February 20, 2022 – From the Pastor

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,

I hope you are healthy and coping with this ever-changing weather.

Before anything else, I would like to ask you to reflect on this weekend’s gospel passage. It is the continuation of Saint Luke’s account of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Plain” that we began to hear last Sunday.

In Jesus’ teaching about the values that count in the kingdom of God, we learn that it is by living according to those values that we make a difference in the world around us. We are called to break the cycle of crushing poverty through generous and self-sacrificing love, and by lending to those in need without demanding some sort of profit. And we are called to break the cycle of violence and revenge that plagues our world by accepting the humiliation of defeat in order to achieve peace.

In all these, Jesus emphasizes that the ultimate motivation for gospel living is love. If we extend compassion and love to others, we will be judged by a compassionate and loving God. Jesus does not ask us to be perfect, or to expect others to be perfect. He calls us to be “merciful as our Father in heaven is merciful.” That is what makes a real difference in our world.

We have the perfect model in Jesus for what it means to be truly human. He shows us that we are to be people of caring and compassion, and not to be cold, unfeeling, and dispassionate. That is what it really means to be merciful. May we be merciful, may we be faithful to the name of our parish in our daily lives.

Brothers and sisters, we are a little more than a week away from the season of Lent. We begin this season with Ash Wednesday on March 2.. Time goes by too quickly!

Please be attentive to the announcements about our small group gatherings that will take place this Lent. They will help us to reflect on the Word of God and to share how that Word is related to the experiences in our daily lives.
These Lenten sessions will give us a good opportunity to take a closer look at our ongoing relationship with God and one another. I encourage each one of you to take part in our Lenten Small Groups.

I also encourage our young people to start asking yourselves what you can do to be active in our parish beyond coming to Mass every Sunday and holy day of obligation. I believe that you possess God-given talents. Discover them, act on them, and use them for the glory of God. The Church needs you. OLM needs you.

Our Holy Name Society has scheduled its spring food drive for Saturday, April 2, 2022. The members of the Holy Name would like to continue this good work. In the meantime, please consider contributing to the food pantry of Our Lady of Sorrows. You can do that by bringing canned and non -perishable items with you when you come to Mass and placing them in the bins located by our parish office.

Finally, if you have not already done so, please consider making a pledge to the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal. This is a worthy act of charity because you respond to the call of God to help the poor and you participate in spreading the gospel through the different missions of the Archdiocese. Your generosity is highly appreciated. Thank you!

God bless you all!

Love,

Father Marty


“Catholic Stewardship in Action” is the theme of this year’s Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese of Newark. This appeal supports the mission, programs. and ministries of the Archdiocese. This year’s goal for Our Lady of Mercy Parish is $42,120 There will be a 100% rebate of every dollar collected above our goal. Please be generous as always!


SOMETHING TO CONSIDER DOING THIS LENT!

Good things are worth repeating, and that certainly is the case with Appreciate the Word, Live the Word. This small group scripture program, which has taken place at OLM during the past four years, has helped participants to grow in their understanding of God’s word. It has helped them to see how that word might be applied to their daily lives. In the process they have made new friends and have grown in their Catholic faith.

This coming Lenten season, we are going to have a five-session program of Appreciate the Word, Live the Word. It will be focused on the Gospel Readings for five Sundays of Lent, namely, March 13, 20, 27, April 3, 10.

Each session will last between 60 to 90 minutes and will take place at different times and days to accommodate various personal schedules. No previous knowledge of the Bible is required, only a desire to listen to what the Lord may be saying to us in the scripture readings.

This Lent, participants will use the book called OPEN OUR HEARTS published by RENEW International and authored by Sister Donna Ciangio and Father Tom Iwanowski.

More details, including sign up information will appear in future bulletins.