“​YOU SHALL BE CALLED BY A NEWNAME
PRONOUNCED BY THE MOUTH OF THE LORD.
YOU SHALL BE A GLORIOUS CROWN INTHE HAND OF THE LORD,
A ROYAL DIADEM HELD BY YOUR GOD”(An Easter Sourcebook, p. 124).
 Today is the  FEAST OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD! Cardinal Tobin has transferred the feastto today since we could not celebrate it on May 21.
 The apostles had enough of a problem trying  to deal with thedeath of Jesus. His resurrection restored their hope, at least for awhile. But the Ascension may have confused them again since they saw Jesuspermanently leave their presence.  Of course, this will all changewith the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
  In today’s readings, the apostles are reassured that Jesuswill return to them, not in a physical way but in a spiritual one.Matthew reminds us that Jesus will not abandon the apostles but willalways be with them. Maybe this was too much for the apostles to handle. Afterall, most were fishermen and not theologians. But eventually, they got it! Therest, as they say, is history.
 Sometimes, we may feel that the Lord has abandoned us. During thistime of Covid-19, there are some who feel we are being tested by God, and thatGod has caused all of this to happen. Whatever the reason for Covid-19, thepandemic has shown us how to live, work and learn differently. It hasshown us that we have to watch out for each other in a way that is differentthan before. But it has also brought us to a better approach to God, who didnot abandon us but gave us his Son and the Spirit. The most difficult issue forus during this pandemic is that we cannot gather in church to celebrate theEucharist. Yet, God is present in our prayer life and in our care for oneanother. Hopefully, we will soon be able to gather together again in church asa community, with the changes required by Cardinal Tobin.
  While Cardinal Tobin has allowed churches in the archdiocese to open for private prayer, I cannot open ourchurch right now until all the directives required of us are put in place.These include cleaning and sanitizing the church, the availability of handsanitizers and the re-configuration of the church forsocial distancing. Hopefully, all of this will be accomplishedrelatively soon. I ask your patience, as I have to comply with all thedirectives. If you have read or heard that Saint James Church is open, it isnot true. You will be notified when the church reopens.
  As you already know, our Parish Festival, which is usuallyheld the last week of April, had to be postponed because of Covid-19.I want to tell you that the new dates are Tuesday, October 13 through Saturday,October 17. Hopefully, we will have good weather. Please make plans to join us.
  I also want to announce that two of our staff members, AnnMarie Gesualdo and Karen Cocco, have resigned as members of theparish staff. There are a number of reasons for their departure. In the name ofall of us, I want to thank ANN MARIE & KAREN, for sharing theirexpertise and their ministry with our parish, especially our young people andreligious education families. I pray that God will continue to bless them,no matter what they do in his name.  GOD BLESS YOU, ANN MARIE& KAREN!
  HAPPY ASCENSION!!
HAPPY MYSTAGOGIA!!!
FR. JOE
 

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