A Letter from Fr. Paul - August 27, 2017
Thank you to all who participated in our day of prayer on the feast of St. Pius X, both those who could come to the church physically and those who joined us in prayer from wherever. I am confident that all our parishes will be blessed because of it. I also thank Br. Silas, Fr. Lukoa, and Kathy Wellenstein for their leadership in planning and facilitating the day.
Please make sure you join us for our annual Grass Mass at 10:30 on September 10; and remember our outreach to those who are not participating in community worship and events. See the bulletin and The Invitation for more details.
Why did Jesus pick Peter to be the leader? He was loud mouthed, denied Jesus three times, and impulsive with no carry through. But…he cried and repented after the denials; in humility he replied “yes, Lord, you know that I love you,” having been asked “do you love me” three times in public by Jesus.
THAT is what Jesus wanted: someone who KNEW he was a sinner, knew he had received God’s merciful forgiveness, and thus was able from personal experience to bring God’s mercy and forgiveness to other sinners.
Unfortunately, the Church, both the institution and each of us individually, have the tendency to forget that and enter into exclusivity and triumphalism. Pope Francis, through personal example, his words, and his programs (the Year of Mercy) is calling us back to this fundamental reality: we are all sinners, we all need and receive God’s mercy, and we are called to be a channel of that mercy to others.
That means there is no room for “we are the only ones saved,” White supremacism, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-gay, etc., etc. Let us reflect this week on any tendencies we might have to look down on or dismiss others, asking God to help us grow in humility and mercy, so that we are better able to bring his love and mercy to those around us.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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