Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
Addressing the church at Thessalonica, St. Paul writes in this Sunday’s second reading, “you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” Idolatry was the most frequent and the most dangerous sin in the Old Testament; hence the first Commandment: “I am the Lord your God . . . You shall have no other gods before me.” Elizabeth Scalia wrote an insightful book on idolatry a few years back, Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life. I recall her making the point that all forms of idolatry boil down to self-worship. In idolatry we pretend to be worshiping something outside of ourselves, but it ends up resulting in self-adulation. Today we don’t often find golden calves or worship of Zeus or of other non-Christian deities (although neo-paganism is certainly on the rise.) Yet we should not be so foolish as to think that as Catholics we are exempt from idolatry. We too must consciously serve the living and true God in the midst of the idols of vanity, consumerism, greed, our need for the latest and greatest items (especially technology), scientism, workaholism, comfort, etc. It is interesting to note the different forms idolatry takes in different cultures: brujería and curanderos are especially attractive in Hispanic cultures, for instance. It is a healthy exercise to examine our conscious for the presence of self-centered practices and attachments, as well as for ways in which we are tempted to disobedience of God’s Law. It should be our joy to serve the living and true God alone.
Many thanks to Fr. Patrick, Naby Vallecios and Maria Tirado for helping to organize our Ministry Fair last weekend. I would like to thank our many ministries for their participation and their generosity in providing food all day long! The strength of St. Martin’s is our army of servers and volunteers, and I hope last weekend’s Fair only makes us stronger.
We will begin offering a bilingual Mass on the First Friday of every month at 7:00pm, followed by Eucharistic adoration with healing prayers. During adoration, people may come forward to the sanctuary to be prayed over by one of the priests or deacons. Our first time offering this bilingual Mass with adoration and healing prayers will be Friday, Nov. 3.