Saint Matthew's Church, Voorheesville New York Home   |   Contact   |   Directions

25 Mountainview Street
Voorheesville, New York 12186
Phone (518) 765-2805
Fax (518) 765-3701

Our Mission Statement
Our Mission Statement

The Pastor's weekly message

We as Roman Catholics believe that there are three basic ways that God in Christ Jesus is made present to us before we are all one in heaven. Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist, the Mass in the bread and the wine which become the Body and Blood of Christ. The Second Vatican Council, when it reformed the celebration of the Mass in the 1960s reintroduced a reading of the Bible in a three year cycle because another way that Christ is made present to us is in the Holy Word, the Bible, both in the Hebrew texts (the Old Testament) and in the Christian texts (the New Testament - Gospels and Epistles). The third and perhaps the most basic way God in Christ is made present to us is when two or more of us gather together in the community which we call "the Church" (Mt. 18:20) whether we gather in the building we call church or not.

This week we focus on God present to us in the written word of the Bible. The readings for this week ask us to consider the question about how we need to interpret the Bible, i.e., what rules and regulations in the Bible do we need to follow and which ones can we set aside? This task of interpretation of the Holy Word of God is a necessary and important task because language and meaning changes over time but the essence of God's message and God's promise remain the same. In other words, to truly hear the Word of God we, as a community filled and guided by the Holy Spirit need to interpret the Word otherwise we can easily fall into a literalism that is at best not helpful and at worst very harmful.

The first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy tells us to reverence the Word and the Laws of God for they will be our guide into all that is good and true and beautiful. The first principle then is to always treat God's Word as sacred. The second reading from James reminds us to not only listen but to live the Word, act upon it, and recognize that the Word has been planted in us by Christ so we can hear it and understand it. But Jesus, as he so often does, warns us to be careful that we read the Word with God's mind and not ours. People can so easily use words and laws to work for their own purposes and ignore the primary purpose of God's law, to show love and mercy to all. As Jesus says, it is so easy to "disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition."

How do we know what to obey and what to disregard? Bring it to the community of the faithful where Jesus promises to always be present. Read the scholars interpretations, read a good commentary, talk with others and see what they think, pray, ponder, wonder and reflect. God's Word is a living word. It lives in all of us. We are all responsible for helping each other to know what laws we need to follow and which we can disregard. That is not only our right but our duty.

Fr. Chris

Mass Schedule
Saturday Vigil at 5:00 PM
Sunday at 8:30 and 10:30 AM
Tues, Wed, and Fri at 8:30 AM
Rosary and Novena
Monday at 6:30 PM
(September through May)
Saturday at 4:00 PM
(or by appointment)
Office Hours
Monday - Friday 9 AM to 3 PM