When Karen and her husband, John, found themselves living in a hotel without food and money and expecting a baby, they knew they needed help. Not knowing where else to turn, they came to Catholic Charities. “From the moment we walked into the Catholic Charities office, they helped us,” said Karen. “A social worker helped us get a meal and some groceries right away.” Catholic Charities also collaborated with other agencies to secure Karen and John temporary housing and set up a food supply so the two wouldn’t go hungry as they got back on their feet. “We really didn’t think we were going to make it,” Karen added. “But Catholic Charities helped us. Catholic Charities will help us. Catholic Charities helps everyone.” Help families like Karen and John find hope with your 2019 Appeal gift. You can select your new gift designation option when making a secure donation online at www.ccwny.org/donation or by calling Catholic Charities at 716-218-1400.

 

John the Baptist in today’s gospel calls Jesus “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

I was surprised to learn there are different ways that people take this.  Most agree that by talking about a lamb, Jesus is being connected to paschal sacrifice.  A paschal lamb could be made into a sin offering.  There are a few directions you could go from here.  Simplified, I have heard that God needs lambs to wipe away sins, but we can’t offer enough of them.  So he gives us a perfect lamb to wipe away our debt.  However, there is a bit of a catch to this.  If you owe me $20 but can’t repay it, so I give you $20 so you can repay it, you’re still in debt, right?  Why go to all that trouble?  Why not just declare the debt is forgiven?

There is another way to take the phrase, one that I only recently learned.  Instead of thinking of Jesus as the Lamb FOR God, we could focus on him as the lamb OF God, which is literally what the passage says.  In that sense, God isn’t sending his son on a suicide mission to appease his angry self.  He is offering a lamb, his precious lamb, to US to show how much he loves us and how badly he wants to reconcile.  Instead of trying to twist the passage so that all lambs wind up with God, perhaps after offering God so many lambs he has one to offer us?

This is not to say that God sinned.  But in a world marked with sin and pain and suffering and hurt, I believe we have all had times we have been angry with him.  Remember how quickly Jerusalem turned from laying out palms to crying for him to be crucified.  He could very well sit up in heaven and not answer phone calls.  But no, he comes down here and takes risks.  He allows people to be angry with him, to take their revenge.  And he hopes in the end that this sacrifice will bring peace.

Maybe that works for you maybe it doesn’t.  It’s something I still need to think about myself.  So I’ll simply close by saying it’s a good thing to take a title of Jesus to prayer sometimes, or to pray over a list of Jesus’ titles.  Find one that strikes you, and reflect on it.  What does this reveal about God?  What does this reveal about our relationship?

Peace ~ Fr. Dan

Image result for give blood

The American Red Cross

has an emergency need for blood.

Mark your calendar for the St. Max Blood Drive on Thursday, March 5th, 2-7pm, at the East Pembroke Hall. There is an urgent need for all blood types, please schedule an appointment to give. You can schedule an appointment through the Red Cross App or by calling the Parish Office.  Everyone who donates will receive a free Red Cross t-shirt.

Winter in Western New York is relatively unpredictable. Even the weatherman has a hard time predicting what we will get! Although many of our Christian brothers and sisters of other ecclesial communions often cancel their Sunday services, this almost never happens in the Catholic church, especially on the weekends. The Mass will go on, even if it’s just the Priest and the angels and saints. Yet we always urge our parishioners to use caution and not put themselves or anyone else in danger traveling to or from Mass. If you are unable to attend, Catholics are instructed to spiritually unite in prayer with those who are able to attend Mass. In these situations, let us be reminded of the opportunities to participate in Mass from home on television or the internet. We may get dispensed from the obligation to go to Mass at the Church, but we are not dispensed from the obligation to keep the Lord’s day holy.

The WIGL Ladies of St. Max invite all ladies who love to sew, to join our new sewing group. On January 14th at 10AM in the cottage, we will be making fleece hats and accessories for charity.

Bring your sewing machines or sergers, along with fleece fabric (if you have any), and any sewing supplies.

In the future, we plan to meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 10AM in the cottage for an “open sew” or a project to be announced. Check weekly bulletins for future news.

ALSO

The WIGL ladies will be collecting new mittens, hats, scarves, and socks for men, women, and children the weekend of January 18th and 19th and January 25th and 26th. They will be distributed to St Luke’s Mission and Gerard Place in Buffalo. Bins will be located in the back of the church.

**SOLD OUT **

St. Max Third Annual Meat Raffle

Saturday, March 21st!

Tickets $7 (limited to 225)

Doors open 6PM/First spin 7PM

Meat from Sloan Meat Market

Raffles/basket auction

Fun Night Out for All!

Stop by the Parish Office to get your before they sell out!

Amazon Black Friday

Do you shop Amazon? Did you know that if you simply go to Smile.Amazon.com instead of just Amazon.com you could donate .5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice? St. Max is now a registered charity. Simply follow this link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/16-0784098 and you will automatically be giving .5% to our parish. To search for our parish by name enter: St. Maximilian Kolbe Roman Catholic Parish of Corfu NY.

St. Maximilian Kolbe Grief Support Group meetings once a month on a Wednesday at 6PM at the Parish Center in East Pembroke. This is an informal get-together to share the loss of a spouse, loss of a child, loss of a parent, loss of a marriage, etc., basically we will talk about any kind of loss you are experiencing. Sharing loss and grief will help us begin to understand and heal. You are welcome to come to share or just to listen. We will begin meeting again in the spring. Please feel free to call Peggy Mead at (585) 502-5416 any time if a one-on-one is needed or if you want to “just talk”.