What does radical mean? It means to get to the “root” of things.
Jesus was interested in getting deep down to the root of things. He was interested in what was essential—not the fluffy periphery, but the core, the center, the heart of things.
Jesus wasn’t trapped by the notion of political correctness. He wasn’t burdened with the need to be liked by people. He wasn’t moved by the desire for expediency or convenience. Instead, he simply allowed truth to reign supreme.
Truth is radical.
To abide completely by the truth in every situation in our lives is incredibly difficult. It requires both the heart of a saint and the diplomacy of an experienced ambassador. Every day we are tempted in dozens of ways to have a casual relationship with truth. Many situations emerge each week in which we are tempted to ignore the truth, or bend it, stretch it, or massage it, out of political correctness, a desire to be liked, expediency, or convenience.
But Jesus didn’t have a casual relationship with truth, and that is radical. He was interested in getting to the root of things. Through this lens of truth Jesus places everything in its proper place, bringing order to every aspect of life, and demonstrates the true value of things. We all yearn for this divine ordering. The challenge is to surrender and allow God to put our lives in order. The fruit of this surrender is the peace and joy that we all desire.
Excerpt taken from Chapter 8 of Matthew Kelly’s new bestseller Rediscover Jesus.
Identify a problem in your life. Take it to prayer, and have the courage to get to the root of it.
Jesus, point me toward the root of things, and give me an extra nudge when I am tempted to settle for the shallow and the superficial.
Since Sacramental celebrations take place in Church, proper attire is required. The use of electronic equipment – phones, text, pagers and games while in Church is prohibited. Also, food and drink are not permitted anytime in Church. To maintain the respect and holiness of the Mass, please use the restroom before leaving home. We understand emergencies arise but generally forty five to sixty minutes is not an unreasonable time to refrain from using the restrooms.
Baptism – You will be your child’s first teacher in the ways of faith as your family is the domestic Church. To help you prepare for this responsibility, you are requested to participate in a Baptismal Preparation Class. Pre-Jordan or Baptismal Formation for parents registered at St. Thomas the Apostle is held on the last Sunday of each month at 1:00pm in the main Church. Both parents must attend and must register in advance by calling the Rectory.
The Sacrament of Baptism will be celebrated on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month.
Those who will be sponsors for Baptism need certificates of eligibility. To be a sponsor for a child is a serious sacramental responsibility. Godparents must have received all their sacraments of initiation, be at least 16 years of age, be registered in a parish and attend Mass every week and on Holy Days of Obligation. If the Godparents are married they must be in a valid Catholic marriage. Please call the Rectory for more information.
Reconciliation is Saturdays from 4:00 – 5:00pm.
The Sacrament of Penance The Church requires the faithful to receive Reconciliation once a year. In cases of mortal sin, the sacrament should be sought at the earliest opportunity. To grow closer in union with God, and to help overcome sin, the faithful are encouraged to come to confession as often as possible.
Begin your confession by making the Sign of the Cross. Tell Father how long since your last confession. Father invites you to have trust in God by praying for you. Confess your sins briefly by name and number. Father will help you make a good confession. You may end your confession with, “I am sorry for these and all my sins.” Father will assign you a penance and offer advice to help you be a better Christian.
You will be asked to pray an act of Contrition. If you do not know, or cannot remember: O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend you my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Your Grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.
The priest, acting in the person of Christ, will then absolve you from your sins. After absolution and penance, Father will give praise to God and dismiss you with a blessing.
Eucharist – Catholics who are properly disposed should receive the Holy Eucharist every week. The Church affirms that at Mass, Christ changes bread and wine into His Body and Blood, while the appearances of bread and wine remain. When we receive Holy Communion, we truly receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. This is called Transubstantiation. When we take in Jesus we become like living tabernacles. If we would only see Jesus with eyes of faith, receive him with love, and carry his loving presence into our homes and neighborhoods, workplaces and schools, we will be transformed to the likeness of God.
Confirmation – Baptism, the Eucharist and Confirmation are the three sacraments of Christian Initiation. Confirmation enriches us with the special strength of the Holy Spirit, commending us to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
RCIA – The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process whereby adults enter the Catholic Church. RCIA classes are held twice a month for several months starting in the fall and ending at the Easter celebration. Those who attend the RCIA classes are educated on the Catechism, prayers and traditions of the Church. If you are a baptized Catholic, but have not finished all your sacraments, you can complete your sacraments by attending RCIA.
Matrimony – The love between a husband and wife images for us the love of Christ and His Church. To assist couples entering this sacrament, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia requires at least six months of formation prior to getting married. Those who wish to receive the sacrament, please call the Rectory (610-459-2224) and to attend Pre-Cana class at least 6 months in advance. Pre-Cana classes are offered at almost every parish and you do not need to be a parishioner to attend.
Anointing of the Sick – Five parishes in our area share the responsibility of anointing the sick each day of the week on a rotating schedule at Riddle Hospital. Other facilities outside our boundaries are the responsibility of other churches. Contact the Rectory (610-459-2224) to let us know what hospital or facility, the name and room number of the patient/resident. The Sacraments of Penance or Anointing are a privilege to administer.