Congratulations to our eighth-grade students who will graduate this Thursday. We accompany you in prayer as you move to a new phase of your life. Thank you for being such good role models for the younger students. We are proud of you.
This weekend we celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. It is a mystery; we cannot understand it. But I believe we can learn from it. It is an appropriate feast to follow Pentecost.
If you remember, last week I commented on the reality, presented in our reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, that the Spirit has given each of us different gifts that we need to use in service to others.
One way of looking at the Trinity reinforces this:
God the Father: this is the aspect of God that created the world, that brought us into being and sustains us.
God the Son: this is the redeeming aspect of God, Jesus, our Brother, Who came among us to show us by example how to live in this world, Who suffered and died for our redemption.
God the Holy Spirit: this is the sanctifying aspect of God, the God who leads us in life and urges us to move out of ourselves in service to others, the God who helps us to be holy in everyday life.
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, one God with three different gifts or functions: creating, redeeming, and leading. But, they work in unity for the good of all. That is what we are called to do: work together, using and respecting each other’s gifts, so that others can see the love of God in us and be attracted to our joy and peace.
My prayer for our community, as we celebrate this feast of the triune God, is that we can work together, using our diverse gifts for the building up of God’s Kingdom. Let us remember and pray for that each time we cross ourselves saying, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Church sign of the week: The Lord moves in mysterious ways, but you don’t have to. Please use your turn signal.
It was a humbling experience to watch the beatification of our Salvatorian founder, Francis Jordan last Saturday. Because I can understand Italian, especially in a “church” context, I was able to watch it without the distraction of translation. It was also moving for me to see many members of the Salvatorian Family that I have not seen since I left Rome over 8 years ago. I am praying to Jordan for our parish community, that we may grow toward our goal of “making disciples of all people,” a central aspect of Jordan’s mission. Blessed Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan, help us to be true disciples.
Today we celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the Church - happy birthday! The Spirit descended on the disciples and sent them out to bring the Good News to all they met. We have been given that same task, the task of “making disciples of all people.” How can we do that?
We can bring the Good News to the world by using the gifts that have been given to us. Each one of us has time, talent, and treasure, given to us by God. These gifts are for our benefit, but also for the benefit of His Body, the Church. We are called to use our gifts to bring Christ’s love to others.
Time: when we think of giving, sometimes we only think of money or things. But each of us has 24 hours in each day and some of our most important sharing can be with our time. There are so many people who are alone, unable to move around and go out. A visit, or even a telephone call, can be worth more than a lot of money to those who are isolated. Even if I, myself, cannot get around much, I certainly can call others! If we are alert, we will find ways to reach out to others in a way that shares Christ’s love with them.
Talent: often we think of specific skills, for example, someone who works in the finance area can volunteer on the parish Finance Council. Then we can think, ”I don’t have much to offer.” But we do. Can you push a lawnmower? How about helping an elderly neighbor who struggles with that task? I am going to the grocery store; suppose I asked an elderly neighbor what I could pick up for them? If we are alert, if we are thinking of others and not just ourselves, opportunities will jump out at us.
In the Catholic Digest, there was a column, called “The Perfect Assist,” that shared stories about how one little act of kindness, done in Christ’s name, brought someone to our Lord. Ultimately, it is the Lord who draws people to Himself, but often He uses us as instruments.
Treasure: as anyone who has traveled to third world countries can tell you, we are so blessed here in the United States, even those of us deemed “poor” by our country’s standards. We are called to think of others and share with them from all we have, not simply from what is extra or left over after we have satisfied all our wants and needs. I remind us of the parable of the widow’s mite.
As we celebrate the birthday of the Church, the Body of Christ, I invite us to reflect on how we use our time, talent, and treasure to bring others to Christ. How can we do better? Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of Your love. God bless.
Church sign of the week: A good example has twice the value of good advice.
Finally, we can say “Blessed Francis Jordan,” after his beatification in Rome early in the morning (for us) of May 15th. I pray that Jordan will intercede for us, that we may grow in our ability to be disciples who bring God’s love to the world. Blessed Francis Jordan, pray for us.
Thank you to those who contributed items to the Wauwatosa Catholic’s project for homeless youths. The student who was collecting the items was “blown away” by the amount of support.
