Why do Catholics have Mass Intentions? We believe that God’s mercy extends beyond this present life, and that our weaknesses and imperfections can be healed by divine compassion in ways that remain a mystery to us. Mass intentions refer to the priest who is presiding at that Liturgy. It means that someone has requested that he offer that Mass for a specific intention.
Following a long tradition, Catholics often have Masses said for various intentions. Mass is the strongest prayer we have and to ask the priest to offer Mass for a specific intention is a powerful form of intercession, either for ourselves or for a loved one. Sometimes people have Mass said when someone is sick or when they are about to undergo surgery. Masses are often offered on the occasion of birthdays and anniversaries. Perhaps the most common is Masses for the deceased. To have Masses prayed for the deceased is an expression of our love for those persons and our hope that God will forgive their sins and welcome them to God’s eternal embrace. Most mortuaries provide Mass cards at the Vigil or even before the Funeral Liturgy. In lieu of flowers or other memorials, it is a Catholic tradition to have Masses offered. While it is nice to be present when these Masses are offered, it is not necessary. Please don’t feel bound to being present at the Mass.
Mass intentions are announced before the Masses begin so that others may join their prayers to that intention as well. The priest, however, is the only one who has committed himself to offer that intention Other participants are always free to offer the Mass for whatever intention they wish.
We are currently running out of intentions for Masses in our parish. This means that, in the future, you may see in the bulletin next to a daily Mass: “Unassigned.” This simply means that there is no designated intention for that Mass. Here at St. Thomas More, Alysia Baumann takes care of this ministry. Call her or stop by the office at your convenience to request a Mass Intention. Mass intentions can also be requested via online giving on our website. The suggested donation is $10, but you are, of course, not required to donate anything. These donations go to the priest who offers the Mass, and it contributes to his support.
~ Fr. Frank Coady
This weekend’s Gospel reminds me how the resurrection was a very bodily experience. Jesus goes out of his way to demonstrate that to the disciples. He comments that his risen body has flesh and bones. Then, he even eats in front of them. In our world, we sometimes like to separate the body and spirit. We are told that our bodies need to look and be a certain way to be ideal. It creates a sense of shame when we don’t live up to those unrealistic images. As we get older, our physical appearance changes, but our society spends so much time telling us how to reverse the aging process. The Risen Jesus has his wounds even in the glorified body. This tells me to accept my own wounds, sufferings, and scars because God uses those things and transforms them. God accepts my body, in all its imperfections, and so should I. I glorify God through the temple of my body. We spend time during Lent doing practices that control the desires of the body. We do this to show our detachment form the tings of this world. What we do with our body affects our spirit. If the body is a temple of the Spirit, then my bodily witness to the Good News ought to express that. For those who have illnesses that have changed their appearance, for those who struggle with weight, and for those who don’t like the way they look, Jesus has something to say…”Put your hands into my side, see the wounds in my hands and feet, and see that I have flesh and bones.” Your body is God’s gift to you and you will carry that with you into eternity. Rejoice in the body and proclaim the Good News with your whole being, body and spirit.
~ Dcn Wayne Talbot
Christ is Risen!
We have spent 40 days contemplating and participating in Christ’s death. Now we will spend 50 days contemplating how we participate in his resurrection and glory.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus experiences a constant desire to be in communion with the Father in his humanity. As God, Christ was never apart from the Father, but, in his human nature, he suffered the same separation that the rest of us suffer. He felt that separation keenly and longed for it to be over.
After his resurrection, he feels that the time is close when he will ascend to the Father and will be in communion with him even in his human nature. He tells Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb: “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” He wants her to let go of the earthly body of Jesus so that she can continue in relationship with the Risen Lord. That relationship will be celebrated in the Eucharist, in which she will commune not with the earthly body of Jesus, but with the glorified body of the risen Lord.
What is true for Jesus is true for us as well. He sent his divinizing Spirit to transform us into the body of Christ. Already, we are in communion with the Father, through the Son to whom we have been joined by the Spirit. One day, we will be in perfect union with the Father with our bodies; but, for now, we experience that communion in the Eucharist and in our daily prayer.
We also experience that communion through loving. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God in them. God is found wherever there is love. Through love, we experience the abiding presence of Christ and are joined to him and thus to the Father.
~ Fr. Frank Coady
My name came up in the rotation for Musing this week…Easter weekend of all weekends! I asked my friend and mentor Bill Kennedy if he would write something up. Here it is…enjoy!
Last week, a group of our parishioners, ages 5 to 75, drove to Breckenridge, Colorado, for three days of recreation. The event was a Youth Ministry Ski Trip. At Our Lady of Peace in Silverthorne, we attended Mass said by a priest who paused at length as he spoke. Wanting to move on, we were frustrated. After Mass, he spoke more. He told his parish he had brain cancer, again, and this was his last Mass with them as he could no longer read or see well. He was leaving the parish to live at home with his parents, earthly life to be short. He apologized to his parish for leaving them. We learned.
THEN…Each day we rose and skied, we laughed and carried on, and each evening after supper, we gathered, sang, told stories about the day, and entered GIG prayers. A GIG (God is Good) prayer is an opportunity for anyone in the group to offer a statement of a recent event or thought about awareness of God’s love. With that priest in mind, in the solitude and enormity of the mountains, in the joy and freedom of young minds, I was left resting in faith for the future of our church. Love will prevail.
The beauty and joy of a discovery of God’s love by a high school girl or boy cannot be rivaled. Nor can the love awakened in the hearts of mature adults who in some small way have influenced events surrounding that discovery as it occurred. We heard the words freshly spoken, but with eternal meaning.
Fearless statements of God’s presence cannot be ignored!
~ Bill Kennedy in lieu of Rick Smith (Youth Minister)
We are almost at the end of the journey to Easter. The most holy days of the church year are before us. Going to church on all these holy days has been a family tradition since I was a young child. I remember hearing the Gospel describing the Lord’s passion and death and wondering, “What would I have done if I had lived at the time of Jesus?” Simon of Cyrene always stood out to me. That poor man was in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover—maybe it was trip of a lifetime—found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time and was pulled in by the Roman soldiers to help Jesus carry the cross. What would I have done?
Today, you do not have to look far to see people carrying heavy crosses. One of the highlights of this Lenten season for me has been a DVD from Catholic Relief Services that was shipped with our Rice Bowls. The DVD was appropriate for children, so several of our Religious Education classes have viewed it. It tells the story of people who have heavy crosses to bear and explains how CRS is helping them.
One of the people highlighted on the video is an eight year old boy from Iraq. His name is Majd and he and his family had to flee their home when they were attacked by ISIS. Before the attack, Majd’s family had a stable life with a large home and luxuries. Now they have been displaced, without even the certainty of a bed or food. CRS stepped in and found an apartment for Majd’s family and many others. They started a school for Majd and other refugee children. Majd’s mother said, “Majd is so motivated to go to school. He just wants it to be morning so he can go.” The school provides Majd and the other children more than education; it means a normal life now and hope for the future.
Pope Francis says, “Jesus teaches us a different path. Do not classify others in order to see who is a neighbor and who is not. You can become neighbor to whomever you meet in need, and you will do so if you have compassion in your heart. That is to say, if you have that capacity to suffer with someone else. You must become a Samaritan.” During this Holy Week, when we are concentrating on the cross of salvation, think about how you can help others with the burdens they carry. Fill up your Rice Bowl with coins and return it on Holy Thursday. Help Catholic Relief Services give the gift of hope and joy.
~ Sherry Watts, K-6 Coordinator