Tajci @ SJA on Dec 6th
Tajci is coming to St. Joan of Arc on December 6th at 7 pm. Get your tickets online now, as we do expect to sell out. Order tickets here>
Told through Tajči’s stunning and engaging music, “A Christmas Concert Experience” is a story of our longing to believe, of awaiting the moment in which the “Word becomes flesh and dwells amongst us”. If you can only attend one event during the Holiday Season, this is the one that you, your children and your parents will all enjoy.
Watch the video of Tajci inviting you to join us for the concert at St. Joan of Arc
SJA Table Talk is a website with fun content to help you prepare for Mass as a family and to encourage faith-based conversations at the dinner table. The goal is to get our families into a rhythm of 2 quality meals per week and 10 minutes of preparation for Mass.
THIS WEEKS TABLE TALK (week of October 12th)
Conversation Starters for Family Time
This week Table Talk is dedicated to our newest Saint - St. John Paul II. Explore the various posts with music, videos and commentary about his life, teachings and the impact he had on our world.
- Enjoy some fun recipes in honor of Mary and the Holy Rosary.
- Living the Gospel: The 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Oct 19th)
- Preparing for Sunday: The 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Oct 26th)
- Music | Matt Maher's music video 'Turn Around' -- which is about the Prodigal Son (Gospel)
OCTOBER | DEDICATED TO THE HOLY ROSARY
October is month of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Rosary is fundamental to our lives as Christians for the prayer is Christ-centered.
Pray the Rosary at SJA - before the 8:15 am daily Mass or at the adoration Chapel on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.
“The rosary has the character of a sojourn. Its essence is the sheltering security of a quiet, holy world that envelops the person who is praying.” ~ Romano Guardini, The Rosary of Our Lady
Blessed John Paul II often said that the Holy Rosary was his favorite prayer. “The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer”
In the year 2002, Blessed John Paul II published the Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, that added five new mysteries about Jesus' public life known as the Luminous Mysteries to the original 15 totaling 20 mysteries.
The best way to appreciate the Rosary is to learn about the Mysteries:
Fr. Riccardo prepared an audio CD of meditations and recordings on The Holy Rosary (see the 'listen' links below). Also listen to this podcast as he shares his reflections on The Holy Rosary in an apologetic reflection.
SAINT JOHN PAUL II
This week we will learn about St. John Paul II's life - escpecially his devotion to Mary and the Holy Rosary (his favorite prayer).
St. John Paul II is our newest saint. He was named Pope on October 16, 1978 and was canonized on April 27, 2014. His devotion to Mary was very evident in all that he did: his work, his prayer life, his motto, even his coat of arms; note the letter “M” on his papal crest, were all dedicated to Mary. St. John Paul II believed that Our Lady of Fatima saved his life when an assassin shot him on the 13th of May, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
St. John Paul II encouraged frequent praying of the Rosary. He said, “The Rosary is my favorite prayer. A marvelous prayer! The simple prayer of the Rosary marks the rhythm of human life”.
Pope John Paul II’s coat of arms is intended as an act of homage to the central mystery of Christianity, the Redemption.
And so the main representation is a cross. The second object is the large and majestic capital M. This recalls the presence of Mary beneath the cross and her exceptional participation in the Redemption.
The great devotion of the Holy Father to the Virgin Mary is manifested in this manner, as it was also expressed in his motto: TOTUS TUUS - “all yours”.
A week after taking on the Chair of Saint Peter, he brought reporters to the Marian Shrine of Mentorella outside of Rome. "I wanted to come here, among these mountains,", he told them "to sing the Magnificat in Mary's footsteps." On that date, too, he told of his love for the Rosary: "The Rosaryis my favorite prayer. A marvelous prayer! Marvelous in its simplicity and depth." He explained the Christocentric nature of the prayer. "With the Rosary, the Christian people sit at the school of Mary and are led to contemplate the beauty on face of Chrsit and to experience the depths of his love". To John Paul II, the woman who carried the Savior in her womb, who first gazed on him at birth, and stayed with him by the cross, is the person who can bring followers closest to Christ. Mary is "the sure path to our meeting with Christ". With the Church, many surely are thanking the man who esposed the Rosary for modeling a life of faith.
