Weekend Refection (May 1/2)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Christian life ultimately isn't a philosophy or a theology. It's not enough to study or read, not enough to have the accessories. It is a way of life. To be a Christian, we must be in a life-giving relationship with Christ. Are you connected to Christ? Does he live and breathe in you? How do we know if Christ is alive in us? In the old days, we might have talked about being in a state of grace. Those words don't mean much today. There is no lab test available to determine our spiritual state, but there is an exam, an examination of conscience.
The second reading asks us to examine our hearts when we come before God. Is our heart at peace, or does it accuse us? We can fool most people, but we can't fool our own hearts. Sometimes our reluctance to come into God's presence is itself an indication that all is not well with us. We maybe are guilty or uneasy. If we don't want to examine our conscience, it's probably because we know in our heart of hearts all is not right in our lives with God or others. Feeling guilty, however, doesn't do us much good, indeed keeping our distance from God only makes it worse. We can be like a child ashamed to look our parents in the eyes.
Please hear this Gospel not as a condemnation but as an invitation. Apart from Christ, we soon get lukewarm in our faith, maybe even cold or indifferent, the voice of Christ becomes faint, and our faith takes a back seat. Sometimes our life of faith actually dies. Look for the spiritual fruit in your life. Where it is present, and where does it need to grow. Our spiritual fruits are the tangible signs of Christ at work in us. They are charity, generosity, joy, gentleness, peace, faithfulness, patience, modesty, kindness, self-control, goodness, and chastity. You'll notice these are all positive things!
The voice of our conscience is not one of condemnation but a reminder that we are called to live in a Christ-like manner. It is a consolation that all sins can be forgiven, that each day is a call for conversion, to try again. That we can become the men and women, Christ has called us to be.
Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.”
With Love and Blessings,
Daily Readings from USCCB
As a reminder, our parish has obtained access to Bishop Barron's
Word on Fire
video library for all parishioners and we can view any of his incredible series. A group of about 70 parishioners has been watching a video a week virtually. We've just started Bishop Barron's first series,
, a beautifully filmed and powerfully delivered overview of our faith. Please join us by texting the word BARRON to 84576 or go to
Live Stream Links
St. Catharine School Playground on Facebook
St. Catharine Church
St. Margaret Church
If you would like to volunteer please click on the link below and put your name in one of the spaces.
Please remember that masks are required at all times while on the church grounds. This is not only for the safety of our visitors but also our priests and worship team.
Virtual Prayer Book
Do you know someone that is in need of prayers?
Are they sick and need prayers of healing?
Do they need prayers for strength to get through this crisis?
Do they need prayers for patience while homeschooling their children?
Is someone lonely and could use a little lifting up by the Holy Spirit?
Add their name to our Virtual Prayer Book
. During the Prayer of the Faithful we will include them collectively by saying, "all those listed in our virtual prayer book" and they will be included along with all of the intersessions we are praying for during mass.
215 Essex Avenue
Spring Lake, NJ 07762
Although we are currently hosting a limited number of public masses, we are doing our very best to maintain a community for our parishioners and friends.
If you are able, please maintain your contributions to the parish. Donations can be mailed, given electronically, or dropped off in the free standing mailbox outside the rectory offices.
This will help us continue to pay our staff, who continue to work, and maintain vital programs and operations.
More information on electronic giving can be found
or by contacting Lisa Cole at
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on Sunday, May 2 at 2:49PM