This coming Sunday we will have our annual Grass Mass (Mass outside in the courtyard) at 10:30 (there will be a 5 pm Mass on Saturday but no 8 am Mass on Sunday). It is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate in a special way as a community, both in the liturgy and the meal that follows. Please join us and invite family and friends along!
Also, this coming weekend, the Salvatorians will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the death of our Founder, Fr. Francis Jordan, who died on September 8th, 1918, in Tafers, Switzerland. Salvatorian Family members (sisters, lay, brothers, and priests) have been invited to celebrate together at the 5 pm Mass at Pius. A display board about his death will be in the back of church for the 5 pm Mass and in the gym for the meal after the Grass Mass.
Our new principal, Lori Suarez, began her ministry on August 27th, the first day of school. We welcome her to our team and our community, accompanying her in prayer.
In our readings this weekend, we are told that we constantly have to remind ourselves what it TRULY means to live a Christian life. St. James summarizes it as Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Jesus picks up the theme, chastising the religious leaders as being hypocrites: You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition. (They were requiring normal people to observe rules originally meant for the priests performing sacred rituals, rules like ritual cleansing and avoiding blood. Of course, women couldn’t avoid blood at certain times and poor people had no means of performing the washing rituals, so it was effectively a means of discrimination).
Are we “doers” of the Word? That is a critical question I have to ask myself over and over. It is easy to fall into the routine of ritual and prayers, convincing myself that I am leading a good Christian life. The admonition to “care for the widow and orphan” means to take care of the most vulnerable. I invite us this week to reflect on this refrain of the responsorial psalm (The one who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord), asking ourselves how that translates into our lives and world in September, 2018. And let us support each other in our efforts with prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS