5th Sunday of Lent

Greetings from Your Pastor: 5th Sunday of Lent         

I hope this message finds all of you well and that you are reaping the many graces through the prayers and devotions that you are offering. 

It is our second weekend of the suspension of public Masses, and our separation from each other as a parish family.

I am humbled and so appreciative of our parishioners who dropped off/sent in your offerings. It is needed, and I am so grateful.

 Also, it is edifying to see many of you taking advantage of the open church to pray in front Our Eucharistic Lord in the tabernacle.

 In these challenging days, it is very fitting that Sunday’s Gospel passage for Holy Mass should be the “Raising of Lazarus.” It is very consoling to witness the compassion of Jesus as He wept for his dead friend. One thing is very certain about Our Lord in this passage from the Gospel of John; Jesus is in total control, and He shows not only His compassion and mercy, but He also manifests His glory in resuscitating Lazarus who had been dead for four days. A great miracle indeed! After all, He is the Resurrection and the Life, and that knowledge gives us much consolation as well as confidence as we navigate through this world of suffering day in and day out.

   As we take each day as it comes, we have to remind ourselves the Our Lord is in total control. Humility and patience are essential when allowing Our Lord and King to operate in our day to day lives. When we defer to Him, then He can do what may be deemed impossible in our lives. All things are possible with Him.

Let us, individually and collectively, continue our journey of prayer and sacrifice as we draw ever closer to the glorious day of His resurrection.

Saving for a rainy day

Saving for a Rainy Day (like today) as Modeled in Scripture By MSGR.  CHARLES POPE

In the young adult Bible study at my parish (conducted on Zoom during the current crisis), we have been reading through the Book of Genesis. Most recently, we’ve been studying the story of Joseph the Patriarch. Genesis 41 features the memorable story of how Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream of the seven cows and the seven sheaves of grain. God’s word always seems to be right on time: this story gave us an opportunity to discuss the anxiety brought about by the pandemic, with a particular focus on the fact that most of us were caught unprepared.

Let’s ponder a very simple yet often-forgotten principle taught in Chapter 41 of Genesis.

The basic story is that Pharaoh has troubling dreams that his advisers cannot explain. In the dream, Pharaoh sees seven fat cows near the banks of the Nile. These cows are devoured by seven skinny cows, who nonetheless remain skinny. He also sees seven sheaves of plump, ripe wheat devoured by seven withered sheaves (cf Gen 41:17-24). Pharaoh is told that a gifted man named Joseph, currently in jail, is able to interpret dreams.

Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream as follows (as poetically rendered in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat):

Seven years of bumper crops are on their way

Years of plenty, endless wheat and tons of hay

Your farms will boom, there won’t be room

To store the surplus food, you grow

After that, the future doesn’t look so bright

Egypt’s luck will change completely overnight

And famine’s hand will stalk the land

With food an all-time low

Noble king, there is no doubt

What your dreams are all about

All these things you saw in your pajamas

Are a long-range forecast for your farmers

And I’m sure it’s crossed your mind

What it is you have to find

Find a man to lead you through the famine

With a flair for economic planning

But who this man could be I just don’t know

Who this man could be I just don’t know

Who this man could be, I just don’t know!

Joseph advises Pharaoh to decree that one-fifth of the harvest be set aside during the seven years of plenty to prepare for seven years of famine. All other excesses should also be stored rather than squandered. In this, then, are some lessons for us:

First, famines, economic crises, and other disasters will inevitably come for us who live in this Paradise Lost. It is important to expect them and to plan for them. It’s been quite some time since something this serious has befallen us in the United States. Even September 11, 2001, a tragedy to be sure, didn’t keep us down for long; we recovered rather quickly. In retrospect, this quiet period made us a bit complacent; we stopped storing provisions “for a rainy day.”

My grandparents’ generation (“The Greatest Generation”) endured numerous hardships and disasters: two world wars, the Great Depression, and the Spanish Flu epidemic, which alone killed 675,000 Americans. They were more accustomed to the vicissitudes of life than we seem to be, and it affected them in many ways. One thing that I especially recall of that generation was that most of them were frugal; they were relentless savers. Even when I was very young, my grandparents made sure I had a savings account. My maternal grandmother opened an account on my behalf and seeded it with a modest sum. My siblings and I were encouraged to learn the discipline of saving money for the future.