Let us pray the Morning Consecration to Mary
My Queen, My Mother, I offer myself entirely to you. And to show my devotion to you, I offer you this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve. Wherefore, good Mother, as I am your own, keep me, guard me as your property and possession. Amen
Facts, Activities and Resources:
- Read his Bio>
- Watch video 'Seven key-points that made him a Great Pope' (see below)
- Favorite Hymn: Pascador de Hombres (see below)
- Watch the movie 'Nine Days that changed the World' (see below)
RELIVE THE MOMENTS
To honor the feast day of our beloved Pope Saint John Paul II, we have compiled footage from some of the historic moments of his pontificate. Until about 10 years ago, JPII was the only pope that many of those from our generation ever knew. Today, we ask for his intercession as the herald of the New Evangelization. In some ways, we will always remember him in our hearts as “Papa.” VIEW & WATCH NOW>
Blessed John Paul II's Contributions to the Rosary
Blessed John Paul II published the Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
The letter was quite profound. I view there are two main contributions to the letter: 1) BJPII added five new mysteries about Jesus' public life known as the Luminous Mysteries to the original 15 totaling 20 mysteries; 2) BJPII emphasized that "The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer”.
Read about how Pope John Paul II also reminds us that the “center of gravity” for the Hail Mary is Christ’s holy name: “And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” Read how he makes a suggestion of how to add reverance to the name of Jesus - a practice fairly common in Europe but not yet in the US.
Read Section 6 from his Apostolic Letter below:
The Center of Gravity (Chapter 6 from Rosarium Virginis)
Pope John Paul II also reminds us that the “center of gravity” for the Hail Mary is Christ’s holy name: “And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
He encourages us not to recite the Hail Mary too quickly, but to reverence the name of Jesus each time it is spoken in this prayer: “Sometimes, in a hurried recitation, this center of gravity can be overlooked, and with it the connection to the mystery of Christ being contemplated. Yet it is precisely the emphasis given to the name of Jesus and to His mystery that is the sign of a meaningful and fruitful recitation of the Rosary” (RVM, no. 33).
The Pope offers one suggestion for giving special attention to Christ’s name in the Rosary. After saying Jesus’ name in each Hail Mary, we can add a clause related to the mystery being contemplated. For example, in the First Sorrowful Mystery (the Agony in the Garden), one could say, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, agonizing in the garden.” In the Fifth Glorious Mystery (the Crowning of Mary), one could pray, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, who crowned you as queen of heaven and earth.”
Pope John Paul II's historic nine-day pilgrimage to Poland in June of 1979 created a revolution of conscience that transformed Poland and fundamentally reshaped the spiritual and political landscape of the 20th Century.
The movie explores what transpired during these nine days that moved the Polish people to renew their hearts, reclaim their courage, and free themselves from the shackles of Communism.
Millions of Poles, almost one third of the nation, turned out to see the Holy Father in person, while the rest of the country followed his pilgrimage on television and radio. Within sixteen months, Solidarity became the first officially recognized free trade union in the Communist block, with over 10 million members. The momentum of this nine-day visit would eventually lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Music | St. John Paul II
Pascador de hombras
This was St. John Paul II's favorite hymn. Watch and listen as Tajci sings a wonderful rendition of Pascador de hombras (Tajci will be performing the Advent of Christmas concert at St. Joan of Arc on December 6th, 2014).
Be Not Afraid
Blessed John Paul II often said 'Be Not Afraid'. Listen to this rendition by John Michael Talbot.
RECIPES | In Honor of the Rosary
In honor of Mary and the Rosary, transport your family back in time with a middle eastern meal and the 'many smells of a middle eastern home', while listening > to Father John Riccardo's Podcast of the First Joyful Mystery (The Annunciation).
The Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary is a very easy recipe. Try Icelandic Lamb at Whole Foods for $9.99 per lb - because the sun never sets, Icelandic Lamb mature in a year - giving us more tender and mild meat (check out the story >).
