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HOLY FAMILY PARISH 03-29... · PDF file HOLY FAMILY PARISH 312 Tazewell Avenue, Tazewell, VA 24651 (276) 988-4626 • email: [email protected] ST. THERESA’S

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  • HOLY FAMILY PARISH 312 Tazewell Avenue, Tazewell, VA 24651 (276) 988-4626 •

    email: [email protected]

    ST. THERESA’S 312 Tazewell Ave. Tazewell,VA 24651

    ST. ELIZABETH’S 160 Merrick Lane

    Pocahontas, VA 24635

    ST. MARY’S 1122 Farmer Street

    Richlands, VA 24641

    ST. JOSEPH’S 1007 Independence Rd.

    Grundy, VA 24614

    MARCH 29, 2020 – 5TH SUNDAY OF LENT

  • pastor’s notes

    Suddenly Kofi was knocked down by something invisible to our eyes. He was foaming at the mouth, and his eyes grew pale as he stiffened. He was jerking while turning rhyth- mically from one cardinal point to the other. Nobody could shout or speak; it was as if we were all muted by some remote controller with our eyes wide open and our mouths forming large “Os.” It was a woman who was passing by that gave a loud shout that unmuted our fixated dumbness. “This is convulsion,” the woman screamed, and people within earshot came running to our makeshift soccer field where Kofi was keeping one of the goal posts before his sudden episode. It was my first time of experiencing someone “dying, ” and it was scary. I had to live with the memory for a long time as a child. More people emerged on the scene with various

    “first aid” or “instant support” mate- rials like palm oil, onions, fresh

    peppers, balms, kernel oil, spices, spoons, and many other things. The effort to save the life of Kofi engaged everyone. But he was not getting better; he was dying! Some- one suggested a visit to a hospital, but the majority said it was not a hospital affair. After a while, one woman emerged and was wel- comed with some sighs of relief by those who knew her in the street. She appeared to be an authority in dealing with convulsion cases. The first thing the woman did was to ask everybody to back off. She picked up Kofi like a baby and placing him on her lap. She started to deal with the situation with exceptional expertise and dexterity. After a few minutes, Kofi sneezed thrice and got up and started smil- ing. Everyone rejoiced. “This could be a miracle. Kofi was dying a few moments ago, but now he has risen and is even smiling”, my little mind indulged. Death is a significant part of our humanity. It is not unusual to hear about death and about people dying, but rising from the dead is not a common phenomenon. In the Bible, we have stories from both Testaments about people coming back to life after death through some divine interventions. Elijah and Elisha brought people back to life through their prayers to God (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:17- 37). Our Lord Jesus Christ raised Jarius’ daughter to life (Luke 8:

    41-42, 49-56) as well as the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17). How- ever, the raising of Lazarus to life is not only peculiar (he was dead for four days and was decomposing), it is also filled with a lot of lessons that are relevant to the mission of Christ as well as to our lives as Christians, especially in the context of the Lenten season. THE ILLNESS OF LAZARUS The Gospel Reading began by telling us that Lazarus was ill but we do not know the details of his illness. We understand illness as a disease of body or mind. In this situation, Lazarus could have suffered from a very severe disease that defied every medical assis- tance; that could explain why the family sought the attention of our Lord. He learns from a messenger that the one he loves is ill and in response, he says that the illness is not unto death. We can also understand this illness in our context as being cut off from God (John 15:5). Being sepa- rated from God is another way of saying that we are living in sin. Sin creates a barrier between us and God (Is. 59:2). We all are ill in one way or another (Romans 3:23). Our illnesses need the attention of our Lord Jesus Christ whose healing power surpasses all others. We pray that our illness, like that of Lazarus, not lead us to death. Some illnesses (sin) could lead to death, and other do not result in death Fr. Eric Anokye


