Bible study on Mark starts 9/16
St. Malachi and St. Patrick Parishes are starting our next Bible Study, this time on the Gospel of Mark. This is a 13-week program which uses the acclaimed Lectio series on the FORMED platform. We will meet online on Wednesdays, from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, starting on September 16.
More information on this program is available:
To register, or if you have questions, email Parish Catechetical Leader Stephanie Pritts at Stephanie.P@StMalachi.org.
There is no cost to join the program, and the parishes have purchased an annual subscription to FORMED for all parishioners so you don’t need to pay to access its content. You may (recommended but not required) purchase the 200-page full-color study guide. The parishes have purchased these in bul;, we have them available for $10.00 which is 60% off the normal price.
We look forward to seeing you!
The Season of Creation, September 1 – October 4
On Tuesday, September 1, Pope Francis invites us to observe the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, calling on each of us to reaffirm our personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for His wonderful handiwork, and to implore His help in protecting the world in which we live, and His pardon for sins committed against it. From September 1 to October 4 (Feast of Saint Francis), we’re encouraged to participate in this Season of Creation by consciously examining the way we choose to live and the resulting impact on our environment.
THIS WEEK’S REFLECTION
Jubilee for the Earth: Need, Not Greed
Earth. God’s creation. The source of life that sustains us. The fruit of the land, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea. Earth’s bounty. Abundance. Enough for everyone. God gives us enough for our needs but not our greed.
Throughout the Bible, God demonstrates time and time again that there is indeed enough for everyone. But with that gift of abundance comes responsibility. We are told over and over to practice good stewardship: take only what we need and use it with dutiful restraint so that there is enough to go around—for all creatures who dwell on our planet now and for generations to come.
Modern economics tell a different story. We are told that there is not enough for everyone, so we need to compete with each other in a dog-eat-dog existence to gobble up what we can. It tells us that we can always have (and should want) more. It creates an unlimited appetite for accumulation. The system teaches scarcity and greed.
But perhaps these economics are not so modern.
In the parable of the vineyard (Matthew 20: 1-16), the landowner is often interpreted as being overly generous with his day laborers. Many read the story and assume the landowner is a stand-in for God. But some scholars offer a different interpretation: The landowner is not God. The landowner is plain and simple a landowner—and one who has the upper hand in a system of exploiting both the land and the workers.
In first century Palestine, it would take four or five years of preparation before a vineyard would turn a profit. This would necessitate the acquisition of multiple tracts of land so that as one vineyard was coming online, others were being prepared with younger vines. How would a landowner amass multiple tracts of land? By foreclosing on subsistence farmers too indebted to make their payments.
This system of indebtedness benefits the landowner in yet another practical way. As subsistence farmers are pushed off their land, they line up as day laborers and are sitting ducks for exploitation. Conditions for them are even worse than if they were enslaved. (The landowner treats his enslaved people better than the day laborers because he needs them to stay healthy to work again tomorrow and next week and next year.) But aren’t the workers at least being paid? Barely. There is nothing generous about the one denarius (“the usual daily wage”) paid to the workers. This is not a living wage; it is just enough to keep a poor person alive from one day to the next. So what if the workers get sick from heat exhaustion or complain too much about the low wages? Tomorrow there will be plenty more waiting in line for a day’s work. And if they complain, making their case for a fairer hourly wage (“these last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us”), the landowner reminds them that he, not they, is in charge: “Take what is yours and go.” He calls the shots.
Here we see how the system makes people suffer. But Earth herself is also put in jeopardy by this system of exploitation.
In today’s global economy, those who already own land are incentivized to accumulate more and more. A driving force of human migration is that poor people across the globe are constantly being pushed off their subsistence farms. In places like Honduras, large landholders get rid of poor peasants by burning their crops and bulldozing their homes—and assassinating those who dare to resist. Land use is switched from producing food to sustain human life to producing export crops to grow the bank accounts of investors. Biodiverse forests—which provide homes for birds, insects, fruit, and nuts—are cleared to grow cash crops: palm trees for palm oil, bananas, sugar cane, soy and other money-makers for the owners. Growing crops in the full sun requires tons of herbicides, fertilizers and insecticides, which contaminate the soil, waterways, and the people working in the fields.
Jubilee. We need a jubilee. People need a jubilee. The land needs a jubilee. All of God’s creation needs a jubilee.
Jubilee is not so much a “rest” as it is a way of clearing the slate, resetting the clocks, and starting over. Jubilee is a way of atoning for having gone astray and calling us back to the way that God sets out for us. Jubilee is about restoring right and just relationships: humans to each other, humans to Mother Earth, humans to our loving and beneficent God.
As we mark this Season of Creation, let us be mindful of our duty and responsibility to care for one another and for our common home.
[Credits: Much of the reflection on the Gospel reading is a synthesis of ideas from Biblical scholars Rev. Dr. Janet Trisk, Rev. Obery Hendricks, Ched Myers, and Tommy Airey.]
Get connected with an organization (local, national, international) working to protect Earth’s land, air, waterways, and creatures for generations to come.
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New Liturgy Schedule
To allow Father Gurnick or another priest to cover all weekend liturgies at both St. Patrick and St. Malachi if needed, as well as enabling a team of staff and volunteers to clean and disinfect after each liturgy, the Revised Mass Schedule, effective May 30, 2020, is:
St. Patrick Parish
5:00 p.m. Saturday Vigil Mass
8:30 a.m. Sunday Mass
11:30 a.m. Sunday Mass
St. Malachi Parish
4:00 p.m. Saturday Vigil Mass
10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass
Parish Office Hours
Monday – Friday 9:00am-4:30pm
Rectory business phone: 216-631-6872
Updating Contact Information
In order to better improve our connections and properly plan for liturgies, we ask that you contact Marilyn (Cuquie) Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (216)631-6872 ext.108, with the following:
- Your first and last name
- Your preferred current phone number
Important Information: Parish Reopening Protocols
A few highlights. Be sure to read the entire letter as well.
- The Bishops of Ohio continue to dispense all Catholics, especially those that are at-risk, from their Sunday Mass obligation.
- Father Gurnick provides guidance for elderly members, those with serious health issues, those who may be exposed to environments where COVID-19 is prevalent (including our immediate 44113 zip code area), and any who have tested positive or who have shown symptoms of the virus.
- Specific protocols focused on everyone’s safety have been developed and are expected to be followed by those attending. The protocols include, but are not limited to, checking your temperature before leaving home, wearing a facial mask while on parish grounds and in the church, and following social distancing before entering the church, and by sitting only in the designated areas.
Live Streamed & Online Liturgies
You can find local live streamed services on the Diocese of Cleveland Website: https://www.dioceseofcleveland.org/