Michael Muruilde

Dcn Mike’s Desk

Dear Quad Parishes Family:

Freya is now riding her brother’s Skut. The Skut (there is supposed to be a line over the “u”, but I don’t know how to do that on the computer. Maybe I should ask Fritz!)

Is a balance bicycle that allows the child to build a level of competence in the act of balancing themselves on a bicycle as they move forward and steer. There are no pedals, so the child is literally scooting themselves along the sidewalk. She is very proud of her accomplishments (so are Nana and Papa). If she continues like this, she will be riding a bike at around the same time as Fritz did; at about 3 years old. Speaking of Fritz, he had his first practice for his soccer team last Sunday. His mom and dad are the coaches. Lisa played a little, but Josh played all the way up to the Luther College team. I can see it now; Nana and Papa going to every possible game to watch 5 year olds run up and down the field over and over again. Turn the page to another stage of life.

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I’m not sure how much attention we pay to it, but the celebration is central to our faith. The Church Fathers at Vatican II restated an article of faith when they said that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith life. It is not only God feeding us through the Body and Blood of Jesus, but it is also God lifting us up to the Divine when the bread and wine are changed into His Precious Body and Blood. The consecration is the moment of sanctification of our sacrifice, when Christ appears once again to be our companion and our soul mate. Unlike Nana and Papa, He will never tire of watching our endeavors, encouraging us along and offering us comfort when things don’t quite turn out the way we wanted.

Peace & Blessings,

Deacon Mike

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Mass Intentions and Stipends

There is a custom of paying a $10 Mass stipend to have a Mass offered for the intention of a loved one. I want to speak to this because of the appearance it gives of “paying for someone to get to heaven.” In this lens, it seems like a marketing ploy for a church to get money. I would be angry too if that were the case. Here’s the history… at one time, this practice allowed for two things to take place             simultaneously. First, the one requesting the Mass Intention was able to make a sacrificial offering to God. “God, this intention means so much to me, that I’m willing to make a sacrifice on behalf of my loved one.” Sacrificial giving is a form of prayer, no different than when people would bring their best livestock as an offering, or contribute to the weekly collection. The second result from this offering was that the people were providing for the priest. This was the priest’s sole income, for food, and basic needs. Now of course, this is no longer necessary, since the parish cares for the needs of the priest. The $10 Mass stipend today, goes to the parish itself, for the needs of the parish community, and the parish expenses.

ABOVE ALL, PLEASE NOTE WELL: The $10 Mass stipend is not required in order to have a Mass offered for a loved one. As our own Pope Francis said recently, “A price list hanging there for baptisms, blessings, Mass intentions, is a scandal. God’s redemption is free. Always.”  No monetary gift is required. A good question to ask is, “How much would I like to give to God?”  Suppose you pay $10,000 for a    bridal dress, band, wedding reception, and limousine… as a disciple, I think it’s important to ask yourself the question…what kind of sacrifice am I willing to give back to God? “God, I know that a marriage takes three; my spouse-to be and I want to make this offering to your Church and to    support the mission of bringing you into the world.” I think a good principle to follow is that of Abraham (see Genesis 14:18-20). He gave 10% back to God in thanksgiving. If you can afford to spend $10,000 on a wedding, a $1,000 offering to God doesn’t seem ridiculous. If you spend $100 on your wedding due to financial burden. $10 or zero dollars doesn’t seem inappropriate. Above all, remember, any gift you make, is NOT to be seen as a requirement, but as a gift given freely back to God. His redemption is free. Always.

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