Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: August 28, 2016

Option for the poorThis is the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Jesus observes the people of his day and tells a story about people seeking the highest place. Something similar sometimes goes on today. Maybe it is not always about the good places at a dinner. Maybe it is about having the nicest car or house or being able to “keep up” with your neighbors or colleagues. Maybe it is about having our own way or about political power or cultural status or some kind of striving for more material things than one really needs. Maybe it is about the use of military or economic power by various nations. Maybe it is about being better than someone else, or consuming more than others.

Jesus proposes that we should consider taking the lowest place. Jesus’ message is a challenge to individual behavior, as well as to institutions and organizations. If we get trapped by the desire always to be better than someone else, saying our group is better than yours, or striving for wealth, material things or powerful status, we miss something. We miss the love, truth and freedom of Jesus Christ.

Youth Mission Trip 2016 - June 12-15, 2016

Appalachia MissionThe following report is of a mission trip that our youth participated in this summer. It is one of many opportunities sponsored through Epiphany’s Youth Ministry.

On a warm Sunday afternoon, 15 excited youth and 6 adults packed all of their things together and headed off to Auxier, KY to work with Hand In Hand Ministries helping the people of Appalachia. Some of our group were old hands at helping others and had been there many times before. For those of us going for the first time, we were wondering exactly what was in store for us.

The staff at Hand In Hand greeted us warmly and promptly ushered us into an orientation meeting. The meeting consisted of the history of the organization, rules at their campus, and some general insights about the people in the area. We learned that the trash around the trailers was actually items collected to turn in for cash from scrapping. Do you have a scrap pile at your house? Hand In Hand also asked us to build connections with their clients and to really talk with them. If the repairs didn’t get finished because we were talking, that was fine.

Annual Report Of 10% Funds for Fiscal Year 2015-2016

TithingLarry Howe-Kerr, Pastoral Associate for Social Responsibility, in conjunction with the 10% Committee of our Social Responsibility Ministry has released the Annual Report of Funds Expended in Fiscal Year 2015-2016.

The Ten Percent Committee oversees the disbursement of funds for emergency assistance as well as monies for grants and monetary awards to non-profit organizations. Epiphany’s 10% Fund is dispersed by the Epiphany Ten Percent Subcommittee and by the Pastoral Associate for Social Responsibility. Epiphany Catholic Church has expended a total of $102,332 for all areas of charitable giving from this Fund in Fiscal Year 2015-2016.

There are essentially four areas or categories of the parish giving in this fund:

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Downsizing: Tips from the Professionals

Lynn and SueWhat: Sages Meeting featuring Lynn Medeiros and Sue Bush

When: August 21, 2016, 12:45 PM

Where: Community Center

Come to the Sages August 21st Sunday Meeting. Our speakers will be Lynn Medeiros and Sue Bush, co-owners of "Staging Your Next Move".

Their presentation will cover:

  1. The Benefits of Downsizing and De-Cluttering
  2. Tips and How to start the Downsizing Process
  3. Ways to Keep Memories but not keep EVERYTHING
  4. What to do with Excess Belongings
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Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: August 21, 2016

God is for All

This is the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time. In a world divided by wars, violence, dishonesty, economic inequality, discrimination and ethnic distrust, it is fitting that the scriptures should remind us of the all-inclusive nature of God’s plan for the world. The images of the second reading also remind us of God’s desire that “what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.” The Spirit of Jesus invites us to put an end to what separates us by race, gender, class or any other category. The Spirit invites our world into a process of healing – the healing of racial, religious and ethnic divisions – the healing of everything that divides us. May we be strengthened to follow the way of Christ!

“All people are endowed with a rational soul and are created in God’s image; they have the same nature and origin and, being redeemed by Christ, they enjoy the same divine calling and destiny; there is here a basic equality between all people and it must be given ever greater recognition.… forms of social or cultural discrimination in basic personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language or religion, must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.” (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, No. 29)

Volunteer Spotlight: Don Weckman

Don WeckmanThe following story appeared in the August 2016 issue of the Catholic Charities Newsletter. Volunteering at Catholic Charities is a wonderful way to express a response to Pope Francis’ appeal to live more mercifully.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of non-profit organizations and that is true for us here at Catholic Charities of Louisville. Not only are volunteers the lifeblood of a nonprofit organization, the experience of volunteering is oftentimes the lifeblood of the individual. This month we would like to take a moment to highlight one of our volunteers, Don Weckman, who volunteers with both the Migration and Refugee Services department and the Common Table Program.

Don’s relationship with Catholic Charities began long before his time as a volunteer. Don and his wife adopted their first son through Catholic Charities; because of this Don knew he wanted to find a way that he could give back to the agency that had helped his family. The call to volunteer came to Don during Mass at the Church of the Epiphany, where Deacon Lucio Caruso, Director of Mission Integration at Catholic Charities, mentioned we were looking for volunteers.

Moments of Mercy for August 2016

Mercy in MotionThe following reflections are from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Each month our Moments of Mercy offer brief reflections on mercy and concrete suggestions of how we can live out the mercy that God offers us all.  These are perfect for busy days since they help us to slow down for just a few minutes and think about the gifts God has blessed us with and how we can share them.

Moments of Mercy

Mercy is more than just forgiving people; it is about considering the needs of others and responding to them in a loving and compassionate manner. It is a call to look beyond ourselves to the way in which we interact with the world as Christians. Pope Francis encourages us to "return to the basics and to bear the weaknesses and struggles of our brothers and sisters. Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instills in us the courage to look to the future with hope" (MV, no. 10). We have hope in our salvation by our faith in Christ. However, not everyone shares in this hope, so we need to spread this hope by becoming "merciful like the Father" (MV, no. 13).

The Weekly Work of Mercy – Submit your Photos

Year of MercyFor the next 14 weeks, August 14-November 18, 2016, we will be focusing on one of the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy. Slides showing examples of one work of mercy will be shown in the Narthex/Gathering Area each week, and we’d love to have photos of you and your family or ministry group to help bring these works into our lives. Please send digital photos to Linda.

Some are obvious, but some take a little thought… For example, photos of “feeding the hungry” could include volunteering at a soup kitchen or EACM, bringing food for our grocery cart, delivering Meals on Wheels, participating in the Hunger Walk, taking a meal to a sick friend, etc.

Photos for “instruct the ignorant” could include parish catechists teaching classes or facilitating groups, teaching English as a second language - or Spanish, or ASL, or witnessing about your faith life at liturgies or workshops, tutoring a friend, etc.

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A Mercy Passport for the Year of Mercy

Mercy - Pope FrancisThis week we begin to wrap up this Jubilee Year with the “Mercy Passport” and an ongoing liturgical focus on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

As explained in the Church document Misericordiae Vultus that announced this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis is focusing on mercy because “We constantly need to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends upon it” (2). In short, “we are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us” (9). And he challenges us: “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers…The Church has an endless desire to show mercy” (10).

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Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: August 14, 2016

Set world on fireThis is the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Religious faith should be something that is exciting and energizing. It puts us on fire and sets us free. People become aware of life, aware of others, aware of God, aware of the poor, aware of injustice, aware of the problems, aware of the possibilities, aware of a new vision. Discipleship leads people to awareness, and puts them on fire – on fire with love, filled with life, energized for service and solidarity.

The peace that Jesus gives is not an absence of conflict. Like a sword, the truth of Jesus’ message can cause great division. Not all are able to accept it – even within the same family. Each of us may struggle and resist it from time to time; discipleship is a costly commitment. Ultimately, it should lead us to freedom and life. Ultimately, we should end up on fire even in the midst of opposition. The message has power. It is worth the risk.

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