This weekend we begin our annual discernment for parish leadership (one trustee and three
pastoral council members). There are nomination forms which present the positions to be filled
and the commitment involved both in the bulletin and The Invitation. Please keep the process in
your prayers and prayerfully consider sharing your time and talent with the community in a leadership position.
Lent begins this Wednesday. Mass with the distribution of ashes will be held in church at 8 am. Opportunities at other times of the day at the parishes in our cluster are listed in this bulletin.
Sunday, March 5, the first Sunday of Lent, we will launch the One Percent Challenge. This is a call to each of us to spend 15 minutes a day for 30 days reflecting on a specific Gospel passage. The goal is to help us develop a habit of daily reflection, building a closer relationship with the Lord. We will all be reflecting on the same passage on the same day – a bonus for those who might already be in the practice of doing this each day. It will require that each one have access to a bible, either one in hand or through the internet. More information can be found in The Invitation, which comes out this week.
I suspect we have heard many sermons on today’s Gospel about God taking care of the “birds of the sky” and “today has enough worries.” I would like instead to look at a phrase from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (Therefore do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts…”) because it ties into what we have been reflecting on this past week.
Last week we were challenged to love our enemies, that is, to refrain from retaliation and inflicting harm (verbal or physical) on others because they have hurt us and, if possible, to do something good for them, like praying for them.
When we have a tendency to judge others, we can create enemies where none exist. None of us knows the intentions of another, the “motives of the heart,” and I have had the experience more than once of being misjudged. Haven’t we all? Then there are hard feelings, discord, etc. Paul warns us not to judge; only God knows the “motives of the heart.” My mother taught us to interpret someone’s actions in the best possible light; that way we will be happier, no matter their intentions. Wise advice!
I invite us to reflect this week on our tendency to judge others: am I quick to judge? Do I judge when I don’t have to? Am I growing in my ability not to judge others when it is not my responsibility to do so? And let us pray for one another!
-- Paul James Portland, SDS