And all of this is well-rooted in the biblical teaching of Joseph, who admonished Egypt to save in plentiful times because difficult days were inevitable.

More recent generations, including mine, have fallen short in this. We tend to spend whatever we have, and the only saving we do is for retirement. But unexpected events often come before retirement. Many of us spend more than we earn and use credit foolishly. In doing this, we fail to respect the biblical wisdom taught by Joseph.

With the heavy restrictions imposed (rightly or wrongly, properly or excessively) by civil authorities, too many people have found that they have little to nothing set aside to get them through business declines or temporary unemployment. Government payments/loans may be justly offered because the economic downturn was driven by an external event. But the current situation still illustrates a problem: most of us are unprepared for even a few months of reduced or no income.

Perhaps we can learn the lesson our ancestors lived: we must save for the proverbial rainy day. With Joseph the patriarch to encourage us, we need to rediscover the merits of saving. This is perhaps a small and obvious lesson, but apparently, it hasn’t been obvious enough.

Flocknotes Notice

Dear Parishioners:

During these challenging times, we must be able to communicate with you by utilizing our Flocknote program.

We’ve been advised ( after much research) by the technology professionals at Flocknote that some of our communications are not reaching you.

 The emails have been going into a spam folder. When our email to you bounces back three times, your email is deleted from the Flocknote platform.

It is essential to add Flocknote to your contacts.

Please add mail@flocknote.com to be sure we can keep you updated as events and information are rapidly changing.

Call the parish office ( 540-743-4919) for additional information or help

Remember to stay safe and know that Jesus is ALWAYS with us!

Adding Google Contacts

Adding Google Contacts

 

Update March 23

Dear Parishioners,
It is a great sadness for Bishop Burbidge and me that our parish, as well as all parishes in the Arlington Diocese, will not be able to offer public Masses until further notice.
This measure was taken to protect our physical health, but we must also seek to ensure our spiritual health.
Together, we continue our journey of faith and have trust in our Lord Jesus, who is with us at all times! I share the information below to assist you and your family at this time of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Prayer, Spiritual Enrichment and Options for viewing the celebration of Mass Online
With public Mass canceled, Bishop Burbidge asked pastors to keep churches open, so those who choose to pray in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord, can do so while remaining a safe distance from others and not exceeding a 10-person limit.
The church is open from 7:30 am until 8:00 pm.  I also encourage you individually or as a family to devote time to prayer, observe Mass on television/internet, and pray the Rosary or other devotions.
Prayers and Ministries, we are Maintaining
In the ever-changing environment, we will be sending daily or weekly Flocknotes to our parishioners. Please be sure our parish office has your current and correct contact information.
Emergencies
I will continue to be available to you for sacramental emergencies.  As our office may have unusual hours, please use the following numbers in this order:
Parish Office #540-743-4913
Sacramental Emergency Only # 540-742-7530
Kathy Murphy- 617-827-4556
Our parish website is www.ourladayofthevalleyluray.org
Parish Operations and Offertory
Please know of my gratitude for your faithful support of our parish.  We have continuing operating needs, and our offertory is the primary source of revenue to meet these expenses. I recognize that some of you may have less income, depending on your circumstances, and we trust in God’s goodness to see you through these financial constraints.
Please know that sustaining our financial support is so necessary to maintain our payroll, parish operations, and outreach programs during these uncertain times. There are several ways you may make your weekly offering:
1. By utilizing PayPal. The link to donate can be found on our website
2. You may mail your envelopes to the church at 200 Collins Avenue, Luray, VA 22835
3. You may place your offering envelopes in the poor box or candle box. (Envelopes only please)
As I noted, this Lent is like none we have ever encountered. I encourage you to focus on our Lord during this liturgical season and pray you will continue to grow in your faith through prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving in the challenging times ahead.
Be assured of my gratitude for your financial support of our parish in these uncertain times, and know I will remember you and your families as I pray and offer Mass each day.  I humbly ask your prayers for me as well.  May the Peace of our Lord be with you!
Sincerely in Christ,
 Fr. Perez

Wash Hands the Catholic Way

Wash Hands the Catholic Way

Wash Hands the Catholic Way

Spiritual Resources

Here is a list of resources you may want to consider:
Online Mass (see below for Diocese of Arlington live streams and recordings):
Prayers
Publisher Resources:
The following publishers have generously made their resources available to support prayer during these difficult days. We thank them for their generosity and pastoral concern.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
 Diocese of Arlington Parish Resources:
*We will update information from other parishes as they are received
All Saints
Basilica of St. Mary
Cathedral of St. Thomas More
  • Daily Mass (live stream – under “News & Events”)
Good Shepherd
St. James
St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception (Fredericksburg)

Act of Spiritual Communion

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen. 

