Our nomination process for parish leadership closes after the 10:30 Mass this weekend. I thank those who made nominations. The nominees will be contacted in the next days and invited to a discernment session with the Pastoral Council on May 1st, when the new leadership will be chosen. Please continue to keep this process in your prayers.
Sometime this week you will receive a second mailing from the diocese for the Catholic Stewardship Appeal. If you have not yet contributed, I urge you to do so. This appeal supports social justice ministries and services that we use. It is our responsibility to support our local Church and its efforts to serve us and those in need.
This is the last weekend this year that I will be in Racine for a workshop with our Salvatorian candidate and the directors/candidates from other religious communities of religious men and women. I appreciate your understanding, prayers, and support. Some of these candidates could be your pastors in the future!
Only one week remains until we enter the most moving and central week of our liturgical year. I commented at length on Holy Week in The Invitation, which you received this week and/or can read on our webpage. I urge you to join your faith community as we walk with Christ during the last week of His life, beginning with our reenactment of His entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and culminating in our celebration of His Resurrection.
Prepare to celebrate Holy Week by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation after our communal penance service on Tuesday evening at 7 pm. Three priests will be available for individual confession. (In this context, I invite you to go back and reread the reflection for Saturday, Third Week of Lent, on page 26 in our Lenten reflection book With Grace and Gladness).
We find it so easy to judge and condemn: That person doesn’t come to church. That person thinks they are better than anyone else! That person isn’t doing what they should be doing. Etc. Etc. Fill in whatever you want.
In our Gospel today, the woman WAS guilty. She WAS caught in adultery. (Doesn’t it take two to tango? Where is the man???) According to the Law, the scribes and Pharisees had the right to bring her to be stoned. And Jesus doesn’t object, He doesn’t go against the Law. He simply suggests that the one without sin throw the first stone.
Why are we so quick to judge? And condemn? Even when it is justified? What does it say about us? Are we REALLY able to throw the first stone?
In this final week leading up to Palm Sunday, I invite us to reflect on our tendency to judge and condemn, especially when we are doing it with our mouths or fingers (on social media), asking the Lord to forgive us for this and help us grow in our ability to say with Jesus, “neither do I condemn you.”
-- Paul James Portland, SDS