Welcome to the Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church parish family. We continue to deepen in the strengths of the parish: prayer, worship, and education of our members in the ways of God. We welcome you. We hope and pray that you will grow with us as we journey on our life's road to the Lord.ALL LIVE TELECAST SERVICES TAKE PLACE ON THE SCREEN ABOVE.
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What makes a ‘beautiful’ liturgy in Church? What ingredients contribute to your prayer experience being one of fulfillment and joy? What is the purpose of liturgy anyway? Maybe I should answer these questions in reverse. Liturgy is the community worship of God- reflecting substantially the official prayers, scripture readings, hymns, and the homily. Liturgy is the community at worship so the involvement of participants is important. All present should feel an integral part in participating and not assume they are attending a concert or presentation. Everyone—as much as possible—should make an effort to follow the theme, the readings, and the songs.
Do all of these items make a good, meaningful, and fulfilling liturgy? Depending on how they all weld together—and elicit a response of joy, hope, and prayerfulness—does a liturgy have impact. The atmosphere of warmth which the leaders create is so important. These leaders include the Celebrant, Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Altar Boys, Ushers, Greeters, Musicians, and Neighbors. All are involved in instilling a warm and friendly environment.
The major theme-setter however appears to be the homily. Maybe it should not be so, but the words of the Celebrant apparently condition the participants: Ever give a homily? Try it at home some time. Maybe it will be better than is offered from the pulpit on Sunday. Homilies have changed since Vatican II being more contemporary in tone. Believe it or not the clergy do attempt to offer a stimulating message based on the Sunday readings, but it is not always easy to arrive at the right combination of thoughts and words. Others may undoubtedly do a better job, but for right now, this is the best.
A receptive atmosphere is crucial if a homily is to have its impact. If you are not prepared to hear and absorb, the greatest preacher in the world could not reach you. You must be open, relaxed, undistracted, and desirous of hearing the word of God. If you are so disposed, the message will get through to you.
In your next liturgy, try to condition yourself to the presence of God, participate as best you can, absorb the words spoken and resolve to improve as a person. By doing this regularly, your spiritual level will undoubtedly improve.
Father Vincent T. Kelly
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
Prayer for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Show favor, O Lord, to your servants and mercifully increase the gifts of your grace, that, made fervent in hope, faith and charity, they may be ever watchful in keeping your commands Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.