Message from Father Langan, February 6-7

February 6 – 7, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In ten days Lent will begin and we are reminded of Our Lord’s sufferings from 40 days in the desert to His Passion and death on the cross.  Lent is ordered to prepare us for the great and glorious feast of Easter – the reason Our Savior came upon this earth as one of us.  He came to set us free from our sins and restore hope to fallen humanity.

In today’s first reading we are made aware of the hopelessness and despair that afflicted poor Job.  He represents those who could not understand God’s ways and seems to fall into a dark hole spiritually, clueless about the evils that overwhelm him.  He longed for someone to redeem him and when he finally recognizes that God is God and he is not, only then is he able to ascent to the mysteries that perplex him and thus finds consolation and peace.  Job’s life is a power lesson us.

However, we have something Job does not, namely Jesus Christ.  He who knows us better than we know ourselves as our Redeemer.  No one and nothing else in this world in this world can ever bring the healing, mercy and compassion we need to be lifted from a Job-like despair.  Perhaps during our upcoming Lenten sojourn we may ask the Lord to help us realize this truth and finally like Job, give ourselves completely to His Holy Will.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, January 30-31

January 30-31, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On the human level we hear in today’s Epistle and Gospel the words “anxious” and “astonished.”  Both draw us into our human condition of both tension and excitement towards circumstances that overwhelm us or surprise us.   Needless to say, we have been living through very anxious times and just as St. Paul prescribes as remedy for the faithful of Corinth, so, too, do we need something to anchor us in days of uncertainty.

There exists and is awardable to us a very powerful source of guidance and introspection namely: Formed. 

For several years now our parish has engaged Formed as a resource for all parishioners to grow in a better understanding of our Faith.  Unfortunately, not many parishioners have availed themselves of this powerful and “astonishing” source of information.   Those I have spoken to about it are very appreciative and have reopened a great first from the many programs that are so easily accessible.  To sign up on our account, go to https:///formed.org and sign up as a parishioner.  To find your church or organization (i.e. St. John the Evangelist, Honesdale), all you need to do is create an account by using your email address and creating a password.

As the hearers of Our Lord in this day’s Gospel, we’re enthralled with what they heard from Him and continue to come to know Him more and more.  I highly encourage all of our parishioners to take advantage of Formed and please let me know your thoughts and insights regarding the continued use of it.

On Tuesday, February 2nd, we celebrate the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple.  It is also known as Candlemas Day, on which we bless candles that are used in our sanctuary and our homes.  You may bring candles from home to be blessed or acquire the 2/box candles.    Candles remind us of the words spoken by Simeon (canticle) “behold a Light to the Gentiles and the glory of the people Israel”.  As we acknowledge Jesus as the Light of the World, let us pray that He shatters the darkness in our world presently and be the beacon of truth leading us to God.

Also this week on Wednesday, February 3rd, we celebrate the Feast of St. Blaise (or Biaggio) with the blessing of throats.  Because of the extraordinary circumstances, the blessing will be given in general to all in attendance at Mass.  There will be no imposition of candles at one’s throat this year.  The grace of the blessing is undiminished.

God keep you safe from all harm and illness.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, January 23-24

January 23-24

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today we hear of that comic and tragic figure, the prophet Jonah.  God sent him on a mission to his people’s sworn enemies the Assyrians and their capital of Nineveh to repent.  Jonah was reluctant and procrastinated (until swallowed and expectorated by the whale) until finally he did what God asked of him.  As an instrument of God’s powerful word the Assyrians repented.  However, Jonah was none to happy about their conversion and rather in a huff made it known to God.  Well, doesn’t God accomplish His will in spite of ourselves?

Perhaps we have been reluctant in heeding God’s call or procrastinated when it came to fulfilling our commission to make Christ known to all.  There is a bit of Jonah in all of us.  What keeps us from enthusiastically responding to God’s call?  Feelings of inadequacy?  Fear of rejection?  No doubt Our Lord’s first disciples felt the same.  He calls the fishermen from a life they knew and loved so well.  Sure it was monotonous and sometimes uncertain (remember The Carpenter has to tell the “fisherman” when to cast their nets), but Jesus was called to something entirely different, exciting, and challenging.  Though uncertain about themselves, they respond to Him immediately!  And that is the key.  When we think less of ourselves; broken, limited, wanting, and more of Him all things become possible.  Remember, Our Lord simply asks that we trust in Him, and then by His grace great things can be accomplished.  Jonah learned that; the disciples learned as well and so shall we.

