The evening of August 28th, the members of the various councils and commissions of the parish will gather for an evening of reflection and fellowship. Please pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the evening.
Kingdom Prep will begin their ministry this week with a leadership workshop for the incoming students. The school year will begin around Labor Day with a freshman class. We congratulate them and accompany them in prayer.
Pope Francis keeps reminding us that all baptized Christians have the responsibility to reach out to others and invite them to live the Faith. Our Task Force on Formation and Discipleship, established by the Pastoral Council, is urging that once again we use the Grass Mass as an opportunity to reach out to others (family members, neighbors, friends, etc.) and invite them to the Grass Mass and luncheon on September 9. Often people have a desire to connect and all they need is the nudge of an invitation to make it happen, especially if someone shares (without being pushy) how participation with the community in the Eucharist helps them in their daily lives. More specific information on how this will work is coming, but this is an early announcement so you can begin reflecting on whom you would like the invite.
At the 5 pm Mass on August 18, two of my community members, Virginus Osuagwu and Paul Wilkin, will be ordained transitional deacons. Virginus is from Nigeria and Paul is from Cincinnati. Please join us.
In our first reading this weekend, we are in the desert with the Israelites after they are led out of Egypt by Moses. They realize they are in the desert, they have no provisions, and there are no Pick n Save’s or Sendik’s around. No Speedway convenience stores, either. Instead of remembering the great things God had just done for them and trusting that He would continue to take care of them, they panic and want to go back. God could have been disgusted with them and thrown up His hands in frustration (as many of us would probably do), but God takes care of them with bread and meat. The same scenario plays out again later in their journey, with Moses striking the rock at God’s command and bringing forth badly needed water.
How do we react when difficult times come (as they inevitably will)? How much are we in touch with the great things God has done for us and trust that ultimately everything will be OK? Or how much do we feel sorry for ourselves and complain about what is happening to us? How strong is our trust in God?
Let me be clear: when adversity comes, feelings of anger, hopelessness, despair are natural – nothing wrong there. I am talking about how I ultimately am able to process the vicissitudes of life. Do I remember the great things God has done for me and trust that all will be OK? Or do I become sad and bitter?
The secret, I believe, is getting into the habit of being conscious of the good things the Lord does for us on an ongoing basis and being grateful as a way of life. That prepares us to hold on and have hope when hard times come.
I invite us this week to reflect on how conscious we are of the many gifts and graces we receive from the Lord, resolving to be ever more and more grateful. And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS