A word from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI ~ “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”
This weekend, we celebrate the 30th Sunday in the Ordinary Time of the Year. Our Gospel reading today follows last Sunday’s Gospel – it is the second of two parables on prayer found in Luke 18. It examines two attitudes on prayer: humility and righteousness. We are invited to ponder whether we resemble the tax collector or the Pharisee, and to choose a course for the future. Hint: the righteousness of the Pharisee, which is self-righteousness, not the righteousness of God, is not the attitude that belongs to a disciple of Jesus.
Also, this weekend we observe our “Covenant Renewal Weekend 2022 – Sharing our gifts in humility.” Each year, we take some time to step back as a parish and to acknowledge the many gifts we have been given. We acknowledge that everything we have is a gift from God and that our only appropriate response is gratitude. We gratefully receive God’s gifts, use what we need, and share the rest with those also in need. This year, as we continue to emerge from the pandemic, we see our stewardship as not just a decision or a commitment, but as a covenant with the Lord. We take this covenant seriously by prayerfully considering the ways in which we can give of ourselves by sharing our time, our talent and our treasure. This year, we are asking that each member of our parish family commit weekly to at least 1 hour of worship, and at least 1 additional hour of service or participation in a parish ministry. As we listen to God’s invitation and write down our plans and share them, we forge a lasting covenant between ourselves, our God, and the whole of God’s creation. Please join me in celebrating and responding to our “Covenant Renewal Weekend 2022.”
We continue our observance of Respect Life Month during this month of October. Forty-nine years ago, the Catholic bishops in the United States designated October as Respect Life Month. Throughout this month, we have been called to reflect on the gift of human life, the threats against it and how we can protect all persons from conception through natural death. It was Cardinal Joseph Bernardine who challenged us to uphold a “Seamless Garment of Life” that includes all of the different Respect Life issues from conception through natural death. Some of the Respect Life ministries in our parish include the “Baby Bottles for Life” collection, the October Baby Shower, our support of “Project Rachel” (the Catholic Church’s post-abortion healing ministry for both women and men), our “Expecting Parents’ Prayer List,” our service to families with special-needs children through our school and faith formation programs, Undy Sunday, our organic garden, support of Neighborhood Food Pantries and PADS, Thanksgiving Food boxes, Nursing Home Ministries, opportunities for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, prayerful celebrations of the Rites of Christian Burial and our All Soul’s Memorial Mass, during which we remember each person we have buried during the past year. Each one of these ministries, and others, are ways in which we can build a “Culture of Life” in our community, our nation and our world.
Today at the 10:00 am Mass, we celebrated the Rite of Becoming a Catechuman and the Acceptance of Candidates for Post-Baptismal Catechesis. Congratulations to our Catechuman and Candidates for taking this next step in their faith journey. We promise them the support of our prayers as they continue their journey of faith.
As always, may God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy