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Allie Wing

The Redemption of Scrooge

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a beautiful story for the Advent season because it is a tale in which past, present, and future all come together in one transformative night.

The Redemption of Scrooge , based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, explores the world of Ebenezer Scrooge, a man trapped in his past. We see what we might learn from Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family through the lens of our Christian faith.  Along with Ebenezer, we will explore the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.  We will delve into our scriptures as we make this Advent Journey together.

The Redemption of Scrooge will be offered at two different times:

  1. MORNINGS: (Wednesday) November 28, (Tuesday mornings) December 4, 11 and 18 after the 9:00 AM Mass.
  2. EVENINGS: (Wednesdays) November 28, December 5, 12 and 19.  7:00- 8:30 PM in the Berry Room.

We will use the book The Redemption of Scrooge by Matt Rawle, which may be purchased at Amazon or other vendors.                                                              –Sister Teresa

Gospel Reflection Oct 21 – Deacon Don

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Gospel Reflection
October 21, 2018

Sunday, October 21

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 10: 35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him,
“Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?”
They answered him, “Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the cup that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
They said to him, “We can.”
Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

So often, we can find some deeper truths in stories that even a child can understand its lesson and can begin to apply it into their young lives. The “Little Red Hen” – a nineteenth century folk tale is just one of those stories. The story teaches children the virtues of work ethic and taking personal responsibility. A lesson that James and John seem to miss in today’s Gospel. In the tale, the little red hen finds a grain of wheat and asks for help from the other farmyard animals such as a pig, cat, rat, duck, goose, dog, and goat to help plant it, but they all refuse. At each later phase of the farming process, such as the harvest, threshing, milling the wheat into flour, and baking the flour into bread, the other animals continue to refuse to assist the little red hen. Finally, the hen has completed all the work on her own and asks who will help her eat the bread. This time, all the farmyard animals eagerly line up for the feast even though they did not assist in its long preparation process. The little red hen then announces that since they did not help with the work, they have not earned a place at the table leaving the farmyard animals outside the feast.

Today we see two brothers, who belong to the innermost circle of Jesus’ disciples, trying to curry their own favor with Jesus by suggesting their own position with him in the afterlife. It is clear they had little comprehension of that Jesus would triumph only by emptying himself to the lowest human level before entering into his kingdom. So often, we can see and seek only enjoying the benefits of this life and the next before recognizing the task and its journey as one of hard work and subjugation to the service of others. Leadership in the service of others consists not in what we have, or in what we can get from others, but in what we can give of ourselves to others.

Like James and John and the other disciples, we are all called to be missionaries in our daily lives with our own families, in our own homes, and in our own workplaces. We must be ready to do the work to promote the Gospels as shown us by Jesus and the Father and then bear the burdens asked of us before presuming, like the farmyard animals, a place at the table and the feast.

Deacon Don Poirier

Gospel Reflection Oct 14 – Deacon Alfonso

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Gospel Reflection
October 14, 2018

Sunday, October 14

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 10: 17 – 30

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”
Peter began to say to him,
“We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”

In our lives we can come to crossroads in which the decisions that we are faced with paralyzes us. We experience this greater tension even more so whenever what we want to do conflicts with what we ought to do. In today’s reading, we see the deep desire for everlasting life is manifested by the man that approaches Jesus. Jesus in turn gives him the road map to that path of holiness and salvation. When the man expresses that he has already fulfilled these, Jesus raises the bar and his imperfections come to light. He is stuck, unfree to follow Jesus because of his attachments and he becomes sad. But Jesus does not want him to become a lesser version of himself in sacrificing these things. Rather, Jesus knows that we become more of ourselves, and therefore more holy, more joyful more fulfilled in the measure we give of ourselves freely. Thus in order to be free to live the life of holiness, we must give of ourselves freely.

Deacon Alfonso Gámez Alanís

Make It a Date! Nov 17

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Make It a Date!
A Night Out to Strengthen Your Marriage
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018
6:15 to 7:15 p.m.
Hendrick’s Hall at St. Brigid of Kildare Parish
All married and engaged couples are invited  
to St. Brigid’s 16th Make It A Date! event.
Your evening begins with light appetizers and
 a chance to socialize with other St. Brigid couples. 
Then join John and Becky Gannon as they offer a reflection on marriage. The Gannons are parishioners and active in St. Brigid’s Pre Cana program. Married for 33 years, with three children and a granddaughter, they plan to discuss family of origin, communication and the importance of prayer in marriage.
Spouses leave on their own date at a venue of their choice  
around 7:15 to privately discuss the evening’s topic together.
Registration Is Necessary 
Please RSVP to Karen Hutsell 
or 614-602-7724 by Nov. 13.  
Sponsored by Family First and the St. Brigid School of Adult Faith Formation

Gospel Reflection Oct 7 – Sr. Teresa

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Gospel Reflection
October 7, 2018

Sunday, October 7

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 10: 2 – 16

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked,
“Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?”
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?”
They replied,
“Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her.”
But Jesus told them,
“Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate.”
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery.”

