Schedule and Pastor's Message
Sept. 6 - Sept.12, 2020
St. Patrick Church
Saturday Vigil Mass: 4:30 PM
10:00 AM In the Church and livestreamed on facebook,
Mon. - Sat.:
8:00 AM Daily Mass in the Church and livestreamed on facebook
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament:
Wed. 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Sat. 11:00 AM: Rosary for the end of Covid 19 virus
Conference call number: 717-275-8940 PIN Number 369 8340#
Saturday: Confessions 3:30 PM-4:30 PM
PASTOR'S CLASS Tuesday Evening at 7:00 PM
To register click the link below. This week's topic: Lent
Join PASTOR'S CLASS
PASTOR’S WEEKLY MESSAGE 23
In the first reading of today’s Mass we hear God telling Ezekiel: “I have appointed you as sentry.” Ezekiel is to be to the people of Israel, like a watchman. God explains, clearly, what He wants Ezekiel to do: “When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them in my name.” In the Gospel, we hear the same kind of advice from Jesus Himself. He tells us to warn our brother if he does something wrong. Why? Because his wrong-doing can hurt both himself and his brothers. We are probably wondering: What are the dangers I should warn my brothers against? What is the wrong-doing that we are responsible to point out to them because it is dangerous for them and for others?
First, there are wrong ways of thinking… Thoughts that are not Christian or beliefs that are the opposite of what faith tells us. It goes against what we read in the Gospel. Such thoughts
be how Jesus thinks…thoughts of hatred, desire for revenge, jealousy and envy, doubts about God’s love and forgiveness. All of these are dangerous, and we must steer others away from them.
Second, there are wrong ways of speaking… Bitter and angry words, words spoken against someone to ruin his/her name, words that destroy friendships and connections between people. They are like poison; they bring serious harm to our community. Because of such words, there is division among us and there can be no peace. This, too, is something we must warn our brothers against.
And thirdly, there are wrong ways of doing things… Ways that hurt other people, being unfaithful to one’s spouse, not caring for our children, being lazy at work, failing to support your family, cheating, and stealing. All these are actions and behaviors which go against what Jesus expects from His followers. Such actions are dangerous in the life of a Christian.
If we are to be good watchmen to our brothers and sisters, we should warn them about the dangerous areas in their lives. We should help them see how they are on a hill going down very sharply. We need to help them become aware of the possible results of their attitudes or actions.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us how to go about this. He says: ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between the two of you.’ In other words, do not insult the person or shame him/her in front of other people. We must respect others enough to be careful in the way we try to bring attention to some of their ways. Talk to that person and let the matter remain between the two of you—only.
If you try to do this and see no change, Jesus adds some words of guidance for us: ‘If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you.’ This may help the person understand and see how serious or dangerous his/her behavior is. He/she may change when it is obvious that more people are worried or concerned about his/her ways. Finally, if this does not work Jesus says: “Report to the community.” And if this fails, leave the person alone. Jesus’ words are: “treat him like a pagan or tax collector.” These were people with whom good Jews did not move about. We can only hope that, by seeing people move away from him/her, the person will become aware that there is something wrong in his/her ways.
The task of warning people is not easy. It calls for skill and must be done with the right intention, not to get rid of your own impatience and anger towards the person, but with the true desire of helping him or her. Let us be careful in understanding Jesus’ words today. We are not to start noting all the small details of people’s ways that we think are not good. We should not give in to the bad habit of finding fault with everybody and continually picking on people around us. This is not the meaning of Jesus’ words. This is not his way. Pope John XXIII said: “See everything, overlook much, correct little.”
So, if you correct people, do as Jesus Himself would do—with
to help them.
Sr. Kathleen Luger
on Friday, September 4 at 10:34AM