We would like to know if there are elderly people or those confined to their homes in our area who cannot get out to buy food or other necessities. The Senior Center in Carlsbad is delivering meals to seniors.
If you know someone or if you need help shopping, please call our parish office 760.729.2866 and we will help as best that we can. There is an organization- Feeding All God’s Children, who are feeding the homeless at Magee Park.
Yesterday they distributed 50 meals in to-go containers, keeping with the 6 feet distance. Public schools are providing "Pick up & go” lunches for students who were receiving free healthy breakfast/lunches at school.
A Word from the Pastor:
March 20, 2020
We’re not sure who first made the statement: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but it can be traced back to the early 17th century. It has been repeated in various ways for four centuries, so I guess many people have found it to be meaningful. I think it can also help us recognize what benefit may come from our suspension of all parish activities, including the Mass. Not being able to celebrate the Eucharist may create a greater hunger in our hearts for the Lord.
Of course, the Lord can satisfy our hunger for Jesus in many other ways than the Eucharist. Time for quiet personal prayer can lead us to a deeper union with Christ. As we read the Scriptures, we can hear the Lord speaking to us. His Word touching our hearts and minds invites a prayerful response from us. And so the dialogue begins. Through intimate dialogue with the Lord our relationship will grow.
Certainly vocal prayers can satisfy our hunger for the Lord. Vocal prayer refers to any prayer that might be memorized or uses the words of someone else. Common examples of vocal prayer include; the rosary, novenas, prayer books, prayer cards, and a host of memorized prayers. St. Teresa of Avila says that one can reach the heights of contemplation even through vocal prayer. In order for this to happen, we need to think about what we are saying. St. Teresa says that reciting vocal prayers without thinking is useless (or worse than useless) because it is, in a way, insulting God. It is talking to God without thinking about what I am saying as if there were some magic in the words. That is why St. Teresa of Avila urges us to be mindful of what we are praying. When it comes to vocal prayer, less may be better.
Even if we pray in many other ways, we as Catholics have a great desire for the Eucharist (or we should). Going for some time without being able to celebrate the Eucharist will be difficult for us. It is part of the weekly rhythm of our lives. For some, it is the way we begin our day. It is also possible that for some of us, it is something that we take for granted. We don’t always realize what a gift it is. Perhaps absence from the Eucharist will make our hearts grow fonder and deepen our appreciation for the great privilege we have in celebrating the Eucharist regularly.
You probably remember hearing about the Vatican Synod on the Pan-Amazon region of South America which was held in Rome last October 2019. One of numerous problems discussed by the bishops of the synod is the fact that many ecclesial communities in the Amazon territory have enormous difficulties in accessing the Eucharist. It can take months or even years for a priest to return to a community to celebrate Mass or offer the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick. We, who will be without the celebration of the Eucharist for some weeks, can put ourselves in solidarity with our brother and sister Catholics in other parts of the world who rarely have the opportunity to participate in the Mass.
Let us all continue to pray for all the sick and those who live in fear of this virus. We pray in a special way for all doctors, nurses and medical personnel who are being challenged with the enormity of the task that is theirs. We pray for all of our government leaders who are faced with making such important decisions on a daily basis. May the Holy Spirit guide them as they lead our country, state, county and cities. And most of all, let us pray for one another in our parish. May God take away our fears and lead us to a greater trust in the Lord’s healing power.
Recall the words of Psalm 45: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear...”
The Ephesians are told to live as children of light.
Jesus heals the man born blind and reveals himself to him as the Son of Man.
Background on the Gospel Reading
As we did last week, we are reading today from the Gospel of John. In today’s Gospel, the healing of the man born blind invites us to focus on the physical and spiritual aspects of sight and light. In the first part of today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus’ response to a prevalent belief of his time: that misfortune and disability were the result of sin. That belief is why Jesus is asked the question of whose sin caused the man’s blindness—his own or his parents’. Jesus does not answer directly, but instead gives the question an entirely different dimension—through this man’s disability, God’s power will be made manifest. Jesus then heals the man.
The healing is controversial because Jesus heals on the Sabbath. The Pharisees, the religious authorities of Jesus’ time, understood that the law of Moses forbade work (including healing) on the Sabbath. They also have trouble believing that Jesus performed a miracle. To determine whether the man was really born blind, the Pharisees question him and his parents. The man challenges the leaders of the synagogue about their assessment of the good that Jesus has done. In turn, they expel the man for questioning their judgment.
The final revelation and moment of enlightenment comes when the man born blind encounters Jesus again. Having heard the news of his expulsion, Jesus seeks out the man born blind and reveals himself to him as the Son of Man. In this moment, the man born blind shows himself to be a man of faith and worships Jesus. Jesus replies by identifying the irony of the experience of many who encounter Jesus: Those who are blind will now see, and those who think they now see will be found to be blind.
As in last week’s Gospel about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, today’s reading has many allusions to Baptism. The washing of the man in the pool of Siloam is a prototype for Christian Baptism. Through the man’s encounter with Jesus, the man born blind is healed, his sight is restored, and his conversion to discipleship begins. The man born blind gradually comes to a greater understanding about who Jesus is and what it means to be his disciple, while the Pharisees (those who should see) are the ones who remain blind.
While we can watch the Mass on TV or through the internet, an important element is missing: most of us receive the Lord sacramentally in Holy Communion each time we participate in the Mass. This is the high-point of our celebration of the Mass, our greatest form of participation.
In cases when people are not able to receive Holy Communion, the Church encourages us to make an act of “spiritual communion,” where we unite ourselves to God through prayer. It is a beautiful way to express to God our desire to be united with him when we are unable to complete that union in the reception of Holy Communion.
Countless saints incorporated this type of prayer into their daily lives, not being satisfied with receiving Jesus in the Eucharist once a week or even once a day. Making an act of spiritual communion for them was an essential part of life and drew them closer to God on a daily basis.
Here is one of the traditional prayers that can help us make a spiritual Communion. As you watch the Mass online or TV, pray this prayer and meditate on the words as you make them your own.
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
During this time of inactivity, we will use our parish email system to communicate with parishioners to offer spiritual reflections and make announcements.
If you know someone who does not receive our emails, please forward this to them, or have them reply to this message to add their email address. You can also call the office at 760.729.2866.
A message from Fr. Ron regarding our financial status.