Dear brothers and sisters,
In the midst of the polarization happening in our society and the world, the divisiveness over politics and elections, religion, immigration, and on and on, today’s readings remind us that God indeed has no favorites. We are ALL called and chosen and loved. In today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel, “Someone askedhim, ‘Lord, will only a few people be saved?’” As Jesus often does, rather than answering the question directly he redirects attention to where it should be. Those in the “in-crowd” are wanting to ensure they are among the chosen few, while the real question is not how many will be saved, but whether those posing the question (and we) are choosing to follow Jesus. “I am the way, the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father, except through me.”
ALL are called. In the first reading from Isaiah we hear: “I come to gather nations of every language... to the distant coastlands that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations.” The Gospel continues the theme: “And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. ” Let us remember that ALL are welcome; not just my nationality, my religion, my political party. As we go about our daily lives, as we vote or encounter those who look or speak differently or follow a different faith, may our actions demonstrate that same openness and love for others that God offers. Only then can we be assured that we will “ enter through the narrow gate.”
In peace and brotherhood,
I guess anything that is the first time in our life, whether good or bad, is something that we always remember. My first year of seminary life is an especially powerful and unforgettable experience. There were many things that I have encountered that helped me to grow and follow Christ. Being at Pope Saint John XXIII Seminary allowed me to discover new things and develop new perspectives in my vocation as well as in my ministry. There are four important pillars in seminary formation that guided me in my journey: community, studies, pastoral work, and prayer life.
One thing that is very strong in our seminary life is community, in spite of the fact that we come from different backgrounds in at least thirty various dioceses in the country and abroad. We have a wonderful support system and brotherhood. We help each other whether personal or vocational concerns and the word “competition” is not in our vocabulary. Some of the seminarians were doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers, military men, and businessmen in their past life and yet everyone is just very humble and we don’t need to prove ourselves. The community is filled with joy, wisdom, and life experience. We all know that we are there to be formed and to learn, so we can be well equipped as ministers of God’s people. continued ...
I’d like to remind you about the value of the new eGiving option through Faith Direct. It offers some important advantages over the current Sunday envelopes: It’s green. Less paper. Less postage. No need to mail envelopes every two months. It’s labor saving. Less work for those who count and deposit the collection each week; less effort for you with no need to write a check. It helps parish finances. Vacation time can cause a big drop in the Sunday offering, even though the parish expenses continue. The predictable and steady income provided by eGiving allows us to better support our ongoing parish ministries.
You can fill out the form available at church or mailed to your home and return it to the Parish Office or drop it in the collection basket, or register online HERE and use our parish code CA702. They also offer personalized offertory cards to replace your envelopes so you can continue to participate in the physical act of giving during Mass. Please give eGiving your prayerful consideration, and give envelopes a permanent vacation this summer.
Fr. George Alengadan