The Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist - June 24, 2018
From the Pastor . . .
My Sisters and Brothers:
Today we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist. As the feast occurs on the same date each year, most times it’s celebrated on a weekday, but not so this year! When the twenty-fourth of June occurs on a Sunday, the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist takes precedence over the regular Sunday Mass (therefore, this year the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time is not observed this year). So exactly why do we celebrate this feast with such importance? Perhaps a study of Zechariah, the father of John, will give us at least one insight into this . . .
The story of Zechariah in today’s Gospel can only be understood by remembering what had been recorded in the earlier part of the first chapter of Luke. Nine months earlier, the Angel Gabriel had first appeared to him while he was fulfilling his priestly duties in the temple. This event is recorded to have caused Zechariah great fear, and he doubted the angel’s announcement that he and his wife Elizabeth would conceive and bear a child in their old age. Therefore the angel proclaimed Zechariah would be made “speechless and unable to talk” until the day the child would be born, “because he did not believe the angel’s words” (see Luke 1:5-20).
According to today’s Gospel, when the child was born his mother Elizabeth insisted on naming him John, contrary to the tradition of the family. When questioned about it, and for his part, Zechariah “asked for a tablet and wrote, ‘John is his name’” (see Luke 1:63). Months earlier in the temple, this is what the Angel Gabriel had commanded Zechariah to do. Again, it’s important to recall those words of the angel found in the earlier part of the Gospel; he had proclaimed: “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John” (see Luke 1:13). And so, he faithfully named the child “John.” This act of obedience and fidelity to God’s promise then opened the mouth of Zechariah so that he could once again speak. And at the moment, everyone was amazed!
One lesson for us, as we celebrate this feast day, is that we too are given many opportunities in our lives to rise above our doubts and fears. Sometimes following God’s will may not at first make sense to others, but if we do so, like Zechariah ultimately did, then many opportunities will be given to us to affirm the plan of God in our lives–even when it seems most difficult, fearful, and/or uncertain. And then in doing so we will be given all of the graces we need to find happiness and contentment during our lives. When we follow God’s will for our lives, even when not easy, then we will like Zechariah have the opportunity to also “open our mouths” and be effective witnesses for God! It won’t take some fantastic, earth shaking, and momentous event, on par with the Nativity of John the Baptist, for such power to manifest in our lives. But we must always strive to rise above our doubts and fears, and remain open to the promise of life and the fullness of grace constantly given to us by our God, even in the very “little things.”
As we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, and the miraculous events preceding it, let’s pray that by our witness of faith those around us will also see the great wonders that God can do. Let’s recommit ourselves in faith and like Zechariah renew our faith and become instruments of God in our world!
Praise God! Friar Timothy
FATHER PETER TO VISIT JUNE 24TH
Today we welcome back Fr. Peter Lyons, TOR. After Mass, all are invited to join us for light refreshments as we share fellowship and celebrate his visit! Please join us.
Members of our Outreach Committee will conduct our monthly Food Pantry this Tuesday, June 26 to help assist those in the neighborhood who are in most need.
Envelopes for the new fiscal year, which begins in next week, are currently available in the back of the church. Please begin to use your envelopes on Sunday July 1. Your generous and faithful support of St. Ann’s is greatly appreciated.
Each year during the month of June we reflect on the blessings we have received as church family and renew our COMMITMENT to give generously our time, talents and treasure to further the Kingdom of God. We ask you to pray for god’s guidance as you prepare to pledge your self-giving at this time of stewardship. Everyone should have received a pledge card as they entered church this morning. Pledge cards will be collected after Mass today.
MISSION COOPERTIVE APPEAL
Next Sunday, July 1, 2018, and as part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore's Mission Cooperative Plan, we will welcome Sister Anceline and Sister Divya, both members of the Daughters of Mary, a community of missionary sisters. They will be speaking at the Mass about the missionary efforts of their community, and their service to the Church and to the people for whom they minister. We ask our parishioners to be generous in response to the mission appeal on July 1st! Welcome Sisters!
JULY 11TH BASEBALL GAME
The Baltimore Orioles will host the children and youth of St. Ann, St. Wenceslaus, and St. Francis Xavier parishes at a game against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards on Wednesday July 11th at 7:05 pm. The Orioles will provide 3 buses and all 3 buses will be at St. Wenceslaus at 5:30 pm on that evening and depart at 5:45pm. They will also provide participants with a hot dog, drink, bag of chips and Oriole gear to wear at the game. Please use the sign-up sheet in the back of church if you would like your child to attend. THE FORM MUST BE COMPLETELY FILLED OUT IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE!!!
ST. ANN’S FEAST DAY AND NOVENA
St. Ann’s will hold its annual novena in preparation for the parish feast day. Novena services will take place in the Anchorage Monday through Friday, July 16 to 20, at 7:00 pm, with prayer, guest speakers, and refreshments each night. The service on Saturday, July 21, will be at 12:00 noon. The feast day Mass and reception will take place on Sunday, July 22, at 11:00 am with Fr. Donald Sterling of New All Saints Church providing the homily.
Please set aside these special mid-summer days of prayer and reflection.
Please continue to pray for all of our sick and homebound, especially Florence Barber, Dorothy Horton-Brown, James Butts, Augustine Christian, Danny Dallas, Elaine Edmonds, Gregory Epps, John Frederick, Rita Hardy, Odessa Johnson, Tom Lutz, Penny Palmer, Bernadette Wallace, Nelson Outlaw, and Rita Watkins, and ask that God grant them strength, comfort and healing.
Sun., June 24 St. John the Baptist
11 AM Mass
Adult Bible Study after Mass
Tues., June 26 Monthly Food Pantry
Anchorage, 10 am -12 pm
Thurs., June 28 Evening Mass (confession before/after) Bible Study 7-9 pm
Sun., July 1 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11 AM Mass
Adult Bible Study after Mass
Wed., July 4 Independence Day
(Church office Closed)
Thurs., July 5 Evening Mass (confession before/after) Bible Study 7-9 pm
Sun., July 8 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
11 AM Mass
Wed., July 11 Oriole Game
Thurs., July 12 Evening Mass (confession before/after) Bible Study 7-9 pm
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY
1st Reading Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
2nd Reading 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9,13-15
Gospel Mark 5:21-43