Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Easter


The resurrection witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, then He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not worthy of our faith and worship. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the hideousness that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting and gain the victory over the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is also important because it validates who Jesus claimed to be, namely, the Son of God and Messiah. According to Jesus, His resurrection was the “sign from heaven” that authenticated His ministry (Matthew 16:1–4) and the proof that He had authority over even the temple in Jerusalem (John 2:18–22). The resurrection of Jesus Christ, attested to by hundreds of eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3–8), provides irrefutable proof that He is the Savior of the world.

Another reason the resurrection of Jesus Christ is important is that it proves His sinless character and divine nature. The Scriptures said God’s “Holy One” would never see corruption (Psalm 16:10), and Jesus never saw corruption, even after He died (see Acts 13:32–37). It was on the basis of the resurrection of Christ that Paul preached, “Through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin” (Acts 13:38–39).

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not only the supreme validation of His deity; it also validates the Old Testament prophecies that foretold of Jesus’ suffering and resurrection (see Acts 17:2–3). Christ’s resurrection also authenticated His own claims that He would be raised on the third day (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34). If Jesus Christ is not resurrected, then we have no hope that we will be, either. In fact, apart from Christ’s resurrection, we have no Savior, no salvation, and no hope of eternal life. As Paul said, our faith would be “useless,” the gospel would be altogether powerless, and our sins would remain unforgiven (1 Corinthians 15:14–19).

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What You Need to Know about our Church Reopening

Nini unahitaji kujua juu ya ufunguzi wa Kanisa

Lo que necesita saber sobre nuestra reapertura de la iglesia


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The Strangers We Meet

Painting in the vestibule of St. Leo's

The work of the late Fr. Jim Hasse, SJ, “The Strangers We Meet” depicts Christ breaking bread at Emmaus. Instead of more traditional representations, it depicts Christt as a man of African descent, sitting with people of various ages and from various ethnic heritages. All the models were St. Leo parishioners.

“Fr. Jim captured spiritual life in his works, revealing the sacredness in everyday people and everyday actions,“ says Fr. Josephh Folzenlogen, SJ, who lived and worked with the priest painter at Claver Jesuit Ministries in South Cumminsville (OH). “Jim’s paintings were mirrors in which people could see their own beauty.”

Models for the 2004 painting were Timaya Smith (the child in the foreground), Amy Egan, Darnell Edwards, Ivy Peppers, and Rick Nohle.

“Since Jim used people from the parishes and neighborhoods where he worked as his models, the paintings were not just images,” says Fr. Joe. “They were connections with people he loved. Those people were also his children.”

St. Leo parishioner Stephanie Sepate describes the painting as “a beautiful remembrance of purpose” in every life.

“In the upper left of our painting is the figure of the angel by the tomb of the Risen Lord, and the women running to share the news,” she says. “What a beautiful remembrance of purpose in each of our lives — we are not really strangers to each other but we are all one universal family in our life’s journey.”

Fr. Jim Hasse, whose paintings appeared in several publications and are held in private collections, including the art museum at St. Louis University, died in 2011. Most of his paintings are of biblical subjects and feature African-American people he worked with. To see several galleries of his works with associated reflections, click here.

A New Life

Michelangelo sculpted the Pietà in 1498–1499,    taking less than two years to complete. His depiction of the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion on the rock of Golgatha is one of the most famous pieces of sculpture known by so many across the world.

Showing the "religious vision of abandonment and a serene face of the Son", Michelangelo did not want his version of the Pietà to represent death, but rather a representation of the communion between man and God through Christ’s gift of life.

For the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the Vatican loaned the Pietà for installation in the Vatican pavilion. A conveyor belt moved people, who stood in line for hours, past the sculpture. It is housed in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

Several decades ago, St. Leo was gifted with a beautiful representation of the Pietà in memory of the Schuchart Family. Over the years, the wear and tear, fragments of the more fragile areas of the statue cracked or missing, and chipping paint called a friend of the parish to totally refurbish our Pietà. To repaint it with its former colors would have shown the flaws; it was decided to paint it all one color, especially in keeping with the make-up of our parish—all one people. After months and months of prayerful restoration, our Pietà finally came home, quite appropriately, the day before Ash Wednesday.

