A Letter from Fr. Paul - October 30, 2016
This weekend a fellow parishioner will be giving a witness talk at each Mass and Monday our pledge drive mailing goes out. The pledge drive is an opportunity to give thanks to God for His many blessings by sharing with your faith community. This coming weekend is pledge weekend. Please reflect and pray over the pledge materials and be as generous as you can.
The third well in Tanzania constructed with our Lenten fund has been completed. I share the following from an e-mail I received: we have completed the well and handed over the well to the villagers. During pump installation and handing over, the village chairman on behalf of the villagers expressed much thanks to the people of St. Pius parish, Wauwatosa, and the Salvatorian US province for the provision of funds without which safe water could remain a dream to them. Pius Parishioners Always Come Through!!!
As you know, our school, Wauwatosa Catholic, is an authorized International Baccalaureate school for the primary grades. The IB curriculum works at creating world citizens, students who are open to different cultures and peoples. Ten words, called the “IB Learner Profile Attributes,” are used to describe an IB person. These words, such as caring, principled, open-minded, fit very well with Gospel values and make it so much easier for me to preach to the students, because I can tie the values that Jesus espouses with what they are learning in their classes. From time to time I will present one of these words so that you can be more familiar with what is happening at our school. The first IB word I will present is THINKER: IB learners who are THINKERS try to think about different ways to solve a problem and use higher level thinking skills to an- swer questions. THINKERS think about how they speak and behave and try to make reasonable and ethical decisions. Par- ents can help develop THINKERS by encouraging children to solve problems independently, by posing real-life questions that do not have a "right" answer but multiple answers depending on your viewpoint or skills.
One again our Gospel centers on a tax collector. Tax collectors were considered traitors, thieves, and extortionists; they were hated and shunned by all. Zacchaeus had no desire to change, he was just curious to see this “miracle worker.” If Jesus had shunned him, as did everyone else, nothing would have happened.
But Jesus accepted him as he was, saying that he wanted to stay at his house. Not just talk with him but stay at his house, which said to people that Jesus was identifying with Zacchaeus!!! And look what happened: Zacchaeus is converted from his evil ways, the poor get half of his possessions, and those he cheated (also mostly poor) get 4 times their money back! When we are accepting, when we treat people well, even if they have done something bad to us, great things can happen. This is one of the principal ways that God’s Kingdom breaks into this world. I invite us to reflect this week on the story of Zacchaeus, asking ourselves how accepting we are of others, especially those who might be shunned or ignored by others. How can I do better? And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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