Lent at St. Stanislaus
Daily Mass – at 6:30 am and 8 am
Sacrament of Reconciliation offered Saturdays 8:35 – 9:15 am and 4 – 4:45 pm. Offered on Sunday mornings from 10 – 10:45 am.
Stations of the Cross: English: Lenten Fridays at 2 and 7 pm in Church; Spanish: Lenten Fridays at 7:45 pm and Tuesdays at 7 pm.
24 Hours for the Lord: March 24 – 25. An initiative of Pope Francis, all parishes have been encouraged to remain open for extra prayer, reconciliation opportunities, and Eucharistic adoration as part of parish Lenten activities. 24-hour Eucharistic adoration held in St. Katharine Drexel Adoration Chapel, stations and reconciliation celebrated in Church according to times above.
Holy Week Schedule:
Palm Sunday: Regular Sunday Mass Schedule (5:15 pm Vigil, 7 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm (Spanish)
Monday & Tuesday of Holy Week: Regular Mass Schedule (6:30 and 8 am)
Spy Wednesday: Masses at 6:30 and 8 am; Passion Play presented by the 7th graders of Mater Dei Catholic School at 7 pm; Sacrament of Reconciliation after the Passion Play until any lines have ended. N.B. This is the last opportunity for Confession before the beginning of the Sacred Triduum!
Morning Prayer and Communion Service at 8 am in Parish Center Chapel
Chrism Mass at 10 am at the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia. All the faithful of the Archdiocese are welcome to attend this special liturgy during which Archbishop Chaput will bless the holy oils and priests will renew their priestly commitment.
THE SACRED TRIDUUM:
Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7 pm followed by procession to chapel of adoration upstairs in the parish center for personal prayer; Night Prayer beginning at 9:30 pm in Parish Center Chapel.
Today is a Day of FAST & ABSTINENCE for those age 14 – 59. On Good Friday, only one full meatless meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.
Morning Prayer at 8 am in the Parish Center Chapel; Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion at 3 pm in English and at 7 pm en espanol.
Morning Prayer at 8 am in Parish Center Chapel; Blessing of the Easter Foods at 2 pm in Church; Easter Vigil at 8 pm, during which we will welcome the newly initiated into the community. Guest presider will be Bishop Timothy C. Senior, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia. The Vigil takes the place of the regular 5:15 pm Vigil Mass.
“They saw . . . and believed.”
2016 Tax Contribution Statements NOW AVAILABLE
E-mails have been sent with the 2016 year end statements to those parishioners with a current e-mail address in the parishioner database. Parishioners may also call the Parish Center office between 9-4 on Monday through Friday and a printed copy can be mailed to your home or you can pick it up at the Parish Center after Mass on Sundays.
Sunday Scriptural Reflection – 4th Sunday of Lent:
Dispelling Blindness: Seeing in the Light of Christ
A reflection from Julian Paparella, Salt & Light Foundation
It can be difficult to imagine what life would be like if we were born blind. How would we function? How would we perceive the world? But is physical blindness the only form of blindness? Is it the worst form of blindness?
The Fourth Sunday of Lent shows us otherwise. We are presented with the Gospel of the poor man born blind (John 9:1-41). The drama unfolds as Jesus arrives on the scene and is immediately interrogated by the Pharisees. In typical Pharisee fashion they ask, “Whose sin caused the man to be born blind – his own or his parents’?” Neither, Jesus responds. Rather, it is so that God’s power can be manifested through him. Jesus concludes, “I am the light of the world.” He then spits on the ground, makes some clay, places it on the man’s eyes, and sends him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. Miraculously the man returns, able to see.
His neighbors are skeptical, “How could this be?” The man simply replies, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went there and washed and was able to see.” Unconvinced, they take him back to the Pharisees. There he recounts once more what Jesus did for him. Their strategy is to discredit Jesus as a sinner. A back-and-forth ensues in which even the man’s parents are questioned as to whether he was truly born blind. Doubt upon doubt upon doubt.
Jesus returns to the man, who proclaims his simple faith, unaffected by the cynicism that swirls around him: “I do believe, Lord.” The meddling Pharisees make yet another cameo. They ask Jesus, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus’ reply is the punch line that culminates the whole story: “If you were born blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.’”
What are we to make of all of this?
From the very start, the Pharisees show us something about our human nature. Their favorite pastime is pointing their fingers. Surely it is someone’s fault that the man was born blind, so who is the guilty party – the man or his parents? The man’s neighbors then join in the same chorus. Rather than rejoicing that their neighbor can finally see after years of blindness, they are suspicious. Finding no other way of explaining the situation, the Pharisees resort to accusing Jesus, dismissing Him as a fraud.
How easy it is to fall into the same trap. We do not understand, we do not have a hold on the situation, we feel threatened, and so we resort to being suspicious, accusing others, making up stories. We get caught up in our own perspective and forget to see the big picture. We think of our own good at the expense of the good of others. Why can it be so difficult to rejoice and appreciate the good things others receive? Why can the gifts and success of others make us feel inadequate or uneasy? What blinds us from seeing the goodness around us? How can we overcome this blindness?
Jesus gives the Pharisees the secret to healing their own blindness before He even begins healing the man born blind. He tells them: “I am the light of the world.” This is the remedy to their blindness. The man born blind manifests God’s power by revealing who is the remedy to our blindness, who enables us truly to see. It is Jesus.
The blindness of the Pharisees is rooted in their insecurity. They could not accept that Jesus could do any good for fear that this might jeopardize their status and stature in society. Their vision was so clouded by their determination to be right that they could not rejoice when the man born blind was finally healed. They became so engrossed in trying to be superior to others that their systems could not take the shock of God’s goodness. Clinging to their own perspective clouded them from seeing things from God’s perspective.
Jesus is the true light by which we are able to see ourselves and our neighbour. The way God sees things is as they truly are. Jesus reveals God’s perspective. He is the antidote to our cynicism, our disbelief, our doubt and suspicion. These do not allow us to see reality clearly. They fog our vision and cause us to stumble. When we doubt the goodness of God, we too can become insecure. We can resort to projecting our insecurity onto others, trying to put them down so we can come out on top. We can dismiss them to reassure ourselves. We can fail to see where our true value lies. Pride and selfishness come from not seeing ourselves as God sees us, and trying to compensate by being better than others, putting them down to reassure ourselves. Like the Pharisees, our blindness to seeing the truth about others comes from our blindness to the truth about ourselves.
The cure is the simple faith of the man born blind: “I do believe, Lord.” This cure allows us to see the truth about ourselves, to see ourselves in the light of Jesus. In His light, we see ourselves for who we truly are. We see ourselves as God sees us. We see that God truly loves us, that God has created us, and that in Jesus He has come to save us from our sins. We see that God is truly merciful, that God delights in forgiving us. We see that God’s forgiveness is not just for all of humanity in general, but for each of us, for me personally. We see that God truly wants what is good for us, that He never tires of welcoming us back with open arms. We do not see that we are good in His eyes. When we see in the light of Christ, we begin to truly see.
What threat did the man born blind pose to the Pharisees? Why couldn’t his neighbours accept his healing? The healing of the blind man threatened the blindness of the Pharisees. This blindness clouded them from seeing with the light that comes from Jesus. Their eyes remained closed to the truth about themselves, and so they could not accept the truth about God and about others. Jesus comes to illumine our vision so that we can see the goodness of God – at work in our lives and the lives of those around us. He opens our eyes so that we may truly see.
FORMED is an exciting new website, where St. Stanislaus parishioners can access the best programs, movies, audio talks, and e-books to deepen their relationships with Christ and His Church. If offers amazing Faith Formation at the parish and in an engaging style with the best Catholic teachers, authors, and speakers, on-demand, 24/7. Watch the FORMED preview by clicking the formed banner above . . .
How to access FORMED:
It’s easy! Log into Formed.org and access all the faith-building resources available there. You will need to set up an account (click on “My Account” in the upper right) and enter the Parish Code the first time you use the site. Our parish code is: ZR6M2C. After you’ve set up an account with your own individual password, you will not need the parish code any longer. Simply log in with the User Name and Password you have chosen for yourself.
This Week on Formed:
Recommended this week:
Movie – Joseph of Nazareth
Take time this week as a family to honor Saint Joseph on his feast day and reflect on the mysteries of Christ from the vantage point of this very human, noble, and spiritual man of faith as he grapples with the challenges of protecting and raising Jesus amidst the threats of his age. Make movie night a regular “together time”!
New Programming from the Augustinian Institute!
Rise above the culture of moral relativism with Who Am I to Judge? — Responding to RELATIVISM with logic and love
Check these out . . . and get FORMED!
Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for March, 2017:
Each month, Pope Francis invites the faithful to pray for the intention he entrusts to the Church. Starting in 2017 the Pope will present only one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than the two presented before this year. He plans, however, to add a second prayer intention each month related to current events or urgent needs, like disaster relief. The urgent prayer request will help mobilize prayer and action related to the urgent situation.