A Letter from Fr. Paul - October 23, 2016
It is that time of year again when we gear up for our annual pledge drive. Pledging is important for our planning and budgeting so that we know what we have to work with. I ask you to be as generous as you can. This coming weekend (Oct 30/31) we will have our witness talks and the pledge cards will be mailed out early the next week. November 5/6 is pledge weekend. Please pray for the success of our campaign.
We have received news that the second of the five wells we have financed has been completed and the other three are underway. Please take a moment to look at the pictures in the back of church.
I will be gone October 25 through November 1, visiting my brother in Pennsylvania. His daughter will be married on the 29th. Please continue to pray for him and his family as he struggles with Lupus and depression.
There are so many angles to approach the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector. One was a religious leader who followed the law scrupulously; the other was a traitor who collaborated with the occupiers and cheated the people. You couldn’t pick more opposite extremes. Yet, the tax collector went home justified and the Pharisee not. What happened?
The Pharisee’s mistake was comparing himself to other people, and from that perspective, he came off well. If, however, he had compared himself to Jesus and what Jesus was saying and doing, he would have had a different outcome. The tax collector, on the other hand, thought only of himself in relationship to God, thus recognizing his need and receiving God’s mercy. Both got what they asked for: the Pharisee asked for nothing and got nothing while the tax collector asked for mercy and received it.
This is a strong warning to us religious folks to make sure that we are comparing ourselves to Jesus and not to others. Do we tend to compare ourselves to others? Or to Jesus as He is presented in the Gospels? I invite us to examine ourselves carefully this week, asking God to help us grow in humility so that we are able to ask for and accept His mercy.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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