THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD – January 9, 2022

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

TODAY’S MASS INTENTION: Joseph Balazs, John Balazs, Elizabeth Balazs, by Rita Balazs

MASS SCHEDULE & INTENTIONS FOR THE COMING WEEK:

January15Saturday9:00 AMTraditional Latin Mass
January16Sunday9:15 AMJustin Ordakowski, John Benedicti, by Barbara Comiskey

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.

LAST WEEKEND’S COLLECTION (1/2): Sunday offering: $255. Christmas: $375. THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY in supporting our parish. Thank you for sending in your offertory donation through the mail. I know the times may be difficult for many people. If you are able at this time to send in your offertory donations, please do so by mail or use the PayPal option found on the website: https://www.stelizabethcleveland.org/donations/

AM 1260 TO BROADCAST ANNUAL MASS FOR LIFE: AM 1260 The Rock will be broadcasting the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland’s Annual Mass for Life with Bishop Edward Malesic on Friday, January 21st at 10 AM from the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.  Looking for a ride to the March for Life?  Visit AM160’s website where you can find information on available bus trips for January 21st.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK, especially, Jay Kovács, Kathy Szabó, Kamilla Szabó and Anna Melega, Dorothy Fromhercz, Alex Szaday, Mária Jánossy.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE DECEASED.

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

This post is also available in: Hungarian

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