Letter from the Pastor
Part One: Scripture
This week the liturgy presents to us Jeremiah as a prophet in one of the darkest periods in the history of Israel. The Lord called Jeremiah to serve when he was still a young man (1:1-10). His primary responsibility was to instruct and remind God’s people of the covenant, and like prophets before him, Jeremiah also challenged the corruption of the day and gave hope to the brokenhearted.
Jeremiah lived and prophesied almost seven centuries before the birth of Jesus, during the time of the last kings of Judah, leading to exile in Babylon. It was a time of great communal tragedy—not entirely unlike the suffering of some peoples today. The people lost their land; they lost the Temple and, with it, the dwelling presence of God; more importantly, they lost their sense of identity. How could they understand themselves as God’s people when everything that was supposed to remind them of God was gone?
In these chaotic years of suffering, Jeremiah ministered to God’s people. The remarkable drama of Jeremiah’s life unfolds in 52 chapters. Jeremiah’s intense interior conflict is on full display, as is his commitment to speak out against injustice and his compassionate announcement of a hope-filled future.
God tasks Jeremiah with the mission of denouncing the situation at that time. People had forgotten their God and their religious and civil leaders were corrupt. Their priests, kings, and prophets led them astray (2:1-13). Jeremiah calls the people to repentance and announces that a time of restoration awaits, a time when good kings—shepherds—would rule and when all would gather to worship. Jeremiah delivers this message firmly.
The readings of these weeks offer us an invitation to meditate on God’s Word in Jeremiah words. Twenty-seven centuries later, Jeremiah’s message still inspires us. We have some weak, narcissistic and even corrupt leaders. Hardly a day goes by without questionable actions. Even with good leaders, at times we are complacent and all too often neglect the needs of our neighbor. Likewise, today as in times past, we fall into the trap of being self-righteous and thinking that certain exterior practices are an indication of our good character, while there is a great dissonance between our action and the truth in our hearts.
Through our baptism, each of us is called to be a prophet. This means we will experience the discomfort of discomforting others and the consolation of consoling others, always proclaiming God’s love for all.*
*Ximena DeBroeck, Director of Catechetical & Pastoral Formation, Archdiocese of Baltimore,
Adjunct professor at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary.
Part Two: Re-Opening Churches
Cardinal Tobin dispenses the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days. Those who are at risk because of an underlying health issues or who are 60 years old or older are strongly encouraged to avoid attending public celebrations of Mass because it carries the risk of contagion. We will continue to live-stream the Sunday Mass in Spanish at 9:00 a.m. and in English at 11:00 a.m.
Please subscribe to the parish YouTube channel. It is free to subscribe. YouTube channel: Saint Lucy. Subscribers can view the live-stream Mass on their smart phones.
On Saturday evening, 20 June 2020, we entered Phase 3 of the reopening of St. Lucy. This means that St. Lucy will now celebrate publicly Sunday Mass with the practices of social distancing, use of masks and limited number of people present. Those who are at risk because of an underlying health issue or who are 60 years old or older are strongly encouraged to avoid attending public celebrations of Mass, which carries the risk of contagion. Moreover, we will continue to live-stream the Sunday Mass at 9:00 a.m. and in English at 11:00 a.m. All other sacraments will resume according to directives.
The door on Amity Place and the side door opening to the garages and Rectory parking lot are designated as the ENTRANCE doors to church. The EXIT door will be the door leaving the St. Gerard Shrine leading to the plaza through the Ruggiero garden. Leaving the church, participants will have to practice social distancing and to wear facial masks.
Please pre-register online or by phone if you intend to attend the Mass in person. Registration enables us to maintain “social distancing.” The capacity of the church is currently set at 100. This number may be raised later.
In Phase 3 it is no longer necessary to open the church for personal and private prayer from noon until 3:00 p.m.
St. Lucy celebrates publicly weekday Masses, funerals, weddings, and baptisms. Before each Mass, the church will be opened 15 minutes for personal and private prayer. The church will be locked after Mass.