Years ago I hosted a bishop from South Sudan. I accompanied him to visit many people from his country who fled to the USA for safety from the twenty-five years of civil war. I will never forget him preaching at an African gathered assembly. “Don’t think you are on vacation here in the United States,” he said. “No, you are to learn all you can, growing in knowledge about many things so that when peace is restored you may return and build up our country.” “Coming through New York City I encountered individuals who were called ‘street people.’ If one of your countrymen falls into such desperate conditions and you do not reach out and welcome him into your family, you are not welcome back home.” I never heard such strong words from a bishop to his people. In the book of Exodus this weekend, the author expands the meaning of the Ten Commandments with a recall of Jewish history and how they are to treat their countrymen with compassion. Jesus refines that in being asked about the greatest of all the commandments however time and time again he qualifies and defines “neighbor” beyond the narrow confines of one’s own fellow citizen. In the Gospel of Luke someone would ask, “….and who is my neighbor?” Jesus would then do on to speak of the story we now refer to as the “Good Samaritan.” In mathematics, as students we were often challenged to balance mathematical equations. Jesus sets us up for such a function when He lays out the two greatest commandments. One equals the other. May we too integrate this equation into our own life realizing that the love of the Lord happens the least in the one hour of Mass but is especially exercised in the 10,079 hours that remain within one week of our lives as we encounter one another.
WEEKLY SCHEDULE CHANGE – Because of Fr. Ron’s “Day Off” change, our parish offices will be closed on Mondays but open Tuesday through Thursday for service to our parish community and Fridays in the AM hours. During a Monday holiday weekend our parish offices will be closed the Friday before the holiday.
CHURCH MINOR RENOVATIONS – work is currently underway to move our active “confessional” from the back of the Church to the one close to the “Crowned Virgin” shrine. Both the privacy screen and face to face confessions will be available there soon.
BINGO INTERCESSORY PRAYER During the “half time break” at Bingo each week, Fr. Ron and others willing to do so will provide some “intercessory prayer assistance” to our neighbors who attend Bingo each week. We would be available in the Church for this ministry and will invite those who wish to attend. We will also begin the second half of Bingo with a short one minute “Gospel Moment” that should help all those who attend to recall who blesses them each day. Please pray for the success of this adventure. It is another attempt to live out our mission to our neighborhood and beyond.
ST. MARTIN DE PORRES welcomes Bishop Malone and members of Buffalo’s African Community who come to our parish for their Annual Retreat on Saturday Evening, Nov 4th beginning at 7:00pm and will celebrate an “All African Saints Day” Mass on Sunday, Nov. 5th at 9:30AM. All are welcome.