Friday, March 20, 2020

Of COVID-19: "Who sinned?"

Lectionary Readings for The Fourth Sunday in Lent - March 22  
As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

My reflection:
There are still many including some prominent tele/megachurch evangelists  in our contemporary society who still subscribes to the theory of a direct causal relationship between wellness and sin. You may have even heard similar versions from some who are attributing COVID-19 to being a "spiritual attack on humanity" or "signs of the end-times" or even a generational attack based on Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me" - King James Version - or that humanity is being punished by God for the sins of one nation which has finally caught up with us. I do not know where you stand in all of these but I ask you consider sharing your thoughts with me by leaving a Comment. 

FOR YOUR FURTHER MEDITATION
1. Do you see a direct causal relationship between wellness, sin and COVID-19? What is the basis of that relationship? 
2. How does that (basis) shape your understanding of individual and corporate social justice responsibilities? Or of the incarnate God's concern for humanity or even the Psalmist's thoughts in the portion of Psalm 23 below: 
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I shall fear no evil; * for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; * you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over. Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, * and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

3. If the John text above is considered at "face-value" what works of God might (possibly) be revealed to humanity through the COVID-19 pandemic?

Friday, March 13, 2020

COVID-19: Where is Jesus?

Text: Mark 4:35-41

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!

For those who practice the discipline of praying the Daily Office appointed in the Book of Common Prayer (1979), you would recall the above text was the third reading for Morning Prayer today, March 13. At St. Mary in Palms, we still are praying Morning Prayer as part of daily Mass. We are still praying for all whose lives have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic including all who work tirelessly day and night to find lasting cures for the many diseases facing our generation. 

My short reflection:
As I read the above passage, I wondered how many people  - in light of the anxiety, confusion and uncertainty created by the presence of novel coronarirus (COVID-19) - are probably asking the questions: where is the Jesus "The disciples woke and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Where is the Jesus who "got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm." Why can't that Jesus "just do his thing and remove" the coronavirus from our world and let life return to normalcy? Impact on free will??

Where is  the Jesus  who asked "his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Has our faith got anything to do with the ongoing work by researchers and policy makers and laboratories to find a lasting cure for the coronavirus? 

For your meditation:
How do you see Jesus and faith present in the current challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19? 


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Reflections on Lectionary readings for Third Sunday in Lent A

Lectionary readings for Sunday, March 15, 2020, Third Sunday in Lent Year A: 


My short reflection:

The readings for this Sunday reminds one of two important facts of life:

First, drawing from a well. Many people - first century Israelites included - understand this metaphorical "drawing". For many Jews, wisdom can be drawn from the Torah. Hermits from antiquity drew wisdom from the solitude of the desert and their cells. Students draw knowledge from institutions of learning. Many draw and impart wisdom from life's experiences. Christians draw LIFE from the mission and life truly and honestly lived in Jesus Christ. 

For further meditation: from which source(s) are you drawing daily (constant) strength and faith-filled hope to live your life as a maturing (human) person and disciple of Jesus Christ?

Secondly, the Samaritan woman in a way becomes the first missionary for Jesus Christ for she goes into the village and invites her neighbors to “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” She invites her neighbors to explore a possible new relationship with this stranger called Jesus who could be the Messiah they'd be hoping and praying for. 

Missionaries come in different shapes and passions. Perhaps, as the first person in one's family to finish High School or College, acquire a professional degree, own her/his own house or even become a disciple of Christ. Whatever the role of missionary is, one is invited to spread the great news of a particular mission.

For further meditation: In what way are you a missionary? How does it feel to be a missionary?

I look forward to and welcome your comments which are highly appreciated.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Parish UPDATE: Sunday, January 13

Beloved of God and of this parish:

Here's what's happening THIS WEEKEND AT ST. MARY'S:

1.  SUNDAY, JANUARY 13: THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY [BAPTISM OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST]


2.  FUNERAL OF FR. OTTO HAROLD ANDERSON
    • Date: Saturday, January 12, 2019
    • Venue: St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Glendale, 1020 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale. CA 91201. https://www.saintmarks.la/
    • Time: 11 am
    • Additional Note: The family desires that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to "St. Mary in Palms" with "Fr. Anderson Memorial Fund" on the Memo line.

3.   BIBLE STUDY on Wednesdays at St. Mary's:
  • Class meets from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.
  • We meet in the Sacristy. Enter from the parking lot off Watseka Ave.
  • Our current study is focused on the Gospel according to St. Mark.
  • No previous Bible knowledge required
  • We are using the NIV 2011 translation.  We'll have a Bible for you if needed. 

