Beginning next Saturday and Sunday and continuing for the weekend of February 6 & 7 we will host a special two-week homily series entitled At the Table. This is a unique, unscripted, honest and candid presentation about the Eucharist. Perhaps you have heard the questions in the promotion of this series before Mass recently. Has Covid kept you away or something deeper? Are you Catholic out of obligation or desire? Do you come to the Eucharist with love or indifference?
The recent protocols for safety in the midst of the pandemic have placed restrictions on the availability of the ‘Live’ celebration of the Eucharist. We have worked very hard to offer taped masses and virtual live streamed experiences and, although helpful, these have also, in their own way, forced us to reflect on the very essence of the Eucharistic gathering, particularly the REALITY of Christ’s presence in it.
Analytics have shown us that the vast majority of people viewing online log off after the homily. This fact has stirred us as a staff to look deeper at our collective experience of Christ’s REAL presence in the Eucharistic gathering – in the people gathered, the stories of scripture proclaimed, the person of the priest, and the elements of bread and wine.
My greatest conviction is that the most powerful experience of grace in the Sacrament comes from sharing it. I sense a decline over the years in appreciation of this grace.
Our Church holds and conveys so many long standing and beautiful teachings about the sacredness of the Eucharist and we here at Holy Family put forth so much effort to recast that sacredness in creative, vibrant, engaging, progressive and relevant ways. We take our responsibility to lead the celebration of the Eucharist reverently and to share that sacredness in a way that helps to feed the spiritual hunger of our parishioners and those we invite to join us through the prayerfulness of our Masses.
As Catholics, we believe in a God who has given himself to us in Jesus, and in the Eucharist Jesus gives himself to us. That is one of the most succinct ways that I can describe the miracle and power of the Mass. It is a profoundly deep spiritual exercise that celebrates who we are as the body of Christ. Last week I shared in my homily that God calls us five ways: personally; as a universal people through Baptism; repeatedly throughout our lives; in various aspects of our lives; and finally, collectively in the Eucharist.
The power and grace of the Eucharist has been proclaimed through countless reflections, books, teachings, writings, songs and other vehicles of our faith. We feel that this candid and fresh presentation will help the sacredness of the Eucharist to grow in our hearts and thus impact our lives in a new and even more grace-filled way.
Please join us live for any of the four Masses, two on each Saturday evening and two on Sunday morning, via the live streamed 9:00am Sunday Mass. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD about this special presentation. Invite others to attend or view At the Table.
Catholic Schools Week February 1-5
This weekend we welcome our Principal Kate O’Brien for a brief presentation at Mass to share an update about our Academy. We have had 425 children here on campus five days a week since the beginning of the year in late August. Over 40 students have chosen the virtual experience at home but are integrated into the learning environment with their classmates. Covid has created many challenges, but our HFCA staff and faculty have out-created the virus by offering an even greater learning environment.
There will be virtual tour opportunities to learn about our cutting-edge Academy in the afternoons of Catholic Schools Week from Monday, February 1 to Friday, February 5 at holyfamilyacademy.net. Please join us in spreading the word about our great school.
Fishers of People
This week’s Gospel urges us all to be more than fishers, but fishers of people. It invites us to expand and even transform the actions and activities and work of our lives (fishing) to the people and relational aspect of it (of men/people).