You might have noticed a new fence dividing our parking lot. On February 2nd, the sale of the East side of the parking lot to Cardinal Capital was finalized. A picture of the housing for “active” seniors that will be built there is on display in the vestibule of the church. More information will be in the March Parish Press.
Thank you to all who contributed to the Salvatorian Sunday
collection. As of February 7th, the collection totaled $8,240.
I am very appreciative. PACT: Pius Parishioners Always Come Through!
Our readings this week have a very clear message: the values of the Kingdom of God are NOT the values of this world and the values of the Kingdom of God bring true happiness and peace. The reading from Jeremiah compares those who trust in flesh to a dry, barren land without water, while those who trust in God are like a plant located near water that is always green and bears fruit. In his letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul calls those “pitiful” who trust only in this life.
Our Gospel today is Luke’s version of the beatitudes. We can’t imagine how jarring they were to his audience. We have to
remember that, for the people of that time, wealth, health, and happiness meant that God was pleased with you and blessing you. Hunger, illness, and misfortune meant you were being punished, either for your sins or the sins of your ancestors. And here comes Jesus saying, blessed are you who are poor, hungry, weeping, and hated. Then, to make sure that they get the point, Jesus emphasizes it with the opposite: woe to you who are rich, filled [with food], laughing, and well thought of.
We have to be careful to make sure we understand what Jesus is saying. He doesn’t want us to be poor, hungry, weeping, and hated; but he is warning us that we can’t make our goal in life to be rich, happy, satisfied, and well thought of. We have to have our priorities straight. And our priority has to be to live the law of love.
This challenges us to look at our attitude toward what we have and how we use the time, talent, and treasure that the Lord has given us. Is my primary concern to take care of #1 and those important to me? Or do I recognize that all that I have is gift to be shared with others, as I am able? We need to balance the responsibility of taking care of ourselves and those for whom we are responsible with the obligation to help those in need.
For example, after I do what I have to do, how much of my free time do I spend on myself and how much do I spend on others, such as visiting shut-ins? After I shovel my own sidewalk, can I help an elderly person next door? What percentage of my income goes to charity? And so on.
We have been blessed. We have to take care of our responsibilities. The beatitudes challenge us to make sure our priorities are in line with God’s priorities and that we are sharing. How are we doing? God bless.
Church sign of the week: There is more than enough for our need but never enough for our greed.