I draw your attention to the announcement of the forthcoming consecration to St. Joseph.  This year we have a two-fold blessing both on the diocesan and the universal Church dedication to the foster father of Our Lord, spouse of the Virgin Mary and guardian of the Church.  In this year especially, past, present and future we need St. Joseph’s loving protection.  Join us in fostering a greater blessing to your families and personal lives.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, January 16-17

January 16-17

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In all of our Scriptures today, we see the positive interaction among individuals.  Eli, who was one of Israel’s judges (rulers before the chosen people had a King), directs  Samuel (an eventual prophet) to be attentive to the Lord’s call.  If Samuel did not heed his mentor he may have ignored God’s call and special mission for him.  This reminds us we need the sage wisdom of those who have experienced life and have place their trust in God.

St. Paul in writing to the Corinthians admonishes them NOT to follow the ways of the world.  Corinth was a city filled with corruption and licentiousness of every perversion.  The Christians are reminded that they are members of the Body of Christ, each one as a “living cell” contributing to the health and well-being of the body as a whole.  That is why no sin is private.  A sickness, be it moral or physical in one cell, one person, effects adversely all.  Therefore, we live in conjunction and harmony with all of humanity.

This week we begin the octave of prayer for Christina Unity.  The Body of Christ has suffered immeasurable from division.  The Lord’s desire is that we be on as the Son, the Father, and Spirit are one.  When personal opinions trump basic revealed Truths, rifts have sadly occurred.  The Truth may never be compromised and it is incumbent upon all people of good will to ascent to The Truth that will set thy free and advance the Kingdom of God.

The primary Truth of the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death is a belief that should and must unite all humanity.  Sadly, there are those who abide in darkness regarding this Truth, and so we pray in earnest that they may come into the Lights.  On Friday, January 22nd we remember that dreadful decision by the United State Supreme Court, 48 years ago, that legalized abortion.  Our nation has never been the same since.  Nothing can possibly bring peace and concord to our land until hearts and minds are converted the The Truth of protecting the innocent life of the unborn child.

As in today’s Gospel, John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and that all should follow Him and likewise Andrew bringing his brother Peter, to the Lord,  We, too, have our call, like Samuel, and our mission, like John and Andrew to bring others to the Christ, who is The Truth, the Light and the way.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

P.S.  On Friday, January 22, we will offer the Mass:  “Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human life” and observe the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.  Following the 12:00 PM Mass.  Rosary and the Liturgy for Life will be offered.

Covid Update

Two parishioners who attended  Mass at St. Bernard’s on Saturday,  January 9, 2021 have tested positive for COVID-19. 

They did not begin experiencing symptoms until after that Mass.  They later received a COVID-19 test as a precaution and got a positive result.  Out of an abundance of caution, the parish is notifying parishioners in order to fully inform and protect our community.

In continued alignment with Diocesan, state and federal public health and safety guidelines, social distancing and mask wearing is always maintained during all Masses.

In accordance with established protocols from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the areas visited by anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 undergo additional cleaning and disinfection measures.  With this in mind, Damage Control has been contacted and will be disinfecting and sanitizing St. Bernard Church by the end of this week and will be ready for this Saturday’s Mass.

Everyone in our community is encouraged to know and keep alert for any potential symptoms of COVID-19, which may include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle pain, headache or a loss of taste or smell.

The staff of Saint John the Evangelist Parish extends prayers for healing and comfort to the parishioners who are experiencing illness and for all those affected by the coronavirus.

Message from Father Langan

January 9-10

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last Sunday we celebrated the Epiphany, when’s newborn Son was revealed to all the Nations, people of every time and place, as King and Savior.  Today, we hear God the Father’s voice revealing Jesus as the Son of God.  The Scriptures of the day prepare the whole world for the Lord’s public ministry.  This ministry begins with the call to repentance on the part of all humankind.  Repentance is the honest and humble recognition of our broken and sinful nature.  We cannot save ourselves no matter technologically or politically astute we may think we are.  Christ alone is the Savior and Lord, and He has given us every means possible, most especially through the seven sacraments, to attain His mercy and salvation.

Our Lord’s Baptism by John in the Jordan River inaugurates the reconciliation between God and man.  Our Lord takes familiar elements and infuses them with supernatural grace.  At our Baptism with water and in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, original sin, or actual sin if baptized as an adult, is washed away.  We were told “you have become a new creation and have clothed yourself in Christ.”  Even if we are not aware of it, we present ourselves before the Lord as a new creation wherein God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwells within our souls.

As we contemplate our Lord’s Baptism, it is always important to remember our own.  Unworthy though we be, God has come to us and stays with us.  When you bless yourself give glory to God that He has claimed you as His son or daughter.  He is well-pleased in us.  May we never disappoint Him.

 This week we begin  Ordinary Time marked predominantly by the color green.  In less than six weeks, we will begin the Holy season of Lent, on Ash Wednesday,  February 17th.  A year has passed since we have been under the shadow of the pandemic which sadly has taken lives and dreadfully disrupted lives.  Nonetheless, with Christ, we do not despair, rather let us continue to “Walk by Faith” and trust as we long for the Lord and the day we shall be together again.

As we bid “adieu” to the Christmas season, may I once again thank all who made an extra effort to keep and promote the joy of the season.  And let us not forget our diligent custodians who kept our walks and lots snow free…..a thousand thanks.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan

January 2-3

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On this 10th day of Christmas, we commemorate the Lord’s manifestation to the non-Jewish/Gentile world.  We call this revelation to those living in darkness the Epiphany.  For those of us who are not Jews it reminds us of God’s infinite love and mercy for all people.  The chosen people of Israel had a special mission from God, which was to make Him known to the rest of the world.  The adherence to and living of the covenant of Sinai that there is only one God, Lord and Creator of heaven and earth was to be worshipped and obeyed.  The obedience was and is based on the Ten Commandments given to Moses and those set free from bondage.  Ten simple and direct commands would directly benefit and exalt the wandering tribes until an even more perfect covenant would be made with all people for all time.  The New Covenant would be in and through Jesus Christ.  All the Old Testament and prophecies testified to this and through natural intelligence and indirect knowledge all people longed for this new relationship with the DIVINE.

Wise men from the East, the Magi, searched for this New Covenant, this eternal truth.  And just as any human person who longs for the truth, these men of old found it in Jesus Christ.  This most profound mystery for God-Became-Man for the sake of man’s redemption and advent of peace upon this world is available for every nation on the earth.  Sadly, not everyone accepts this embrace from God.  Indeed some even combat it for the exaltation of self or state.  Rather than be liberated by Truth and Light they prefer enslavement and darkness, succumbing to their passions instead of the Passion of Christ.

The Magi, who honestly and humbly sought the truth, found Him.   They are the example for all to follow.  As they departed from the presence of the Divine Infant we know that left on “a different route.”  After encountering the Infant Christ, may we do likewise.

A profound thanks to all our parish staff who took on the difficult task of coordinating our Christmas Mass schedule and outreach to those who needed extra assistance during these days of pandemic.  Our custodial staff and decorators, our music ministry are all to be commended.

Thanks to all for your patience and kindness and remembrance of your parish needs during a time of financial strain and uncertainty.  And behalf of Father Sahd and myself a heartfelt thanks for your generosity and beautiful cards, novenas, and sweets and fruits which have overwhelmed our pantry.  God bless you for your kindness.

One again we are grateful to Hessling Funeral Home, Brendan Murray, supervisor and Richard Hessling for their donation of our beautiful parish calendars.  The calendars will be available as you leave the churches this coming weekend.

May the New Year bring joy and peace and draw you closer to the hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Father Langan

COVID Info

Two parishioners who attended last Sunday’s Mass at St. Joseph’s, Rileyville have tested positive for COVID. A professional cleaning service was hired on Christmas Eve afternoon to completely sanitize the entire church. Please use your own discretion regarding Mass attendance.

Message from Father Langan, December 26-27

December 26-27

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Within this octave of Christmas, we take time to meditate and wonder at the Incarnation, i.e. God – became – man, and the setting in which it takes place.  Poor and, in the eyes of the word, insignificant persons, Mary and Joseph. They have little to offer by way of material possessions, but the love and gratefulness with which they surround the Christ Child is immeasurable.  Love makes this family holy.  First, they recognize the love that comes from God.  Without that love all human love becomes paltry and fickle.  The sacrificial love we see in the Holy Family is based on what they can give NOT on what they can get.   Mary and Joseph, in spite of difficulties they face are 100% obedient to God.  They have place all their trust in Him, most especially in caring for God-dependent-on-them in Jesus.

Family life is the bedrock of society and culture, at least a society and culture, that seek to preserve humanity and advance God’s kingdom on earth.  We look to the Holy Family to provide that example and, of course, to discover the precepts by which all families may flourish.  In today’s scripture passages, we find all the values necessary for families to treasure.  The Book of Sirach teaches the way we ought to treat each other.  St. Paul lists the qualities we should manifest in our families.  And St. Luke recounts the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.   Ever faithful to God and obedient to His Will, Mary and Joseph fulfill the prescriptions of the Mosaic law.  There is more than enough in God’s Holy Word this day to give parents and children all they need to effect a tranquil and beautiful family life.

As we begin the new civil year, on January 1st, 2021, we honor Mary as the Holy Mother of God.  She reminds us that God wanted and still wants to save us with our cooperation.  If She had turned down the Angel Gabriel’s message would we be here today?  A humble human being said “yes” to God and our salvation became a reality.  As Mary has set the perfect example so, too, we as her children, should follow.

Begin the New Year making the resolve to always say “Yes” to God, even in the most difficult circumstances.  May the joy and peace of this Holy Season remain with you.

Father Langan