March 29 E-Notes

03-29-2017E-NotesFr. John Barry
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Laetare Sunday

03-26-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

The 4th Sunday of Lent is the one of joy for our salvation (Laetare Sunday), and we have rose vestments/stoles on this weekend. How are you joyful of being in Christ’ salvation?

Fr. Barry

In the Old Testament, it refers to Saturday as being the Sabbath, and in the New Testament Gospels it shows Jesus and His disciples observing the Sabbath, although they change it in some ways (i.e. Jesus ‘works’ miracles on it). Yet, as the Church is begun, at Pentecost, they go to Sundays as the day of rest or “Sabbath.” Why so? Is Saturday not the holy day anymore?

03-26-2017Catholic Church Q and A

Part 2 of 3 answers. In a whole other line of answering the above question, from how we did last Sunday, it is important to understand, too, how the obligation to set aside time for worship is part of the natural law that is binding on everyone. Not all of the laws found in the Old Testament are part of the natural law, and those which are not part of the natural law – e.g., the obligation to worship on Saturday – were only ever binding on the Jews. It is a religious law for Jews. Christians are not bound by them. Since Jesus was resurrected from the dead on Sunday, it made sense for Christians to set aside Sunday for worship. He arose on a Sunday, and He met them again on a Sunday following, and Pentecost indeed was a Sunday, too. The pattern began, and the Sabbath was always under Jesus’ Lordship anyway (recall His words at the protests made against Him doing miraculous works on the Sabbath, but now Jesus brings a new covenant with its miracle of The Covenant of Christ—His own Body and Blood. Covenant worship by Christians now had its new day; those Jews who did not accept Christ stayed with their Saturday worship and observances – and you could tell apart them (and still now) of who was with Jesus and who was not by what holy day was kept.


Reflection on the Fourth Sunday of Lent


"Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him." The prevailing theology of Jesus' time led people to believe that any kind of disability was a punishment from God. So Jesus' disciples assumed that the man born blind suffered that affliction because of someone's sin: either his parents' or his own. But Jesus sets the record straight. Not only did He reject the idea that the blindness was a punishment for sin; He also went so far as to suggest that this very trial was an opportunity for God's glory to be revealed.


St. Joseph's Day

03-19-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

On St. Joseph ‘s Day, a nice prayer to offer is the rosary, particularly the joyful mysteries. The Joyful Mysteries tie in to Joseph and his extra-saintly spouse. The Annunciation is something that Joseph had to come to believe, even though it happened to Mary, not him. While he received his own angelic visit, he still had to find faith in the stupendous message offered to Mary: your household will raise up the Christ Child!


In the Old Testament, it refers to Saturday as being the Sabbath, and in the New Testament Gospels it shows Jesus and His disciples observing the Sabbath, although they change it in some ways (i.e. Jesus ‘works’ miracles on it). Yet, as the Church is begun, at Pentecost, they go to Sundays as the day of rest or “Sabbath.” Why so? Is Saturday not the holy day anymore?

03-19-2017Catholic Church Q and A

Until Jesus established the New Covenant by His Body and Blood, given purposely at the Jewish Passover, (and enacted from there and then into Good Friday) – the Old Law was in effect. Jesus likely even went to Sabbath prayers in the prior week to His own death on the Cross, so faithful was He to the Jewish life He was born into. Yet the Passover of Jesus marked a new beginning. What was once a remembrance of salvation history of the past (Moses’ and the Exodus) now was a Passover of the new crossing into Salvation brought into fulfillment and the ever-present by Jesus. An Exodus to pass over sin and death was begun in Jesus, with the destination as Glory, in following Him. It would be an invitation for all peoples to be saved, not just the Jews. Thus, the new worship would be not for the old covenant now, or just to the Jews, but it opened for all in Jesus as a new covenant, and now truly people could all “sing a new song unto the Lord.”



"But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth." Are we true worshippers? Do we praise and honor God the Father in the way Jesus described to the Samaritan woman at the well? It seems that this woman was caught up in logistics about WHERE to worship more than HOW to worship. Her people worshiped in one place, the Jews in another. She was puz-zled by this and, even though she could see that Jesus was a prophet, she challenged Him because she thought perhaps He wasn't a true worshipper of God. The Lord's response to her was to shift the focus away from a particular physical location for honoring God. In essence, He told her that what mattered was that we worship God by being filled with His Spirit, "the Spirit of truth, [Who] will guide you to all truth," as Jesus will say later in John's Gospel (16:13). This woman, whose life was marked by such a sad string of broken relationships, had been missing the point.


March 13 E-Notes

03-13-2017E-NotesFr. John Barry

With the impending snow storm, please be advised that the Communion Services scheduled for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning may have to be canceled, depending on road conditions. Also, remember the Religious Education classes follow the PG County School snow policy.

Prayer of St. Patrick

03-12-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

St. Patrick has a feast day this week. Here is a prayer of his.

I bind to myself today--The strong virtue of the Invocation of
the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity, The Creator of the Universe.
I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgment Day.


What are the various courses or tracts of studies in theology?

03-12-2017Catholic Church Q and A

A couple of weeks ago we said that knowing God, so as to be loved by God and to love Him, and others – is the high calling of theology. Theology is the study of God, but there are various theological disciplines to study. For example, there is Moral theology, Trinitarian theology, Patristic theology, Liturgical theology, Biblical theology and more, but most important is that of Dogmatic theology. Of course, dogmas are our principles of faith, the unchangeable doctrines that are pronounced by a pope speaking ex cathedra, or in an ecumenical council, which a Catholic Christian is bound by.


Reflection on the Second Sunday of Lent


"When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid." Peter, James, and John already knew Jesus. They had been following Him, learning from Him, watching Him for quite some time. But what took place before their eyes at the Transfiguration was unlike anything they had yet witnessed. This was not just a miracle or a message: this was a supernatural vision. When Jesus' face suddenly "shone like the sun" and two ancient prophets appeared and spoke, and a heavenly voice announced the true identity of their friend and teacher, these three disciples nearly fainted in fear. It must have been too glorious, too strange, too astonishing to handle.


Reflection on the First Sunday of Lent


"He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards He was hungry." And no surprise! That's an incredibly long time to fast. Undoubtedly Jesus' physical and emotional strength would have been extremely weak after enduring such a marathon of abstinence. And isn't it interesting that the "tempter" should choose to appear at this particular moment? When bread must have sounded better than ever, the devil comes and tests Jesus, saying, "Command that these stones become loaves of bread." How hard it must have been to resist! Surely, Jesus could have caved in. He could have shown the devil His power--and had a bite to eat while He was at it--but He didn't. Instead, Jesus relied upon the word of God, and battled the devil by holding fast to the truth. "One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God."


Welcome Fr. Blaise Czaja

03-05-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

We welcome our Missions priest, Passionist Fr. Blaise Czaja to St. Edward’s. I hope he has a fruitful week among us. He will be staying with me, and he will be speaking daily in our parish. To see him personally, you can contact our parish office to relay a message.


Is Confirmation (and as a Sacrament) mentioned in the Bible?

03-05-2017Catholic Church Q and A

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the reception of the Holy Spirit through the holy unction of chrism and laying on of hands. This is separate from the gift of Baptism as can be seen in the New Testament. We will give two examples from Acts in the New Testament:


March 3 E-Notes

03-03-2017E-NotesFr. John Barry

1st weekend of Lent
Parish Mission