THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD – January 9, 2022

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: The Lord will bless his people with peace.

TODAY’S MASS INTENTION: János Molnár, by Magdolna Molnár & Family

MASS SCHEDULE & INTENTIONS FOR THE COMING WEEK:

January 10 Monday 9:00 AM Kathleen Kölcsey, by Ildikó Peller
January 11 Tuesday 9:00 AM Zofi Lada
January 12 Wednesday 9:00 AM Parishioners of St. Emeric and St. Elizabeth parishes
January 13 Thursday 9:00 AM Celebrant’s intention
January 14 Friday 9:00 AM Deceased Members of Balog & Stopek Families, by Barbara Comiskey
January 15 Saturday 5:00 PM Miklós Peller, by Margaret & Victor Falk
January 16 Sunday 11:15 AM István és Mária Habony, by the Family

FROM THE DESK OF FR. BONA: As we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I would like to say few words about the holy water fonts in our churches. We all are familiar with the custom of dipping our fingers into the font and blessing ourselves (making a sign of the cross) when we enter and leave the church. How did we get to have them and what is their symbolism?

The holy water font was originally the fountain for ablutions (called cantharus, or phiala) and placed in the center of the atrium of the basilica. These fountains were used by the faithful who, before entering the church, washed their hands and feet in accordance with a rite probably derived from Judaism. Later on, these fonts lost their practical meaning and began to be filled with water blessed by the priests. The Church’s appreciation of the holy water only increased in the Middle Ages. In fact, the power of holy water was considered so great that in some places fonts had locked covers to prevent the theft of holy water for forbidden magic practices. It was in these times as well that the place of the fonts by the doors of the churches was set.

(1) The holy water reminds us of our baptism. As we bless ourselves, it is meant to remind us of the water that was poured over us when we were baptized. By making this connection, the Church invites us to thank God, to remind ourselves of our dignity as beloved children of God. This connection has been made from the 8th century onward as at this time the Church instituted asperges at Mass (sprinkling of holy water on the faithful).

(2) Secondly, the holy water is what the Church calls a “sacramental.” The Catechism defines sacramentals as (#1667): “Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.”

The “effect” that is signified by blessing ourselves with holy water is, basically, cleansing, and is the more ancient meaning for the use of the holy water.  As we enter the Church and prepare to worship God through the liturgy, we want our minds and hearts to be pure, to be purified from sin and selfishness. We can express this desire by adding a silent prayer after we make the sign of the cross: “Lord, cleanse me and purify me so that I can worship you and receive you worthily…” This purification helps us focus on God, and focus on praying and worshipping God.

(3) Finally, the holy water located at the entrances of the churches helps us to symbolize the difference between ordinary space and sacred space. When we enter into the holy place, we bless ourselves with holy water. We leave behind the worldly noise and confusion that surrounds our normal, everyday activities, and we are refreshed and renewed by the order, silence, reverence, and beauty of the sacred space, the space used only for prayer and worship. It helps us make the transition from normal business into the special activity of divine worship.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR KINDNESS: With the help of a generous donor, we were able to collect the needed funds for the new cameras rather very quickly. We have surpassed the goal (so far we have collected $1620) and we will use the extra funds for improving the quality of the sound (we already had the soundboard examined by experts and they were able to fix the scratchiness that sometimes appeared). It was rather humbling to witness the generosity of our donors. May God bless you and protect you!

LAST WEEKEND’S COLLECTION: The totals for the last Sundays will be posted later. May God reward your generosity. Thank you also for sending in your offertory donation when not in attendance at Mass either by mail or on our website using a credit card or the PayPal option: https://stemeric.com/donations/

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK, especially for Bev Kimar, Rose Dudevszky, Teréz Kalász, Gerő Kondray, Lajos Boday.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE DECEASED.

THIS SUNDAY the 11:15 AM Mass (from St. Emeric church) will be livestreamed from https://www.facebook.com/saintemeric/ and https://stemeric.com/

This post is also available in: Hungarian

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