I received the following message from James Anthony concerning the Living Waters donation from Pius: With this e-mail I wish to acknowledge that SWLD has received the funds ($32,633) raised during Living Water Campaign- Lenten 2018…On behalf of SWLD and the people of Tanzania, I wish to thank all of you at St. Pius Community for the great love and support to the thirsty poor ones…This grand collection is an expression of trust the people of St. Pius has for SWLD and the love to the thirsty poor by responding to their most urgent needs. We thank you for your continuous support.
Our readings this weekend have the following theme: when we think we are in control, we tend to forget God; when we are weak, when we are aware that we are not in control, then we are more open to God’s work in our lives.
Israel thought they were in control and so they were hard-hearted towards the prophets and their warnings, as we hear in the first reading. In the Gospel, the people in Jesus’ home town thought they knew all there was to know about Jesus and so were not able to benefit from what he had to offer. Paul, on the other hand, having asked God three times to take away a “thorn in his side,” tells us that God answered, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. Paul then adds, I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
This rubs against our culture of “rugged individualism” and the admonition that people should “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” We don’t like to admit that we are dependent. And yet, recent articles have underscored the sharp rise in drug addiction and suicides in the United States. These, I think, are indications that we can’t go it alone, that we need the help of a force stronger than we are.
Let us reflect this week on the interplay between a healthy need to be proactive and in control of our lives and the reality that we need to depend on the help of God to support us in our humanness and weakness. How well do I balance these two dimensions? Which needs to be shorn up? How? And let us support each other in prayer.
Reminder: beginning with September 16, the Sunday after the Grass Mass, the second Mass on Sundays will be celebrated at 10:30, instead of 10:15.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS