Jesus was a real, true man. He entered our history at a specific point in what we call time. He ate real food, bled real blood. Because of that, His words are the words of a certain time and culture and region. What makes Him truly different is that while His words were of that time, His teaching is truly timeless… cultureless… Jesus is truly man, but He is also truly God.
The temptation when we’re faced with the “hard sayings” of Jesus is to interpret them away. And sometimes translation means that we get a phrase from the Lord that just doesn’t make sense in our modern world… But today’s “hard saying” can only be explained so much. For semitic cultures, emotions don’t carry a lot of weight. The people of Israel were nomadic people - even if they had settled down a bit into towns and villages. Death was frequent. Tragedy was an ordinary part of life. All desert peoples tend to have that perspective on life and so emotions just don’t carry the weight that they do in our modern, luxury-driven culture. (Our culture has reached to point of absurdity where it’s my fault if your feelings get hurt… You can’t make this stuff up.) The people of the desert didn’t hate or love so much with the emotions as they did with their choices and their actions. And so when Jesus calls for his followers to hate their parents or children or spouses - He’s calling for a choice not an emotion.
What is hate? Hate is diametric opposite of love. What is love (to Jesus)? It’s the choice to sacrifice oneself for another - for a beloved. But that total sacrifice can’t be made for everyone. You can make it for a parent or a spouse or a child - but not really all of them. In fact, most of us have had the experience of “leaving father and mother” and marrying someone. In essence, we say to that this new person is my life’s priority and so mom and dad have to take the back seat. When kids come along, even the spouse has to be relegated to second place. But what if loving your child meant leaving you parents? Or leaving your spouse? Would you “hate” your spouse or you parents in order to “love” your child? What if Jesus made you choose? As a priest, Jesus makes me choose. (Not that I don’t visit and talk on the phone, but I had to make a choice.)
That choice to prioritize Jesus above all else is what Jesus means when he calls for us to “love” Him and to “hate” all others. Thankfully, most of us will not be called to “hate” our loved ones… But are we willing to put Jesus first, no matter what?
Insights from Second Street
The final fruit of the Holy Spirit is “egkrateia.” Most English translations in the last fifty years have translated that as “self-control.” It’s a bad translation. Self-control is generally associated nowadays with some kind of medical condition. People who can’t practice self-control are generally ADHD kids or their addicted to something or the’ve got an illness that requires frequent restroom breaks… It hardly feels like a deeply spiritual thing! It’s not really the most exciting Fruit of a life in the Holy Spirit.
A far, far better translation, and the one that I use in sermons, is “Self-Possession.” Precisely because it is truly rare to find someone fully in possession of him or herself. What’s more, the Fruit of Self-Possession allows us to make a gift of ourselves to God… After all, you can’t give what you don’t possess. The more time you take to think about this last Fruit of the Spirit, the more you realize just how much it matters and how amazing it is to have it. Completely self-possessed people would be free from committing sin. They would still sin by omission, but not by commission, because a person truly in possession of himself would be truly free to choose the good and reject the bad. Someone who lacks self-possession would be pressured by his emotions or the opinions of others or the temptations of the flesh to do something contrary to law of God. Gossip, gluttony, lust, grudges… These are things that flow from a person who cannot control himself. A self-possessed person may feel the temptation, but would easily set it aside.
Think about something to which you’re not tempted… I have no interest or temptation to wrath. I makes jokes sometimes, but I don’t know of anyone that I would really want to hurt. Every now and then, I feel a temptation to hit someone or chew someone out, but it’s easy to put out of my mind. At least as far as violence is concerned, I am in full possession of myself. If I could also experience that complete self-possession around food or some of my friends who like to gossip, that would be a very good thing.
It’s important to take a good hard look at ourselves and ask about how much I really possess myself. It’s easy to say that you don’t commit any really bad sins… But what if you don’t really have the ability to control yourself? How will you ever really grow into getting rid of littler sins? How will you ever make any real effort toward eternal life? The Fruit of the Holy Spirit are useful to us as a kind of measuring stick - the degree to which you see them in your life is the degree to which you are truly living a life in the Holy Spirit. How do you measure? God Reward You!
by Ashley Hebert
Good day to all of you! As your new Director of Evangelization & designer of all the new MBIC graphics, I would like to take this opportunity to better explain our new bulletin & to thank everyone who has complemented the new designs & welcomed me in as I’m settling into the new town & job.
In terms of bulletin content, you will always see: a front page article (written by Fr.R about the weekend’s Gospel), announcements, a schedule of those serving at Mass, Insights from Second Street (written by Fr.R about various topics that he’d like to share/address), and The Jargon (written by Fr.R, Tommy, myself, or Deacon Whitehead about various topics we’d like to share /address).
As far as the insert in the bulletin goes, that content may change a little from week to week, but we do try to keep it as consistent as possible. There you will find: MBIC Mass & Confession times, MBIC office hours, a list of our recently departed, Pope Francis’ prayer intentions, our sick list, a list of who each Mass is offered for throughout the week, a list of who the Sanctuary Candles & Flowers are offered in memory of for the week, a 5-step spiritual exercise/reminder, Mass readings for the week, a list of upcoming parish/school events, a quote from a Pope, and a quote from various Catholic sources.
In designing the bulletin insert, Fr. Ryan and I hoped that it would be something parishioners would display in a prominent location in their homes, to refer back to throughout the week. As life gets hectic and prayer time becomes harder to come by, we thought that having a quick-and-easy list of people, intentions, and spiritual exercises would be a great reminder and source of encouragement for everyone to squeeze in those extra moments of prayer and to keep those special, daily MBIC intentions in their hearts. We also wanted all of our busy parishioners & those wanting to become more involved, to have a go-to guide of upcoming events within the MBIC.
Lastly, due to the printing contract that was set in place before Fr. Ryan and I arrived, we have to design and send off our bulletin a week in advance of when we need them. Due to that printing deadline, anyone that would like to possibly add an announcement or any other content into our bulletin, needs to contact our office at least 10-14 days before they need it in the bulletin. Also, please know that anyone in the MBIC office can take a message regarding what you may like added to the bulletin, but Fr. Ryan is the only one that can decide on the content of each bulletin.
Please do not hesitate to drop by the office if you ever have questions or concerns about the bulletin, any of our new designs/projects, or plans for future pilgrimages & missions. Thank you for your patience & acceptance during this time of change & newness. I look forward to meeting you & working with you!
- Correction • Our Wednesday Food, Faith & Family nights will be the first Wednesday of Every Month from September through April. Sorry for the confusion about dates, times and locations! (10/2 5-7pm is 1st one)
- 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.
- Priesthood & Religious Life • Until you’re married or dead, every Catholic owes God the courtesy of considering a life dedicated to the Church as a priest, a nun or a religious brother. Every parent owes their child encouragement in discerning that life. And every Catholic is waiting for the heroism of the young. ForYourVocation.org or (318) 757-3834.
- The Basilican Choir is Growing! • Thanks to all who have volunteered to assist with the Sacred Music for our Basilican Days and Holy Days of Obligation. The Next Basilican Day is October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the secondary patron of our parish. We will have our usual 6:30a Mass that morning. It is also first Friday, so we’ll have Benediction and an Evening Mass. More info to come!
- CCD is in Full Swing • Thanks to our parish DRE, Michael King, CCD has taken off again. Please pray for our children and their holiness of life. If you have a little one who needs to be in CCD, please contact the office so we can get them enrolled!
- Our Children Deserve the Best • If you know of anyone in this parish potentially harming children, call (318) 445-1427 or visit DioceseAlex.org/Safe-Environment. Documentation, policies and procedures are available from the office or at the back tables in the Church. Periodic training seminars are also available, call the office for more information.
- Mon, 9/9, Virtus Class 6pm @ Church Hall
- Thu, 9/12, St. Mary’s Football Game Hamilton Christian @ Home
- Fri, 9/20, St. Mary’s Football Game Winnfield @ Home Game
- Fri, 9/27, St. Mary’s Football Game Away @ Arcadia
- Tue, 10/1, Diocesan Finance Workshop Time & Place TBA
- Wed, 10/2, 1st Faith, Family, & Food Night 5-7p @ St. Mary’s School
- Fri, 10/4, Basilican Day/First Friday St. Francis of Assisi
Within the Sanctuary
Sat, 9/7 4p Chris Henry, (Lector) • Mickey Hennigan, David Bouchie, Red & Jo Lapeyrouse, (EMHC) • C.J.Bouchie, M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 9/8 9a Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • Alice & James Barrios, John Cunningham, (EMHC) • J. & C.Cunningham, A.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 9/8 11a Gregg Burke, (Lector) • Lillie & Sam Misuraca, Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC) • V.Maggio, D.Thompson, E.Norwood, (Altar Boys)
Sat, 9/14 4p Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • Joanne & Mike Yankowski, Jimmy Gunter, Carl Henry, (EMHC) • D.Bennett, J.Friedel, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 9/15 9a John Ackel, (Lector) • Betty & James Durham, Carol Green, (EMHC) • G.Ingrish, C.Lirette, T.Hare, (Altar Boys)
Sun, 9/15 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) • Jean Gill, Darrell Hickman, Cecilia Cook, (EMHC) • M.Leone, W.Lee, S.Maggio, (Altar Boys)
Memorials & Prayer Intentions
The Sanctuary Flowers this week are offered in memory of Richard L. Williamson, Sr. by Susu & Greg Burke & Marti & Mike Vienne.
- Sat 4p Charlie Humphries & Leonie P. Kingham
- Sun 9a Thomas E. Porter
- Sun 11a Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a Edwin McClung
- Mon 8a Joe Sampite
- Tue 6:30a Anne Giering
- Tue 10a SMS Students
- Wed 6:30a Lillian Anne Giering
- Wed 9:20a SMS Faculty
- Thu 6:30a Donna Doll
- Thu 8:10a SMS Benefactors
- Fri 6:30a Randolph Joseph, Sr.
- Sat 8a Eula Henry
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters. And that, Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world, may by their witness, be prophets of Christ’s love.
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering : Mai Levy Abington, Lolette Allen, Lauren Bienvenu, Mark Birch, Bill Boone, Tripp Bostick, Dewitt Booty, Chad Bouchie, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Emilia Cofio, Johnny Cox, Kim Cunning- ham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Marguerite Felchle, Alma Fernandez, Lucy Flores, Reba Friday, Tom Foshee, Anne Giering, Lillian Giering, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandaz, Deanna Hickman, Pam Kerry, Mary Keyser, Martha LaCaze, Daniel Laroux, Clay LeGros, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Joseph Longo, Johnnie Mallory, Lisa Mack, Faris Michael, Meg Michael, Mary Moss, Barbie Neuhauser, Shane Niette, Jo Norwood, Mary Odom, Sharon Roach, Makaehan Ross, Shir- ley Roy, Amanda Rozman, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Brent Trichel, Sue Van Hook, Billie Vercher, Jessica Warner, Janine Waters, & Ruthie J. Wallboughly
Our Sunday Collection last week was $10,599.
Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!
For more information on our finances, click here.