As we celebrate Holy Week and Easter, we are grateful for Michelangelo’s reminder of the ultimate gift in our midst. The St. Leo Pietà has been given a new life; let us all celebrate a season of renewal in our own lives as Lent ends and as we rejoice in the hope and joy of Easter’s Alleluias!

- Stephanie Sepate


Feast of the Assumption of the Lord

From Fr. Jim:  
May 24, 2020

Bivuye kwa Padiri Jim:  
Mei 24, 2020

(African translation)

Mensage del padre Jim:
24 de mayo de 2020

(Spanish translation)

Please remember that next week is the great Feast of Pentecost.  As a parish that speaks different languages and celebrates a diversity of gifts and has our unity in the one God, I look upon this Feast as kind of a parish feast day for St. Leo.  If we were not named after St. Leo the Great, we could easily have taken the name of the Church of Pentecost or the Church of the Holy Spirit.  Actually, any parish could have these names.  Maybe the Feast of Pentecost is the Patronal Feast for the universal church throughout the world.

Particularly here at St. Leo, doesn’t the description of the Pentecost event in the Acts of the Apostles remind you of our weekend liturgies?  Isn’t the Spirit so evident in the unity that is among the diversity of people, gifts and languages that we are so blessed to share?  Our diversity is more a blessing than it is a barrier to us being church together.  This, too, is due to the presence of the Spirit who is always by our side to show us the way, to teach us how to love God and one another, to help us love others as God loves us and to accept, tolerate, forgive , bear with, console and heal one another in the name of the Lord.  This defines our unity in the midst of all of our diversity.  We especially give thanks to God for the unity we know in receiving and in doing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

But as much as we are blessed and as much as we have grown and are growing in the love of God and the life of the Spirit, we must stay hungry for the ways of God and dependent on the Holy Spirit always for further growth.  We must be aware of the barriers that still exist that can separate us or get in the way of the call to unity that God wants for us.  Not being able to speak a common language well for all of us leads to normal and natural misunderstandings and hurt feelings and trusting each other when it looks like and feels like it is time to stand ground and fight, or appreciating other ways of doing things or that there is more than one right way or that any one culture is not the only way or always the best way, continue to challenge our patience, compassion and perseverance with one another.  We must always lean on the Spirit for these challenges.  The Spirit is the only one who can help us and who will give us attitudinal adjustments when needed.   Come, Holy Spirit, Come! Fill the hearts of your faithful.  Enkindle in us your fire.  Recreate with us and renew the face of the earth.

Today is the Feast of the Ascension.   Years ago, now, the Bishops of the United States gave permission to move this Feast from Thursday to the Sunday before Pentecost.  It takes the place of the Seventh Sunday of Easter.  The Readings and Prayers used for this weekend are from the Mass for the Feast of the Ascension.  Where the Lord has gone, we hope to follow.  With the grace and virtues of the Holy Spirit, may we all live now for then.

May 25, 2020:  This Monday, we have been given permission by our bishops to start returning to church, if and only if we are able to follow certain safety precautions and restrictions.  Because of the need for social distancing, we cannot have a full church.  St. Leo now can only hold about 90 people.  Although we are permitted to attend Mass, the obligation to do so is still suspended through the month of August.  So as not to turn anyone away who wants to come to Mass in a safe environment, there will be opportunities to attend Mass through out the week.  You are strongly encouraged to attend one of the daily Masses during the week instead of everyone waiting until Sunday or Saturday.  For any reason if you are not able to follow the health and safety regulations, such as the wearing of masks and keeping social distance,  and the other necessary requests to the keep the church and yourself clean and healthy, it is ok to not come.  For sure if you are sick or feel sick, please do not come.  Our Sunday Mass, 10:30 am will still be live-streamed.  The celebration of Mass will be different as we are used to it but there is still considerable risk of becoming sick and catching the virus if we are not careful.  For a complete list of Mass times, what will be different, and what you can do to help us maintain a safe environment, please check the post on our parish web page, saint-leo.org.  Thank you so much for your patience, understanding, collaboration and cooperation.


 

St. Leo The Great Parish

Rev. James R. Schutte, Pastor
2573 St. Leo Place
Cincinnati, OH 45225
513-921-1044 ext. 21

 

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