THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
January 25, 2015
Jesus calls the fishermen, Simon and Andrew, James and John, to be his disciples.
Today we begin a continuous reading of Mark's Gospel that will carry us through this segment of the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. Remember that in Cycle B of the Lectionary, most of the Gospel readings are taken from the Gospel according to Mark.
The Gospel of Mark does not begin with a narrative about Jesus' birth. Instead Mark begins by reporting on the preaching of John the Baptist. John is described as the voice in the wilderness sent to prepare the way of the Lord. Immediately after describing the work of John the Baptist, Mark reports on Jesus' baptism and his temptation in the desert. Jesus' public ministry begins after the arrest of John the Baptist. Mark wants his readers to understand the important connection between the end of the ministry of John the Baptist and the beginning of Jesus' own ministry.
As we learn at the beginning of today's Gospel reading, Jesus preaches the Kingdom of God in continuity with the preaching of John the Baptist. Like John the Baptist, Jesus' pronouncement of the kingdom is a call to repentance. Yet Jesus' preaching is greater than John's. Jesus begins the time of fulfillment; the Kingdom of God is already here. This will be demonstrated again and again, both in Jesus' words and in the actions that follow. Jesus' healings and forgiveness of sins are signs of the Kingdom of God that he announces in his teaching.
In contrast to last week's Gospel, in Mark's Gospel Jesus takes the initiative in calling his first disciples. As mentioned last week, it was more typical of first-century rabbinical schools for students to seek out rabbis, asking to be their disciples. In Mark's Gospel, Jesus breaks with this tradition and invites his disciples to learn from him. Jesus is said to have first called four fishermen—Simon, Andrew, James, and John. Simon and Andrew are brothers. Jesus promises that he will make them “fishers of men.” James and John are also brothers. Mark does not report Jesus' words of invitation to them, but he does report that they left their fishing immediately; their father, Zebedee, was left behind in the boat.
Mark's Gospel is told with a great sense of urgency and immediacy. Jesus is a person of action, and events occur in rapid succession. We see this in today's Gospel. Time is of the essence; the fishermen immediately put aside their livelihood to become Jesus' disciples. The Kingdom of God is here and now. The time of fulfillment is at hand. How might our lives be different if we more fully shared this sense of the immediacy of God's kingdom?
Used with permission
© 2013 Loyola Press. All rights reserved.
Saturday, Jan 24: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
4:00 PM Holy Rosary ** Adrienne Chapman by Jeannine Belanger
4:00 PM St. Mary ** Anne & Robert McHatten by Anita & Guy
4:00 PM St. Theresa ** David Raymond, Sr. by Jean & Phil
5:30 PM Sacred Heart ** Gilman Chamberlain by Chamberlain & Jones Families
6:00 PM St. Catherine ** For the People
6:00 PM St. Joseph ** Repose of all Souls in Purgatory
Sunday, Jan 25: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
9:00 AM Holy Rosary ** Roger Nadeau by Wife Doris
9:00 AM Our Lady ** Gib, Edwina & John by Barb & Greg
9:00 AM St. Mary ** Jason Charette by Jenny & Natalie
10:30 AM St. Mark ** Helen Bouchard by Dolores & Don Laveway
11:00 AM St. Denis ** Grampy Greg Helstrom by Eric & Jack
11:00 AM St. Louis ** Ina Butler by Sons Danny, David, Mike & Mitch
3:00 PM Holy Rosary ** Malen & Jane Doody by Robin, Dean & Alex Doody
Monday, Jan 26:
8:30 AM Holy Rosary ** Theresa Cummings (r/s) by Niece Judy & Dick McClay
