Sunday, March 23, 2014

St. John the Baptist -Hot Springs

Evening all!  Just a note, there won't be a post next week as I'll be in St. Louis :)

Spring is in the air and that means there are flowers to be photographed.  Yes indeed.  Another Sunday visit determined by where there are flowers blooming.  This week, I was in Hot Springs and visited St. John the Baptist.  I went to their fish fry a 2 weeks ago and noticed how pretty the church's exterior was and decided to visit today.

The church was built in 1909 and is rather simple on the inside.  I did note with some amusement and some distress that the rectory was prepared to take on an assault by the Protestants.  All the windows had bars on them and the rectory was surrounded by a 6 ft fence with locked gates.  It didn't look like that sketchy of a neighborhood...

The music was provided by a choir and piano in the choir loft.  The male soloist was really good.
Opening:  Jesus, Lord of All Creation
Offertory:  Lamb of God
Mass Setting:  Sanctus and Angus Dei chanted in Latin
Communion:  Jerusalem, My Destiny (sung by soloist); O Bread of Life; Panis Angelicus (sung by Latin!)
Closing:  How Great Thou Art

The Gospel readying shows the gradual way in which Christ entered the Samaritan women's life.  Christ asks for water and bestows His blessing on her, moving her towards water that fulfills soul and leads to hope and joy.  This is the water of baptism, where God pours himself into our souls.  Jesus brings up the woman's sin.  To embrace Jesus she must renounce the sins of the past and set out on a grace filled journey.  We are called.  The proper response is like that of the woman at the well, acknowledge Jesus.  Jesus identified Himself to her as she had an open heart.  The woman's mission was to get water but now her mission is to bring Jesus to the others.  Her excitement and deepening love compelled her and changed her life.  The take away is that Jesus approaches us.  This initial approach is easy to see in Baptism.  We see this in other moments as well:  when we serve him in a particular way and see sins more clearly.  We must repent, grow in love and tell others about Jesus.  Unlimited love of God for us is what allows us to approach Him.  God had a plan.  Jesus loves us.  Showed His boundless love for us in Baptism and in every worthy reception of the Sacraments.  May Jesus see the spiritual furor in us!

Father used Eucharistic Prayer I and there were bells at the Consecration.


St. John the Baptist

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