Thursday, December 17, 2009

Last Mission of the Year

December 17, 2009

Peace and Good,

I just concluded my last mission of the year at St. George's Parish in Valley Lee, MD. This is in southern Maryland, and the spirit down there is quite different from Ellicott City. Most of the people who live in this area are from somewhere else. That is not true of southern Maryland. It is farm country and also closely tied to the Bay and water culture. The people were very friendly and more laid back than those of us who live close to the beltway.

The theme was on Advent. The first day I spoke on the early prophecies of the Messiah (in Genesis, Numbers, etc.). These prophecies were not, for the most part, explicitly about the Messiah, but they did point toward the goal that God had in mind for us. They also speak about how that goal was deferred by our sin, but how God will make it good for us again. The second day I spoke about the later prophecies, especially those in Isaiah and Micah. I mentioned how the prophets were speaking for their own days, but the Holy Spirit had much more in mind for what they were saying. The exceptions to this are the Songs of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah and Psalm 22 which are so explicit and fit the sufferings and death of Jesus so well that one would almost swear that they were written after Jesus' death (but they clearly weren't). The third day, which included a penance service, I spoke of the Infancy Narrative in the Gospel of Matthew, and then on the fourth day which included a healing Mass, I spoke of the Infancy Narrative in the Gospel of Luke.

I tried a new dish that I had never eaten: fried oysters. They were great! The parishioners kept myself and Msgr. Carl well fed all week long.

This coming week I will spend a few days in Buffalo visiting family and then in Pittsburgh for the Baptism of my great-niece.

I finished listening to one set of CD's. The book was called Justinian's Flea by William Rosen. It deals with the reign of one of the best emperors of the Byzantine Empire and how much of what he was trying to do came to naught because of an outbreak of Bubonic Plague. You really have to like history to be interested in this book. It is heavy both on historic detail (with many digressions) and scientific information about plague.

Here is an outline of by calendar for the coming month. I will keep giving you the update as I can.

01/03/10 - 01/07/10: St. Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park, CA - Seminarian Retreat

01/08/10 - 01/14/10: Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Little Falls, MN - Sisters' Retreat

01/16/10 - 01/20/10: St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, Spring, Hill, FL - Parish Mission

01/23/10 - 01/28/10: St. Gregory Catholic Church, Plantation, FL - Parish Mission

God bless and

fr. Jude

P.S. Merry Christmas!


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