Reflection for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

God's-Promise-thumb

Lord, increase my…
faith, soften my heart!

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Francis began his life as a confirmed sinner. His father was a wealthy cloth merchant who owned farmland around Assisi. Francis wanted for nothing and was spoiled. He indulged in fine food, wine, and women, and left school at the age of 14. By this time, he was well known as a wild teenager who partied and broke the city curfew. He was also known for his charm with women and for being a great dresser.

Francis did learn the skills of archery, wrestling and horsemanship. While expected to follow his father into the family textile business, he dreamed of other pursuits. Instead of planning a future as a merchant, he daydreamed of being a knight; and if Francis had any ambition, it was to be a war hero like the knights he admired. In 1202, war broke out between Assisi and Perugia, and Francis eagerly took his place with the cavalry.

People aren’t very good at softening their hearts. We are, unfortunately, pretty good at hardening them. Think of someone who holds a grudge, hasn’t spoken with a family member in years, or has closed their heart to the needs of others. We don’t often see them have a change of heart, a softening, unless someone intervenes…

Francis and the men of Assisi came under heavy attack by superior forces and ran. Many were killed. Most of the surviving Assisi troops were put to death. Dressed like an aristocrat and worthy of a decent ransom, Francis was captured. Francis spent nearly a year in a miserable prison cell waiting for his father to ransom him. It was there that he first heard God’s call…

The One who can soften our hearts, who intervenes, is Jesus. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls us to listen, to repent, and to soften our hearts – to have deeper faith. Like Francis, we have to listen for God’s call. We have to accept Him in faith and allow Him to soften our hearts and build our faith. Today’s psalm speaks of the life Francis went on to live once his heart was softened:

Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us joyfully sing psalms to him. Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us. For he is our God, and we are the people he shepherds…

The Holy Spirit worked to plant the seed of faith in Francis. We all have that seed of faith in us, the whole world does, but like Francis we have to open our ears to God’s call. We have to let Him soften our hearts, build our faith, so that like Francis we can serve Him in joy.


Blessing of Pets – Next Sunday, October 6th

October 4th is the Commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi. If you wish, please bring your pets to church on Sunday, October 6th during our regular worship at 9:30am. We will hold a special blessing for our furry, feathered, and scaled friends. If you wish, you may also bring in some pet supplies for donation to local pet shelters.

blessing_of_the_pets

Blessed are you, Lord God, Maker of all living creatures, On the fifth and sixth days of creation you called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all animals his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this animal. By the power of your love enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.


Observance of The Feast-day of St. Francis of Assisi and the Blessing of Animals

As you may have heard, there have been many pets and animals that were abandoned in the flooded areas around us and in our state’s southern tier. Various agencies in and around our area have taken up the search and rescue and rehabilitation of those animals found homeless. Although we could not be involved with the agencies that are trying to match up the animals with their owners, we could be helpful in those plans that will help to provide care until that reunion may take place.

Therefore, we are asking that if you have a pet or not, to stop by and add your prayers during a short service on Saturday, October 1st (the actual Feast-day is the 4th), at 10am. Also, if you could bring along some items to donate: dry or canned pet food, cat litter, leashes, or other items (no perishable food) you would like to donate. Some early contact with these agencies has been made.

Our prayer this year will have special import since there are a number of animals we will ask St. Francis to intercede for and ask God to protect and re-unite with their caregivers. Please add your prayer, voice, and donation. In advance, THANKS!


Commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi and Pet Blessing

As you may have heard, there have been many pets and animals that remain abandoned in the storms and severe weather that had plagued our nation over the past year. Various agencies in and around our area have taken up the search and rescue and rehabilitation of those animals found homeless. Although we could not be involved with the agencies that are trying to match up the animals with their owners, we could be helpful in those plans that will help to provide care until that reunion may take place.

Therefore, we are asking that if you have a pet or not to stop by and add your prayers during the short service on Saturday, October 2nd, 10 am. Also, if you could bring along some items to donate: dry or canned pet food, cat litter, leashes, or other items (no perishable food) you would like to donate. Some early contact with these agencies has been made.

Our prayer again this year will have special import since there are animals we will ask St Francis to intercede for and ask God to protect and reunite these pets with their care-givers. Please add your voice and donation. In advance, THANKS!


Caring for God’s creation

Our Parish family came together to assist Hannah Bilinski in her Scouting project. Her work and the Parish’s generosity are on display at the Spring Farm CARES website.

Food and homemade flannel blankets were delivered to Spring Farm CARES a not-for-profit organization that goes well beyond the typical definition of a shelter or animal resure organization. They are the world’s first “public center for animal communication.”


Commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi and Blessing of Animals

Błogosławieństwa zwierząt, za wstawiennictwem świętego Franciszka z Asyżu
La Bendición de los Animales recordando y honrando a San Francisco

St. Francis and the catAs you may have heard, There have been many pets and animals that remain abandoned in the fires of last year and those of this year. Various agencies in and around our area have taken up the search and rescue and rehabilitation of those animals found homeless.

Although we could not be involved with the agencies that are trying to match up the animals with their owners, we could be helpful in those plans that will help to provide care until that reunion may take place. Therefore, we are asking that if you have a pet or not to stop by and add your prayers during the short service on Saturday, October 7th, 10 am. Also, if you could bring along some items To donate: dry or canned pet food, cat litter, leashes, or other items (no perishable food) you would like to donate. Some early contact with these agencies has been made.

Our prayer again this year will have special import since there are a number of animals we will ask St. Francis to intercede for and ask God to protect and re-unite with their caregivers. Please add your voice and donation.

In advance, THANKS!