Brothers and sisters,
This week as we continue in the opening chapter of Mark’s Gospel we hear of Jesus’ authority over evil spirits, and how all the people “were astonished by his teaching, for he taught them as having authority and not as the scribes.” I encourage everyone this year to read and study Mark, and notice how this theme is played out through his narrative – neither Jesus’ disciples nor the scribes or Jewish authorities acknowledge or obey Jesus’ authority. Until the climactic scene at the cross, in fact, only the demons do so, as we hear today – “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!” We might ask ourselves whether we are willing every day to submit ourselves to Jesus’ authority – the power of the Holy Spirit, especially through the Sacraments and the teachings of the Church, to grant us true freedom from all that is not from God. The word “obedience” is not very popular in American culture, which has always praised “rebellion” in some way or another. If anything, we should rebel from the slavery of sin, and place ourselves anew under Jesus’ authority through the practice and study of our faith, personal prayer, and the support of our fellow Catholics.
This week is Catholic Schools Week, and we want to remember and celebrate the long history of Catholic education in Wayne County as we hope for the future. We acknowledge and support St. Dominic’s Academy here in Honesdale as it continues to grow year by year. At the 10:30 AM Mass, some of the children and young people from our parish who attend Catholic schools will participate in the opening procession.
Also we remind you of our first Pastoral Council meeting this Tuesday, February 3rd at 7:00 PM in Holy Family Hall. We will begin preparations for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Perpetual Adoration in our Parish on this upcoming May 3rd. Also, at all Masses this weekend at the end all are invited to come forward for the traditional blessing of the throats through the intercession of St. Blase, whose feast day is February 3rd.