Fr. Mike’s Communication for Aug 8, 2021

 August 8, 2021

“So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.”

– Ephesians 5:1-2

Brothers and Sisters,

May the Bread of Life truly be yours that the life of Jesus may nourish you in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and in the Communion with the Body of Christ, the Church!

When I was a kid, long car rides, typically a standard part of our family vacations, seemed to be the breeding ground for chaos. God bless her; my mother tried her hardest to keep my six siblings and me occupied with lots of wholesome fun. Singing songs together was usually short-lived, considering the age gaps between all of us, and games like “I spy with my little eye,” or spotting license plates from far away states could only consume so much of our time. Inevitably, one of us would make the poor choice of annoying a sibling with amusements like “I know you are but what am I” or the classic “I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you” to pass the time. Perhaps the worst culprit to upend the peace in our van was repeating whatever some other person said. The old adage might claim, imitation is a high form of flattery, but that form of imitation is just plain annoying! Today’s family car rides really are no different. Despite the many devices at our fingertips to help consume the time on long trips, the irksome pestering of family or friends can still be a challenge. Regardless of whatever type of irritations you experience with your family or loved ones, whether it’s on a long car ride, or just the regular day-to-day, take a moment to be thankful for their presence and your time together. Gratitude has a funny way of bringing peace back to the most chaotic of circumstances!

Today, our culture stresses independence and teaches us to find our own path, to be our unique selves. Yet, Paul asks us to be imitators. Being ourselves should not mean that we do not strive to be more – to live by the same generosity and gift of self by Christ. The self-first attitude or the goal of pure self-sufficiency is destructive towards our goal of Communion. In continuing his teaching on the Eucharist in John 6. Jesus stresses receiving the gift of his life, “my flesh for the life of the world.” 

Let us continue to thank Christ for the Eucharist and strive to encourage one another to appreciate the ways the Lord’s grace is working in our lives.

Some considerations:

  • Next weekend, leadership from our SALT Ministry will speak at all the masses. While an acronym for Serving All with Love Together, SALT is drawn from the gospel of Matthew Chapter 5:13-16, where Jesus calls out that we are to be the Salt and the Light to the world. In response to his teaching, our SALT ministers bring the unconditional love of Jesus to our neighbors through nutritious food,, hope for a better tomorrow, and the joy of Christ to our many friends struggling with life on the margins in Baltimore City and the surrounding communities. Would you please continue to pray for our SALT ministers and discern your role to support this powerful ministry in prayer?
  • After the masses last weekend, as I jokingly warned children and teens that I would use that dreaded “school” word, I was reminded that I should have given fair warning to teachers. Please pray for the many teachers in our parish, those serving here at OLPH School and the many who teach in other Catholic Schools, including our neighbors at Trinity, St. Augustine, Resurrection-St. Paul, and St. Mark, in Christian Schools like Lamb of God School, and other private and public schools like those in the Howard County school system. Teachers have had to deal with much more than adapting to changing expectations and procedures, including online classrooms and digital instruction and assessments. Please keep all our teachers, aides, and school administrators in your prayers as preparations for the new school year are underway. Our school bus is now parked out in the Narthex as well. Would you please support the efforts led by our parish St. Vincent de Paul Outreach Ministry to provide school supplies for students in need? Your donated school supplies will benefit students at Deep Run Elementary in our county and students in the neighborhoods of St. Veronica, our sister parish, and St. Wenceslaus, both in Baltimore City. Bring supplies back to the parish by Sunday evening, August 15.
  • In gratitude for our prayers and presence, Fr. Stephen Ositimehin wrote a thank you letter to our parish. As he wrote:
    “How wonderful it was to have so many of our sister parish family at our 75th Anniversary celebration!… Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to support us and for joining our 75th Anniversary celebration – it wouldn’t have been the same without you. We will continue to remember your intentions at Mass. Sincerely, Rev. Dr. Stephen O. Ositimehin.”
    Please continue to pray for our sister parish, St. Veronica! Fr. Stephen will be celebrating the Saturday 4:30 pm Mass at OLPH on August 14. Please be hospitable and thank him for his help.
    Continuing celebrations for the 200th Anniversary of Baltimore’s Basilica, the first Cathedral in the United States, Cardinal Dolan will speak after Vespers at 5 pm on Saturday, August 14 and Bishop Robert Barron will preach the Sunday 10:45 am Mass. A casual outdoor celebration will occur after the Mass. Family and friends are invited to this free and open to the public liturgies. Register on their website and find more information.
  • Sadly, the pandemic is not over. People worldwide continue to struggle from the impact of sickness, mourning the loss of family and friends, lasting unemployment, and mounting weight of mental health concerns. In the US, efforts to curb the spread with access to vaccinations allowed us to focus on recovery, resuming the needed gatherings of family and friends and widening access to worship. Unfortunately, the Delta variant is challenging this positive progress. Baltimore City is in the process of resuming mandates for masks indoors this Monday. As a parish, we remain committed to providing access to the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, through the Mass and adoration. I encourage all adults in the parish to work with their primary physicians and receive the vaccination. Parents are encouraged to work with Pediatricians and vaccinate children 12 and older. Our parish policy remains, masks are optional but encouraged for all who are unvaccinated. We will continue to offer the Outdoor Mass as the desire exists and maintain the section of pews in front of Our Lady of Perpetual Help icon as distanced and mask-mandated seating. Would you please let me know if you witness any failures that comply with best practices or ways to be as safe as possible?

St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Rev. Michael S. Triplett