March 26, 2020 (Fourth Thursday in Lent)
Members of Holy Rosary Parish:
When a disaster strikes in our lives, or in our world, we might find ourselves asking the question why is this happening. How can an invisible virus bring such powerful nations and communities to its knees, bring untold death and destruction to human life, bring so much illness and pain to so many, bring economic life to almost complete standstill. Throughout my life I have often heard from some who say that a disaster is act of God. Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods are caused by God and that God is responsible. In some legal circles the concept of a natural disaster is an act of God. This is the reason why monetary disaster relief is at times not for the legal reason no one is to blame but God. However, to blame God for disaster is unfair. When God created the world, he created a beautiful guide imprinted within us that we call the natural and moral law. Both help to guide us, advise us, and warn us. When God created the moral and natural laws of the world, he did it for our benefit, to grant us our maximum freedom. Imagine what life would be if God made us without the power to choose, to play, to explore, to think, to move freely, to love. Imagine a life without any risk in play , in thought, or in love. God wants us to be free do all these things, but also, to do them within the beauty of moral and natural law. To go beyond either will bring disaster. And so, if I choose to walk beyond the edge of a cliff, I will soon know, if already do not know, that I will fall according to the law of nature. God is not to blame.
In today’s readings at Mass, a grave disaster is striking at the heart of Israel. The people of God are not living responsibly, they are not living according to the moral and natural law. And they have brought grave disaster down upon themselves by refusing to accept any limitation to their freedom. God pleads, begs, and cries for them. They have made choices that have brought disaster upon themselves. It is Moses who steps up to the plate. He begs God for help. To intervene for the nation before it is too late. It is not in God’s nature to interfere or intervene in our freedom. Yet Moses intervention changes God’s mind and he brings the people out from the disaster of their own choosing. Today, in the Gospel, Jesus is begging, pleading, crying out to us to come to him so that he can help us. He too does not want to interfere in our freedom. But he too will help us if we ask him. If we return back to him. During this time of Lent let us come back to him and live within the beauty of the moral and natural law he has given us. Let us ask him to help us in the pandemic disaster spreading its hurt and harm upon so many. Let us today ask him to intervene in our world of disasters, to help the doctors, nurses, first responders, exhausted in their care for others. They are heroes. They are beautiful people with families and children risking their lives for us. Let us ask God to intervene to help medical researchers and scientists find a cure. Let us ask God to help the afflicted and dying in our world. To intervene and save our nations. To help us live within the gift of the natural and moral law of nature. Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us.
I have received Directive the PARISH OFFICE is now CLOSED. All staff must work at home. I am sorry to inform you that ALL the doors to the church and office area are locked until further notice.
Some have requested confessions. The most recent directive I have received is that there can be NO CONFESSIONS until further notice. Given the present circumstances I thought doing so through telephone was possible. A telephone confession is not permitted since the SEAL of Confession cannot be guaranteed. For those in extreme danger of death Pope Francis grants general absolution and plenary indulgence. Say the Creed, or an Our Father or Hail Mary. If one gets well attend to confession first opportunity. The Chancellor sends the following instruction: “Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no 1452)”
Since the doors are locked any food items for food pantry place in the large GREY BIN outside parish office door where we also deposit our bottles.
Reminder this Sunday 9 AM Mass will be live streamed. Instructions given in yesterday update imply that the system will be working or turned on from the master control just prior to 9 AM Sunday. Press the click button 5 minutes before the Mass. Instructions to follow: You are invited to see the Mass celebrated at Holy Rosary at 9 a.m. EDT on Sunday through your computer. To listen and watch, place the cursor on your computer screen over these words click here in this email message. Click your cursor on the ‘click here’ link. If a window opens asking for permission, Click ‘allow’. This will automatically connect you to the broadcast on the internet. That is all you have to do. You will receive a reminder email about the broadcast closer to Sunday.
Mass offered today is for the repose of the souls of Jason Barrett and Else Murphy.
All mail please drop off in Rectory mail box by kitchen door. I will check each day for any mass intentions, prayer requests, offerings etc. I will check for message on my phone or computer at 9 AM and 6 PM each day.
Pray the Rosary @ 4PM daily. I am united in prayer with you.
Courage. Praying for you. With my blessing,
Fr. Vernon P. Boyd S.J.
Holy Rosary Parish, 175 Emma Street, Guelph, ON, N1E 1V6
519-822-4701 x 22 www.holyrosaryguelph.ca