Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
In Sunday’s gospel reading, Jesus tells us that prayer is necessary. Not only is it necessary, but we should be praying all the time! Jesus says, “Don’t get tired of praying, brothers and sisters! Persevere in prayer!!!”
Jesus wants us to be like Moses in the first reading that we heard at Mass. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up to God in prayer, the Israelites prevailed in their battle against the Amalekites. But the moment that Moses failed to keep his hands lifted in prayer to God, the people faltered and started to lose the battle. Of course, in that story we heard that Moses could not do it all on his own. He had the help of the priests. Aaron and Hur came and supported the hands of Moses. At the end of the day, the Israelites were victorious.
So, the question we may ask ourselves is how do we pray as Jesus wants? Are we supposed to be on our knees all day long with our hands raised up to God? No! That just is not practical.
The Catechism of the Church gives us a surprisingly simple definition of prayer, namely, “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or requesting good things from God.”
This means that if I am basically oriented to God in whatever I am doing, then I am praying. But I cannot just fool myself into thinking that I am lifting my heart and my mind up to God, prayer must be something that comes from deep within us. It has to come from the heart, out of the depths of our heart.
Prayer is an act of faith on our part because it involves our reaching out to God. We pray to God for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters. That is the first way that prayer really works. Prayer changes us by bringing us out of our self-centered existence and concerns. Prayer focuses us on God and on the needs of others.
Brothers and sisters, the Holy Mass is the best prayer that we can be involved in because it is Jesus’ ultimate prayer. In the Mass, we have the opportunity to offer ourselves to God in union with Jesus’ offering of himself to the Father. That is why it is so important for us to come to Mass and to be a part of the Body of Christ as we offer God the perfect prayer that is his own Son.
Saying that, I ask you again to include in your prayers our young brothers and sisters, who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation next Sunday afternoon, October 23. May their hearts be open to receive the Holy Spirit whose power can help them to become the people God intends them to be.
Thank you and God bless.
FLU SHOT VACCINES • SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 9 am TO 2 pm IN THE MARIA ROOM
Our Parish Wellness Committee is sponsoring a Flu Shot Clinic Sunday, October 23, in the Maria Room from 9am to 2pm. Please note the following: To register online, go to the parish website olmnj.org. Registration forms will also be available at the back of the church beginning October 2. Vaccines will be available on first come, first serve basis. A limited number of vouchers are available for those with no insurance.
HOLY NAME SOCIETY’S FALL FOOD DRIVE NOVEMBER 5
The OLM Holy Name Society is sponsoring a Fall Food Drive to benefit the Food Pantry sponsored by Our Lady of Sorrows Parish here in Jersey City. The food drive will take place Saturday, November 5. Members of the OLM Holy Name Society will collect your donated items in the OLM parking area by the entrance to the Maria Room from 9 am to 11 am on Saturday, November 5. Non-perishable food items are needed such as breakfast cereal, canned goods (vegetables/fruits), pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, rice, soup, etc. Also personal hygiene items would be appreciated. Monetary contributions will also be accepted (please make checks payable to Our Lady of Sorrows and write Food Pantry on the memo line).
AN OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE THE LORD
We continue to look for additional young people to join our altar server ministry here in the parish. We appreciate parents and other adults who encourage the young people in their lives to volunteer to fill this role at Mass.
Sign-up sheets are available in the vestibule of the church. You can submit the completed forms to the Parish Office or give them to Father Marty or Father Andrew. You can also sign up by using the QR Code found here.
If you have any questions, please speak to one of the priests. We will soon be posting a schedule for the training sessions for those who volunteer to become Altar Servers.
ARE YOU EXPECTING?
All Moms and Dads to be, our Baptismal Team would also like to celebrate your joy with a “Gathering To Rejoice!” Every month we have an event just for that. The team is ready to rejoice with you and to assist you as you look forward to your child’s baptism and beyond. Let us know that you are expecting by stopping by or calling the parish office at 201-434-7500.