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Dear Lord and Savior! Though I am but a sinful servant, I approach Thee with confidence, for Thou hast said in Thy goodness and mercy: “Come to me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” Thou wilt not despise a contrite and humble heart. I am truly sorry for having offended Thee by my sins, because Thou art infinitely good. I have wounded Thy Sacred Heart by foolishly resisting Thy holy will and transgressing Thy Commandments; but I love Thee now with my whole heart and above all things. I adore Thee truly present on the Altar. I have a great desire, dear Jesus, to receive Thee in Holy Communion, and since I cannot now approach the Holy Table to be united to Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, I beseech Thee most earnestly to come to me at least spiritually and to refresh my soul with the sweetness of Thy grace. Come, my Lord my God and my All! Come to me, and let me never again be separated from Thee by sin. I wish to become like Thee. Teach me Thy blessed ways; help me with Thy grace to practice meekness, humility, purity, charity, and all the virtues of Thy Sacred Heart. Oh Thou Lamb of God! Who takest away the sins of the world, take away from me whatever may hurt me and displease Thee. With St. Francis of Assisi I pray: May the fire of Thy love consume my soul, so that I may die to self and the world for love of Thee, Who hast vouchsafed to die on the Cross for the love of me! Jesus, I consecrate to Thee my heart with all its affections, my soul with all its powers, and my body with all its senses. In union with Thee I will labor and suffer to do the Heavenly father’s will. I will ever be mindful of the presence of my God and strive to be perfect. Bless me in life and in death that I may praise Thee forever in Heaven. Amen.

Church Update March 17

Dear Parishioners:
  • During this challenging time, Father Perez wants you to know Mass intentions will be fulfilled when Father offers his private Mass.
  • Confessions will be available as scheduled with all the appropriate guidelines in place in terms of maintaining distance. Please do not move the seats or the kneeler.
  • Please be advised that the Saturday morning Lenten study group has been canceled. We urge you to continue your reading daily and make notes that can be shared at a later date. “No worries”.
  • Regularly scheduled Stations of the Cross are canceled.  As a private devotion, please, consider saying them inside the church or use our outdoor stations while you take a walk in the fresh air.
  • If you are aware of someone without access to email, please let the office know so we can call them with updates.
  • We have also made available disinfecting wipes found at the back of the church to wipe down your pew after you pray.
  • Our Church will be open from 7:30 a.m. until sundown.
  • There will be more updates; please check your email for a current Flocknote.
Thank you and know that Jesus is with us ALWAYS!
Televised Mass can be found on these channels for EWTN
Direct TV – channel 370
Xfinity/Comcast – channel 291 or 1668 HD
Dish – channel 261

Televised Mass

Televised Mass – Sundays, 10:30am

Because being a part of the Sunday assembly is not possible for for us during this pandemic, so the Diocese of Arlington, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Washington, films Sunday Mass weekly. The Mass is celebrated in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Mass airs every Sunday at 10:30am on WDCW-50.

No cable; Dish or Direct TV subscribers: Ch. 50

TV PROVIDER CHANNEL

Front Royal and Winchester, Luray……………….13

Or go to,this website where a recorded video can be found each week.

https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/communionforsick/

Mass Celebration Suspended

We sent you a video from Bishop Burbidge offering his wisdom, counsel and some additional information to all of us in the Arlington Diocese.

You will have heard from the Bishop that the Diocese is suspending all Sunday, Holy Day and daily Masses until further notice.

This offers us a new way to grow in our spirituality and closeness to our Lord by meditating on His Passion, praying the rosary, making a spiritual communion and reading scripture to mention a few.

Please know the church will be open from 7:30 AM-to sundown. The Most Blessed Sacrament will remain in the church.

Although these are unprecedented times and there is a lot of uncertainty, our commitment to our faith, our parishioners and those we serve, remains steadfast. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation and we pray daily for your health and wellbeing.  Jesus is with us ALWAYS.
Continue to monitor the website.