Also consider other middle eastern recipes. Or try some simple sides, such as Hummus, Olives, Goat Cheese, Pistachios, Pomegranate and even Essene Bread (recipe), which is a sprouted bread recipe that had been created back in the biblical days
GET TO KNOW THE GOSPEL - PREPARING FOR MASS
The Lord chooses Cyrus to subdue the nations for the sake of Israel.
Sing praise to the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b
Paul greets the Thessalonians, recalling the Gospel they received.
The Pharisees send their disciples to test Jesus with a question about taxes.
Background on the Gospel Reading
In today's Gospel Jesus and the religious leaders in Jerusalem continue their tense exchange of questions and challenges. At this point the disciples of the Pharisees, together with the Herodians, try to entrap Jesus by their question about the payment of taxes.
Matthew sets up an unusual partnership between the Pharisees and the Herodians. The Herodians were supporters of Herod Antipas, a Jewish political leader who collaborated with the Romans. Such collaboration would have required a compromised observance of the Mosaic Law. The Pharisees, on the other hand, taught scrupulous observance of the Mosaic Law and opposed Roman occupation. Herodians favored the payment of taxes; the Pharisees opposed it. The Herodians and the Pharisees approach Jesus, asking that he take sides in their dispute. If Jesus answers with the Pharisees, he shows himself to be an enemy of Rome. If he answers with the Herodians, he offends popular Jewish religious sensibilities.
Jesus' response to this attempt to trap him exposes the guile of his questioners. From his first words to them, Jesus shows that he is very much aware of what they are trying to do. He asks to see a Roman coin, which is readily provided to him. It may have come from the hand of a Herodian, but the Pharisees show themselves to be quite willing to accept this compromise. Jesus has already exposed the Pharisees as hypocrites.
Jesus takes his response one step further. He asks that his questioners examine the coin. Agreeing that it is Caesar's image on the coin, Jesus tells them that it must belong to Caesar. Avoiding the question of lawfulness altogether, Jesus answers their question with simple logic. Then, going further still, Jesus tells them that their obligation is to pay to God that which belongs to God.
Jesus' response to the Herodians and Pharisees suggests the ethic that Christians ought to adopt. It reminds us of the importance of keeping things in their proper perspective. Do we attach ourselves to worldly things at the expense of the love and honor that we owe to God?
“Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, 'Whose image is this and whose inscription?' They replied, 'Caesar's.'” Julius Caesar, silver denarius
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY - 30TH Sunday of Ordinary Time (Oct 26th)
The Lord teaches that compassion ought to be shown to the alien and to the poor.
The Lord is our strength.
1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10
Paul tells the Thessalonians that their conversion to the Lord has been an example to all believers.
The Pharisees continue to test Jesus with a question about the greatest commandment.
Background on the Gospel Reading
This week's Gospel follows close behind the Gospel read last Sunday. It is the last of three questions put to Jesus by Jewish religious leaders who are trying to trick him into saying something that might get him arrested. This reminds us that the context for today's reading is the mounting tension between Jesus and the religious leaders in Jerusalem.
The Herodians and the Pharisees asked the first question, which was about taxes. The Sadducees asked the second question, which was about the Resurrection (see Matthew 22:22-33). The third question, considered in today's Gospel, is asked by a Pharisee who asks Jesus about the greatest of the commandments.
The question requires Jesus to interpret the Law of Moses. The Mosaic Law consists of the Ten Commandments and many additional rules, numbering over six hundred. Adherence to the Mosaic Law, for a devout Jew, is an expression of faithfulness to God's covenant with Israel. The ranking of the Commandments was regularly debated among the teachers of the Law.
Jesus answers the Pharisees' question with a two-fold summary. Jesus says that all of the commandments can be summarized in two commandments: love God and love your neighbor. Both of these were central elements of the religious tradition Jesus learned from his Jewish community. Indeed these continue to be central aspects of contemporary Jewish religious understanding. Jesus' response to his questioners proposed an integral connection between these two aspects of the Jewish Law. Love of God finds its expression in our love for our neighbor.
PAINTING: “You shall love the Lord, your God, … You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Rembrandt, The Return of the Prodigal Son, 1668-69, detail
Music | 'Turn Around' by Matt Maher
Watch Matt Maher's music video 'Turn Around' - which is about the prodigal son.
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