We happily announce that we now accept credit card payments in the parish office. You can use credit cards to make purchases or pay fees. Pay for faith formation, buy your festival t-shirt and raffle tickets, and more!
What does it mean to be rich in what matters to God? Most of us can probably describe well what it means to be rich. Some of us would like to be rich. Some of us are already rich and don’t know it.
Jesus teaches that possessions and wealth are not bad. Rather, it is one’s attitude toward possessions that matters. We can become possessed by possessions, focused on things and wealth, rather than keeping God as the center of our lives. The danger is often greed and selfishness. I know too many people, some in my family, who worked so hard to accumulate more and more, saying that they would enjoy life when they retire. They would spend more time with their wife and children, visiting family, reading books, volunteering for church activities and learning how to pray more when they retire. And they died soon after retirement began, and some even before.
Jesus teaches me to trust God, not myself, and to be rich toward God. What do I need to grow rich in the sight of God? What do I need for this growth to take place? I’m going to reflect and pray for conversion on my part at Mass this weekend. See you there? Together, in community, we can explore God’s calls to us to be “rich toward God.”
The week of July 11-15, 2016 a group of ten from St. Francis, along with many more from the Archdiocese of San Antonio, met in Houston with pastoral musicians from around the country, and some from around the world. We were at the annual convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM).
There were five (5) plenum, big group sessions . You can view the videos of them here! Although they are lengthy–45 to 60 minutes each–each one is absolutely worth your time. (They are linked here to begin where the speaker begins. If you wish you can rewind to hear their introductions.)
Choosing to be Mary in a Martha World
Ah, the dilemma! A domestic squabble between two sisters? Entertaining or listening? What’s the priority? “Fussy Martha” and “Resting Mary” is the way Anne Osdieck describes the two sisters who welcome Jesus into their home. Martha she says “readied the table, readied the meal, and poured fine wine.” Her idea of welcome was to put out the best in entertainment. Mary on the other hand, sits at the feet of Jesus, letting his voice fill her soul. This weekend, we pray that we too do the “one thing that is necessary.” Paying attention to the person in need is to be preferred over everyday responsibilities. It’s a new priority!
Jesus’ “home visit” does another thing. He is approving a shift, a change in traditional, physical boundaries in Jewish homes that delineated “male space” and “female space.” By sitting at the feet of Jesus, Mary crossed the line. Only a disciple of a teacher would do this and only a man could be a disciple. When Martha notes that Mary is not where she belongs, helping in the kitchen, Jesus makes clear where he stands—and where Mary can sit. Once again, Jesus is signaling a “new creation,” a discipleship of equals. And it isn’t finished yet.
When have our concepts of “where people belong” changed?
What concepts of “where people belong” still need to be changed?
call us to rest at your feet and hear;
to share for a while with you
the one thing that is
Let us feast on it
as we bustle
Persisting in Prayer
When you think of yourself and your prayer life, which image fits you best? Are you praising and rejoicing? Begging and pleading? Interceding for others? In advising us to ask—seek—knock in our prayer, Jesus is reminding us that prayer always takes us out of ourselves, and places us before God. What do we ask of God? Are we like Abraham, bargaining or asking for justice? Are we bold in our prayer? What would that look like? If the Our Father is our prayer, are we serious about the forgiveness part? The words “persistent” and “persistence” are found in the readings. This weekend, we can ask for Abraham’s courage to be persistent before God and we will find God with us in every life circumstance. We can dare to go outside ourselves, to consider what discipleship demands of us, and to place ourselves before God. Isn’t the Eucharist just such an opportunity? See you on Sunday for persistent prayer and prayer for persistence!
Who is the neighbor to the wounded man?
Think of the Good Samaritan story as if it happened today. Where do you see the “beaten ones” in your neighborhood, city or world? What groups need the Samaritan? The trafficked? The immigrants? The refugees? The homeless or the hungry? Who are the Samaritans who are helping these defenseless ones to live a fuller life? Whether it is large or small, is there anything you can do to help any of the “beaten ones” we see? Can we cross the road?
With whom do you identify in the story: the beaten one, the Levite, the priest, the Samaritan or the lawyer? How do you hear Jesus speaking to you through this parable? The question of “who is my neighbor” baffles us at times. On a poster I found this quote: “The point of the Good Samaritan story is not evangelism. The point is to love people you don’t know who are from places where you don’t live. They too are your neighbors.” I’m going to work at widening my heart as I listen to this parable this weekend. Another discovery I made is Ron Rolheiser’s alternate telling of the parable that brings it into modern times. Am I the person who would most unlikely be the Good Samaritan? Here is the link:
What does it mean to be “sent on mission?” When have you experienced being sent? What was the mission? What resources did you have made available to you? With what attitude did you approach your mission?
If we pay attention to Luke’s Gospel this weekend, we have some clues about what it means to be like one of the 72 missionaries Jesus sent. He sent them in pairs; no one was sent alone. They took along no resources, except their belief in the message, their faith and the companionship of each other. The power to heal and restore relationships came not of their own doing, but always through God’s power. It was a power given to them “on loan.”
Think of all the ways we do things in pairs at St. Francis. We prepare for sacraments in pairs—we have marriage couples forming themselves, with the assistance of sponsor couples, for life-long commitments. We have sponsors or godparents for the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. We frequently enter a relationship of prayer partners at retreats and in between gatherings. Our Small Church Community gatherings end with actionable “being sent” rituals. We are co-mission-ed and sent to be missionaries to others when we dig wells to provide water in remote areas of Guatemala, when we help build affordable housing or provide needed repairs for our neighbors in need, when we serve on ACTS teams to witness to the power of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness in our lives.
Jesus asks those sent to be single-minded, to be completely focused on leading others to a relationship with God that promises eternal life! We gather together this weekend to focus on being sent on mission!
Was Jesus homeless? What does Pope Francis name as Jesus’ house? In their total giving, the Pope mentions that both God the Father and Jesus step outside themselves. How does “coming out of ourselves” relate to “loving our neighbor” from the Second Reading? Anne Osdieck offers these questions for our reflection this weekend.
Jesus lived the daily realities of most ordinary people… He cried in front of the suffering of Martha and Mary on the death of their brother Lazarus; he called a tax collector to be his disciple and also suffered the betrayal of a friend. In Christ, God has given us the assurance that he is with us, in our midst. “Foxes,” Jesus said, “have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head” (Mt 8:20). Jesus did not have a home because his house is the people—that is, us; his mission is to open all God’s doors, to be the loving presence of God… He gives himself totally.
What does this mean for us? … following Jesus means learning how to come out of ourselves—to reach out to others… to go to the outskirts of existence…
Remember well: stepping outside of ourselves, like Jesus, like God has stepped outside of himself in Jesus and Jesus stepped outside of himself for all of us.
Pope Francis, “Step Outside Yourself and Bring Faith to Others,”
General Audience 3/ 27/2013
Enrollment for our RCIA program has started. If you or someone you know is an adult (17+ years) who seeks baptism in the Catholic Church, or needs to complete sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation, please contact Sr. Rose Kruppa in the parish office.
What About Teens and Children?
Do you have a child older than 7 or a teen who would like to be baptized into the Catholic Church or who needs to receive First Communion? We offer Teen RCIA and Catechumenate for Children programs to meet the needs of these age groups. For information on Catechumenate for Children and Teen RCIA, please contact Sr. Rose Kruppa in the office or at firstname.lastname@example.org.