The Fragrant Aroma of Baking Bread

Letters from a Pastor to His People- August 12, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

Something about the smell of baked bread captures my attention more than other smells.  Maybe you as well.  I don't know what it is.  My hunger for food is aroused, and my desire to fulfill that arousal is increased, when I walk into a Subway or pass a bakery.

Two things have me musing on this reality.  First is the line from St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians, our second reading this weekend:  "So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma" (Eph 2:1-2).

Fascinating image from St. Paul! When we imitate God (when we are holy), we are like a fragrant aroma.  We smell good.  We might not necessarily pick up on this smell.  We might not be like the baked bread on the street.  That is, we on earth might not smell the goodness of ourselves.  But God smells us.  And that's what matters.  People don't always notice each other's holiness.  God does, though, and, again, that is all that matters.

Second, we continue this week with Jesus's bread of life discourse in the Gospel of John.  Jesus calls himself the Bread of Life.  He is fairly explicit in connecting his flesh and blood to the Eucharist we receive at Mass.  "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world" (Jn 6:51).

Okay, so how do we smell good for God?  How do we become that "fragrant aroma"? Several ways, but first and foremost is receiving the Eucharist at Mass.  Receiving communion is the best thing we can do for ourselves.  We literally, for God, become that incredible smell of bread.  And as we eat God on earth and become like him in the Mass, so too will God "eat" us in heaven when we are united with him in the heavenly banquet.

A bit of an update on our school, as class starts next week.  Our enrollment currently is about 470 students, which is an increase from last year’s enrollment (about 450), and we are opening up a third kindergarten, all of which is good news.  Also good news is that Mrs. Margie Marshall, our principal, is pregnant with her first child!  Congratulations to Mrs. Marshall. Her due date is the middle of September.  Mrs. Marshall will be present to start the school year and then Mrs. Kathleen Barton, former principal of St. Juliana and longtime parishioner, will act as our interim principal until Mrs. Marshall’s return.  I am very grateful to Kathleen for her willingness to serve, and we are excited to have her back in the school!

School board will meet tomorrow, Monday, August 13th for its first meeting of the school year.  Here are the members: Mike Kelly (chair), Dave Foley (co-chair), Una Durkan, John Hammerle, Joe Hay, Leeanne Joyce, Phil Lacey, Erin Liss, Jason Martin, Dana Oswald, Jeff Ryan, Don Sondermann, and Joe Vonder Heide,

The school teachers return to class this week and I will have Mass with them on Tuesday at 11am.  There is a new parent orientation Wednesday evening at 6:30pm in the gym.  Football practice begins for the Trojans on Monday as well!

Also on Tuesday the Friendship Club will have its outing to Lake Geneva.  Cancer Support meets that evening at 7pm in the parish center. 

This Wednesday, August 15th, is the Feast of the Assumption, a holy day of obligation.  We will have three Masses that day in the church: 7am, 8:30am, and 7pm.

Finally, the Men's Club golf outing is this Saturday.  The Knights of Columbus have a pig roast Saturday as well.  Maybe the smell of a pig roasting is almost as good as baked bread.  Go and find out, after the Saturday 5pm Mass!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. James

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