What was that again?
Do you ever wonder about the timing of the Sunday readings? The same passages are repeated every three years: the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time had these same ones in 2014 and 2011. But sometimes they seem so fresh and surprisingly appropriate, as if Someone had decided “THESE are what the people need right now!”
Several phrases from today’s readings leaped out at me: “You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart. Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen, do not incur sin because of him.” “He crowns you with kindness and compassion.” “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Do these seem especially relevant today, or is it just me? In the aftermath of the elections, in housing crises and economic turmoil, in civil unrest and political upheavals, there is much finger-pointing and name-calling, but perhaps we need some mirrors, too. If I hold up a mirror to myself, do I see someone crowned with compassion, correcting with love and not holding grudges, recognizing that everyone is my brother or sister – or am I like those who are in need of reproving?
Two weeks ago it was my privilege to help with the First Reconciliation services as our young people and their families celebrated this amazing gift of forgiveness. Afterwards many of the children said they felt lighter, that a weight was lifted from them. In offering forgiveness we in turn are forgiven. In acting with compassion rather than with hate, we follow Jesus’ instructions. This is a good time to remember St Joseph is offering our first-ever “family friendly” Communal Reconciliation Service on March 11, held at 11:00 on a Saturday morning to be more accessible for families with children and for those who have trouble getting out at night. And of course we have our “regular” Lenten Reconciliation Service on Monday April 10, at 7pm. “The Lord is kind and merciful.”
In closing, consider the words of Paul in the First Reading: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Let’s remember who we are and whose we are. We have before us many reminders: the youngsters receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist for the first time, the adults confirmed at the Cathedral Saturday morning, the new catechumens expressing their desire for baptism and the other catechumens who will soon be moving to the final stage of preparation, those who serve in Pastoral Care Ministry or the Knight of Columbus or St. Vincent de Paul or so many other ways.“ Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him.” May we hear God’s word today with new ears and new hearts.
God bless you!
Anne Marie Fourré
Director of Faith Formation
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