St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

Starting in February, my cousin and his wife go out into the fields and prune acres and acres of blueberry bushes.  It's hard work, and they have to know where and how much to prune each bush to ensure it bears berries the following summer. Too much pruning, and the bush could be lost for the season and maybe beyond; too little, and it will not bear as much fruit as it did the year before. It is an art form learned through years of experience and a few mistakes.

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All of creation has the power to lay down its life.  Summer and autumn lay down the bounty of their harvest.  Our own lives pour forth daily their energy into various tasks.  All is a laying down.  We lay down our lives being generous, being forgiving, trying to be patient, with greater success at some times, sacrificing for the sake of love, giving back to others and the community.

All of creation also has the power to take up life again. Winter turns to spring.  We awaken to a new day every morning, refreshed by sleep.  Weakened bodies can heal.  We also take up life by seeking healthy relationships, by using our power of creativity to give life to others.  We strive to be good; we seek harmony and peace with others and the crated world.  We hunger for a relationship with our God.  And we succeed more often than not.

That rhythm of laying down and taking up is but the echo of Jesus and how he chose to live among us.  It was God’s command to him, bred deep in his bones and spirit.  And, it is a command to us as well.

~Fr. Sas

While it's Easter, our world still looks more like Good Friday. What makes the Good Friday story so devastating is that it is still so true . Politicians still are swayed by the mob (though we call it "poll driven agenda"); violence continues; goodness is mocked. Often those who are the outlaws in sports and media are preferred, becoming role models for our young. We repeat the cry of those in Jerusalem who shouted, "We want Barabbas!" instead of the one who healed, forgave and challenged people not to settle for outward show over interior depth.

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I often wondered about the guy who showed up at every major sporting event with the sign saying “John 3:16.”  He was at the Masters, PGA, the World Series, Final Four, and others.  How did he manage to get tickets?  Was he rich?  He couldn’t have snuck in since he had an afro dyed in at least three colors.  He was almost always right in camera range, holding up his sign for all the world to see.  Talk about evangelization!

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In 1967 Aretha Franklin recorded a song entitled “Respect.” That could be another title for the Ten Commandments, the Decalogue. They are all about respect:

    For God’s mystery, name and the Sabbath Day;
    for parents, elders, and those who have legitimate authority over us;
    for oneself and others;
    for life;
    for relationships;
    for reputations;
    for honesty;
    for property.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

For Christians, respect is not enough. It has to be followed with obedience.

~Fr. Sas, March 8 Homily

The 3rd Sunday of Lent

Great care has gone into the choice of readings during the Sundays of Lent. The Old Testament readings present some aspect of Israel's salvation history as it prepared for and prefigured the Christ event. The 2nd readings, drawn from the early Church's letters, focus on the way believers make the gift of salvation their own, especially through baptism. The Gospels of Lent center on Jesus and the moments of his ministry that led to the ultimate gift of himself on the cross and the victory of resurrection. Today's readings center on the themes of water, covenant and baptism.

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