If you’re like me, you occasionally catch yourself in your own self-centeredness and remember (for a moment,
anyway) that to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to care for and to serve others.
Today’s gospel story is of the rich man who dined sumptuously each day while the poor man Lazarus (not the same Lazarus that Jesus raises from the dead in the gospel of John) languishes at his door. Lazarus is quite literally dying for scraps from the rich man’s table, and suffering the indignity of dogs licking his sores.
In the first reading, the prophet Amos warns “Woe to the complacent ... they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.” It’s a little unsettling, isn’t it? And so is the fate of the rich man who ends up in torment in the netherworld.
In today’s responsorial psalm we sing that the LORD:
How does the LORD accomplish these things today? He ascended into heaven 2000+ years ago. In the 16th Century, St. Teresa of Avila said it this way: “Christ has no body now but yours, no hands but yours to heal the wounded world; no eyes but yours to gaze with compassion; no feet but yours to walk this world with mercy and justice.”
So, when we are roused from our complacency and see the suffering of others around us, it is up to us to act, to care, to share. St. Paul says to Timothy in today’s second reading “I charge you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus ... to keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The commandment to which Paul refers could be the Great Commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself.
Someone once said that the Word of God doesn’t just comfort the afflicted, it also afflicts the comfortable. I think this is one of those Sundays. Kyrie eleison!
Music and Liturgy Minister
Quiet Heroes - Sacristans
I’m happy, upon occasion, to call your attention to the people who have made our parish such a vibrant community. I’d like to draw your attention, this week, to some lovely, generous people who work together, most often behind the scenes, to make our liturgies come alive. My focus, this week, is on those who work deep under cover: our wonderful sacristans.
The setup for Mass can be complicated. Chalices and ciboria (the plates for the Hosts) need to be prepared for both priests and eucharistic ministers, along with their linens (we call them “purificators”). Before each Mass, a check is made of the number of consecrated Hosts in the tabernacle so that the approximate number for the next liturgy can be prepared in the right vessels.
Seat covers, reserving seats for deacons, altar servers and visiting priests, need to be on the required chairs in the assembly well before the early birds arrive. Linens for the altar need to be in place, as well as the Roman Missal, tabbed correctly for the particular prayers set aside for the day.
The sacristan keeps an eye out on the sign-in sheet for eucharistic ministers and lectors, to ensure that backups are recruited if the assigned ministers are unable to attend.
During the liturgy, the sacristans keep careful eye on the altar servers, especially when their leader, Bob Shadduck, is not present. The servers are very well trained, and beautifully willing, but they are children, and profit from encouragement and oversight.
Once the liturgy begins, if anything goes sideways, often enough, the sacristans have observed it and are half way to solving the problem before I even detect it!
During the Our Father, the sacristans go to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, to bring the ciborium from the tabernacle, placing it on the altar during the Lamb of God, and distributing the Hosts into the plates used by the ministers. On rare occasions, they step in to take the place of a eucharistic minister. Every now and then, in ways we can never predict, far more people show up than normal, and sacristans step up to make sure that all the stations have as many Hosts as they need.
As communion draws to a close, and the liturgy finishes, it is so very important that the vessels from Mass be cleansed in a conscientious and reverent way, which the sacristans do with great care. They then leave careful notes for the sacristan for the next liturgy to help them in the next setup.
Sacristans come very early to the liturgy, and don’t leave until most everyone has long departed. They bring me a real peace of mind, allowing me, both before and after the liturgy, to greet you all on your way through the doors. I learned long ago to trust their expertise and competence. How, ever, would I thank these people enough?
Fr. Patrick Pastor
1926 - 2019
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Padre Serra Parish
5205 Upland Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012
Dear Parish Family,
Today’s Gospel seems to begin problematically ... a sheep got lost, a coin was mislaid, and a son left home. Yet the main message this Sunday is to rejoice! What was lost is found! “In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” This is good news, our loving and merciful God is always waiting for us to return to him. We are called to take part in the sharing of the good news with others. When we share about our faith experience and help bring others to an encounter with Jesus, this is a catechetical moment.
Each year, the Catholic Church in the United States designates the third Sunday in September as “Catechetical Sunday” — a day to celebrate and pray for the Church’s mission to teach the Gospel to all people. Catechists and teachers will be commissioned and blessed at the 11:00 am Mass this Sunday. I invite you to listen closely as this invitation is not for just a few, but for us all. This year’s theme is “Stay with Us,” quoting the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who invited Jesus to stay with them (Luke 24:13-35). For Jesus is the ultimate teacher, whom we strive to imitate. Likewise in our own spiritual journey which we began the day of our Baptism, at times we are like the disciples, lost in need of guidance, open to be the learners. At times we will be like Jesus, listening and accompanying, and helping others understand all that Jesus taught and showed us about the Father. As catechists, we answer the call to share our faith with others, deepening our own faith in the process.
There are many ways we can answer our call to be catechists. Each one of us unique in our gifts and talents, which we are meant to use as his disciples and bring others to Encounter Jesus. I hope you have had the opportunity to visit the various ministries both last Sunday and today. There is a ministry for you. Where do you feel called to serve? No experience necessary.
To all catechists in our lives, parents and grandparents, priests and deacons, religious sisters, church family, all who have been encounters of Jesus in our lives, we thank you! Rejoice!
Faith Formation Minister
Blessed Sacrament Chapel Hours
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