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December 31, 2017

THE HOLY FAMILY

JMJ

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a Blessed Christmas. It all happened rather quickly because it fell on a Monday. And because we have a similar situation this weekend, the Blessed Mother, honored as the Mother of God, will not be celebrated as a holy day of obligation this year. Nevertheless, we will still have a morning Mass for all of you devotees of Mary who is not only the mother of God, but the mother of us all.
In last week’s bulletin article I kind of misspoke. For Christmas, I said we were celebrating the Holy Family and their arrival in Bethlehem. Well, yes we were. But today is actually the official day that we celebrate them as a family.

I’ll bet there are some of you who are making New Year’s resolutions, probably beginning on Tuesday after the party is over. Maybe out of guilt you will resolve to eat or drink less in the new year, or maybe do more reading or some extra exercise. Each of these things necessarily require some self-discipline and that will mean some suffering. And anytime you suffer, that can potentially be offered up for spiritual causes. The reason for this is that Jesus gave value to our everyday sufferings by His suffering on the cross. And so, with that in mind, I recently brought the treadmill up from the basement storage into my apartment. Now, I hate exercise; I am predisposed to being a couch potato. And yet I feel the need to something to strengthen my heart and loosen my stiff muscles. But it is work and I don’t like it, so I have resolved to do it prayerfully. I have prayed the rosary while treading on the mill. 20 minutes is about my limit right now.

In last week’s bulletin we listed many of the ministries we have here at Holy Spirit Parish. Part of our intention is to recruit new workers for the harvest. Every parishioner is exhorted to be an active participant in the faith and that would be to do something more than the hour at Mass on the weekend; and more than just dropping something in the collection basket as well. There’s got to be something out there that you could be doing. And if you don’t see something that appeals to you, look inward. Ask the Holy Spirit, saying, “Speak Lord your servant is listening, what would you have me do?” There’s nothing to prevent you from starting up a new ministry.

Donations continue to come in for our Trinity Trail. Even though it is winter and the project is out of our mind, people still seem to be looking forward to the day when we can populate the path with statues of our Michigan heroes of the faith. Among them would be the newly beatified Fr. Solanus Casey, but also the Jesuit missionary explorer, Fr. Jacques Marquette, and the Venerable Bishop Fredric Baraga, the “snowshoe priest” of the UP. And how about the founding pastor of most of our Livingston County parishes, Fr. Patrick O’Kelly? So, think ahead now to the spring and taking the time out to take a walk in the woods.

 

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