And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them,
“Let the children come to me;
do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to
such as these.
Amen, I say to you,
whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it.”
Then he embraced them and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.

There are certain words or phrases that are HOT BUTTONS in religion (outside of politics). Abortion, Death Penalty, Marriage, Same-sex marriage – just to name a few. Another one is the focus of today’s passage – DIVORCE. In any congregation there will be people who are divorced and single, divorced and remarried, should be divorced, engaged couples, single people and married people, widows and widowers. People have very definite views on each and some to the point of demonizing anyone who may have an alternate view or those who can see the grey area in any “black/white” issue. According to Pope Francis, it is not careful legal interpretation but the integration of mercy and justice that is needed when we are encountering people in pain.

It helps to understand the Law that the Pharisees are asking about. Divorce was an issue that was and is and probably always will be debated among religious teachers. In Jewish tradition “debate” is the most common way of probing an issue hoping to discover a deeper and perhaps bigger truth. Jesus responds to the Pharisees’ question with a question. “What does Moses command?” Pharisees were masters of the law; they knew the teaching (their goal was almost always to trap Jesus not to discover a bigger truth). The Mosaic law they are speaking of goes back to Deuteronomy 24:1 – “Suppose a man enters into marriage with a woman, but she does not please him because he finds something objectionable about her, so he writes her a certificate of divorce….” Ending a marriage was that easy — say “I divorce you” and have the certificate written. Keep in mind that it was only the husband who could do this. Women had no say, no rights and no voice in the matter. “…something objectionable about her,” is the key phrase.

Divorce for a woman of Jesus’ time would put her in dire straits. For the most part women did not own property and were not allowed to work. Marriage would provide them and their children support and protection. On their own they would be hard-pressed to find life’s essentials. Hence, the law was crucial for protection of women and their children from the more powerful forces aligned against them. Jesus always reaches out to protect the most vulnerable.

In the strictest sense it could only be adultery that could lead to divorce, but in practice it could be any reason from the sublime to the ridiculous. Therefore, the law was crucial for protection of women and their children. Women and children were considered property and easily disposed of.

Today we could debate the issue of divorce and remarriage as simply right or wrong, and never get to the underlying pain in a marriage that often leads to divorce. Divorce is serious, and society is affected by a blasé attitude towards it. Society is also affected by a rigid opposition to ending unhealthy and unholy relationships. Divorce involves legal issues, family issues, and deep relationship issues. It is complex and most of it lies in the grey areas of life issues.

Jesus takes the Pharisees back to Genesis and the story of creation. Human beings are meant to be in relationship. To sit in the judgement seat and make “divorce” a black and white issue, is to go right to the letter of the law and miss the spirit of the law, for which Jesus always advocates. We must step back and ask the pastoral questions. We need to know that some marriages should never have been and should not continue. Marriage is a serious commitment. It is not an easy choice and not something that should end without thinking things through.

Marriage is meant to be permanent, but the reality is that many are not and should not be. Many marriages should never have happened. And some should never continue. I have sat with too many people whose lives and families were ruined because they stayed in a bad and almost always toxic marriage. Marriage should not be entered into lightly or casually. Nor should it be ended lightly or casually. It is not easy to be married. The wife and the husband need to work at their marriage, to help it to grow into a holy union; to be mutually faithful; to become one flesh.

Jesus does not reject law. He wants the spirit of the law to have order, structure and to provide nurturing for those most in need. We must ask how we, as a Church, help those who are married to grow in that relationship to make it stronger? Often the emphasis is on pre-Cana and there is barely anything for post-Cana. We also must ask, how we as a Church community walk with those who divorce and, in many cases, remarry?

In speaking of divorce and remarriage, Pope Francis urges that we hold justice and mercy together and not rigidly hold or become obsessed with legal interpretation. Each case needs to be approached with a pastoral heart.

Children are the second part of today’s gospel. Considering our ongoing crisis of clergy abuse of children and the abuse of power on the part of some of the hierarchy of the Church, and our obligations to protect our vulnerable members, Jesus’ words are empowering. One way of “embracing,” and “blessing” children, as Jesus does, is for church members, clergy and laity, to call for full and appropriate disclosure, the removing of violators from working in the church and to do whatever we can to facilitate healing among those who have been betrayed and violated.

