Many times when I was a youngster in school, I used to pray that when I awoke, I would instantly know all the knowledge that I was attempting to study and memorize. Then I wouldn’t have to attend school day after day. My wish was that the knowledge would somehow be infused within me. Well that never happened. In fact we as human beings don’t learn that way. Instead, after repeated experiences we attain yet more information and learning so as to more fully comprehend just what it is that we’ve experienced. It works that way spiritually as well. In this weekend’s Biblical lessons, in the Book of Exodus, God hears the cry of the people and provides bread from heaven for them to eat. It takes them a little while to realize just what this “hoarfrost” was and how it could be made into bread. In a similar but more advanced way, John the Evangelist pictures Jesus continuing his ministry. This passage from John chapter 6 picks up from where we left off last Sunday. The crowds had witnessed how Jesus fed them by the miracle of the five barley loaves and two fish and are seeking out the “wonder worker” Jesus to continue to witness the signs that he performed. They finally catch up to Him and he remarks, “you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled” John 6:26. Then Jesus challenges them to a dialogue to further their understanding of what he did for them. They ask what sign can he perform for them so that they can believe in Him. They recalled the miracle of Moses and the Manna from heaven as a sign of God’s power to which Jesus responds: “For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” John 6:33-34. Slowly but surely Jesus challenges them to a deeper understanding; moving away from physical food to spiritual food, the values of the Kingdom of God, which he came to share. He also shares with them the higher plane of understanding of the Holy Eucharist that was to come as He Himself would share with them His Eucharist or “Thanksgiving Sacrifice” to God, His Body and Blood, the perfect sacrifice. Do we truly appreciate that Holy and Divine Presence each and every Sunday? Do we adequately bow before our Lord in reverence before we receive? Do we prepare ourselves well; fast for one hour before Mass; appreciate and enjoy some time of reverent “Communion” with our Lord after receiving?
After all this is the summit of our Catholic Faith; that the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ Jesus is received each and every time we partake in our Sunday Eucharist. Lord, I am not worthy….Say but the word and my soul shall be healed…..AMEN!
CLERGY STAFF UPDATE As per this writing, Fr. Daniel Ogbeifun has successfully concluded his interview at the American Embassy in Nigeria and is awaiting the processing of his R-1 Religious Worker Visa that will allow him back into the USA in the next few weeks to begin his work as Associate Pastor of St. Lawrence, St. Martin de Porres, and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our second staff person will be approved and named soon. Until then, Msgr. Fred Leising, former pastor of Nativity Parish, and Msgr. Jerry Sullivan, retired and former pastor of Mary of Sorrows and Mary of the Lake parishes will be assisting us in the city. Our appointed clergy team will assume full time ministry by October 1st and onward. Please remember to pray for us as we begin this amazing work of God’s Spirit among our three communities of faith.
ST. MARTIN DE PORRES ANNUAL POT LUCK CHURCH FAMILY PICNIC will begin with a 12Noon Mass on Sunday, August 16th at the Gazebo Shelter in the center of Como Park. All St. Lawrence parishioners are invited. Prayer in the Park, good shared food, music and dancing along with activities for the children will make our time together, one of celebration. You are most welcome……..
ANNUAL MEN’S RETREAT Mark your calendars now…. September 11th – 13th at the Columban Center in Derby, NY. The theme is “Divine Mercy and Reconciliation.” Deacon Thaddeus Pijacki will be the leader. This is open to all men of the parish. The reatreat begins with registration at 4pm on Friday and ends with Mass and Brunch on Sunday, September 13th. For more information or reservations, contact Rev. Paul Sabo at 716-604-4948 or the Holy Name Office at 716-847-2201. Reservations are limited to fifty five men.
KINGDOM BUILDING – Back to School/City-Wide Youth Summit is being sponsored by St. Martin de Porres Youth and Young Adult Ministry, from Friday, August 21st to Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 at the Church located at 555 Northampton Street, Buffalo, NY. Special workshop musical guest: Mr. David Frazier, composer of “I Need You To Survive." These are spirited musical rehearsals on Friday and Saturday with a concluding service of prayer and praise on Sunday Evening. Friday evening runs from 6pm to 9am; Saturday, from 9am to 2:30pm and Sunday’s Ecumenical Prayer and Praise Worship Service begins a 5pm. The attire for Youth attending on Sunday evening: Denim bottoms and “#IAMVALUABLE” T-Shirt available at www.iamvaluablemoment.org. Come and meet the Lord as the Young Church gathers for prayer and praise. All youth, of all Catholic and Christian Churches are invited to come and share our enthusiastic worship of our One God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.