On July 1st, Mary Nold-Klett will replace Ron Skelton as the Trustee Treasurer. I thank Mary for her willingness to offer her time and talent in this role. I also thank Ron Skelton for his years of service.
After a discernment session last week, the Pastoral Council asked Chris Graham to take a second term on the council and Susan Baglien to join the council, effective July 1st. I thank them for their willingness to serve. I also thank Megan Gonzalez, whose term expires on June 30th, for her service to our community. At its June meeting, the council will elect leadership for the coming year and
discern council and committee liaisons. I thank all members of the council for this important leadership service to our community. Please support our Pastoral Council and all our ministry groups with your prayers.
Our chapter in Living the Gift of Sunday this week is Sunday is a Day of Loving Sacrifice. Please take time to reflect on it, as a family.
Today we celebrate the feast of the Ascension (which actually fell on this past Thursday). There are three big feasts in the Easter Season: Easter, the Ascension, and Pentecost. It is important to see how they are related and how they apply to us.
The Easter season begins with the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead and stayed with his disciples for 40 days, showing them by word and example how they were to live. Now they were to go forth to the ends of the world and spread the Good News. But they would not do it while he was around: all their focus would be on Him. So, Jesus got out of the way, so to speak: he returned to His Father. We celebrate the Ascension 40 days after Easter.
How difficult it must have been for the disciples to see Him go again! He had died, then He was back. One of them even asked: NOW are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel? But He was gone again.
Despite their encounter with the risen Lord, the disciples still could not go out on mission. They are asked why they are standing looking at the sky, paralyzed, in a sense. They needed the help of the Holy Spirit to empower them to go forth and share the Good News. So, next Sunday we celebrate the final feast in this trilogy: Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit.
St. Luke, who wrote a Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, addresses his words in both books to “Theophilus,” literally “lover of God.” That stands for each of us who loves God. We are called to bring the Good News to the world around us. Alone, we can’t do it. But, like those first disciples, we have the gift of the Spirit to help us.
In one sense, this is sort of an “in between” time: Jesus has ascended to His Father, but has promised to come again. Our task, as a “Theophilus,” is to help bring about the Kingdom by the way we live. How are we doing? I invite us to reflect on that this week, as we wait to celebrate this coming Sunday the great gift of the Holy Spirit, which empowers us to bring God’s love to others. God bless.
Church sign of the week: Adam and Eve: first ones to ignore Apple terms and conditions
Br. Edward Havlovic, SDS, who lived in the Salvatorian community here at St. Pius X for many years, died peacefully on May 2nd at the age of 90. Please remember Br. Edward in your prayers.
The theme of our readings today is that WE ARE CHOSEN by God, then sent to show love, WITH NO RESTRICTIONS! Peter says it well in the first reading from Acts of the Apostles when he says, In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. The Jews believed they were the only chosen ones; Peter is telling them that God loves all people equally.
The first letter of John reinforces that God loves all people, using the word agape to describe God’s love. Agape is not an emotional or physical love (eros from which we get our word erotic), but rather a selfless concern for the good of the other person. It is how God loves us and continues to love us, no matter what we do. Our Gospel then gives us Jesus’ ultimate commandment: love one another, as I have loved you, that is, with agape.
These three readings fit together so well in reminding us of the special love that God has for us and our responsibility to bring that love to others. It is not because others deserve the love or have earned our love; it is because we are sharing the love which God has shown to us, a love that we didn’t earn.
These are perfect readings to have fallen on Mother’s Day. A truly good mother has a special kind of love for her children, a love that the children did not have to earn, a love that is freely given and remains, despite what the children may do.
My friends, this is what we need to do to live the Gospel, to bring about the Kingdom. It is that simple and that hard. All our actions need to be judged against this command: love one another, as I have loved you.
I invite us to reflect on God’s love for us and how well we are doing at bringing that love to others. As we move through life, may we grow in our ability to do so! We remember our mothers in prayer in a special way today. May God bless them always.
Church sign of the week: How cool is it that the same God who created mountains and oceans and galaxies thought the world needed one of you, too! (Thanks Mom: happy Mother’s Day)