Jesus’ rebuke of the behavior of his disciples and his instructions to them about proper behavior towards the least, challenge and empower all of us disciples not to take a “wait and see” attitude, but to do what we can now to move us out of the muck in which we now find ourselves.

I would encourage those who are suffering the pains of divorce or remarriage make an appointment to talk with Msgr. Hendricks or Fr. Morris or one of our deacons. You might also want to consider joining a DIVORCE CARE GROUP. It is a caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. A new session begins at St. Matthew Church (Gahanna) on October 17, 2018.

Sister Teresa Tuite

Gospel Reflection Sept 30 – Msgr. Hendricks

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Sunday, September 30

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

At that time, John said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'”

Lots of things are going on in today’s gospel passage from St. Mark.

First, we hear that Jesus is happy with those who perform mighty works by driving out demons even though they are not in his company of followers. John the brother of James seeks purity of motive on behalf of the healer, but the message is clear, anyone who speaks in the name of Jesus cannot be against him. This is a great lesson for us all.

Second, there is a great price to pay for one who destroys or attempts to destroy the faith of a new follower of Jesus. This is not a reference to children, but a reference to one who is new to the faith and is tempted to go astray. We must always care for the newly initiated in Christ.

Third, whatever causes us to sin but be dealt with in the most correct and dramatic way. Here we are not looking for physical harm done to oneself but a spiritual healing that takes place at the source of our sin. We are asked to examine what it is that directs us away from Christ and forces us to selfishness and entitlement. The warning is to act quickly when one recognizes the sin so as not to prolong the downward spiral that only makes things worse.

These three practical lessons are a part of how we live the message of Jesus each day. This is a good examination for each of us as we begin a new week.

Monsignor Hendricks

Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death

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Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death

November 15, 2018
Immke Room in Hendricks Hall
6:00 – 8:30 PM
RSVP by October 15, 2018
This might be the most unusual dinner invitation I have ever sent, but bear with me, I think we are in for a remarkable experience.  I would be honored if you would take the time to join Msgr. Hendricks, attorney Michael Zaino, a physician, and me for dinner and to engage in this conversation. They will offer a few words that will hopefully prompt us into some important conversations.  We will explore the Catholic view of dying and death, options for the end of life care, and advanced directives according to the State of Ohio.
Talking about death and dying can be uncomfortable and difficult, yet perhaps no conversations are more profound or necessary for all of us. End-of-life decisions are among the most challenging we will ever face. This is not meant to be a morbid conversation, but instead a very human one where we consider what we want, both in life and during its end and look at it in the context of our faith and values.
Register online here or call the Parish Office. Each participant must complete a registration form.  Online registration begins October 1 at 9 AM and ends October 14 at midnight. Space is limited to 64 people so don’t delay in registering.
Sr. Teresa Tuite O.P.

Gospel Reflection Sept 21 – Fr. Morris

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Sunday, September 23

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 9: 30 – 37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”

Today’s Gospel can make us wince at the end. Any talk about children and the Christian faith during this year that Catholic commentator George Weigel has dubbed annus horribilis 2018 can make us instinctively steel ourselves for more horrible news. But today’s Gospel in fact reinforces the importance of the steps the Church has taken in the past decade and a half to ensure a safe environment for God’s children.

The often-complained about requirement for our volunteers to undergo criminal background checks and fingerprinting; the inconvenient school and religious education start and dismissal procedures; the onerous requirement of having two adults present when only a couple of children are involved in a Church activity — it is in a year like this that we remember why these things are needed.

It is also a year in which we can be hopeful that the mandated training for laity and clergy on identifying child abuse and abusers will also help us protect children in those places that are not in the headlines but where abuse occurs with shocking statistical regularity. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, about 30% of abusers are family members, while another 60% are close acquaintances of the child or family. This means that a shocking 90% of all abuse cases involve someone that the child already knows and likely trusts. And if we have found such evil acts in the Church of Christ, one shudders to think what is occurring in other institutions or organizations with no mandated training or screening safeguards of any sort.

St. Augustine wrote that God is so powerful that He can make Good come out of even the Evil that Men do. So we need to pray and trust that God can bring about a Church that will for centuries to come not only be a safe place for children, but a Church that will also be in the forefront of efforts to protect all children, wherever they may be, from the atrocity of child sexual abuse. Jesus reminds us again and again not only how important children are for their own sakes as human persons, but how important their instinctive, pure, and clear-eyed Faith is as an example for us jaded and cynical adults. As Our Lord taught so well, only when we truly love, cherish, and protect children can we adults fully realize how much we are loved, cherished, and protected by a loving personal God, the Creator and Father of us all.

Father Matthew Morris