jesus and His disciples in Cana, we’re probably seeing an upper middle-class affair. We know this becuase all of Jesus’ disciples have been added to the guest-list which is not cheap. When the wine runs out early, the host seems to have a real problem. He doesn’t seem to be able to go out and buy more. That would be the obvious move. Maybe he’s out of cash or maybe he’s already bought up all the wine in town. Either way, he’s not just in danger of letting down his guests; he’s in danger or losing his station and being very embarassed in a culture which lives and dies by reputation.
The miracle that Jesus performs here is important on seveal levels. For one thing, it reinforces the value of culture and local traditions. For another, it shows that the Lord wants us not merely to subsist, but to survive. For yet another, it reveals the power which the Lord bestows in the Mother of Jesus. And for another, it causes Jesus and us to rethink the role of predestination and the way in which God’s plan for us is organized. After all, Jesus says “Woman… My time has not yet come.”
All in all, we need to keep in mind that the Wedding at Cana is as much about upholding the Jewish way as it is about subverting it...
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
I went down south of Baton Rouge to visit a family I first met when I was in seminary. J & C were dating at the time and decided to go to the random talk on the sacraments given by two random seminarians. We struck up a friendship which has lasted for these past fifteen years. Now, they have four adorable kids and I try to get down south for a supper every few months.
This past weekend, I was visiting with them and talking about their decision to have their fourth child. Like so many in my generation, they read that spacing the children two years apart would be optimal for this and that. And so the children are spaced about two years apart and they are, as much as children can be, optimal. They also seemed to decide that three was the right number for them. I should add that these two practice Natural Family Planning. They’re a great Catholic family. They pray together every night.
A couple of years ago, they decided that three wasn’t the right number any more and started trying again. They aren’t alone among young Catholic families. Many of the young families I know got married with a plan. They exercised that plan to perfection and had two or three or four kids and then - without resorting to contraception - used NFP to avoid getting pregnant. (There’s a lot of good that I can say about that approach, but that’s not the point of this story.)
As I was talking with J & C about their littlest, it was refreshingly real. A lot of families will share “sanitized” stories with their priest about the good things of having another little one and how they could never imagine their family without the new baby. But… There’s a real danger in only sharing sanitized stories...
I have a bit of a reputation for being overly honest about the state of the world or the Church or the priesthood. Sometimes, my words in this bulletin or in a sermon come across as grim or even pessimistic. And I tend to be very critical of people who are overly or naively optimistic. My reason for being blunt and bold about the bad along with the good is simply that it is what Jesus did. Now, I won’t pretend that my way is easier or more pleasant. I won’t pretend that it makes me more popular or more likable or a more pleasant dinner guest… But it is only by facing reality as it is that we can earnestly entrust it to God.
If I refuse to acknowledge my personal sin, then I will not acknowledge my need for repentance, Confession and forgiveness. And if I approach eternity without being forgiven for my sins, I cannot enter into Heaven. On the other hand, if I face my own sin, then I can live my life in freedom rather than delusion and spend eternity in joy rather than fire.
If we insist that grandma is automatically in Heaven with Jesus, we will not pray for her soul and we will see to it that she is all the longer suffering in purgatory. On the other hand, if we confront our own grief by praying for her all the more, then we will all the sooner have a saint in Heaven to pray for us.
The Christian way is to face the cross head on because all things work to the good of those who love the Lord. There is no room in the Church for delusion. If we face the failings of ourselves, our culture and our Clergy head-on, then we need not be depressed or like those without hope. On the contrary, we can be prepared to do something about the problems and give God room to use us to be part of the solution!
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every 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
Sunday Morning Catechism in the Hall after the 9:30a Mass unless otherwise indicated
Jan 20 NO Sunday Morning Catechism (Fr Ryan Covering Mass at St. Joseph & Waterproof)
- Jan 20 Youth Mass
- Jan 27 Sunday Sunday Morning Catechism & First Holy Communion Lesson
- March 3 Potluck Brunch celebrating Mardi Gras following Mass - First Quarter Social
For Your Information:
SPECIAL COLLECTION… next weekend (January 26/27) for the Church in Latin America. For many in Latin America and Caribbean, rural terrain and a lack of ministers are obstacles to practicing their faith. Your support to the collection provides lay leadership training, catechesis, priestly and religious formation, as well as other programs to help share our faith with those who long to hear the Good News of Christ. Please be generous.