4.  MASS SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK: Morning Prayer at 8:45  & Mass at 9 am

  • Monday, January 14: George Berkeley
  • Tuesday, January 15: Paul of Thebes
  • Wednesday, January 16: Feria
  • Thursday, January 17: Anthony, Abbot
  • Friday,  January 18: THE CONFESSION OF ST. PETER
  • Saturday, January 19: Wulfstan



5.  CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS OF OUR PARISH
  • On Sunday, September 8, 2019, our parish will by the grace of God, celebrate 100 years of continuous ministry in God's reign and especially in Southern California.
  •  If you are a former parishioner or know of one, please, let us know so we can pray and thank God for you/them by name.
  •  Spread the word. Email: stmarypalms@yahoo.com

6.  OF YOUR CHARITY, PLEASE, PRAY (FOR):

  • The Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor, Bishop Diocesan, Diocese of Los Angeles
  • all Anglican Monastic communities and for all who are discerning vocations to the ordained ministry and the monastic life
  • continued healing for all who are sick in spirit, mind and body especially Myra; Presiding Bishop Michael Curry;  Bishop Edward Mackenzie; Fr. Mark Stuart; Gerda; Jai Joseph; Anthony Joseph; Rose Quaye; Lyra; Ben; Fayetta; Edgar; Sr. Rosina; Anthony Alarcon; Vivian Perry; Nathan Greenspan; Beatrice Mensah and, Alice Vickers.
  • the repose of the soul of Otto Harold Anderson, priest; Peter Bergstrom, priest; Andy Parker, priest; Alan Kuller, Steve Hahm, the souls of departed former members of our parish and all the departed. May they rest in peace.
  • the children and young persons of our parish especially: Natasha, Vincent, Larry Jr, Jeffrey, Simone, Obed, Audrey, Michelle, Yasmine, Charlene, Victor, Jason,  Annabelle, Biko, Amani, Rohan (Andrew), Oscar Antonio, Diego, Ezra, Sebastian, David, Sanaya Evelyn, Brondzie, Senyah, Saulito, William. 


7.   A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU
  • to our partners in ministry 
  • for making the mission and ministries of our parish possible in 2018. May God richly replenish what you generously shared with our parish and its ministries.
  • We pray you would consider partnering us in 2019 to help share God's good news of reconciliation and build the kingdom of God
  • Benefactors: You can also make DONATIONS at our website or include our parish in your  WILL or leave some STOCKS for us. Thank  you.    

8.  FOR NEWS ABOUT
9. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @stmaryinpalms 

Fr. Vincent 
http://www.stmarypalms.org

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Parish UPDATE: Sunday, January 6

Beloved of God and of this parish:

Here's what's happening THIS WEEKEND AT ST. MARY'S:

1.  SUNDAY, JANUARY 6: THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST


2. MASS SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK: Morning Prayer at 8:45  & Mass at 9 am

  • Monday, January 7: Feria
  • Tuesday, January 8: Harriet Bedell
  • Wednesday, January 9: Julia Chester Emery
  • Thursday, January 10: William Laud
  • Friday,  January 11: Mary Slessor
  • Saturday, January 12: Aelred of Rievaulx

3.   BIBLE STUDY on Wednesdays at St. Mary's:
  • Class meets from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.
  • We meet in the Sacristy. Enter from the parking lot off Watseka Ave.
  • Our current study is focused on the Gospel according to St. Mark.
  • No previous Bible knowledge required
  • We are using the NIV 2011 translation.  We'll have a Bible for you if needed. 

4. UPCOMING EVENTS
  • FUNERAL OF FR. OTTO HAROLD ANDERSON
    • Date: Saturday, January 12, 2019
    • Venue: St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Glendale, 1020 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale. CA 91201. https://www.saintmarks.la/
    • Time: 11 am
    • Additional Note: The family desires that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to "St. Mary in Palms" with "Fr. Anderson Memorial Fund" on the Memo line.

