This coming Sunday, November 19th,Bishop Salvatore R.Matanowill preside at the 11AM Mass at St. Anne. BishopMatanoled us in the celebration of the Feast of Ss. Anne and Joachim at St. Anne in 1014; he visited Our Lady of Lourdes and the St. George Lithuanian community at a Saturday evening Mass in 2015; and he opened the new school year with Seton Catholic School in 2016.Please join us next Sunday at 11AM as we welcome our Bishop again at St. Anne.
Pope Francis asks that Catholics around the world observe Sunday, November 19th asthe first World Day of the Poor. In his message proclaiming the World Day of the Poor, the Holy Father notes that one of the first signs of the Christian community’s entrance upon the world stage was service of the poor (The Acts of the Apostles2:45; 6:3). He cites also the example of St. Francis of Assisi, who not only gave help to the poor, but lived with them, and got to know and care for them as individuals. Because he kept his gaze fixed on Christ, St. Francis was able to see and serve Christ in the poor (Matthew25:3140). The Pope continues:
“We may think of the poor simply as the beneficiaries of our occasional volunteer work, or of impromptu acts of generosity that appease our conscience. However good and useful such acts may be for making us sensitive to people’s needs and the injustices that are often their cause, they ought to lead to a trueencounterwith the poor and asharingthat becomes a way of life. Our prayer and our journey of discipleship and conversion find the confirmation of their evangelic authenticity in precisely such charity and sharing. This way of life gives rise to joy and peace of soul, because we touch with our own hands theflesh of Christ. If we truly wish to encounter Christ, we have to touch his body in the suffering bodies of the poor, as a response to the sacramental communion bestowed in the Eucharist. The Body of Christ, broken in the sacred liturgy, can be seen, through charity and sharing, in the faces and persons of the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.”
Saint John Chrysostom’s admonition remains ever timely: “If you want to honor the body of Christ, do not scorn it when it is naked; do not honor the Eucharistic Christ with silk vestments, and then, leaving the church, neglect the other Christ suffering from cold and nakedness (Hom. InMatthaeum, 50:3: PG 58).”
In this Year of the Eucharist in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Rochester, Pope Francis’ message shows us how our solidarity with the vulnerable and our care for them is reverence for the Body of Christ, as much as our reverence for the Eucharist in church.
Grace and peace,
Fr. Gary Tyman