Today’s readings for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time seem to be, at first glance, about stormy weather. In the first reading, the Lord stilled the waves during the storm for Job. In Psalm 107 the Lord “hushed the storm to a gentle breeze and the billows of the sea were stilled.” This Gospel is the well-known passage about the disciples’ tremendous fear during a violent squall at sea. When they woke Jesus He simply said “Quiet! Be still!” and the wind and the sea obeyed.
Was Jesus teaching them only about the weather? Or was Jesus teaching them about the relationship between God and himself.
Diving deeper into the storms, Jesus was calming the weather, but He was also teaching the disciples about trust and the power of God, just as God was teaching the Israelites, Job, and all who cry to Him in distress. They all knew the disasters that could befall them from the wild winds and churning seas. What was needed from them was faith, trust and a knowledge that God/Jesus will be with them through every storm imaginable.
We all have storms in our lives: emotional, physical, financial, weather related and otherwise. Where is our trust? Where is our faith that God will save us from all of our storms? How strong is our faith?
Next weekend, June 26/27, the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays will be lifted which means that once again our commitment to Sunday Mass will be in effect. There are obvious exceptions to that obligation for reasons of health, as Archbishop Lori articulated earlier this month: “This obligation does not apply to those who are ill; those who have reason to believe that they were recently exposed to the coronavirus, another serious or contagious illness; those who are confined to their home, a hospital, or nursing facility; or those with serious underlying health conditions.” Here at Seton, we have lifted capacity restrictions and it is no longer necessary to register in advance to attend Mass. We will continue to offer the livestream daily Masses (Monday—Thursdays, 9am) and the 9:30am Sunday Mass as a permanent ministry of outreach and support for the sick, for shut-ins, and for those otherwise unable to attend Mass in person.
Also happening, the 3 feet of social distancing will come to an end. The Ushers will pass Offertory Baskets. The Offertory Procession of bread, wine and a basket for the poor will resume.
The Sign of Peace will continue to be expressed with a slight bow or a wave. If within a family unit, members can express this in a safe manner.
Communion will continue to be provided under a single form. Clergy and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will sanitize their hands before and after distribution. It is unknown when distribution of the cup will resume. I strongly encourage you, out of an abundance of caution and love of neighbor, to please continue to receive the host on the palm of your hand and not on the tongue.
Masking will continue for those who choose to wear them or if people are not able to get vaccinated due to age. I have encouraged parents to mask their young children in accordance to the guidance from the Archdiocese and the CDC. If masks are needed, they are located in the Narthex.
Our cleaning personnel will continue to sanitize high touch areas during the week.
Finally, due to the hot weather and lower attendance, the 11:30am Outdoor Mass will be ending with the last outdoor Mass taking place on Sunday, June 27. The following weekend, July 3/4, will feature the return of the 8:00am and the 11:00am Masses in church. This date marks one year since Seton reopened for public Masses since the start of the pandemic!
As we celebrate Fathers’ Day this weekend, we give thanks for the gift of our Dads, for all you do to love, to nurture, and to provide for us!
P.S. The hymnals are now at your seats! I want to thank the Staff for bringing them out of storage this week. At the beginning of Masses this weekend, Brendan will acclimate you in how to use them.
ELEMENTS OF THECATHOLIC MASS VIDEO SERIES:
We are beginning week 22 of our video series, Elements of the Catholic Mass. I would invite you to watch Episode 22 this week titled, Book of the Gospels and reflect on how this might help you in your faith. Here is the link to the episodes page.
Here is this Sunday’s Worship Aid
Don’t forget to use hand sanitizers in the Narthex and keep your social distance (3 feet) as you approach the Main Entrance and you sit in the Church!
As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass (Mon—Thurs at 9:00am and Sunday at 9:30am) on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link), and our parish website, https://www.seaseton.org/Resources/Media. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.