We Are Gifts to the Church and the World

Dear Parishioners,

"The LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity" (Is 53:10).

Scripture scholars believe the prophet Isaiah is referring to Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.  Yes, Lord, please crush Rodgers.

Just kidding.

But seriously, who is being crushed in our first reading? And is God really pleased to see someone crushed?

From the Christian vantage point, it is Jesus Christ being crushed.  Jesus is the 'offering for sin.'It can also be us. We are called to be crushed.  We are called to be offerings.  It's our suffering that will justify many.  It is us who will be able to see the 'light in fullness' in our affliction.

It's a difficult, though certainly fulfilling, point to pray with: you are an offering.  I am an offering.  An offering entails sacrifice.  In ancient religions an offering was burned.  Today, when you make an offering, you are letting something out of your possession and it usually entails a financial cost.

On the other hand, an offering entails purposefulness.  We don't make an offering unknowingly.  If money falls out of your pocket into the collection basket, you've lost your dollar bill; you haven't offered it.  When you offer the money, you intend it and have a purpose behind it.

God uses us as offerings.  Our lives and every good thing we do go to some good purpose, like building up the church and the Body of Christ. This is what pleases the Lord.  This is why he 'crushes' us.

Our lives are not only about us.  Our joys and sufferings are not strictly our own.  We are offerings.  We are a gift to the church and to the world.

This weekend is World Mission Sunday.  Envelopes are in the back of the church.  The special collection will support the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, which provides vital assistance to over 1,000 economically poor dioceses responding to spiritual and material needs across Africa, Asia, and remote areas of Latin America and the Pacific Islands. It also resources churches and religious congregations that accompany people facing poverty, violent conflict, and displacement in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe. Thank you for your support. 

Pastoral Council will meet Monday, October 22nd.  We installed and blessed the members of PC a few weekends ago at the Sunday 5pm Mass. They do so much and I'm very grateful.  If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to help our parish, please feel free to pass them along to me or members of the PC.

 I look forward to doing a teaching Mass with the 3rd year Religious Education class this Wednesday night.  I will celebrate Mass and explain each part as I go along.  RE is off to a good start.  Thank you Patty Collins! Thanks also, as always, to our dedicated team of catechists, which includes Fr. Emanuel teaching 6th year and our seminarians, Kevin, Tian, and Joseph.

Girls basketball plays this week on Wednesday and Thursday is another Pack the Gym Night when the SJS teams will play each other (there are two teams for 5, 6, and 7th grades.  Then, in an exciting new event, there will be at 8pm an 8th grade girls versus Parents/Pastor Team.  Feel free to come out to the gym to watch our teams. me and some parents take on the 8th grade girls.  Go easy on us, ladies.

There is a Eucharist Minister formation session at Mary, Seat of Wisdom parish this upcoming Saturday, October 27th.  We already have a large group of EMs attending.  If you would like to go, please let us know.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. James

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