Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 15 bulletin

Sunday of the Hemorrhaging woman

On this third Sunday of Lent, the necessity of faith in the power and compassion of Jesus shines forth. On His way to Jairus’ house, many people followed Jesus and pressed on Him. The hemorrhaging woman was part of the crowd. She had spent all of her money on medicine and doctors, but was never cured. Jesus was her only hope. She felt that if she could get close to him and touch only the tassels of his robe, she would be healed. Upon touching one of the tassels, she was healed instantly. Jesus wanted to exalt the faith of the one who touched him and wanted to speak with the woman. The woman came and knelt before him. Jesus, not desiring to embarrass her but to exalt her faith said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your disease”. It is only our faith in the Lord and our willingness to be cleansed and to walk in the peace of the Lord that brings us true health.

The sick woman was an unimportant member of the crowd following Jesus, but she was important to Jesus. To Jesus, each of us is important and worthy of all of his attention. It is encouraging that we, unimportant in the eyes of the world, are most valuable in the eyes of almighty God.

Everyday our lives touch not only the tassels of the Lord, but his most sacred body and precious blood. After the celebration of the divine mysteries, the priest recites, “I have consumed your holy body. Let them see your abundant mercy. I have shared in your Holy Mysteries. Let me join you in your heavenly abode.” 

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

During Lent, we constantly reflect upon the theme of our sinfulness and the mercy of God. The gospel of Luke provides us with three parables which speak about the mercy of God: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. The sheep became lost because of its own ignorance. Many times we think of ourselves as intelligent, but out of foolishness we wander away from the sheepfold, the Church. Of course, the coin was lost through no fault of its own. Many people become lost through no fault of their own, but are misled and taught to do wrong. This is especially true of the young. The son, however, deliberately left the house of his father. The parable is most rich in explaining the concern of God for our well-being and Jesus himself provides all the details of the story. Jesus tells of how the son boldly goes to the father and asks for “his portion”. How often do we treat all of the gifts of God as if they were our rightful portion rather than gifts of God?

The father must have been awaiting for the son daily, because he saw him at a distance and ran out to meet him. He embraced and kissed him. He gave him a robe (a sign of honor), a ring (a sign of authority) and shoes (unlike slaves who did not have shoes). The son was treated as if he had never been away. The son showed courage and humility in his return. It took courage to examine his life and ascertain his pitiful condition. It took humility to admit his mistakes to his father.

The older son represents those who prefer to see a sinner destroyed rather than saved. He is jealous and self-righteous, considering only the sins of his brother and not of his repentance. He even tries to incite the father against his brother. However, the father encouraged him to be happy because his brother who had been lost has been found. How joyful is heaven on the occasion of the return of a sinner to the Father.

On some occasions we are able to identify with prodigal son who has gone astray. Let us imitate his courage and humility and seek the forgiveness of the Father. At other times, we are able to see ourselves as the older son, righteous and unwilling to forgive the mistakes of another. At times like this, let us listen to the wisdom of the father and be joyful at the conversion of the sinner.

Financial Status for February 2014

February 2014 contributions:                                                    $15,737.00

February 2014 Wed. lunch/Cedars income:   $13,223.00

February 2014 expenditures:                                                   ($50,254.00)

Deficit:                                                                                        ($21,294.00)

Our youth group (MYO) will  sponsor a bake sale on Sunday March 30th after both Liturgies along with the coffee hour. Your generosity in this matter will help them build a treasure so they can participate in the National Workshop in Pittsburg.  They will also hold their meeting after the coffee hour that day at noon.  All youth are invited to attend and participate.
Dear high school and college students:
We are happy to announce NAM’s Annual Scholarship Program.
1. The John A. Solomon Memorial NAM.MYO Scholarship. 2. The Naomi & Paul Kassouf Scholarship. 3. The Thomas and Jennie Ayoob Memorial Scholarship. 4. USEK Scholarship. 5. NDU Scholarship.
The deadline for application is May 15, 2014. This is a hard and fast deadline and, in fairness to all applications, absolutely no applications will be accepted after this date.
Anyone wishing to apply; please contact the rectory for application forms.
Bishop A. Elias Zaidan and the parish board would like to invite you to a town hall meeting  at the Cedars Hall on
Tuesday , April 15th at 8 pm for answering questions regarding the status of the parish.
On Sunday, March 30, 2014, we will conduct a NAM awareness in our parish and shedding the light on the mission of NAM and the necessity to belong to this worthy and affordable apostolate. Our delegates Rick and Janet Baker will be available after all liturgies with the proper materials to help you join or update your membership.
Every Friday during Lent, we will celebrate the service of the Benediction of the Cross at 7:00 pm here at St. Raymond’s. Following the service, everyone is invited to the “Lebanon Room” for a Lenten meal.  The schedule for  serving the meal is as follows:
March  21—MYO
March 28—Choir
April  4—Religious Heritage Group
April 11—Parish Board
All of you by now are aware that Father James Swift will be moving to Dallas Texas for a new position . To honor Fr. Swift and wish him good luck in his future ministry, he will be participating and preaching at all the liturgies here at St. Raymond’s on Sat and Sun April 5-6th. Please mark your calendars to come and express your wishes to Fr. Swift.
On April 4-6, 2014, Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washing ton D.C. will be hosting its annual Discernment Weekend for men, 18 and over, interested in finding God’s will in their life. This weekend will be a chance to meet current seminarians, Father Geoffery Abdallah, Rector of the seminary, the Vocation Directors, and the opportunity to sight see one of the greatest cities in the world. This weekend is open for men who feel the call to priesthood, or are interested in finding out how to discern God’s will. Please speak to Chorbishop if your interested.
Eparchy Appeal
A letter from Bishop A. Elias Zaidan’s office was mailed to all parishioners of St. Raymond’s Cathedral  regarding the annual Eparchy Appeal. Our goal here at St. Raymond’s is $8500.00. We kindly ask you to be generous in your donation because if our goal is not met, then we have to make up the rest of it from our parish account. Last year we had to make up $3000.00. Please make check payable to St. Raymond’s Cathedral for tax credit, and send it back in the return envelope or drop it in the collection. I hope you understand that this is an Eparchy appeal for all parishes.
Due to the ice storm on Sunday, March 2nd, some of you were not able to attend and participate in Fr. Wissam’s first Liturgy as a priest.  We have rescheduled another official Liturgy on Sunday, March 23rd at 11 am followed by a reception in the hall. This is an open invitation and everyone is welcome  to attend and pray with Fr. Wissam and his family.


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