Last week the Pastoral Council met to discern leadership positions for 2016-2017. The following are the
Chairperson: Brandon Young (continuing)
Vice Chairperson: Joanna Clementi
Secretary: Emily Pokorny
Finance Council members: Colleen Pashke and Steve Scheuing (continuing)
Reps to Northwest Deanery Assemblies: Tim Sumiec and Brandon Young
Community Life: Joel Phillips
Faith Formation: Joanna Clementi
Justice and Peace: Stacey Stark
Liturgy: Linda Jaworowicz
Parish Collaborative: Karen Manning (non Council member)
Stewardship: Tim Sumiec
The terms of office begin July 1. We thank Erica Ballard, Christal SanFilippo, and Ken Vosniak for their service to the community on the Pastoral Council over the last years.
Monday through Thursday I will be in Chicago at the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests Assembly. This association seeks to continue the values and direction of Vatican II (proposals on place of laity in Church ministry and leadership) as well as Justice and Peace Issues (proposals on countering racism, end of death penalty, $15 minimum wage).
In our first reading this weekend, Elijah, at God’s command, wants to pass his prophetic mission to Elisha, who hesitates at first but then makes a complete commitment. He slaughters his 12 oxen (his livelihood), uses the plow as fuel to cook them, and feeds the poor. He has nothing to go back to.
We are presented with a turning point in Luke’s Gospel. We hear that Jesus resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem (and to his suffering and death). For the next 4 ½ months (until the feast of Christ King) we will journey with Jesus to Jerusalem and learn how we have to live to accompany Jesus on this journey.
In the selection for this weekend a man asks to accompany Jesus and Jesus warns him (and us) that there is no guarantee of comfort or security if we truly journey with him (no place to lay your head). Jesus then invites someone else to join him and that person says in essence “I will follow you after I fulfill all my other responsibilities” (bury my father). Then Jesus invites another person, cautioning that there is no looking back.
The message is simply that it is not easy to live counter-culturally, to follow Jesus’ example and values in a world that often prizes exactly the opposite. This quotation from “Preaching Resources” states clearly the point of these readings: Jesus now turns to his disciples and clearly outlines the very essence of the Christian life: discipleship. Worship is important. Prayer is necessary. But the crucial issue that dominates every other “religious” concern is: following Jesus. Living out of his value system and loving what Jesus loves.
Let us not look back!
-- Paul James Portland, SDS