Letter from Father Ben * March / April, 2017
KNOW LOVE SERVE JESUS MARY CHURCH WORLD
My Dear Parishioners, Moji milí farníci!
Pochválený buď Ježiš Kristus! = Praise be to Jesus Christ!
How is your year going so far? Are you growing in the knowledge of Jesus?; love of Jesus?; are you serving Jesus? Did the Christmas gift of the Catechism of the Catholic Church prompt you to read it for at least 2-3 minutes every day? Did the Secret of the Rosary book give you a new perspective on the prayer of the Rosary? Did you share anything about what you learned from the books, CDs, and Holy Masses with relatives, friends or coworkers, or even strangers? I hope that you did. Strive to be a joyful missionary disciple at all times.
Depending on when you receive this letter we are already, or will soon be, immersed in the Holy Season of Lent that is calling us to pray, fast and give alms. Did you set extra time aside for prayer? Are you consistent in your prayer life? Are you enriching your prayer with Scripture and spiritual reading? Fasting from TV or other media can create that extra time for God that will change your life. During the Apologetics Conference in January, one of the speakers asked a question: “Are we afraid that God is boring and that is why we don’t seek spending more time with Him?”
Wherever you are in your Lent, use the rest of it to make this Lent really great and an important stepping stone to what should come after Easter: a deeper relationship with the Crucified and Risen Jesus.
Every Wednesday in March, starting with March 8th, our associate pastor, Fr. Libor Marek, will offer a Lenten Reflection at 6:30PM in the church. I hope that you will be able to join us.
EASTER AND BEYOND
Shortly before and during Easter time and continuing during the Ordinary time that follows the Easter season, you will have an opportunity to encounter JESUS through three series that will be offered as outlined below:
“JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF JESUS”
APRIL – NOVEMBER: WEDNESDAY EVENINGS, ONCE A MONTH
This year, 2017, our parish is dedicated to the theme: KNOW LOVE SERVE JESUS. After launching two courses, Alpha and the Adult Catechism Course in January, hosting powerful presentations on Miracles in February, and the Lenten Symposium on March 11th, I am inviting you to spend 1 hour with Jesus, beginning on April 5th and each month on selected Wednesday nights at 6:30PM. During this hour you will be introduced to, and an explanation will be given on, one of the JESUS-centered devotions, some that you are familiar with and perhaps some less known, (e.g. Stations of the Cross and Light, Eucharistic Adoration and Eucharistic Saints, Holy Name of Jesus, Divine Mercy, Holy Face, etc.). There will be additional time to spend in prayer and to receive Eucharistic Benediction. The dates for “Journey into the Heart of Jesus” are: April 5, May 17, June 14, July 12, August 9, September 6, October 18, and November 15 from 6:30 – 7:30PM. This series will be led by Bobby Hesley, our RCIA teaching team member.
APRIL – JULY: FRIDAY EVENINGS, 10 WEEKS
This is a multi-part film series that illumines a handful of saints, artists, mystics, and scholars who not only shaped the life of the Church but changed the course of civilization. This series, prepared by Bishop Robert Barron (author of the Catholicism series), will consist of watching an episode each week with discussion. Pivotal players will be led by Mary Bann, our parish Evangelization team member. The kick off date is: Friday, April 21, at 6:30PM.
“GENESIS TO JESUS” BIBLE STUDY
APRIL – JUNE: THURSDAY EVENINGS, 8 WEEKS
This Bible Study looks at the whole Bible story from the perspective of the covenants that God has made with people from Creation through the present time. You will learn what a covenant is and how all the covenants that God made with His people in the Old Testament are fulfilled in Christ and the Church. After this study, you won’t feel lost in the Bible ever again. This series will be presented live, led by Nick Jorgensen, parishioner and Associate Director of the Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Detroit. The kick off date is Thursday, April 20, at 7:00PM.
BOOKS ON JESUS
Since reading books can expand our knowledge and lead us to both a deeper love and service, here is a list of Jesus-themed books that I highly recommend. Pick one to read for Lent or Easter or, at least, for this year of 2017:
“Jesus of Nazareth” by Pope Benedict XVI, “The Life of Christ” by Bishop Fulton Sheen
“A Brief Life of Christ” by Fr. Leslie Rumble, “The Lord” by Romano Guardini
“The Case for Jesus” by Brant Pitre, “Jesus Hypotheses” by Vittorio Messori
“The Case of Christ” by Lee Strobel, and “Rediscover Jesus” by Matthew Kelly
Young Mother Teresa, or Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, was deeply influenced by three things:
1) The example of her parents (especially their love, service and generosity towards the poor in their home town);
2) The priest in her school who taught her to ask these questions daily: What have I done for Jesus? – What am I doing for Jesus? – What will I do for Jesus?; and,
3) A missionary from India.
Who or what will influence you? Don’t miss out on living for Jesus!
God bless you! Fr. Ben
Fr Ben Audio