St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

The 3rd definition of “preparation” in the American Dictionary of the English Language1 reads: “a preliminary measure that serves to make ready for something”.

In the center of Marlborough we’ve seen preliminary site work for a Big Y Supermarket and Pharmacy. Former buildings have been torn down. There’s been excavating done, fill trucked in, leveling and compacting of that fill, and pipes are ready to be placed in the ground for drainage. It has taken some time, years in fact; and we are impatient its completion. We hope that the day will arrive when we can have a full service grocery store in town. It’s coming!

The Season of Advent has one foot in the past and one in the future. We are getting ready for the celebration of Christmas once again with joyful anticipation. We are also preparing for the return in glory of Jesus, maybe with somewhat lesser anticipation and perhaps a little trepidation.

Initially I was going to talk about how we are tenants in vineyard of the Lord and how Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si , on Care for Our Common Home, that the vineyard, our earth, is crying out to us, and I quote, “because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her” (LS #2). He goes on to say: “We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life” (#2) “by our presuming to take the place of God and refusing to acknowledge our creaturely limitations” (#66).

Matthew 21:28-32

A little context is needed to appreciate more fully this passage. In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus had already triumphantly entered Jerusalem, gone to the temple area, overturned the money changers tables and the seats of those selling doves for sacrifice, and, and quoting Isaiah, proclaimed that God’s house shall “be a house of prayer but you are making it a den of thieves”. He then leaves the city, going to Bethany where he spends the night.

We Christians sometimes forget an inconvenient truth that as a result of the Incarnation, Jesus in his humanity was born into a particular culture at a particular time and was subject to the particular prejudices that were present. Oh sure, he pushed its boundaries from time to time; but he was still influenced by the mores of the times.

Case in point: today’s Gospel where for quite a while he is shown to be acting, well, unchristian. Jesus had approached pagan land. To identify the woman Matthew uses a term that was passé at the time: Canaanite, the original settlers in the land that the Jewish people had conquered and who remained somewhat hated enemies ever since. Jesus at first ignored her. The disciples then pleaded with Jesus to send her away. He answered that he didn’t come for anyone but the lost sheep of Israel, effectively cutting her and anyone else that was not Jewish from his mercy, compassion, and salvation. But she wouldn’t give up. She knelt in front of him and begged him. Finally he answered with a rebuke, calling her a dog, a non-person. She cleverly used his answer to cause him to look at her in a different way, recognizing her faith. Jesus was taught a lesson by a foreign woman: to pay attention to those outside his personal mission as he thought to be; you never know where you will find faith.

Why was Elijah sitting in a cave on Horeb, the mountain of God? It was all because of Jezebel, the pagan queen of Israel and her prophets of Baal.

Elijah had challenged 450 prophets of Baal to a sacrificial duel at Mt. Carmel. Both he and they were to place on wood a young bull prepared for sacrifice but light no fire. Instead both were to call upon their god. Whichever god answered with fire would be declared the winner and worthy of worship. The prophets of Baal spent hours calling him and received no answer. Elijah mocked them and their god/ saying perhaps he’s asleep or meditating or on a journey or retired. They continued calling. “But there was not a sound; no one answered, and no one was listening.” Now it was Elijah’s turn. He built a stone altar, dug a trench around it, put the pieces of the young bull on the wood, and ordered four jars of water to be poured over the holocaust not once, not twice, but three times to ensure it was soaked. What chutzpah! He called upon the Lord and the Lord answered with fire which consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones of the altar, the dust, and even the water in the trench! I think he probably thought “Thank you, God.” He then killed all the prophets of Baal. Now this did not sit well with Jezebel who swore to have Elijah killed in the same manner. Of course Elijah escaped to the desert and prayed for death at the hands of the Lord. But an angel of the Lord strengthened him with food and water and he made his way to Horeb, walking 40 days and 40 nights. And that’s why he was in that cave when he heard the command to go outside and stand before the Lord.

Get your spring cleaning done and help support

STJF Knights of Columbus Parish Tag Sale
May 19th, 9am-2pm (Rain date: May 26th)

Tag Sale KoCWe have two options for this sale:Rent a space from us and sell your goods. ($20 per space) OR Donate your goods to us! No items too big! Call us and we’ll even pick them up!!

Please note: Limited volunteers are available tohelp sell your appreciated items; so, please take the time to choose your donations carefully. All proceeds will go toThe STJF Capital Development Fund.Reserve your spot now:

Jean Jacques @ 860.295.0001

UPCOMING TEEN EVENT

YardGoatsLogo

Saturday, May 5th  - Come to the YARD GOATS Game! We have great seats behind the dug out of the Portland Sea Dogs, a Double‐A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox! We will leave immediately following the 4:00pm mass. Tickets are $11.00 each. You must sign up and pass your permission slip and money in by April 25. After that point ticketswill be open to all parishioners. Please bring money for snacks.

Permission Slip:   May 5 Yard Goats Game

UPCOMING TEEN EVENT

TeenCookoutSaturday, June 16th  - spring into summer with our ANNUAL COOKOUT! Come celebrate our seniors at the 4:00pm mass where they will be recognized then join us down stairs for a cookout, s’mores and field games. 4:00(mass) 8:00pm.

WildWestCampVACATION BIBLE CAMP

Your child will go back in time to the Wild, Wild West for a Wild Western Adventure Romp! They will enter a world of outlaws, cowboys, frontier games and even some wild animals. I hope many of the children join us on this spectacular adventure right here at St John Fisher Church! This will be an opportunity for kids to explore not only the thrilling Wild West, but also a way to discover a living spiritual relationship with Jesus and learn more about some Bible “outlaws” who chose to follow God and do what’s right. There will be Western themed games, crafts, activities, music and snacks It will be a week of ROOTIN’ TOOTIN” FUN !!!!

Date: August 6-9 Time: 9:00-noon  Where: St. John Fisher Church Hall

This camp is open to children entering grades 1-6  Cost is $25 per child

Click:  SIGN-UP SHEET   Click:  Registration Form

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