3rd Sunday of Lent – The Lord is Among Us

Woman at the Well, Carl Heinrich Bloch, c. 1865 to 1879, Chapel at Frederiksborg Palace, Copenhagen.

Fr. Smith’s Commentary on the First Reading
Third Sunday of Lent (Scrutinies)
Exodus 17:3-7
March 7, 2021

The Biblical readings for Sundays are divided into a 3-year cycle. This year we read from Cycle B which will be feature readings from the Gospel of St Mark. This year however we have the great good fortune of welcoming a new Christian, Makiko Habu Dixon, into the Church and our Parish though Baptism this Easter. As you will see in another section of this email or website, part of the preparation for this is a series of ceremonies called scrutinies. These use the readings from Cycle A which we read last year (the Old Testament reading for Cycle B will be read at the 9 AM Mass). This week however we will examine Exodus 17: 3-7 again as recent events may have given us all a new insight into it since we last discussed it on March 15, 2020.

Last month’s snowfall with resultant freezing temperatures and broken pipes in Texas deepened our understanding of water. We can better understand why ancient peoples were terrified by it. Note that the world was destroyed by water in the flood, but everyone needs it to survive. For desert people this could be very difficult, and it was important that they knew where it could be found. Remember the pictures we saw of Texans in modern cities waiting on long lines for potable water. Some people rose to the occasion and showed great generously, others did not; but certainly much was revealed about Texas. Even those of us thousands of miles away are now aware of much once below the surface of the Lone Star State.

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Community Mass – 3rd Sunday of Lent

Please join us to celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Lent on Sunday, February 28th.

  • 9 AM EST – Morning Mass – In Person at the Church, not live streamed.
  • 11:15 AM EST – Community Mass – In Person at the Church and also streamed online and available for playback.

    Instructions to view the Mass are available here. You can also watch the video via YouTube Live in the window above.

Today’s readings and hymns are available to download below. There are different readings for the two masses. The regular Cycle B readings on page 4 are for the 9 AM Mass. The First Scrutiny of the Catechumens will occur at the 11:15 AM Mass, so Cycle A readings begin on page 8.

Annual Catholic Appeal

Response to 2020 Appeal – Thank you very much for your generosity to last year’s appeal. Not only did we support many wonderful ministries, but we went so far over goal that we received $12,075.50 back for the needs of the Parish.

Contributing to 2021 Appeal – We ask you to be as generous this year. Please remember that the money collected for the Annual Catholic Campaign does not support the administrative needs of the Diocese, but specific and necessary ministries that help the people of Brooklyn and Queens. Do you want to be part of a Diocese that does not adequately provide Chaplains for Hospitals and High Schools or care for elderly Priests? We will look at these ministries over the coming weeks but ask you to think and pray about it now.

We encourage all to watch the brief 2021 video to learn about the faith of the Church at work in Brooklyn and Queens. You can access it online at: https://catholicfoundationbq.org/ACAVideo/#. The work and services made possible through your donations to the Annual Catholic Appeal help people in Brooklyn and Queens in ways that no one parish can do alone.

You can donate by going to https://catholicfoundationbq.org/annual-catholic-appeal/ or texting ACAto 917-336-1255. Please remember to select our parish, St. Charles Borromeo – Brooklyn (1043), from the alphabetized list of parishes when making your donation.

Black Americans on Their Way to Sainthood: Fr. Augustus Tolton

Father Augustus Tolton (1854-1897), Ex-Slave, Priest, and Devoted Servant of God
By Alicia Washington

The story of Father Augustus Tolton is a twist on the classic rags to riches story.  Though born into slavery (“rags”), he grew to be rich beyond compare.  His riches did not come from monetary wealth, though; instead, he was rich in faith, an unrelenting faith that has led him to the road to sainthood.

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Second Sunday of Lent – God’s Power and Love

Sacrifice of Isaac, Caravaggio, c. 1603, Piasecka-Johnson Collection (Princeton)
(About this Image)

Fr. Smith’s Commentary on the First Reading
Second Sunday of Lent
Genesis 22:1–2, 9a, 10–13, 15–18
February 28, 2021

Our reading today from the book of Genesis is usually called the “sacrifice of Isaac.” It is important to the three great monotheistic religions. The Jews call it the Aqedah (the binding) and it is important for liturgy, especially Rosh Hashanah and mysticism. Christians see it as forerunner of the sacrifice of Jesus. For Muslims Isaac is the perfect Muslim as, for them, he willingly submits to being sacrificed. These developments are important, but not as important or as immediately meaningful, as the original intent. We need first however look at two aspects of the story.

This is the dramatic center of the four stages of the relationship between Abraham and God.

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