 

5.  CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS OF OUR PARISH
  • On Sunday, September 8, 2019, our parish will by the grace of God, celebrate 100 years of continuous ministry in God's reign and especially in Southern California.
  •  If you are a former parishioner or know of one, please, let us know so we can pray and thank God for you/them by name.
  •  Spread the word. Email: stmarypalms@yahoo.com

6.  OF YOUR CHARITY, PLEASE, PRAY (FOR):

  • The Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor, Bishop Diocesan, Diocese of Los Angeles
  • all Anglican Monastic communities and for all who are discerning vocations to the ordained ministry and the monastic life
  • continued healing for all who are sick in spirit, mind and body especially Myra; Presiding Bishop Michael Curry;  Bishop Edward Mackenzie; Fr. Mark Stuart; Gerda; Jai Joseph; Anthony Joseph; Rose Quaye; Lyra; Ben; Fayetta; Edgar; Sr. Rosina; Anthony Alarcon; Vivian Perry; Nathan Greenspan; Beatrice Mensah and, Alice Vickers.
  • the repose of the soul of Otto Harold Anderson, priest; Peter Bergstrom, priest; Andy Parker, priest; Alan Kuller, Steve Hahm, the souls of departed former members of our parish and all the departed. May they rest in peace.
  • the children and young persons of our parish especially: Natasha, Vincent, Larry Jr, Jeffrey, Simone, Obed, Audrey, Michelle, Yasmine, Charlene, Victor, Jason,  Annabelle, Biko, Amani, Rohan (Andrew), Oscar Antonio, Diego, Ezra, Sebastian, David, Sanaya Evelyn, Brondzie, Senyah, Saulito, William. 


7.   A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU
  • to our partners in ministry 
  • for making the mission and ministries of our parish possible in 2018. May God richly replenish what you generously shared with our parish and its ministries.
  • We pray you would consider partnering us in 2019 to help share God's good news of reconciliation and build the kingdom of God
  • Benefactors: You can also make DONATIONS at our website or include our parish in your  WILL or leave some STOCKS for us. Thank  you.    

8.  FOR NEWS ABOUT
9. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @stmaryinpalms 

Fr. Vincent 
http://www.stmarypalms.org

Friday, December 28, 2018

Parish UPDATE: Sunday, December 30

Beloved of God and of this parish:

Here's what's happening THIS WEEKEND AT ST. MARY'S:

1.  SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30: THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS


2. MASS SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEKMorning Prayer at 8:45  & Mass at 9 am

  • Monday, December 31: Joseph Gaudet & Samuel Ajayi Crowther
  • Tuesday, January 1: HOLY NAME
  • Wednesday, January 2: Gregory of Nazianzus
  • Thursday, January 3: Angela of Foligno
  • Friday,  January 4: Elizabeth Seton
  • Saturday, January 5: Syncletica of Egypt

3.   BIBLE STUDY on Wednesdays at St. Mary's:
  • Class meets from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.
  • We meet in the Sacristy. Enter from the parking lot off Watseka Ave.
  • Our current study is focused on the Gospel according to St. Mark.
  • No previous Bible knowledge required
  • We are using the NIV 2011 translation.  We'll have a Bible for you if needed. 

4. UPCOMING EVENTS

    • Sunday, December 30: Parish Christmas potluck after the 10 am and 12:30 pm Masses. 
    • Please, bring some food to share. 

 

5.  CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS OF OUR PARISH
  • On Sunday, September 8, 2019, our parish will by the grace of God, celebrate 100 years of continuous ministry in God's reign and especially in Southern California.
  •  If you are a former parishioner or know of one, please, let us know so we can pray and thank God for you/them by name.
  •  Spread the word. Email: stmarypalms@yahoo.com

6.  OF YOUR CHARITY, PLEASE, PRAY (FOR):

  • The Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor, Bishop Diocesan, Diocese of Los Angeles
  • all Anglican Monastic communities and for all who are discerning vocations to the ordained ministry and the monastic life
  • continued healing for all who are sick in spirit, mind and body especially Myra; Presiding Bishop Michael Curry; Fr. Harold Anderson; Bishop Edward Mackenzie; Fr. Mark Stuart; Gerda; Jai Joseph; Anthony Joseph; Rose Quaye; Lyra; Ben; Fayetta; Edgar; Sr. Rosina; Anthony Alarcon; Vivian Perry; Nathan Greenspan; Beatrice Mensah and, Alice Vickers.
  • the repose of the soul of Andy Parker, priest; Alan Kuller, Steve Hahm, the souls of departed former members of our parish and  all the departed. May they rest in peace.
  • the children and young persons of our parish especially: Natasha, Vincent, Larry Jr, Jeffrey, Simone, Obed, Audrey, Michelle, Yasmine, Charlene, Victor, Jason,  Annabelle, Biko, Amani, Rohan (Andrew), Oscar Antonio, Diego, Ezra, Sebastian, David, Sanaya Evelyn, Brondzie, Senyah, Saulito, William. 


