Sunday, January 17, 2021

(full copy of our Bulletin is published below)

  • We continue in our parish the ‘’Shining the Light of Christ’’ 2020 Annual Appeal. This campaign provides the necessary resources to sustain Archdiocesan programs and ministries. Our parish goal this year is $ 26,501.00. Thank you for any help you can provide.

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Monday          7:30pm-9:00pm (church)

Wednesday    7:30pm-9:00pm (church) 

Friday              7:30am-6:00pm (churchl)

                         7:30pm-9:00pm (church)


In the call of Samuel and of the first Apostles, today’s readings shed light on our own calling to be followers of Christ. Notice in the Gospel today that John’s disciples are prepared to hear God’s call. They are already looking for the Messiah, so they trust in John’s word and follow when he points out the Lamb of God walking by.

In our First Reading, Samuel is also waiting on the Lord— sleeping near the Ark of the Covenant where God’s glory dwells, taking instruction from Eli, the high priest. Samuel listened to God’s word and the Lord was with him. And Samuel, through His word, turned all Israel to the Lord. The disciples too, heard and followed, words we hear repeatedly in today’s Gospel.
The call of the Apostles and of Samuel is extraordinary. Even though the Apostles responded on the first call and Samuel after three, it is uncommon that each person hears and responds to God’s call in such a way. Usually, it takes a life time of experiences, prayers, ups and downs to begin a journey toward a state of union with God. And even though the Apostles and Samuel responded to God’s call it took time to secure their foundation.

Every so often, I drive past a Catholic Church that had tragically been burned down through a vicious act of arson over a year ago. I witnessed the empty space on the parish grounds signaling a reminder of what was and an invitation to anticipate what would come. When the plans for the new Church were revealed, I could envision the beautiful Spanish-style structure with two bell towers rising up in that neighborhood.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day. Or a month. Or a year. And in the intervening time, I’d peer between the chain-link fence, always a little surprised to see...nothing happening. Oh, there were trucks moving around. A few orange flags stuck in the ground. A pile of gravel that maybe moved a few feet to the right or left. A string mark- ing a future wall. But for the longest time it all looked a little underwhelming and incredibly slow.

One day, I happened to be at a meeting that the Pastor of the burned down church attended also. I asked him what the latest was that was going on regarding the church building. He said, “I know it looks like nothing is happen- ing. But the most important work is happening. The foundation is being laid for the future Church.”
I smiled and knew exactly what was happening, no further details were needed.
When the work is hidden, underground, quiet, slow and secret—that is sacred work. That is work of massive importance, the work that will support the entire building. It is not thrilling, this unseen labor. But without it, nothing else is safe or solid or sure. Without it, the foundation is only sand.

So it is in our souls. God can move in powerful and glorious ways, and He sometimes does. He can console with unspeakable tenderness. He can fill us with sweetness and lift us so high we can brush against His face. He can speak deeply into our souls, press His words upon us like fire and make our hearts swell and our voices ring with conviction. He can multiply our efforts with breathtaking quickness and miraculously magnify our work.
These are bell-tower moments. These are moments of light streaming into stained glass. But they will dissolve without a foundation.

Foundational, soul-setting moments are quiet, hidden, and often, very hard. They are the still moments, the silent moments, the work of surrendering, waiting, sometimes with suffering but always character-building. From the outside, all is like the flat parish ground , just a small orange flag fluttering almost unnoticed suggesting that something might be going to happen.
What is happening is that God is laying a foundation for the glorious work He will do in our lives. Like the Apostles and Samuel in our readings today, this is the kind of work that always comes before the more visible, tangible response to the call.
And what is hardest, often, is that God doesn’t share the blueprint with us. We don’t see the plans. We just feel the scrape of the ground being leveled. We feel the ache of ditch- es being dug, the dullness of days thick with routine. And we wish we could see the towers and the doors and the win- dows of this interior temple. But foundation moments are dark and require our trustful waiting—like the Apostles as they walked along, sometimes clueless, with Jesus.
Foundation times are the hidden, family-raising years. Or long semesters of diligent study, or periods of patient writ- ing. They are seasons of chemotherapy. They are periods of grieving. They are times of starting something and giving ourselves entirely over to it, only to see a single small shoot twisting painfully and slowly out of the ground. Each one of us comes with a design from a Master Architect, who has a glorious plan for each human life. But His magnificent plans include meticulous, foundational work. His cathedral- raising is slow, and tall towers require deep and solid groundwork. The Holy Spirit’s gusts are powerful—and need anchored supports to keep our souls steady.

Foundation-building isn’t a time to be passive or uninvolved but to be watchful, steady, confident, disciplined, and peaceful in the “meanwhile” moments. To remain active and faithful in prayer even when the conversation feels one-sided, knowing that God is doing a thing, bring- ing to completion what He began. Our souls are taking shape in the dark.
God is constantly calling to each of us, personally, by name. He wants us to seek Him in love, to long for His word. We must desire always, as the Apostles did, to stay where the Lord stays, to constantly seek His face. For we are not our own, but belong to the Lord, as St. Paul says in today’s Second Reading.

These scenes from Salvation History in our readings today (and everyday) aren’t just reviewing what happened while Jesus walked the earth, not just meant to remind us to trust in the Lord’s promises but to use the everyday moments in our lives to grow a deeper foundation to anchor the supports of our souls in Him.

St. Faustina says, “Patience, Prayer and Silence – these are what give strength to the soul.”

Have a blessed and peaceful day!

Fr. Ireneusz

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,




Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Baptism of the Lord
Epiphany of the Lord
The Nativity of the Lord
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Show More

St. Theresa of Child Jesus

Roman Catholic Church

Archdiocesan Shrine of St. John Paul II


131 E. Edgar Road

Linden NJ 07036

908 862-1116


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