He Sets Us Free

Dear Friends,

We welcome to our parish family this weekend, Dr. Franco Gurman, who has applied for our new position of Director of Sacred Music. Dr. Gurman is from out of state and volunteered to join us this weekend to meet our people and for us to meet him in person. He will be playing at several of our Masses over the weekend. Please welcome him warmly as you always welcome our visitors.

My week of retreat was a blessing for body, mind and soul. It seems to have come at just the right time. Thank you for all your prayers and be assured that all of you were remembered in mine including at Mass.

We pray for all the dead, the injured and the family members suffering after the horrific violence that took place in Las Vegas last Sunday night. It is difficult to fathom such evil and such suffering. As we pray for all of them, we pray also for ourselves to hold to all that is good which comes from Christ our Lord.

Our ChristLife series, Following Christ, is off and running. I am grateful for our wonderful team helping to see this through and for those participating in this second series of ChristLife. I know that our Walking With Purpose group has just begun, and both afternoon and evening session s are available on Thursdays. Each of these opportunities is very helpful and vitally dynamic in aiding participants to grow in their relationships with Christ and in the sharing of our Faith. We look forward to their continued availability for our parish family.

Last weekend, the second reading from Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians, was the subject of my homily reflections. It is such a powerful reading and includes what many scholars believe was an original Christian hymn about Christ. It is a very ancient text. The letter was probably written in the early 50’s of the first century and the hymn goes back even further.

Briefly, Paul acclaims Jesus Christ as God who empties Himself, humbles Himself. Jesus does not claim the prerogatives of God, even though He could legitimately do so. Jesus shows us that our God is a God who willingly humbles Himself and experiences every aspect of human nature (except for sin) even a terrible and horrible death on the Cross in order to save every aspect of humanity. Jesus, by going into or through

every level of human degradation, swallows it all up in Divine Mercy and in that way He sets all of us free!

If we lost all of the New Testament writings except for this excerpt, we would still have the full Gospel message. So take some time to read again Philippians 2:1-11 and ponder the love and example of Jesus. As He Himself has done, so you and I, made in the image and likeness of God, disciples of the Lord Jesus, must also do in our personal lives and in all our relationships by the grace of the Holy Spirit. It is hope that enables us to do so day after day. May God bless, protect and help us to be all that He has created us to be.

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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