This Week’s Message
By Kathy Coffey
Of all the commandments, the Sixth Commandment is one of the most ignored in the Old Testament. Just consider Solomon’s seven hundred wives! Another story shows the web of deceit and unintended consequences that adultery can provoke. David’s desire for Bathsheba is so intense, he arranges the murder of her husband, Uriah. The union of the king with this beautiful woman (before Uriah’s death) leads to the illness of their first child, David’s intense fasting and prayer, and then the child’s death. The affair’s cost is terrible. If the story ended there, it would be a cautionary tale, sending a loud message about adultery’s evils. But the plot twist comes through the surprising mercy of God. The second child that thiscouple conceives is Solomon, Israel’s revered king and Jesus’ great-great-grandfather. When the crowd waved palm branches, hailing Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, they called him “Son of David.” Jesus as Son of God and Son of Man blends two natures: the divine, which is splendid beyond understanding; and human, which can get us snarled in lies, infidelity, and murder. Because Jesus is our brother, we also carry the same tension. At times, we are lofty and transcendent, then lowly and deceitful.
The Sixth Commandment calls us to be the best we can be: loyal, committed, and upright. We have been criticized as a “tissue culture” in which everything, including a spouse, canbe easily discarded. We work harder at our careers than our marriages and then wonder why couples eventually become disposable strangers. Adultery usually occurs only after the marriage has begun to disintegrate. Remaining faithful and loving throughout a long marriage is one of humanity’s finest accomplishments. We can get dewy-eyed and romantic about a wedding. We want the couple’s happiness, give them lavish gifts, and pray for abundant blessings. We should celebrate a silver or golden anniversary with the same vigor. The couple may be bent and pudgy, but they have woven a life together, composed of countless stresses, joys, failures, delights, arguments, illnesses, laughter, and achievements. They have talked through many issues and survived innumerable crises. They have negotiated finances, lifestyles, household duties, and parenting. The tie that binds them is a strongfabric made of tiny threads. As the Irish say, they become the “shelter for each other.” In achaotic world of change, people need this kind of permanent relationship.
Adultery short circuits this learning curve. People who flee at the first serious argument do not learn that there is more to their union than one disagreement. A fresh face may first seem to carry less baggage than the spouse, but adultery misses the chance to grow old with the same person who intimately knows and accepts our baggage. Marriage experts say that when we make a vow, we offer ourselves the way we cup water in our hands. Adultery not only harms the other person but also undermines the best we are. When the vow is broken, the water spills out of our hands. Remaining faithful enables us to be like God, whose compassion never wavers and whose presence weathers all storms. A story about an Alzheimer’s patient in a care center ties the bow to complete this consideration of fidelity. A nursesaid compassionately to a husband who traveled a great distance to visit his wife who wasthe patient: “You really do not need to come every day. She doesn’t know you now.” The husband replied: “Ah, but I know her.” May our following of this commandment give usthat kind of commitment.
About the Author: Kathy Coffey is the award-winning author of thirteen books and countless articles on living the Christian life. She is also an educator, retreat director, mother offour children, and grandmother of six children. If you enjoyed this week’s message, be sure to check out “Bringing Home the Word.” A new edition is posted to this page every Saturday morning (see link below)! Please join us! All are welcome!
The Assisi Project
Saturday with Saint Francis
Saturday, July 28th
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey during their first pilgrimage and retreat in Italy, the Assisi Project is a “Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit” with members, friends and followers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America. Our mission is to help adults of all ages more faithfully live the Gospel of Christ and grow closer to the Church through the inspiration and intercession of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. On the last Saturday morning of every month in Saint Ann Church, the Assisi Project meets for Mass, formation, fellowship, and faith sharing. Our next “Saturday with Saint Francis” mini-retreat is scheduled for July 28th from 8:00am until 10:00am. This month, our reflection will focus on “Following Saint Francis in the Time of Pope Francis.” For more information about the Assisi Project, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Holy Family Parish
Holy Hour & Benediction
Saturday, July 28th
In celebration of the Feast of Saints Ann and Joachim (July 26th), all are invited to join Holy Family Parish for a period of prayer and devotion on Saturday, July 28th. This special holy hour will begin with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Daytime Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours at 3:00pm. At 3:30pm, we will pray the Holy Rosary; and at 3:45pm, we will conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Please note that there will be no confessions heard on July 28th. All parishioners, friends, and guests of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport are invited to join us! For more information, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Holy Family Parish
Annual Crowning Ceremony
Sunday, July 29th
In celebration of the Feast of Saint Ann and Saint Joachim (July 26th), all are invited to join us for the Annual Crowning of Saint Ann and the Blessed Virgin Mary after our 8:15am Mass on Sunday, July 29th. As a community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, let us unite our hearts and voices in prayer for the intercession of our patrons: Saint Ann, pray for us! Saint Joachim, pray for us! For more information, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Catholic Kids Camp
The Holy Angels of God
Begins August 21st
The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is pleased to announce that all children (ages 5 through 11) are invited to participate in our next “Catholic Kids Camp: The Holy Angels of God” from Tuesday, August 21st through Friday, August 24th from 8:00am until 12:00pm in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. During this exciting week of prayer and fellowship, our children will learn about the Holy Angels of God and their ministry to God’s people through active and engaged participation games, music, skits, and craft projects. Here’s our schedule for the week:
- Day I: Tuesday, August 21st The Guardian Angels
- Day II: Wednesday, August 22nd Saint Michael the Archangel
- Day III: Thursday, August 23rd Saint Gabriel the Archangel
- Day IV: Friday, August 24th Saint Raphael the Archangel
Each day of our Catholic Kids Camp will begin with Mass at 8:00am in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. All parents, grandparents, and guardians are invited and encouraged to join us! After Mass, Betsy Works and a team of dedicated volunteers will lead the children to Our Lady’s School for a faith-filled and fun-filled morning of activities, hands-on learning, and good times with friends both old and new! Catholic Kids Camp is a fun, exciting, and educational program that your children and grandchildren will surely love!
The requested tuition for this innovative youth faith formation program is just $30 per child for the entire week! Scholarships are available for those families who cannot afford tuition. Also, adults and older children (ages 12 and up) are welcome to join us as volunteers and will be most appreciated! For more information about our next Catholic Kids Camp, please contact Betsy Works at email@example.com. Registration forms are available via the link below. Please join us! All are invited! All are welcome!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is easy, simple, and safe to make online donations to your home parish using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Donations can be made on a one-time-only or ongoing basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. Just visit the links below; choose the appropriate parish link; and click “make a donation.” All parishioners are encouraged to prayerfully consider supporting our parishes by giving electronically! It is a great way to support your parish especially when you and your family are away! For more information about electronic giving in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Melissa Unis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support of both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish!
Established in 2014, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is a collaborative of two historic parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Working together as a Roman Catholic community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, we are committed to living the Gospel of Christ, sharing God’s love and mercy with all people, and rebuilding the Church in Gloucester & Rockport. All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
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