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26 Feb

O you of little faith

Dear Parishioners,

Do you worry? If you do—if you are a "worrier"—then listen particularly to Jesus this weekend. “Do not worry about your life,” he says. “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?” (Matt 6:24-34)

Planning and being intentional is one thing, worrying is another. Worrying does us no good. It is wasted energy and makes life much less enjoyable. Jesus wants us to be happy, which is why he tells us to stop worrying. Our Savior will provide for us, just like he provides for the birds of the sky and the wildflowers.

Praying is an antidote to worrying. Look at the opening line from our psalm today: “Only in God is my soul at rest” (Ps 62:2). When we worry, our mind and, fundamentally, our soul dart around. Conversely, when we pray we are put at ease. God relaxes us. Sit with Jesus and even express to him some of your worries, and he will settle you.

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19 Feb

All That is Holy

Dear Parishioners,

Holiness is the theme this weekend. “Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy,” we hear in Leviticus (Lev 19:1). Paul next informs the Corinthians, “for the temple of God, which you are, is holy” (1 Cor 3:17). Finally, Jesus' instructions to “turn the other cheek”, and so forth, are some qualities that go into making a person holy. I've often said that if you are going to ask for one thing in prayer, ask for holiness. If we are holy, everything else will fall in place.

So what exactly is holiness? Many have written on the topic. In fact, when I come across a quote or a passage about holiness, I record it. Let me share one from the many I have. It is from Thomas Merton, taken out of New Seeds of Contemplation:

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12 Feb

I fought the law and the law won.

Dear Parishioners,

God proposes ideas to us all the time. I don't know about you, but I'm often dubious of them. “Nah,” I say to myself, “I'm not going to stop and talk to that beggar on the street.” “Hmm, I don't know if I agree with that,” I think mentally as I read a theological book. (Note the variety of ways in which God can "speak" to us.)

“But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment...everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt 5: 21, 28). Here is a saying from our Lord, taken from this Sunday's Gospel, and my initial reaction is to question. Nemo cogitationis poenam patitur is a maxim I recall from my canon law classes. It means no one suffers punishment on account of his thoughts. Is not Christ's legal interpretation therefore fallacious?

That's when I hear St. Paul talk to me, speaking the same words he wrote to the Corinthians from our second reading: "We speak a wisdom to those who are mature, not a wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away. Rather, we speak God's wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, and which none of the rulers of this age knew" (1 Cor 2:6-10).

St. Paul tells us to trust in God's wisdom, which goes deeper than our own. If my inclination is to question Christ's legal interpretation, what I hear Paul telling me to do is to be humble and realize Jesus knows what he is talking about. He came to fulfill the law.

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05 Feb

And the award goes to...

Dear Parishioners,

When Christ says bluntly, “You are the salt of the earth...you are the light of the world” (Matt 5:13-16), we have a fairly uplifting message. We are, he tells us, fundamentally good. We have something good to share. Jesus wants us to share that goodness.

Remember this Gospel when you're having a bad day. Remember our Lord's message when you feel like dirt. Because you're not dirt. You're a good person. Let your light shine.

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Has a bright beam of sunlight ever drawn your eye to our stained glass windows, and you found yourself wondering what story they tell? They really do tell a story; we share it with our virtual tour.

Church Windows