Our annual collection for our sister parish, Santa María, in Guatemala is taking place this month. Our funds help them buy materials for necessary construction and renovations; they do the labor themselves.
Envelopes are in the pews or the parish office. Please take an envelope and place it in the regular collection one of these coming weekends or mail/bring your contribution to the parish office. I ask you to be as generous as you can. Thank you.
You also should have received a mailing from the archdiocese for a combined collection for the following social projects: Peter Pence (Vatican Social Justice Fund), Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Home Missions, World Mission Sunday, and the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. All of these are worthwhile social endeavors. Please be as generous as possible.
The story of the 10 lepers is one that most of us know by heart: all 10 were cured but only one, a Samaritan, bothered to come back and thank Jesus.
One implication for us from this story is a reminder to be thankful to God for all that He has given us. It is easy to take what we have for granted and forget that God is the author of all our time, talent, and treasure. It is important for us to be thankful for what we have.
But, there is a deeper implication in this story. Yes, the “other nine” were cured of their illness, but that was it. That is all they got. But look at the last words Jesus speaks to the Samaritan who came back to thank Him: stand up and go. Your faith has saved you. Because he was thankful, because he made the effort to express that thanks, he was saved, a much richer and more profound blessing than simply being cured from a disease. All 10 eventually died, but the Samaritan was guaranteed salvation because he was thankful.
The call to us, obviously, is to be thankful for all that God has given us in time, talent, and treasure. And, as I have explained before in homilies and these letters, the way we show thankfulness is by being good stewards of what we have been given, that is, being willing to share these gifts where needed.
In a few weeks we will kick off our Pledge Drive for 2020 and hold our annual Ministry Fair, both opportunities to show thankfulness to God by sharing the gifts He has given us. In preparation for the Ministry Fair and the Pledge Drive, please begin reflecting on how you can share your time, talent, and treasure with your faith community. And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS