From the Desk of Fr. John

‘Growing, Living, and Building Together’ campaign continues to grow and show great results…but the weather has taken its toll on our efforts – well…after all…it is winter! Thank you to all who came on Commitment Weekend to make your pledge, or share some time with refreshments and the good company of those who have joined the many others who have pledged.

The Lord has a vision for our community and growing, living and building together that community is the number one priority. Yes we are about the business of meeting our physical needs through this building and refreshing project. These things were in the planning stages for years…modified along the way to meet our budget…but now taking shape in real life.

So…the Lord wants us to work as hard at our community of faith…and build it up and refresh it with new life and renewed faith! Not surprisingly that will take…just as the project does…everyone pitching in and helping it happen. So…I am hoping and asking each of you who are able…to do your part. Don’t be afraid to make your pledge…and give a gift…it is the gift of yourselves that can make all the difference. We are all a part of the puzzle…and we don’t want to see a missing piece or a blank spot. Give joyfully and gratefully…that is what it means to be a Christian Disciple.

The glow of the Christmas season has all but faded away…along with decorations, parties and all the rest. However, the reality and mystery of the gift of God’s only begotten and beloved Son in Jesus has not… ‘Emmanuel – God with us.’ When we heard the Gospel of last Sunday we were drawn back to the river Jordan and the witness of John the Baptist. It was a familiar scene…but now instead of an infant in the manger we have Jesus as a full adult man beginning his ministry and mission.

John proclaims boldly who Jesus really is… ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.’ Clearly John is trying to unfold the mystery to those who came from Jerusalem questioning him about his role as a prophet. He tells them that he is not the one expected…but he points to Jesus and tells them… ‘I have seen and have testified that he is the Son of God.’ They again turn a deaf ear to him with closed minds and hearts. We are called to be as bold and as clear in our witness to Jesus! It may not be easy…yet that is our call.

Now we turn to the continuous reading of the Gospel of Matthew (Cycle A) on the Sundays of Ordinary Time (the ordered/numbered Sundays outside of Holy Seasons and Feasts).Matthew has given us the infancy narrative of Jesus’ origin and birth. Now after John’s arrest Jesus begins in earnest his mission…which will lead him to the cross.

Jesus proclaims that the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is at hand and invites all to repent…to turn around and away from all that is sinful to embrace new freedom and life in God. Jesus is the source of this new life and invites faith, trust, and a willingness of the reality of following him.

Jesus then calls his first disciples from their jobs and families…and they immediately follow him. He promises them that he will form them anew. Jesus promises them that he will give them a new mission in life… ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They need to be formed for their new role…and so do we. By the end of the Gospel the Risen Lord will send them… ‘To make disciples of all the nations’…and that is our mission as well!

Right to Life…is a very precious gift from the Lord, and we are morally bound to protect and preserve human life from conception until natural death. The US Supreme Court changed the law of our nation with the Roe v. Wadedecision on January 22, 1973, legalizing abortion in the US. See more information about ways to pray and make reparation for sins against life…in this bulletin.

Grow your Faith…with Exodus Bible Study here at SSPP. See the ad in this week’s bulletin.

Catholic Schools Week…will begin the weekend of January 28-29!

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