"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME"
UPDATED DIRECTIVES DURING THE COVID19 PANDEMIC
Effective May 25, 2021
Given the reinstatement by the Bishops of NJ of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and the lessening of restrictions from the state, the following is provided as an immediate update to the May 4 directives.
Effective May 28, masks will no longer be required for fully vaccinated persons. If not fully vaccinated, persons are strongly encouraged to follow CDC guidance and wear a face mask in public settings. Masks are still required on public transit and in health care settings, prisons, child-care facilities and schools, among other places. People will no longer be required to socially distance indoors or outdoors, (May 28), although unvaccinated persons should continue to maintain a safe distance from others.
Effective June 4, all indoor gathering limits will be removed.
Although these directives represent a reduction of pandemic restrictions, the local pastors/administrators/chaplains can impose stricter regulations as needed. These may include wearing masks, social distancing, and signing in for Mass or activities. These directives apply to all indoor and outdoor events.
Cardinal Tobin and the Bishops of New Jersey are reinstating the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation effective June 5/6, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. To read the official statement, please visit: https://www.rcan.org/
Parishioners should be made aware of the reinstatement of the obligation.
Churches and parish facilities may return to 100 per cent capacity with no social distancing for both indoor and outdoor services and activities, as of June 4, 2021.
Parishioners should be informed that if they are vaccinated, they are no longer required to wear a mask. It is not required for parishioners to show proof of vaccination.Anyone not fully vaccinated should wear a mask.
Any vaccinated person preferring to wear a mask should feel free to do so.
Churches and meeting spaces should continue to be sanitized after each liturgy, event or meeting.
For more safety information: https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562021/approved/20210503b.shtml
House visitations will take place from JANUARY 3rd through 20th
Hours for visitation will be 10:00 am - 12:00 pm; 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm; 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm.
February 2nd - The Presentation of the Lord – Candlemas, World Day ofConsecrated Life
February 3rd - First Friday, confession from 5:30pm, all- night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
February 4th - First Saturday, Night Adoration from 8:00pm with Holy Mass at 10:00pm
Our parish is now registered with https://smile.amazon.com The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible smile.amazon.com purchases. Tens of millions of products are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their smile.amazon.com product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe & Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible to gen- erate donations. Remember, only purchases made at smile.amazon.com, (not www.amazon.com or the mobile app,) generate AmazonSmile donations. Select St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish as the supporting organization.
ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
Monday 7:30pm-9:00pm (church)
Wednesday 7:30pm-9:00pm (church)
Friday 8:00am-5:30pm (chapel)
In today’s Liturgy we’re swept through time in glorious procession—from before earth and sky were set in place to the coming of the Spirit upon the new creation, the Church. We begin in the heart of the Trinity, as we listen to the testimony of Wisdom in today’s First Reading. Eternally begotten, the firstborn of God, He is poured forth from of old in the loving delight of the Father.
Through Him, the heavens were established, the foundations of the earth fixed. From before the beginning, He was with the Father as His “Craftsman,” the artisan by Whom all things were made. And He took special delight, He tells us, in the crowning glory of God’s handiwork—the human race, the “sons of men.”
In today’s Psalm, He comes down from heaven, is made a little lower than the angels, comes among us as “the Son of Man”. All things are put under His feet so that He can restore to humanity the glory for which we were made from the be- ginning, the glory lost by sin. He tasted death that we might be raised to life in the Trinity that His name might be made glorious over all the earth. Through the Son, we have gained grace and access in the Spirit to the Father, as Paul boasts in today’s Second Reading. The Spirit, the Love of God, has been poured out into our hearts—a Spirit of adoption, making us children of the Father once more. This is the Spirit that Jesus promises in today’s Gospel.
Jesus never used the word “Trinity,” in today’s readings but He describes why we believe in it.
“Jesus said to His disciples: ‘I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when He comes, the Spirit of truth, He will guide you to all truth.”
This is such a fascinating statement by Jesus. It suggests that while He was still with the apostles, their ability to comprehend all that He was doing was limited. Instead, He tells them they would, at a future time, get the help they would need to absorb the truth of His life and work. That help would come in the Person of the Holy Spirit, whose descent on the apostles we celebrated last week on Pentecost.
Because of the chronology of these events, and, perhaps, even because of the way Jesus speaks about them, we might get the impression that the Holy Spirit had a kind of separate work from Jesus that could only begin once Jesus had ascended to the Father. Today, we learn why that is not quite right. When the Holy Spirit is sent to the disciples, Jesus tells them, “He will speak what He hears...He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” Here we see that the Spirit’s work is actually rooted in Jesus. He does not work independently but in entire submission to Jesus. Likewise, Jesus works in entire sub- mission to the Father, because “everything that the Father has” is His.
When Christians in the first centuries of the Church read passages like this one in Scripture, they began to work out the dogma that later became known as the Trinity. Clearly there is a Father, a Son, and a Holy Spirit, and just as clearly, although different, they act as One. The communion Jesus describes here is touched by love—a willing submission and a willing sharing. How important this is for us to comprehend if we are ever to understand ourselves and to live our lives well. Because we are in the image and likeness of God, we, too, will need to live with others who are like us, and our life will need to be characterized by both willing submission and sharing.
Occasionally, the Old Testament gives us glimpses into the communion of Divine Persons within God Who were later revealed in salvation history. The First Reading is one such passage. The author of the proverb writes in a poetic way about the existence of “Wisdom” long before the earth existed. The personification of Wisdom suggests that this is a description of the “Word” of God, Who eventually took on flesh and blood and was born into the world of men. See that Wisdom was there at Creation with God, “beside Him as His craftsman.”
St. John later captures this idea in the prologue of his Gospel when he writes, “[Jesus] was in the beginning with God; all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made” (see Jn 1:2-3). We can feel the deep bond of love between God and His Wisdom: “I was His delight day by day.” Yet probably what startles and astounds us most in this passage is the last verse: “I found delight in the human race.”
The Wisdom became the Word made flesh, Who so de- lighted in us that He died and rose again to save us. When we contemplate this, we are led right into our responsorial psalm. At some point, when we start to comprehend the marvel of God’s great wisdom and power, we inevitably ask the question the psalmist poses here: “What is man that You should be mindful of him, or the son of man, that You should care for Him?” We simply can’t fathom how it is that God could love us as much as He does.
God’s love isn’t simply an emotion. His love led Him to create man in His image and likeness, desiring to share His life with him, and to crown him “with glory and honor...putting all things under his feet.” The immensity of all this will make us sing out today: “O Lord, our God, how wonderful Your Name in all the earth!”
In the Second Reading, St. Paul writes as one who has deeply contemplated the mystery of God’s love for man, and he helps us understand its implications. First, because God has done the work of salvation through Jesus Christ for us, we are “justified by faith” and not by anything that we do. This gives us “peace with God” and “access...to this grace in which we stand.” Our lives are now opened up to the heal- ing power of God through the grace of the sacraments. St.
Paul assures us that because this is true, we can boast not only about God’s glory (as we did in our psalm) but also “of our afflictions.”
How can that be? Why would anyone boast of those?
St. Paul says that because God has placed us in His peace, we can experience our afflictions as purification toward perfection—the destiny God has always had for each of us from before time began. How do we experience our afflictions that way? “The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” In other words, the presence now of the Trinity in believers—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—has changed everything.
Have a blessed and peaceful day!
Almighty and eternal God, you have so exalted the unbreakable bond of marriage that it has become a sacramental sign of your Son’s union with the Church as his spouse. Look with favor on these couples who you have united in marriage, as they ask for your help and the protection of the Virgin Mary. We pray that in good times and in bad they will grow in love for each other; that they will resolve to be of one heart in the bond of peace. Lord, in their struggles let them rejoice that you are near to help them; in their needs let them know that you are there to rescue them; in their joys let them see that you are the source and completion of every happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord,
PRAYER FOR MARRIED COUPLES
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Epiphany of the Lord
Mary the Holy Mother of God