A Letter from Fr. Paul - March 31, 2019
Recently someone asked me about the “Angel Fund.” (Every so often there is an envelope for the “Angel Fund” in your packet of envelopes). This fund supports tuition assistance at our school, Wauwatosa Catholic, and I encourage you to support it. The combination of Catholic education and the International Baccalaureate curriculum gives our children basic attitudes and tools for living a Gospel-oriented and meaningful life. We want this to be available to families who are in need of financial assistance. I also encourage all our families to consider Wauwatosa Catholic for your children; I believe it is worth it.
Fr. Lukoa, our Salvatorian priest from Tanzania who helped me a lot over the last three years, sends his greetings from Rome. He is now a member of our international leadership team, which is based in Rome. He misses the community here at Pius.
Nine parishioners signed up for various ministries this past weekend at our ministry fair. I thank you for your willingness to share your time and talent with the community. Our effectiveness depends on the generosity of parishioners in sharing what God has given them.
The obvious theme of our readings this weekend is reconciliation. In the first reading, the Lord says to Joshua, “Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you” and the Israelites enter the Promised Land. Then Paul tells the Corinthians that God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and now sends us as ambassadors to bring that reconciliation to others. Finally, the Gospel story of the Prodigal Son reminds us that God is always waiting for us to return and be reconciled. He has done His part and is waiting for us to make our move.
The prodigal and the father are reconciled and are having a great party, as are the Israelites as they enter the Promised Land. But the elder brother, who cannot forgive, who refuses to be reconciled, is left outside and alone in his anger and resentment. Now really: whom is he hurting?
To forgive, to be reconciled, not only makes moral sense as a follower of Jesus, but it also makes practical sense: if we don’t forgive, if we harbor resentments, we cut ourselves off and hurt ourselves, as the elder brother was doing in our Gospel story.
We are at the midway point in Lent. Perhaps there is nothing better that we can do than to be reconciled – both with God and with others from whom we might be estranged. On Tuesday evening, April 9, we have a penance service at 7 pm with three priests to hear individual confessions. I invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to be reconciled with the Lord. And if there are resentments and hurts to be healed, I urge you to use this time of Lent as an opportunity to bring about the needed healing. And let us support each other’s efforts with prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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