This coming weekend, October 26-27, we will hold our annual all-parish meeting in the cafeteria after each Mass. There will be short presentations on the parish goal/direction, middle school/youth religious education, Kingdom Prep, and development/finances, as well as time to ask questions. Each session should last about 45 minutes. I hope you will be able to attend and learn more about our community.
If you are a member of a council, commission, or committee – or are thinking of joining one -- please remember to register for the leadership workshop led by Br. Silas Henderson SDS on Saturday morning, November 2, from 9 to 11 in the cafeteria. You can register online at our parish website or by calling the parish during office hours. Please make every effort to take advantage of this opportunity.
Please remember to support our sister parish collection. Special envelopes are in the pews or you can use one of your own. The donation can be placed in the regular collection or mailed/turned in to the parish office. Thank you for your generosity.
You might have noticed we have new signs around the parish to help people find their way inside our building. The only new names are for the rectory living room (Francis Jordan room) and the rectory dining room (Mary of the Apostles room) after the two Salvatorian founders. Thank you to John Gietl of Gietl Sign Company, who donated the signs and his services to the parish.
The obvious theme of our readings this week is persistence in prayer. In the first reading, the persistence of four people led to victory for the Israelites: Joshua in fighting, Moses in holding his hands up, and Aaron and Hur in supporting Moses. In the second reading, Paul continues his instructions to Timothy, a young leader. Paul tells him to be persistent, whether it is convenient or inconvenient. In the Gospel, Jesus tells the parable in which the unjust judge finally gives a just decision for a widow because she persistently bothers him until he caves in. The obvious message for us is that we must be persistent, both in living Gospel values and in praying.
The parable could easily give us the idea that we need to badger God, convince God, to do what we want or what is needed. But that is not the point. Our faith tells us that God is always conscious of us and walking with us. Persistence in prayer is more for our own sake, not to manipulate God to do what we want.
What I mean is this: it isn’t easy to live as we should and consistent prayer gives us the help that we need, reminding us that we are dependent, not in control, that we need God’s help. IT PUTS US IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. It connects us and that connection gives us the strength we need to be faithful to Gospel values.
And notice the community in the first reading! Joshua needed Moses. Moses needed Aaron and Hur. All together, they prevailed. So private prayer and prayer in community are both essential.
We have our wailing wall in the back of church where we post petitions. We have our parish prayer chain. We have intentions at Mass. We come together to pray and worship as a community on a regular basis. All of these reinforce our connections as the body of Christ and help us intensify our personal relationship with God.
I invite us to reflect his week on how we incorporate both personal and communal prayer into our lives. Do I spend time each day speaking and listening to God? Do I participate in community prayer regularly? How can I grow? And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS