A Letter from Fr. Paul - November 18, 2018
Thank you to the presenters and those who attended the all parish meetings last weekend. These meetings are critical for good communication and a strong sense of community.
Thank you, also, to those who have handed in their Pledge for 2019. Pledging helps us to budget. If you still need to pledge, please do so as soon as possible. Pledging can now be done on our website (stpiusparish.org), if that is more convenient for you.
Once again we will have Advent reflection resources for adults and children. This coming weekend the adult booklet (Watch for the Lord: Advent reflections from Pope Francis, Mother Teresa, and Henri Nouwen) will be handed out with the bulletins. The children’s booklet (Advent Joy: activities for Advent) will be available on the table in the vestibule of the church. Please use these resources to make Advent a spiritually enriching time for you and your family. And remember to put our Advent reflection/adoration from 7 to 8 on Tuesday evening, December 4th, in your calendar!
On November 6, I wired $6,115 to our sister parish in Guatemala. Thank you to all who contributed. May God bless you for your generosity.
In these final weeks before the Feast of Christ the King and the end of the Church year, we have a lot of what are called apocalyptic readings. These readings use drastic imagery to speak about the end times. Just as someone who has never studied or been exposed to poetry might have a hard time understanding a complicated poem because of its literary style, apocalyptic literature and imagery can be difficult for us.
In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus uses the imagery of a fig tree to try to explain what is going on. In the dead of winter, a tree appears dead, with no life. But when leaves begin to sprout, we know that better weather and summer are on the way. In a nutshell, that is the message for us: when things are bad, trust that the Lord will deliver better times. In fact, in its exaggerated style, apocalyptic literature tells us that when things are absolutely the most horrible, cataclysmic, that is when God’s light and life will break in on us.
So, the message is to have hope, do what we are supposed to do, live as Christ has modeled for us, and not be afraid: no matter what happens, we will be at peace with Christ. Chaos might appear to be winning, but Christ is in control!!! What a wonderful gift our faith is! As we celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday and the Feast of Christ the King on Sunday, let us thank the Lord who always walks with us and promises us that, in the end, we will spend eternity in peace with Him.
And let us support each other in prayer. Happy Thanksgiving!
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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