7.   A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU
  • to our partners in ministry 
  • for making the mission and ministries of our parish possible in 2018. May God richly replenish what you generously shared with our parish and its ministries.
  • We pray you would consider partnering us in 2019 to help share God's good news of reconciliation and build the kingdom of God
  • Benefactors: You can also make DONATIONS at our website or include our parish in your  WILL or leave some STOCKS for us. Thank  you.    

8.  FOR NEWS ABOUT
9. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @stmaryinpalms 

Fr. Vincent 
http://www.stmarypalms.org

Friday, December 21, 2018

Parish UPDATE: Sunday, December 23

Beloved of God and of this parish:

Here's what's happening THIS WEEKEND AT ST. MARY'S:

1.  SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23: THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT


2.  SCHEDULE OF CHRISTMAS EVENTS:
    • Monday, December 17: Trimming of our Community Christmas Tree (in the plaza)
    • Friday, December 21 at 7 pm: Lighting of our Community Christmas Tree and community caroling in the plaza; apple cider and cookies will be served
    • Saturday, December 22:
      • 6:30 pm: Christmas caroling in church
      •  7 pm: Christmas play - Archangels & Seraphim Ecumenical Catholic Church
    • Monday, December 24:  Christmas Eve: 
      • Carol Singing at 10:30 pm
      • Midnight Mass at 11 pm
    • Tuesday, December 25: Christmas Day: Mass at 10 am

3. MASS SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK: Morning Prayer at 8:45  & Mass at 9 am

  • Monday, December 24: Christmas Eve - 11 pm
  • Tuesday, December 25: Christmas Day - 10 am
  • Wednesday, December 26: STEPHEN
  • Thursday, December 27: JOHN
  • Friday,  December 28: THE HOLY INNOCENTS
  • Saturday, December 29: Thomas Becket 

4.   BIBLE STUDY on Wednesdays at St. Mary's:
  • Class meets from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.
  • We meet in the Sacristy. Enter from the parking lot off Watseka Ave.
  • Our current study is focused on the Gospel according to St. Mark.
  • No previous Bible knowledge required
  • We are using the NIV 2011 translation.  We'll have a Bible for you if needed. 

5. UPCOMING EVENTS

  • SCHEDULE OF CHRISTMAS EVENTS:
    • Monday, December 24:  Christmas Eve: 
      • Carol Singing at 10:30 pm
      • Vigil Mass at 11 pm
    • Tuesday, December 25: Christmas Day: Mass at 10 am
    • Sunday, December 30: Parish Christmas potluck after the 10 am and 12:30 pm Masses. Please, bring some food to share. 

 

6.  CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS OF OUR PARISH
  • On Sunday, September 8, 2019, our parish will by the grace of God, celebrate 100 years of continuous ministry in God's reign and especially in Southern California.
  •  If you are a former parishioner or know of one, please, let us know so we can pray and thank God for you/them by name.
  •  Spread the word. Email: stmarypalms@yahoo.com

7.  OF YOUR CHARITY, PLEASE, PRAY (FOR):

  • The Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor, Bishop Diocesan, Diocese of Los Angeles
  • all Anglican Monastic communities and for all who are discerning vocations to the ordained ministry and the monastic life
  • continued healing for all who are sick in spirit, mind and body especially Myra; Presiding Bishop Michael Curry; Fr. Harold Anderson; Bishop Edward Mackenzie; Fr. Mark Stuart; Gerda; Jai Joseph; Anthony Joseph; Rose Quaye; Lyra; Ben; Sr. Rosina; Beatrice Mensah and, Alice Vickers.
  • the repose of the soul of Alan Kuller, Steve Hahm, the souls of departed former members of our parish and  all the departed. May they rest in peace.
  • the children and young persons of our parish especially: Natasha, Vincent, Larry Jr, Jeffrey, Simone, Obed, Audrey, Michelle, Yasmine, Charlene, Victor, Jason,  Annabelle, Biko, Amani, Rohan (Andrew), Oscar Antonio, Diego, Ezra, Sebastian, David, Sanaya Evelyn, Brondzie, Senyah, Saulito, William. 


8.   A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU
  • to our partners in ministry 
  • for making the mission and ministries of our parish possible in 2018. May God richly replenish what you generously shared with our parish and its ministries.
  • We pray you would consider partnering us in 2019 to help share God's good news of reconciliation and build the kingdom of God
  • Benefactors: You can also make DONATIONS at our website or include our parish in your  WILL or leave some STOCKS for us. Thank  you.    

9.  FOR NEWS ABOUT
10. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @stmaryinpalms 

Fr. Vincent 
http://www.stmarypalms.org