FIRST QUARTER SOCIAL COMMITTEE (Jan, Feb, March)... Margo Corulla and Darryl and Abby Ellerbee will serve as co-chairs for a Potluck Brunch celebrating Mardi Gras on Sunday, March 3, following Mass. Others making up the group include 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, Jason Trichell, Mary Trichell, Levi Washington. All are invited to attend….mark your calendar and plan to participate. SAINTS ALIVE...ANGELS AT WORK… Thanks to the ANGEL who replaced the light bulbs in the chandeliers and also recognized our need to have a better ladder for the future and gifted us with one.
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2018-19 $1,917
- December Budget $9,585
- December Income $10,353
- December Expenses $9,953
- January Budget $7,668
- Collection Jan 12/13 $1,891
- Jan Income to Date $4,622
Stewardship In today’s second reading, St. Paul tells the Corinthians (and us) that all of our gifts are from God and that they are given, not for ourselves alone but for the common good. But the generosity of God knows no limits - the miracle at Cana reminds us that whenever we faithfully do as God asks, He can change our gifts of water into wine!
SPECIAL COLLECTION Next weekend (Jan 26/27 ) for the Church in Latin America. See notes elsewhere in bulletin. Please be generous.
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Matt Farlow/Lancaster
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Deceased members of our Parish
- Mon NO MASS
- Tue 5:30p In memory of Angela Lusk/Leoty
- Wed 5:30p In memory of Joe Scurria/B/G Cox
- Thurs 9:00a In memory of Gus Gremshell Olive Branch
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Margaret Magoun/family
- Sat 5:30p In memory of Marie P Michele/Hodge
- Sun 9:30a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
ALTAR CANDLES this week are burning for the special intentions of Margo Corulla
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 1/19 5:30p
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 1/20 9:30a
- Servers: W Sullivan & H Ellerbee
- Lector: W Sullivan & A Collins
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
- 1/26 5:30p
- Lector: M Rome
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 1/27 9:30a
- Servers: EL & C Marsh
- Lector: K Collins
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 2/2 5:30p
- Lector: P Wilks
- EMHCs: A Farlow & MA Gilfoil
- 2/3 9:30a
- Servers: P Collins & M Wood
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Mary Jane Johnson (Jan 22), Brice Wood (Jan 22), Pat Bullard (Jan 25)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; Bishop David Talley and Bishop-Emeritus Ronald Herzog, our President, Governor, Mayor and 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, Josephine Hodge, Bill Kennedy, Becky & Michael Lancaster, Dale & Louise Magoun, Kathleen Mills, Sue & Mike Rome and Delia Trichell
Those under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, Andrew Lombardo, Sue Scurria, Jim Farrell of Vicksburg, Sharon Hansen of Gonzales, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, Jean Cantrell, Marie Cedotal, 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, Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Tommy and Gail Byrd, Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Kay Collins, Karen Cobb, Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Carole Ducote (Lancaster), Joe Farlow, Mike Farlow, JoAnn Phillips Finn (Hodge), Thom Gilfoil, Charlotte Green, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Bo Holloway, Diane Johnson (Johnson), Jeannie Kivett, Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Michelle McGuire (Gilfoil), Mathieu family in Delhi (Wilks), Tobie McKowen (Wilks), Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Lindsay Mills, Debbie Pettis (Rome), Sam and Betty Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Lee, Tiffney Rome, Dianne W. Roper (Murphy), Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Walter Scott, Andy Sevier, Spencer and Mary Sevier, Beverly Sibile (Gilfoil), Theresa Thom (Rome), Elaine and James Trimble (Rome), Adam Triplett (Reynolds), Teresa Vidrine (Wilks), Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our collegiates: Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Josh Hall, Chris Hall (USAF), Matt Hall (USMC), Nick Hall, Kathleen Oliver, Maddie Oliver, Bailey Rome, Blake Sullivan, Lori Sullivan, Brice Wood
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.