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

Pastor's weekly message

Perhaps you have noticed that often in my "Pastor's Message" I speak about the second reading. This reading is usually a letter from St. Paul to the early Christian communities about an issue or problem they are facing. In my homilies on Sunday I almost always focus on the first reading [usually from the Hebrew (Old) testament] and the Gospel (third reading). Our Sunday readings have been set up by the Church so that the first and third readings have a similar theme while the second reading is a sequential reading often of a letter from St. Paul. This bulletin message gives me the opportunity to comment on the second reading which I hardly ever discuss in my homily. I hope you don't mind. Paul's letters and his passing on of the message of Jesus have so shaped our understanding of Jesus that it is very important that we study what he has said and understand it as best we can.

In this Sunday's continuation of Paul's masterwork letter to the community living in Rome (written circa 54 AD) he continues what Joseph Fitzmyer, a Scripture scholar, has called Paul's "gospel of the justification and salvation of Jew and Greek alike by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ". In this week's reading Paul urges us to understand that we now, by baptism, no longer live in the flesh but rather we live in the spirit. Paul goes on to say If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you. Paul uses the phrase living in the flesh as his way of saying separated from God. Living in the Spirit means we are united to God. Unfortunately Paul's words have too often been interpreted as being opposed to life in the body, i.e., bodily, physical existence, joy and pleasure. That is not what Paul is saying. Paul is simply asking us to recognize that now we no longer live solely for physical joy and pleasure but we live on a higher plain for God and in God.

Our passage ends this Sunday with Paul writing Consequently, brothers and sister, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. This does not mean that we cannot enjoy our bodily existence as some have suggested. rather it simply means that we need to recognize that our real life is now life in Christ so putting to death the deeds of the body is asking us to recognize that our salvation comes not from our own making it happen but by the free gift of God's love (grace) in Jesus Christ. We all know that our body will die some day so if we lived simply in the flesh our destiny is death. Paul is simply reminding us that now, in Jesus Christ, our destiny is life eternal, in the Spirit.

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