We have two more weeks left of the Gospel of Mark. November 25th is the Feast of Christ the King, the end of the liturgical season, and we will read from the Gospel of John. It's been a fascinating journey the last several months. Labor Day weekend we were in the 7th chapter of Mark. Jesus was ministering and preaching around the Sea of Galilee. Around the middle of October, Jesus left Galilee and set out for a journey to Jerusalem. On this journey the rich young man approaches the Lord with the question about what he must do to inherit eternal life (October 14th). James and John make the request to sit on the Lord's right and left when he enters into power in Jerusalem (October 21st). Jesus heals the blind beggar, Bartimaeus (October 28th), and at last makes it to Jerusalem.
In early November Christ is in Jerusalem for the final Passover. But before he undergoes his Passion, our Lord has a few things to handle in the city of David. He cleanses the temple, curses a barren fig tree, gives a few parables, instructs one of the scribes about the two greatest commandments (last week's Gospel), and then denounces the scribes and observers the poor widow's contribution (this week's Gospel). Jesus will make a few predictions about the end of the temple in Jerusalem (next weekend's Gospel) before holding the Last Supper.
I tell you all this to emphasize that our readings Sunday in and Sunday out make a great story. It's easy to lose that sense that there's a story involved when we just jump in and get snippets week after week. It's like a random healing here, a random healing there; a parable here, a saying there. There's no picture of Christ's story, but rather a smattering of occurrences.
We all love a good story. Well, the story of Jesus Christ (the kerygma) is the best story in the world. And we don't eat unhealthy popcorn while listening to this story, but rather the Bread of Life.
This Sunday evening, we have our teen ministry and Mass at 5pm. I look forward earlier in the day to celebrating Mass at Notre Dame College Prep for the golf, cross country, and soccer programs.
My Tuesday Theology Talk this upcoming Tuesday, November 13th at 7pm in the chapel will be on the afterlife: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and Judgment. All are welcome to attend.
School Board will meet tomorrow, Monday the 12th at 7pm. Men's Club will also meet and have its annual Mass for all the deceased members of the Men's Club Monday at 7pm in the school hall. The Athletic Board has a meeting on Wednesday at 7pm. That same night I will celebrate another teaching for the CCD program with the 4th grade students.
Every October the Archdiocese requires all parishes to conduct an actual account of attendance at Mass. It's referred to as “The October Count.” Each weekend Mass throughout the entire month our ushers counted everyone in church. Thank you, ushers, for doing this. I'd like to share with you the numbers, in case you're curious. We have five Masses each weekend. On average, 1,330 people attended Mass at St. Juliana over the course of the weekend. The total for October 2017 was 1,295, and the total for October 2016 was 1,143. This means our Mass attendance has been slightly increasing. Here is a breakdown of how many people attend each Mass (again, an average of four weekends): Saturday 5pm: 286. Sunday 7:30am: 187. Sunday 9:30am: 311. Sunday 11:00am: 321. Sunday 5:00pm: 226.
Thank you for coming to Sunday Mass and celebrating the Eucharist. This is what it means, fundamentally, to be Catholic and I'm grateful to be in communion with you at this fine parish.
Yours in Christ,