A Letter from Fr. Paul - October 8, 2017
Thank you to all who helped put on our Ministry Fair and to all who committed themselves to serve our community and/or the broader community. May God bless you for your generosity.
There is still time to contribute to the collection for our sister parish, which is lagging behind other years. Please use the envelopes in the pews or mark any envelope “sister parish” and put it in the regular collection or get it to the parish office. Thank you for helping our sister parish with materials to build catechetical centers in their outlying villages.
This week you will be receiving a mailing from the archdiocese for the combined collection “Church in Mission.” This collection supports the following worthwhile causes: Catholic Home Missions, Catholic Relief Services, the Church is Central and Eastern Europe, and the Peter’s Pence for the Pope’s charitable works of mercy. Please be as generous as you can. There are extra envelopes in the back of church, if you do not get one in the mail.
Please see my letter in our newsletter, The Invitation, for a list of upcoming events here at Pius.
Our first reading and the Gospel this weekend sound very harsh. The theme is the vineyard of the Lord: in the first reading, Isaiah explains how a vineyard (the chosen people) which does not bear fruit will be abandoned and destroyed; in the Gospel the laborers who kill the landowner’s son are put to death and the vineyard given to others (not so veiled reference to the Jewish leaders who put Jesus to death).
It makes God sound very harsh, doesn’t it? But Jesus over and over again tells us how merciful God is to those who are open to His mercy. To those who are open to His mercy! In these scripture passages, the people were not open to God’s mercy. All of us fall short, none of us can be perfect and perfection is not what God expects of us. He expects us to know that we need his mercy and to be open to receiving it. And when we are, we in turn become more merciful to others, moving ourselves a little closer to the Perfection that is God.
One of my favorite images from scripture comes from Micah 7:19: You [God] will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins. And then he puts a “No fishing” sign there, as a commentator once said. That is God’s mercy!
Let us thank God for His mercy and ask for the grace ever more to be open to receiving it and passing it on to others.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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