  • (1 John 5:16) especially when we call the attention of our Lord Jesus Christ like the family of Lazarus did in the Gospel Reading today. THE DEATH OF LAZARUS Death is the cessation of all life functions in a body. Spiritually it is a total disconnection from God. Lazarus eventually died (though physically) despite all the efforts to save him, which included the invi- tation of Jesus Christ. The narrative tells us that our Lord stayed where he was for two days after the news of his friend’s illness. Ordinarily one would expect him to leave everything and head to Bethany. God’s time is what we call delay in human terms. With God, there is nothing like delay. What we call delay does not amount to denial before God. God’s plan happens in His own time. That is why we are asked to be strong and wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14). The reason for our Lord’s “delay” could be seen from the earlier state- ment he made: “this illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” If he had gone earlier, that glory would not have come. Some things that happen in your lives are meant for the glory of God—so relax! THE TEARS OF THE LORD This is one of the few places our Lord will explicitly weep. In the Gospel of Luke (19:14), he wept over Jerusalem because the souls that are lost there. During the crucifix- ion, we heard that he cried out with a loud voice when he said “My God! My God, why has thou forsaken me” (Matt.27:26). The tears of the Lord were not just because of the death of his friend. After all, he was going to raise him to life. Jesus wept for our sins that

    inexorably lead us to death. Jesus wept for our lack of faith which Martha and Mary expressed when they said: “Lord, if you were here your friend would not have died.” To demonstrate this, our Lord said to Martha, “Do you believe?” In other words, “where is your faith?” Jesus, our Lord, is still weeping at every moment of our episode of sin and lack of faith in him. THE TOMB OF LAZARUS Lazarus was dead for four days before our Lord came. In the words of Martha, there was a possible stench in the tomb. Now the tomb points to more than a place of burial. In fact, we have many tombs confronting us in life in the forms of frustrating experiences that hedge us in. But the greatest tomb is that of sin. Our Lord came to liberate us not only from sin but its tomb, its mortal entanglement. From the tomb of Lazarus, we learn that sin not only brings about death it also imprisons us in some dam- nable tomb. The tomb of Lazarus points to the tomb of our Lord Jesus. While Lazarus needed our Lord to raise him from his tomb, our Lord rose by the divine power he shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Lazarus stayed four days, indicating that he is rising in human frailty, to die again. But our Lord rose from the tomb on the third day on the wings of his divinity unto immor- tality. The tomb of Lazarus reflects the tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the tomb of Lazarus mortal life was restored but at the tomb of our Lord Jesus eternal life was restored. At the tomb of Lazarus, a man rose to die again. At the tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Man rose not to die again. (Continued next page)

    PASTOR Fr. Eric Anokye [email protected] (276) 385-7312


    BOOKKEEPER Lydia St. Peter

    OFFICE HOURS Mon–Fri 9:30am – 2:30pm

    Please call the parish office to make arrangements for the Sacraments of Baptism, Annointing of the Sick or Holy Matrimony as well as funerals. Reconciliation is available from 30 minutes before a scheduled Mass.

    MASS TIMES (When allowed to resume)

    SUNDAY 9am – St. Elizabeth’s 11:30am – St. Theresa’s

    WEDNESDAY 8am – St. Theresa’s 5pm – St. Elizabeth’s

    THURSDAY 12NooN – St. Mary’s

    FRIDAY 8am – St. Theresa’s

    SATURDAY 4pm – St. Joseph’s 6pm – St. Mary’s

    Cover image: Peter Paul Rubens, The Raising of Lazarus

  • Louise Serreno (homebound) Margie Stutso (homebound) Lucas Oakland Randall & Summer Crouse Christian Lambert Jane Jones Glenn Harrison John Benish Mosie & Rosalie Rocchetti Christel Repp Melody Dilling Jim Shumate Darlene Blakewood Mary McCoy Shirley Hylton Madelyn Palzer April Robinette Rayburn Minton II Grace Bolling Francine Horn Ruth Woodall Helen Shumate Barbara Shumate Patrick Ward Sandy Hampton Mary Jane Fuller

    Tom & Sandra Bost Ricky Clifton Diana Campbell Michelle Woodward Nancy Wiss Margaret Shawver Billy Akers Scotty McBride Gerry Hankins Eric Pellerin Terri Farley Clarence Moore Mary Blankenship Lexi Cox Sarah Wall Fonda Kinser & family Paris Whisher Tammy Bennett Margaret Wasilewski Teresa Horn Nic Ulate Lynn Jones Elizabeth Gregory Frannie Minton John Rynne Sue Bailey

    stewardship of treasure

    Donations Received as of March 22 (Week 39)


    St. Joseph’s

    St. Elizabeth’s $225

    St. Mary’s $120

    St. Theresa’s $2,165

    Total Offertory $2,510

    Outside Donations

    Year to Date Received $85,421

    Goal $99,000

    Ahead/Behind Goal - $13,578

    other financial news

    council members PARISH COUNCIL: Tonya Hylton, Frannie Minton, Ralph Shawver, Cindy Deskins, Barbara Jones, Donna Lambert