Fear drives far more of our lives than it should. Before Jesus came, people lived in fear and they simply accepted the fact. They didn’t know what came after death. They were tiny little pieces of a big, scary natural world. They had no power or hope of doing anything other than being swept along with the tides of history. Even the greatest of the great men like Ashur Panipal of the Assyrian Empire or Alexander the Great of Macedonia, both of whom ruled the known world in their times, knew they would be cut short by death… (Alexander died at the same age as Jesus.) These people had cause to fear!
But Jesus came to conquer sin and death. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth. And so, He alone casts out fear. In the Early Church, saints from the 12 year old Philomena to the elder bishop Ignatius of Antioch, rejoiced to go to their deaths for the name of Christ. In our own time, more martyrs have been made than in the previous centuries combined. Faith in Jesus casts out fear! Someone with real faith in Jesus is not merely willing, but is enthusiastic to lay down his or her life for the Lord! The saints describe Martyrdom as a crown... It’s something to be sought after as a unique gift that can be offered to the Lord... It’s the fulfillment of the classic Christian saying “offer it up.”
Surely, we live in a world that encourages us to fear…but we don’t have to! Faith in Christ casts out fear! And so, let us encourage one another in faith that we may be free of fear!
Insights From Second Street
Christian Eschatology is the study of Eschaton, the second coming of Jesus. As we all know, Jesus’ first coming wasn’t what the Jews expected. They expected a Messiah who would enter the world purely as a human being. The Messiah would conquer with political and military might - like Joshua or Moses. This Messiah would then usher in a kind of golden age that would last forever with the Jews ruling over all the other nations. That was the plan.
Of course, Jesus squashed that… hard! As He was preparing to Ascend into Heaven, Jesus declared that He would come again in Glory, that He would judge all people, and that this world - founded upon the brokenness of Eden - would be utterly destroyed. He established Heaven as a place of eternal unity with God and Hell as a place of eternal torment.
In between the first and second coming of Jesus, will come our own individual deaths. At that moment, each of us will find ourselves in a place of judgment. That judgment will be radically personal. The Church is careful not to explain the process of judgement in more detail than we have. All we know is that the limited knowledge (“the veil”) we now posses will become an unlimited knowledge. We will come to understand the full consequences (natural and supernatural) of our entire lives. In that moment, we will beg for the mercy of God, and we will face the prideful temptation to ultimate despair. On that “terrible day,” we will either be judged to condemnation and spend eternity in desolate suffering, or we will be judged among the righteous and enter into the purifying fires of Purgatory to await our then sure and certain admittance to Heaven.
While the Scriptures, the Saints, and the Church’s official teachings are careful to avoid being overly specific, what we know, we know with assurance. Perhaps the most important thing for us to keep in mind is that we should all live as if our judgement day were very, very soon. Only then can we hope to be ready! -FrR
by Tommy Myrick
Why do Catholics go to Mass? It’s a question that will receive several answers depending on who you ask. Some say, “because it’s a sin if you don’t go on Sunday.” Others say, “because that’s what the Church teaches that we should do.” Still others say, “because it’s what we’ve always done.” These answers by themselves are true, but only partially... What I mean by that is they don’t give you ALL of the truth.
From a convert’s perspective, there was always one thing that stood out to me far more than any of the previous answers... It was the reality that Jesus Christ: the God, King, Savior, and Sovereign Lord of the Universe, would descend from His holy throne in Heaven JUST to be with His people when they attended Mass! This realization, when used in conjunction with the previous answers stated, made everyone’s “reasons to go to Mass” much more justifiable to me.
Suddenly, all of the answers that I had been given from practicing Catholics made sense! Of course it would be a sin to neglect going to Mass on Sunday! Who could resist loving such a caring and intimate Savior, and deny Him their presence once a week?!... Of course the Church teaches that we should attend Mass as often as possible! Attending Mass strengthens our relationship with the Creator of all that is! And who wouldn’t want to know that they could visit their King always and take advantage of that?!... Of course it’s what we’ve always done! Who would ever get tired of meeting with the King of Glory??? Especially when He unconditionally gives Himself to us at every Mass!
I earnestly believe that if people realized what happens on the altar on Sunday, there would be no reason why they wouldn’t give an hour of their time to be present with Him. In the words of St. Padre Pio, “If we only knew how God regards this sacrifice, we would risk our lives to be present at a single Mass."
SMS BOOK FAIR St. Mary’s will be hosting its annual book fair Tuesday-Friday, Nov. 12th-15th, from 8a-3:30p. The book fair’s Family Night will be Wednesday, Nov. 13th, from 5-7p. With a wide variety of merchandise for sale, including holiday books, this would be the ideal night to get a head start on your Christmas shopping and help support St. Mary’s!
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD It’s that time of year again... to make a difference in a young child’s life! You can help a young boy or girl by participating in this worthwhile project. Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations worldwide through simple, gift-filled shoe boxes and evangelistic materials. Shoe boxes and step-by-step instructions can be found at the back of the Church. Boxes will be due, Sunday, November 17th. For more information, call Diane at 318-352-9919.
WOMEN’S CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONFERENCE The 8th annual diocesan conference for Catholic Charismatic Women will be Sat., Nov. 23rd, at Maryhill. Registration will take place on site beginning at 8:30a. The conference will begin at 9a and conclude at 7p that same evening. Holy Mass will be offered at 9a, then charismatic prayer and testimony will accompany talks and workshops. The conference cost is $50. Please call Diane Ardoin at 318-419-1547 for more information.
PENANCE SERVICE REMINDER As we move closer to Advent, all are reminded that we will not have any penance services this year. Father is in the confessional 30 minutes before daily Masses and 45 minutes before weekend Masses. He will also be in the confessional from 5p to 6p every Thursday of Advent (12/5, 12/12, 12/19). All Catholics should typically confess monthly...now is a great time to make it a habit!
LAY-LED EVENTS Thank you to all of our enthusiastic parishioners who are taking the call of Vatican II to lay leadership seriously! On Monday evenings, a Bible Study Group meets in the Rectory at 6p. On Wednesdays, a Rosary Group meets in the Church at 10:30a.
- Wed, 11/13, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
- Fri, 11/15, Altar Servers Meeting, 6p @ MBIC
- Sat, 11/16, SMS Basketball Jamboree
- Wed, 11/20, CCD Classes, 6p @ St. Mary’s School
- Fri, 11/22, SMS Grandparents’ Day
- Sat-Sun, 11/23-11/24, CDA Bake Sale, before & after all Masses
- Mon-Wed, 11/25-11/27, SMS City of Lights BBall Tourney
- Wed, 11/27, NO CCD Classes
- Wed-Fri, 11/27-11/29, Parish Office CLOSED, for Thanksgiving
- Sun, 12/1, First Sunday of Advent
- Sun, 12/1, First Sunday Vespers, 4:30p @ MBIC
- Sun, 12/1, First Traditional Latin Mass, 5p @ MBIC
- Mon, 12/9, Basilican Feast Day, Immaculate Conception of the BVM, 6:30a & 6p
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 11/9 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, David Bouchie, Jimmy Gunter, Mickey Hennigan, (EMHC) • D.&M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/10 9a Steven Taylor, (Lector) • James & Betty Durham, Alyssa Odom, (EMHC) • C.Lirette, S.Lirette, T.Lirette, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/10 11a Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Haley Johnson, Cecilia Cook, Chris Maggio, (EMHC) • W.Mayeux, V.Maggio, M.Leone, (Altar Boys)
Sat 11/16 4p Mike Bouchie, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Kathleen Hicks, Red & Jo Lapeyrouse, (EMHC) • D.Bennett, J.Friedel, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/17 9a Sydney Frederick, (Lector) • Jeff & Carol Green, John Vandersypen, (EMHC) • Reagan & Ryan Cunningham, Ashton Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)
Sun 11/17 11a Greg Burke, (Lector) • Jennifer Maggio, Linda Lee, Joseph Sklar, (EMHC) • C.Fisher, S.Maggio, E.Norwood, (Altar Boys)
Memorials & Prayer Intentions
The Sanctuary Candle this week is offered in Memory of John Bacon by John Blaze & Babe Bacon.
The Sanctuary Flowers may be offered in memory of a loved one by contacting the office.
- Sat 4p: Luther & Rae Laborde
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Shirley Ragland & Camille Foret
- Mon 6:30a: Charlie & Cindy Humphries
- Tue 6:30a: Tony Ruggiero
- Tue 10a: SMS Students
- Wed 6:30a: Doris & Will Pierson, Elise James
- Wed 9:20a: SMS Faculty
- Thu 6:30a: Billy & Carlie Barbier Family
- Thu 8:10a: SMS Benefactors
- Fri 6:30a: Larry D. Smith & Terry G. Smith
- Sat 8a: Wayne Banes
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity. And that, as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Sandi Ponthieux
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Clifford Ardoin, Lauren Bienvenu, Mark Birch, Bill Boone, Tripp Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Emilia Cofio, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Marguerite Felchle, Alma Fernandez, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Vicki Gahagan, Lillian Giering, Sophie Gill, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Pam Kerry, Mary Keyser, Paul Keyser, Martha LaCaze, Daniel Laroux, Brooklyn Leach, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Amanda Rozman, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Brent Trichel, Billie Vercher, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Tyler Ward, Jessica Warner, & Janine Waters