2:00 PM Presque Isle Nursing Home ** Anthony Merlo (r/s) by John & Johnnie Cancelarich
Tuesday, Jan 27:
8:30 AM Holy Rosary ** Mr. & Mrs. Oscar Belanger by Henrietta Feldman
8:30 AM St. Denis ** MASS CANCELLED
Wednesday, Jan 28:
8:30 AM Holy Rosary ** MASS CANCELLED
8:30 AM St. Mary ** MASS CANCELLED
Thursday, Jan 29:
8:30 AM St. Denis ** Lonny Lynch by Roger & Marcella Bernard
6:30 PM Holy Rosary ** Louis Fortin by Dick & Debbie Chabre
Friday, Jan 30:
8:30 AM St. Mary ** Franklin Violette by Liz & Lori Violette
10:30 AM Caribou Nursing Home ** MASS CANCELLED
11:00 AM Sacred Heart, N. Caribou - Funeral Mass
Saturday, Jan 31: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
4:00 PM Holy Rosary ** Donaldine Sczuroski by Charles & Aggie
4:00 PM St. Mary ** 56th Wedding Anniversary of John & Johnnie Cancelarich
4:00 PM St. Theresa ** Michael Sandstrom by David & Deborah Cyr
5:30 PM Sacred Heart ** Rock Fournier by Perry Fournier
6:00 PM St. Catherine ** Clare Hitchcock & Deceased Relatives by Alan Hitchcock & Family
6:00 PM St. Joseph ** For the People
Sunday, Feb 1: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
9:00 AM Holy Rosary ** Albert & Viola Cyr by the Cyr Family
9:00 AM Our Lady ** Repose of all Souls in Purgatory
9:00 AM St. Mary ** Cookie Allen by Ron & Claudia Madore
10:30 AM St. Mark ** Glenna Louridas (r/s) by Joan Goodblood
11:00 AM St. Denis ** Edwina LeVasseur by Phil, Lin, Cynthia & Sue
11:00 AM St. Louis ** Della Claire Gagnon by Barb & Greg Daniels
3:00 PM Holy Rosary ** Phyllis Hewitt by Ladies of St. Anne Sodality
The Reverend Kyle L. Doustou
The Baptism of the Lord
January 11, 2015
The Paradox of Water
It might seem rather obvious, but have you ever stopped to consider just how important water is in our everyday lives? We drink it…we wash with it…we cook with it…we grow with it...we create power with it. Our bodies, depending on our size, are about 2/3 water. And 71% of our planet’s surface is covered by water. It’s so essential to our well-being, our livelihood, and our survival, and yet it is so easy to take it for granted. With the turn of a knob or the flip of a switch we can have it flow in our homes for hours…and we can control its pressure and its temperature and its other qualities. We can go to Hannaford and easily buy gallons and gallons of it to drink. Human ingenuity has figured out how to harness this essential resource, allowing it to bring its life-giving properties to remote deserts and barren lands. But yet, as life-giving as water is, it is also amazingly deadly. Many oceans and seas have enraged themselves, swallowing up countless ships…and many rivers have flooded, destroying homes and crops. Torrential rains have caused devastating landslides and powerful storms have thrust deadly amounts of snow, sleet, and hail upon unprepared communities. Perhaps the greatest symbol of life on earth is simultaneously one of the greatest symbols of death. And today, on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we find the God of Heaven and Earth immersing Himself into this great paradox.
At first glance, to even speak about the Lord’s baptism seems an absurdity. As the Baltimore Catechism makes abundantly clear, baptism is a sacrament which cleanses us from original sin, makes us Christians, children of God, and heirs of heaven. Now any child with even a modicum of training in the faith can tell us that none of those things apply to Jesus. So what was going on in the Jordan River that day? Why did Jesus step into its waters if He had no need to be baptized? The early Church Fathers considered this question at great length and their conclusions are pretty much unanimous: Jesus entered into the waters of the Jordan to undergo baptism by John not so that He could in anyway be changed by this water, but so that this water might be changed by Him.
Historically and religiously speaking, the Jordan River was hugely significant. For thousands of years, the Jordan River has been the main water source for the land of Israel, and has thus become the great symbol of life in the region…bringing fertility and life to what would otherwise be a desert. It was the very site where the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land after wandering in the desert for 40 years, taking on the even greater symbolism of being a sign of God’s covenant. And yet at the same time, the very waters of this river have been a great source of death and destruction in the region. Its rapid torrent and sudden violent floods have, throughout history, brought devastation to the people who have relied upon it. The waters of this great river have, with today’s feast, by infiltrated and stepped into by God Himself. The waters of this river flow over Him, saturating Him…but this water, try as it might, has nothing to offer its Creator. It cannot give Him life…and it cannot bring Him death. But by plunging Himself into it, Christ the Lord gives it new meaning and new purpose. His divinity and power flow into this water, sanctifying it, making the life and death it brings divinely ordered to His death which brings life to the world. By going down into the waters of the Jordan, Christ Himself makes the waters of baptism the first Sacrament…the first place where we encounter the redemption accomplished by His death on the Cross, the first place where we encounter the new life of His resurrection. And by His own example, He propels all of us who would desire to follow Him to meet Him in this water. It’s risky business to go into the water…where life meets death and where death meets life…but we trust that because He Himself has entered into it, these waters of paradox become the very means of our salvation.
Water cleanses, water nourishes, and water destroys…and this is precisely what the waters of baptism accomplish in us through the grace and power of Christ. It destroys us…it strips us of all that we once were…it drowns the sin and the guilt right out of us. But it simultaneously rebuilds and brings to new life what it destroys…but not just any new life, the very life of Christ. We become so uniquely and truly one with Him, the Divine Son of God, that the Heavens open and the Father’s voice is heard over us: “You are my beloved son; you are my beloved daughter…in you I am well pleased.” God the Father looks upon us and sees in us His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ...and He loves us as perfectly and as infinitely as He loves the Son. This is what it means to be redeemed in the waters of baptism…this is the paradox of water, and this is why Christ immersed Himself in the waters of the Jordan.
The waters of the Jordan River, sanctified by Christ, symbolically but truly flow into our midst at our own baptism and throughout our lives. Christ continues to sanctify water through the ministry of His priests, making it abundant and ever available for us to wash in and to be nourished by. Every time you come into the church, you are presented with an opportunity to plunge your hands into this sanctified water, recalling the power and miracle of your own baptism. And you can take this water home, sanctifying yourselves and your families with this powerful and precious symbol. But every time you do this…every time you make the sign of the cross with the water, remember that you are ever being plunged into the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. This water, you must realize, will destroy you every time…stripping you of all that you are…and will then bring you to newer and newer life with Christ. Today and all days, let us pray for the grace to continuously drown in these waters, to die to ourselves, so that Christ can raise us to new life with Him, so that the Holy Spirit can descend upon us, so that the Father’s voice might be heard: You are my beloved son…you are my beloved daughter…in you I am well pleased.”
Parish of the Precious Blood
November 25, 2014
Dear Visioning Participants,
It is with a profound sense of pride and gratitude as we reach out to all of you who participated in the Parish Visioning Process. Wow, what an outcome! In the next few days, I will put out e-mails to 80 participants. The excitement is felt in our Pastoral Council; help us to keep that excitement alive!
We feel we should share some of that excitement with you. Highlights of our Pastoral Council meeting consisted of comments such as: The presence of the Holy Spirit was most powerful; worship sites came together to share faith; a vision of our Parish Life was presented; the ability to connect a name with a face gave us a sense of community and unity. The testimonies given by some of you were powerful and easy to relate to. Father Labrie was amazed at how two sessions (Nov. 1 & Nov. 8) had the same concerns and insights. He felt that all of you were concerned and engaged in these sessions. He also shared that ‘we are together more than we realize’.
Where do we go from here? Only forward because whatever we do will help us to grow stronger as a parish community.
A lot of work still needs to be done; don’t be scared to continue to share your ideas and gifts with us. Join your Church Councils, be part of your Church Committees, come to a Pastoral Council Meeting, and as we develop a new way of reaching out to all parishioners; BE INVOLVED, MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Attached, you will find a copy of the results of the data collected in the 5 major categories (Communication, Internal Hospitality, External Hospitality, Sharing the Faith and Strengthening the Family) and the action plan that was formulated by all of you.
On November 15, 2014, you and all of us together made it happen! We, the Pastoral Council want to thank each of you for your willingness to participate in moving these plans forward.
Yours in Christ,
Dave Caron, Chairperson