“Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing for joy. Know that He, the Lord, is God. He made us; we belong to Him; we are His people, the sheep of His flock. Go within his gates, giving thanks. Enter His courts with songs of praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name. Indeed, how good is the Lord; eternal His merciful love. He is faithful from age to age.” – Psalm 100
The Church often incorporates Psalm 100 into her liturgical prayer, most especially in the Liturgy of the Hours. Today was no exception, as psalm 100 was part of Morning Prayer. As I sat in the church this morning, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, my thoughts first ran to the latter part of the psalm: Enter His courts with songs of praise/Give thanks to Him and bless His name. This weekend, plenty of people will be entering into this house of the Lord with the express purpose of giving Him thanks for the gift that this parish community is, and to praise, bless, and glorify His holy name through what will be beautiful liturgical celebrations. My prayer was that everyone who joins us – and I hope that number is not insignificant – has a profound encounter with Jesus Christ that hastens them along their path of conversion.
As I continued to pray over this psalm, I started to reflect on how it begins. “Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth!” This is less of a reflection on the weekend but more of a general question: how often do we cry out with joy to the Lord? How often do we allow our joy to be evident? Pope Francis spoke very bluntly about this at a daily Mass homily in 2014, saying, “A Christian without joy is either not a Christian or he is sick! There’s no other type…joy is like the seal of a Christian. Even in pain, tribulations, even in persecutions.” The Holy Father also reflected that the surest way to encounter joy was to take seriously Jesus’ admonition to “remain in my love” – and that the surest way to do that was to keep the Commandments. Let us, then, be joyful people by following the Lord more closely in all facets of our life, until we reach the true joy of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Some news and notes:
PRAYERS: Pray for Brianna Cerny and Ryan Tappe, who are getting married here tomorrow.
ANNIVERSARY: It’s finally here! This weekend is our Silver Jubilee celebration! Things kick-off tonight at 5:30 PM with Solemn Evening Prayer. Fr. Ken Oldenski will be the celebrant and homilist. After prayer, all are invited downstairs for a potluck dinner where we will recognize the founding families of the parish. Tomorrow night, there will be a Festival of Praise in the church at 7 PM. Fr. Tom Sparacino will preside and preach. Sunday, the Most Reverend William Winter, auxiliary bishop-emeritus of Pittsburgh will be the celebrant and homilist at the 10 AM Mass; following Mass, all are welcome to the church hall for a celebratory brunch. PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE NO NOON MASS THIS WEEKEND. We hope to see you this weekend!
ALL SAINTS DAY: A friendly reminder that this Wednesday, November 1, is the Feast of All Saints and is a HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION. Masses will be offered at St. Richard at 9 AM and 7 PM, and also at St. Barnabas Retirement Home at 11 AM. The parish office will be closed on Wednesday.
ALL SOULS DAY: Thursday, November 2, is the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, or All Souls Day. Mass will be offered at 9 AM and 7 PM. At the 7 PM Mass, we will acknowledge all those from our parish family who have passed away in the last year. Following Mass, there will be a light social and a time of fellowship.
FAITH FORMATION: No Faith Formation this week, BUT THERE IS UPPER ROOM on Wednesday evening.
TINY SAINTS AND T-SHIRTS: Last call to order anniversary t-shirts or Tiny Saints key chains. See the bulletin for more information.
I think that’s all…I hope so, anyway. It’s going to be a great weekend and I look forward to celebrating with you! Know you’re loved, and I’ll see you at Mass!