I thank you for your prayers as I went through and recovered from surgery. As of this weekend, I am back on my normal schedule.
Because there were no bulletins for a while and some parishioners do not have internet access, we will put out a special mid-summer issue of The Invitation this week. There will be a summary of major developments over the last months, as well as information on how we are currently offering services. Please watch for it in the mail and online.
In our first reading this weekend, God offers Solomon one wish and Solomon asks for an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. God is pleased with this request and responds, Because you have asked for this—not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right—I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you. In other words, Solomon was thinking of others, not just himself.
If God were to guarantee us one request, what would it be? It is easy to tell ourselves that it would be some altruistic ideal, such as peace on earth or an end of racism or an end to poverty. But would we really? How can we be honest with ourselves? There are two measures that can help me be honest with myself:
First, how do I spend my time? There are some things that have to be done (like work, housework, etc.). But time that I have control over. How much time do I spend in prayer or talking with my friend Jesus? How much time do I spend volunteering or helping others? How much time do I spend watching television? How much time do I spend on myself? The answers to these questions begin to indicate to me where my values REALLY are – no self-delusion.
A second measure is how I spend my resources, both money and the abilities or talents I have. How do I spend my money? After the real necessities of life, how much do I spend on others? How much do I spend on myself? How much do I support worthwhile causes? When I was provincial we used to say that our budget was a reflection of our TRUE mission statement, not the mission statement on paper. For example, if we would have spent 99% of our resources on ourselves and only 1% on mission, that would say something different than spending 40% on our maintenance and 60% for mission!! Do I share my talents and abilities with my parish community? With those in need?
I invite us to reflect this week on how we use the time, talent, and treasure the Lord has given us. How much is for ourselves? How much is for others and building up the Kingdom? Am I comfortable with how I am doing?
And let us support each other in prayer, as we work to build the Kingdom of God.