Congratulations to the children (their names are on the bulletin cover) who will receive their First Communion at the 10:30 am Mass this Sunday. May they always value the Body of Christ as the food that strengthens them to be good disciples. Thank you to their parents for bringing them to this important step in their faith journey.
Our nomination process for parish leaders has ended with 9 parishioners nominated for two pastoral council seats. Those nominated will be invited to a discernment session on May 5th. No one received 10 nominations for trustee, so I will appoint one, in discussion with the Parish Leadership Team. Two parishioners volunteered themselves, if they would be needed. Please keep the selection process in your prayers.
We have an interesting story in our selection from Acts of the Apostles. Paul, recently converted, comes to Jerusalem and the community does not want to accept him: they are afraid of him, they fear he might be a trojan horse. (Earlier in Acts, we are told: Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church; entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment). The Christians can only remember his recent vehemence in persecuting the Church.
Enter Barnabas: Barnabas was able to focus on what was happening, not the past. As a result, he was able to see that Paul had changed, that the Holy Spirit was in him, and that he could be trusted. We are told Barnabas “took charge of him and brought him to the apostles.”
Who has been a Barnabas in my life? Who was able to see past my flaws to the gifts that God has given me? Who enabled me to use those gifts for good?
To whom have I been a Barnabas? Am I able to look past the mistakes and flaws of others to see the talents they have, the talents that can be used for good? Am I willing to go out of my way and risk helping that person be
accepted, to help that person use their gifts for good? Is my way of looking at people and situations similar to the way Barnabas did?
All of us have flaws, all of us make mistakes, but all of us have God-given talents that can be used for the good of others. Sometimes we need the help of others to break through and use our gifts for good; sometimes we can be the one who helps someone else. The secret is not to always be focused on the past, but to look at people and situations from the perspective of what can be happening NOW that is good.
God wants to use us to help others be the best that they can be. Are we open to doing that? Are we open to others helping us? How can we be more open? And remember: Communion is the food that gives us the strength to be open! God bless.
Church sign of the week: Lay up your treasures in heaven where there is no depreciation.