“My sheep hear my voice”. We hear this from the Lord in this Sunday’s Gospel (John 10). If you have left the flock (Church) and want to return, how do you come back? Here are some options:
- Attend Sunday Mass here at Assumption. You will be welcomed back. Don’t be afraid.
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment and discuss your situation or concerns. Don’t be afraid.
- Attend Sunday Mass at another parish (just to be back in the House of God) before coming back to Assumption. Don’t be afraid.
- Come to Confession here on Saturday from 3:45-4:15 or anytime with me. I’m open 24/7 for Confession. Don’t be afraid.
- Review the Sunday readings here before coming to Mass.
- It’s worth saying one more time, do not be afraid.
Hope to see you this Sunday for 10 am Mass. All are welcome to begin Holy Week with us.
Did you ever wonder why Catholics do these things? Now you know.
- We make the Sign of the Cross because it is the sign of our salvation. While we make it, we pray as we should always pray “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” and to remind ourselves that we live in and with the Trinity.
- We use a crucifix (and not just a cross) to remind us visibly of the sacrifice of Jesus. He offered his flesh and blood for us – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
- We pray the rosary to meditate on the lives of Jesus and Mary and to ask them to help us to imitate them in the scenes in our lives.
- We use statues of saints in much the same way that our country uses monuments of our forefathers – to have visible reminders of the heroes of our faith in Christ.
- We receive ashes at the start of Lent to proclaim a fast (as the Israelites proclaimed a fast through sackcloth and ashes) and to remind us that we are dust (and to dust we shall return).
I had a first meeting last night with an engaged couple preparing for marriage – she is Catholic, he is not. At one point, the non-Catholic said, “I don’t know anything about Jesus”. I don’t remember the last time I heard someone say that. There are a few things to say about this, but one of them is that it’s exciting! It would be exciting to talk to him about Jesus Christ. I made the offer to talk to him on a beginner’s level, like “Jesus Christ for Dummies”. Hopefully, he takes me up on it!
What would be the first thing you’d say about Jesus to someone who didn’t know anything about him?
Would you start with the story of Jesus in the Gospel? Or, would you first talk about him in your life?
I would probably start with how I’ve come to know him. I knew ABOUT him growing up. In college, I got to know him. I first really met him in the Eucharist, and have been in love ever since. I have experienced the same happiness in getting to know him that people in the Gospel experienced. That’s confirms that it is real. He is real. He is awesome!
Again, welcome to this blog site! This is for those who feel lost in their relationship with the Lord and their Catholic faith. We are here to help you as others have helped us when we were among the lost sheep. They rejoiced when we were found, and we hope to rejoice when you are, too.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep. (Luke 15:1-7)
1 The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him,
2 but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 So to them he addressed this parable.
4 “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?
5 And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
6 and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
7 I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.
What is a blog site? This will hopefully become a frequent question at our parish because I want to start such a site here. Blog sites are all over the internet. They are websites where people become authors on different topics, and oftentimes others can leave comments in response. I have run two blog sites in the past, and they garnered a fair amount of traffic and commentary about church teachings, spiritual reflections, and world events. In some cases, the blog sites helped bring people back to the Church and sacraments. In all other cases, it was just good to engage people in an online community involving faith.
The way it will work is that we will establish a blogsite online and publicize the address for the site. I will post my thoughts, questions, and reflections; it will be similar material to what I write here. You and anyone else will be able to make comments or ask questions in relation to what I post, and even respond to other “bloggers” on the site. This is part of our family evangelization, so the big hope is that your family members will visit the site and even ask me questions. I will have them in mind when I post on prayer, forgiveness, sacraments, serving the poor, etc.
Here is an example of an actual exchange from years ago between two people who left comments on my post on Confession:
I kind of need a step before Confession. I am not ready to go to Confession and say that I have decided to ‘return’ and will try to go to Mass every Sunday.
Hey Kiwi, Confession is no big deal if I can do it anyone can. No one is going to judge you and you really feel like you are getting a load off of your shoulders. If you don’t want the priest to see you just go to the window side.
As you can see, people don’t need to leave their names. They can comment “anonymously”, but hopefully they grow out of that in time. Here are more examples of anonymous bloggers with some powerful comments:
Why does God have to be so elusive about communicating our callings? His silence can really be deafening. Why do we have to search and search and wait and wait? Please don’t tell me that God speaks to some people and not others.
Great news! My dad does not have cancer! It was a mix-up! I am so thankful to God!! What are the different ways we can show God our gratefulness?
Why do some people suffer so much and others only encounter minimal suffering? Life does seem “unfair!” Why do some people lose a child-the worst grief possible? I don’t think we will ever know the why on this side of heaven. When I am suffering, I stopped asking “why” and started asking “what.” What do you want me to do Lord? What is your will for me in this situation? The why question leaves me stuck in neutral because it is a mystery for now. The what question will help you to pick up your cross and walk with it.
There is some pretty good stuff here. I know and have experienced that there is some nasty stuff online, so please be assured that all comments are moderated. It will be a site of respect and class. And, hopefully, it will be one that will help to bring back the lost sheep of Assumption. Keep praying for that, please!
May you know the peace of Christ,
Fr. Greg Shaffer
3401 Martin Luther King Jr. AVE, SE
Washington, DC 20032
Fr. Greg Cell: 240-463-9960
Outreach Center: 202-561-5941
Reach us by email: