Please Share Your Weekly Prayer Requests One way Fr. David wants to stay connected with you is for you to share your weekly prayer requests with him, so he may print them, lay them on the altar and lift them up to the Lord at the private Masses he will be offering each weekend while we are apart.
To submit your prayer requests, please email them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org*
The deadline to submit your prayer requests in order for them to be included in the Masses he will offer each weekend is Sunday at 12 Noon.
*Previously we shared an electronic form through which you could share your requests, however it the form has been taken down due to technical issues. Thank you for your patience.
Ways to Attend Mass from HomeEWTN.com has daily Mass as well as recitation of the Rosary and other devotional programs. Mercy Home for Boys and Girls also televises Sunday Mass (you can go to mercyhome.org/Sunday-mass for more information. The televised Mass is normally on Sundays at 9:30 AM on WGN – channel 9.) Relevantradio.com is also a good source of Catholic devotional material. They also have Masses streamed from their website. For more local options from within our diocese, visit http://www.dioceseofjoliet.org/bishop/content1.php?secid=74
Fr. David’s Homily for Sunday, March 22: The Fourth Sunday of Lent
FOCUS: Christ is the light of the world. He shines for all who seek Him and He empowers us to live in that light.
There is something truly comforting and reassuring about the words of today’s Psalm: The Lord is my shepherd. It seems to speak to us not just of the promise of one day sharing in the eternal life of God, but of the ongoing blessings of God in each one of our lives: the blessings of family, community, material well-being. At a time of difficulty and challenge, as we all struggle living with the effects of the corona virus, it is refreshing to hear once again these words of comfort and reassurance. Yet there are many whose lives are far removed from this picture of overflowing cups and verdant pastures. There are many who truly walk in the dark valley full of fear, despair and in need, lacking courage and whose lives are more closely related to the blind man we hear about in today’s Gospel.
As we look all around us, it is difficult not to see a world broken and divided on so many levels. So many of our brothers and sisters are suffering because of poverty, illiteracy, violence and inequality, not to mention the many millions who suffer under the effects of illness, natural disaster and famine.
In the face of such a world, we might be tempted to despair or, worse still, imitate the Pharisees in the Gospel by being shortsighted and concerned only with ourselves. Today, however, as we continue our Lenten journey with its emphasis on prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we are once again challenged to live as children of the light, for that is what produces every kind of goodness, righteousness and truth.
Our Gospel today is the second of three great coming to faith experiences recalled in St. John’s Gospel and used during Year A of the liturgical cycle. Last week we heard of the Samaritan woman at the well and next week we will hear the account of the raising of Lazarus. Blind from birth, the man’s disability removed one of the great joys of life: the gift of sight. Not only did it exclude him from being able to appreciate the beauty of creation, but because blindness – or indeed any disability – was seen in the first century as a punishment for sin, he was also excluded from family and society at the very time that he needed their support and comfort the most.
He was all alone in life! That was until he came into contact with Jesus, and what an encounter that was! Through His healing touch, Jesus moves this blind man in a way that was beyond his wildest imagining. Not only is he healed of his physical ailment but through His words and most importantly His action, Jesus elicits words of faith.
Asked by Jesus if he believes in the Son of Man, the newly sighted man responds, “I do believe, Lord” and worships Him. By doing this, Jesus not only restores his physical vision but opens his eyes of faith. In that one special and life-changing encounter the blind man moves from physical and spiritual darkness and exclusion to the land of faith-filled vision and renewed relationship with God and community.
It is into this same light-filled land of faith and relationship that each one of us has been invited by virtue of our Baptism. Like David in our first reading, we have been chosen by name and anointed to be God’s instruments in the world. And as our second reading challenges us: You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness of faith.
Because we have the gentle touch of Jesus in our lives, and we recognize His light in our world, we seek to imitate Christ with our lives of faithfulness, prayer and service to our brothers and sisters. We may not be able to bring about the dramatic restoration of vision but we can each shed the holy light of compassion and hope on the lives of those who are less fortunate than we are.
Lent gives us the possibility to express in a very public and tangible way, our faith. It gives us an opportunity not to judge by appearance, but as God would see us. This is our time to begin to lay the foundation for a more just world because only with these qualities can our fractured world possibly be healed.
Act of Spiritual Communion by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.