A Letter from Fr. Paul - November 10, 2019
This weekend was our Ministry Fair and Pledge Drive. I thank all who worked the tables and those who signed up for a ministry. Your sharing of time and talent makes our community vibrant! If you did not turn in your pledge card this weekend, please put it in the collection in the next weeks or mail/bring it to the parish office. This information is vital for constructing our budget for the next fiscal year.
The children’s Christmas pageant before the late afternoon Mass on Christmas Eve is a Pius tradition. Unfortunately, because of circumstances for those who help put it on, we will have to skip it this year. However, it will be back in 2020 and we will be looking for volunteers to make it happen.
As we get near the end of the Church year, the readings in each of the three cycles deal with the end-times and sometimes I feel like I have run out of things to say. However, this year, I was struck by the last words of Jesus in our Gospel from Luke: he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive. I remembered that in the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel, the two men in dazzling white say to the women at the empty tomb, Why do you seek the living one among the dead? Living! He is the God of the LIVING! Why seek the LIVING one among the dead? What can this say to us?
Sometimes we can allow ourselves to be overcome with that which takes life and joy out of us: sickness, relationship problems, world situation, etc., etc. But that is not where we find Jesus. We cannot seek the Living in doom and gloom: He is in the Living. In other words, we need to focus on the good, on the positive, and what is LIVING: there we will find Jesus and that will help us cope with what is not good.
This is important not only for us ourselves, but also for our mission as disciples. As Pope Francis said a couple weeks ago on World Mission Sunday, our “mission is to make disciples for Christ,” and we do that by sharing “the good news that in Jesus mercy defeats sin, hope defeats fear, brotherhood defeats hostility.” We can’t share “the Good News” (Gospel) if we are projecting gloom and doom. Mercy, hope, brotherhood: these all focus on the positive and bring the Living Jesus to others.
Reflection for the week: when people encounter me, do they encounter a person of joy, hope, and light? Does trust in the Living God radiate from me and attract people to ask what I have that can bring such joy? Do I spend quiet time praying and listening, so as to be more immersed in the Living God? And, as we struggle to be better disciples, let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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