Thank you to the approximately 115 parishioners who attended our all parish meetings, held after each Mass the weekend of November 19/20. Updates were given on our new leadership structure, Pastoral Council goals, Wauwatosa Catholic, and finance/rental/development issues.
The developer of our parking lot, Cardinal Capital Management, has received both positive and critical feedback about the proposed “Gridley” apartment complex. The developer is taking the appropriate time to address and properly respond to the concerns expressed, to incorporate some of the feedback into the plans (for example, turning the building so that the green space is more exposed), and to update their comprehensive presentation to the City of Wauwatosa. This is part of the normal process for this kind of development. As of right now, the plan is to bring this before the city at its January meetings. We will continue to keep you updated as we move through the process. If you would be willing to communicate your support of the development to the appropriate city leaders, please contact Dean Weyer, Director of Administrative Services (414-453-3875, ex 16) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of Monday, November 28, our stewardship drive is at $293,876 or 69% of our goal. I ask all who have not yet contributed to do so, helping us reach our goal.
Last week I noted that the first readings in Advent, all from the prophet Isaiah, give us hope-filled prophecies about the coming of the Messiah and His Kingdom, using images to get the point across. The first image was of a mountain; this week Isaiah uses the image of new life coming through vegetation: On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. And that new life will have wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord – what we have come to call the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
And what will be the result of these gifts? He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. This is a central message of Jesus, non-negotiable for Christians: we must take active care for the most forgotten and vulnerable. And when this has happened, the results will be the fullness of the Kingdom described with these beautiful words: Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra’s den, and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain.
Notice we end with the image from last week: on all my holy mountain. This is what God wants for us; this is what we are waiting for. But we need to remember that our waiting is to be active, that is, we need to be working to make it come about as we wait for its fullness. This we do by living as Christ taught us: with concern for the most vulnerable, with humility, gentleness, forgiveness, generosity. And we are not alone: we have the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us, as well as scripture, the Eucharist, and very importantly the example and support of our community, the Body of Christ.
As we move through Advent preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ, may we grow in our ability to live as He did, bringing about the fullness of His Kingdom, where there will be no harm on all His holy mountain! There are two special sacramental opportunities offered to strengthen us and help us: next weekend (December 10/11) we will have the anointing of the sick as part of all our Masses and Sunday evening, December 11, we will have our communal penance service with individual confessions, this year at Christ King. I urge you to take advantage of these opportunities.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS