The Church offers us beautiful and yet difficult readings this week on the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We hear about the rich man who lived well and the poor man Lazarus who sat at his door. Upon the death of both men, Lazarus is "carried away by angels" while the rich man found himself in torment. When the rich man begs for mercy for his brothers, who lived in the same way as himself, he is denied. His request was for Lazarus to visit them from the dead. Abraham's final response is, "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead." These words are clear and yet cause us to wonder about ourselves. Truly, Jesus is the one who has risen from the dead and offers us eternal life. And we see how His invitation to our world has gone unheeded. To proclaim Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, apart from the whole of Scripture and without the entirety of His message falls short. The Resurrection is the central mystery of our faith, and yet it does not stand alone. The Church always invites us to continue to nourish ourselves with scripture, apologetics, and spiritual reading.READ MORE
The Gospel today beautifully invites us to reflect on honesty and true wealth. Jesus says, "No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon." Once again, we are invited to pledge ourselves completely to the living God. It makes a bit more sense now when we read in the Old Testament lines such as, "I am a jealous God" (Exodus 34:14). God is not jealous for the sake of being jealous, rather He is jealous for us! To think that the Eternal God desires us exactly as we are. And so, when He says we cannot serve God and mammon, He is offering us what He offered the Israelites in the desert and even more. He offers us eternal bliss with Him. And all of this begins now, wherever we may find ourselves. Jesus asks for a complete and clear "yes" to Him every day. Service to Him is not sad or denigrating, rather it is true freedom because serving Him is serving true life.READ MORE
Beginning this week all of our religious education programs will be off and running! This is a very exciting time of year as the Church campus picks up speed. Thank you again to all of our wonderful catechists and volunteers who make everything possible. Please continue to keep all involved in your prayers.
Last month we received $40,000 from the Together Let Us Go Forth Campaign. Thank you so much to everyone for keeping up to date on your pledges. It makes a huge difference. If you have not remembered to continue your pledge now is a great time to discern whether the Lord is inviting you to continue doing so. I know so many people find themselves in different situations but I am grateful for each of you and your generosity in whatever way you are able to give. As a reminder, 35% of your gift comes directly back to St. Joan of Arc while the rest supports many evangelical efforts around the Diocese of Phoenix.READ MORE
The parish staff continues their wonderful work as we prepare for fall programs to begin. Please keep our staff and volunteers in your prayers as they continue their preparation for Religious Education, RCIA Gatherings, SOLTeen Youth group, choirs, and many more. It's exciting for me to see everything getting ready in my first year. These 5 months have been full of blessings and I am so grateful to be a part of the wonderful things happening here at St. Joan of Arc.
This Sunday gospel speaks to us of carrying the cross, proper planning for endeavors, and finally the renunciation of our possessions. These flow together in an odd, yet beautiful way. First, Our Lord equates discipleship with carrying the cross. That is, to be a disciple, one must follow the Master. Without the Master, the Good Shepherd, we become our own ruler. And so this seems to be the preparation that Jesus encourages when setting out in the missionary life. To be like the Master we must prepare as He did, which means to set our hearts on the salvation of souls, and walk towards Jerusalem knowing that on this path suffering does not triumph, but becomes the means for our salvation.READ MORE
Jeffrey Morse, our new Director of Sacred Music, has some exciting plans for the music here at St. Joan. Please read the following and see where and how you and your family members can join our music opportunities.
The Adult Choir will have its first choir rehearsal of the year on Wednesday, September 18, from 7-9pm, and the Spanish Choir will meet the following evening September 19, from 7-8pm in the Choir Room. These choir rehearsals will begin the Fall Choir Term. This is an excellent time for new choir members to join. Please call Jeffrey Morse 602-867-9171 Ext 326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.READ MORE