Reminder: please plan on attending our Lenten reflection/ adoration on Tuesday evening, March 12, from 7 to 8 pm. Child care will be provided. Please watch for the mailing from the archdiocese for the Catholic Stewardship Appeal and be supportive. This appeal funds charitable efforts, as well as important ministries that we use.
Sometimes the incredible generosity of others comes at just the right moment to buoy me up when I am a little down or stressed. This happened last Friday and Saturday (after the bitter cold) when a parishioner, who wishes to remain anonymous, spent hours, accompanied by his wife, cleaning up the rectory kitchen and surrounding areas, after a bad water pipe break. I thank them for their generosity – and the many other community members who volunteer their services in multiple ways, often behind the scenes. May God reward you generously!
In our readings this weekend, we have three very clear self-assessments that say the same thing: Lord, I am not worthy. Isaiah says “…I am a man of unclean lips,” but ends up saying, “Here I am, send me,” after the Lord purifies him. Paul says “…I am not fit to be an apostle, for I persecuted the church of God,” but adds, “I am what I am by the grace of God.” Finally, Peter declares, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man,” but Jesus declares him a fisher of people.
The point is obvious: we cannot escape our obligation to bring the love of God to others by saying we are not worthy, by invoking our sinfulness and weakness. It doesn’t matter: it is GOD’S WORK, not ours, we just have to be willing, despite our failings and weakness. The grace of God provides!!! We simply need to step up to the plate.
We live our baptismal commitment to bring God’s love to others as individuals AND as a community. For the sake of the community, I ask you to fill out the survey, which you received in The Invitation and which you can find online, to help our leadership develop goals to move us into the future as an evangelizing community. There are also some copies on the table in the church vestibule and in the parish office.
As individuals, I invite us to reflect on our commitment to grow in the ability to live in a counter-cultural way, bringing peace and compassion to our world, rather than unrest and division. And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS