What should be the first project/s to implement in our effort to renovate our Church? The result of the Parish Survey (which was published in the bulletin on September 4), showed that the top priorities are refurbishing pews and bathrooms, followed by deep cleaning, new floors, narthex and stained glass windows. Even before the survey, I had heard from many of you that the pews needed immediate attention and so arrangements were made for pew repairs. You can see that work is going on. I’m sure we all will gladly put up with the temporary inconvenience.
The Committee for the 60th Anniversary Fundraising conducted a consultation with the Ministry Heads of our parish and suggested that the right time for this fundraising for doing many of the proposed projects would be from January 2023. That is very understandable as we know of the demands made on all of us with the Christmas Tree sponsoring, Giving Tuesday, Raffle, Christmas contributions, etc. I am always in admiration of the sacrifices our parishioners are willing to make for the greater good of this wonderful community of St. Matthias.
We are in October, the Respect Life Month. We are a pro-life Church. Today, the pro-life people of Somerset County will again participate in the Annual National Life Chain, to give peaceful, prayerful witness to the sanctity of human life. It will be in Somerville, along Somerset St. and mountain Ave., from 2 – 3:30 pm. All are welcome to join our Pro-Life Ministry team to make Life Chain 2022 another memorable and blessed event.
We know that the Bible teaches that life is a gift from God, and, hence, we respect it from womb to tomb. But, where in the Bible do we see explicit support for this? The term “with child” (in reference to pregnant women) occurs twenty-six times in the Bible. The term “with fetus” never occurs. The Bible never uses anything less than human terms to describe the unborn (Exodus 21:22-23). In Luke (1:36 and 41), we are told that Elizabeth conceived a “son” and that the “babe” leaped in her womb. God does not say that a “fetus” leaped in her womb! Elizabeth greets Mary (in her early pregnancy) as “my Lord’s mother.” If God allows a child to be conceived, then God obviously has a plan for unborn children (Jer. 1:5; Lk. 1:13-17; Gen. 4:25; Jud. 13:3-5), and so to abort an unborn child is to stop a plan of God: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you… Psalm 139: 13: You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!” Thus, based on the word of God, the Church teaches that an unborn child, from the moment of its conception in his or her mother’s womb, is precious because he or she carries an immortal soul.
Such Biblical insights are important. What about biblical understanding about other aspects of our life? The best way is the small groups that we are starting from next week. Pope St. John Paul II said, “Small Christian Communities are a tremendous source of bringing more life into our life and into a Parish.” Last Sunday you heard the testimonies of those who were in small groups. Why not be enriched the same way? For sign up info, please see page 8 of our bulletin.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal