Once again a trap is set for Jesus in today's Gospel when he is asked: "Which commandment in the law is the greatest?" (Matthew 22:34-40) There were 613 distinct commandments in the Jewish law at that time.
Jesus responds by taking some of the holiest lines of the Hebrew Bible, words said morning and evening by devout Jews: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment." To this commandment from Deuteronomy 6:5 Jesus joins another from Leviticus 19:18: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." In joining these two commandments together, saying they are alike and calling them the basis for the whole law, Jesus gives a focus and direction to our religion: it is about wholehearted love of God expressed in love of neighbor. Who is my neighbor?
The First Reading (Exodus 22:20-26) emphasizes the most vulnerable people in the land: the alien, the widow, the orphan and the poor. Our First Reading ends with the Lord saying: "I am compassionate." In God's grace and love we are called to be compassionate also.
* The annual installation of our Parish Pastoral Council takes place this Sunday, October 26, at the 10:00 AM Mass. Officers for the Council this year are Bridget Crooks, Chairperson; Richard Ortale, Vice Chairperson; and Jennifer Caesar, Secretary. Other members of the Council are Larry Scalise, Valerie Watson, Maria Gaspar-Baltieri, Laura Jensen, Paul Sullivan, Mark Lorge, Sister Kathleen Patrice and Steve Martin. Council members will be available at the Coffee and Donuts gathering after Mass for your suggestions on the vision and goals of the Council for the coming year.
* In today's bulletin you will find a summary financial report for the parish for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. Once again the parish had an operating deficit because our parish expenses exceeded our Sunday giving.
The loss of $37,096 is an improvement over the 2013 loss of $43,408 and the 2012 loss of $78,628. The lower deficit of $37,096 is due to the increased generosity of parishioners in the Sunday collection, many efforts to reduce parish expenses and the generosity of several parishioners who made special gifts to help fund parish needs and programs.
We ask all parishioners to consider your regular Sunday giving and, if possible to increase your Sunday giving by 10% or more. Making contributions online is now available here on Our Lady of Mount Carmel website. Your generosity in the Sunday collection helps fund all the parish worship, religious, educational and service programs of the parish.
* Have you ever thought of becoming a Catholic? Do you have any questions about the Catholic Church? Do you know someone who is interested in learning about our Catholic Faith? Are you a Catholic who has not received Confirmation or First Holy Communion? You are invited to join Father Steve and the Parish RCIA team on Tuesday nights in the Spiritual Library of the School from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Any questions? Call Father Steve at 969-6868.
* Saturday, November 1st is the Feast of All Saints. This is not a holy day of obligation this year as the Feast is on a Saturday. You are invited to come to 7:45 AM Mass to honor of All the Saints, the countless men and women, boys and girls who lived out God's way of life on earth and are now in the presence of God in heaven. We rejoice in the Communion of Saints.
Many thanks to all for your generous contributions to our Church in the Offertory Collection each Sunday. Here is the report for the Offertory Collection on Sunday, October 4th/5th:
Envelopes and Plate Collection: $8,769
Restricted Donations: $ 850
Very many thanks to all our donors. Your faithful and generous giving at Offertory at Sunday Mass expresses your love for God and his Church and funds all the parish worship, religious, educational and service programs of the parish. Many thanks and God's blessings on you and your family.
Parish Hall Kitchen - In keeping with our First Friday tradition, we will be responsible for the evening meal at Transition House. Transition House is a community sponsored temporary home for families with children. Help is needed - if you can help for this one evening, please call Rina & Alvin Bentajado at 687-8737. Monetary donations may be sent c/o Mt Carmel Parish.
A prayer group for the whole family, Everyone welcome. Meets in the Spiritual Center.
For more info call Rafael & Jessie Victoria @ 962-3465.
Open most Sundays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. noon. Located behind the Church, in front of the school lunch benches. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.