We joyfully received the news recently that the founder of the Salvatorian Family, Fr. Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan, will be beatified in Rome on May 15th, 2021. I thank all who have been praying for this.We will certainly have a celebration here, for his charism of universality and inclusivity have been a part of Pius from the beginning.
This is the last weekend that the obligation to attend Mass is waived. I emphasize that you are not obliged to attend if you have a legitimate reason. The Mass will continue to be on our website and Facebook. Please note the following for attending Mass in person: face masks and social distancing are required; call the parish office during the week to register the number of people who will be coming to which Mass; and arrive early to facilitate seating with social distancing. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you.
Please remember the collection for the Holy Land, which is being held this week. Information can be found elsewhere in this bulletin and on our website. And advanced warning: our sister parish collection will be taken up September 26th and 27th.
Last week our readings emphasized that we have an obligation, as followers of Christ, to love other people, to bring peace and harmony to our relationships. Our readings this week address the same point by looking at when we don’t do that.
The reading from Sirach tells us that wrath, anger, and vengeance are hateful things, but people have a tendency to “hug them tight,” “cherish” them, and “nourish” them. This is the opposite of what we were told last week: to do all in our power to heal and have good relationships. Sirach reminds us that those who do not forgive cannot seek pardon for themselves. The reading ends with “hate not your neighbor...and overlook faults.” Nothing could be clearer!
What a powerful parable Jesus presents in our Gospel reading, to bring home Sirach’s point. One servant owed his master 750,000 pounds of silver or gold (how is that for Jewish hyperbole!!!) but the master was moved with “pity” (literally “gut wrenching,” the same word use for Jesus when he fed the crowd with 5 loaves) and forgave the debt, even though the steward was only asking for more time to repay! That is how wonderfully generous God is to us. Yet that servant had another servant thrown into prison for a few dollars! He could not translate the generosity given to him into generosity for others. You know what happened to him!
My friends, the message to us is clear. God is immeasurably generous in forgiving us and he expects us to do the same for others. We say it every time we pray the Our Father: forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Forgiveness is an essential part of “loving our neighbor as ourselves.”
Our readings this weekend invite us to make sure we are taking those words seriously. Are we?