Weekend Refection (September 5/6)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Jesus touched the deaf man's ears and said, "Ephphetha." Some words are so precious that they are preserved in their original language. In our nation of immigrants, we can give many examples of that. I know an Italian family who calls their grandmother nonna.A chuisle mo chroí, mo chuisle... means my pulse, mo chroi ..my heart, A chuisle mo chroí... the pulse of my heart.
Maybe you can think of similar words or expressions from your own heritage. In the Gospels, which were written in Greek, we find many words preserved from the original Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, you know them, they have become part of our vocabulary. Alleluia--praise God. Amen--just so and Messiah--the anointed one.
Today we hear another Aramaic word Ephphetha, which means, be opened. Even though it isn't part of our everyday use, we find it in our baptismal rituals. After a child is baptized, there is the beautiful rite of Ephphetha. The priest or deacon touches the newly baptized child's ears and mouth and says, Ephpheta, "The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father."
And before an adult catechumen recites the creed, the celebrant may touch his ears and lips and say, "Ephphetha: that is, be opened, that you may profess the faith you hear to the praise and glory of God."
Today's Gospel inspires the rite. The minister represents Christ and speaks on Christ's behalf. Jesus wants to open our ears and listen to him. The deepest desire of any human being is to be loved, truly cared about, and understood.
Jesus, of course, is the one who knows each of us intimately, but he also wants us to listen to him. Not so much for his sake, but our own sake. For our salvation. His encounter with Christ transformed the man in the Gospel. Jesus seeks the same transformation for us. However, unlike the man in the Gospel, we don't normally find ourselves endowed with these gifts.
Baptism is a lifelong commitment to the way of Christ. That is why he asks our ears to be opened. It involves a growing openness to hear what Jesus has to say and a growing ability to be able to share those gifts with others.
With Love and Blessings,
The 2021 Mass intentions are currently all filled. We are offering unannounced masses and Memorial Mass cards at the rectory office. Our 2022 mass intention book will open in November 2021.
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
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, September 5 at 3:09PM