Our Ministries
3 Oct

Blessed Pet Medals

You can purchase a blessed pet medal in the parish office. We have two options to choose from, and both are $5. You can pick the medal on the green background or the brown medal. Even if you do not have a pet of your own, these medals make great gifts to your friends who do!

24 Sep

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The In Crowd

Two elders who were not in the original group receive the Spirit and begin to prophesy. Those in the tent object and demand that Moses stop them. Moses responds with a question about their jealousy and then announces his wish that “all the people of the Lord” were prophets. Exclusion or inclusion? Moses certainly turns the tables on human consciousness and invites and includes the gifts of all who are people of the Lord.

James names the excluded as well. He calls to task those who withhold wages from workers, who turn a deaf ear to the cries of injustice. And Mark uses images of self-mutilation to make a strong point, to grab our attention. What are our stumbling blocks? What holds us back from responding to the needs of others, from listening to the cries of the hurting? Do we all make choices about what we do with our time? About what gets our attention? How are we channeling our energies? What priorities do we have? What do we “cut out” or “cut off” in our lives to make room for the work of the Holy Spirit?

Perhaps we don’t give ourselves time spent in silence so we can hear the voice of God, let the Spirit enter, and experience the call to “announce the good news.” Perhaps the people we choose to spend time with do not bring out the best in us. Perhaps the news source I follow is not bringing joy, not exploring possibilities or solutions, but continues to divide and polarize.

The “In Crowd” is something attractive to many. Moses and Jesus invite us to explore other possibilities—possibilities that are ours through the work of the Holy Spirit who comes to us in Baptism anointing us to baptismal priesthood, baptismal prophecy, and baptismal kingship. Are our choices leading us to God and one another or away from God and the good of one another? How big is our tent? Who is at the table? Who can prophesy? Who can minister to others in Jesus’ name? Both Moses and Jesus advocate for inclusion over exclusion. Is EVERYBODY in?

An additional resource for reflection on this Sunday’s readings:

https://learn.ctu.edu/twenty-sixth-sunday-of-ordinary-time-2/

17 Sep

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Child in Our Midst

When the disciples argue among themselves about who is most important, Jesus reaches for a child, places his arms around it, and offers the child as most important. Whoever receives the child in Jesus’ name, receives the One who sent Jesus. At St. Francis this week, I have been keenly aware of the role children have in our community. This past Sunday, we began sending the children to Break Open the Word in Children’s Liturgy. I was able to see every child at the 8:30 am Mass and those faces were priceless! Jesus was reaching for the children! Jesus was presenting another model of living The Way!

We also began faith formation classes with our elementary, middle, and high schoolers. From 10-11 am and again on Tuesday evening there were children everywhere on our campus. Very generous and Spirit-filled catechists welcomed them to sit in each other’s company to learn about God’s love for them.

Many of us stop what we are doing when we hear the littlest ones who are in Kids Day Out (KDO) as they pass outside our office doors and windows. They are not only God’s delight but also ours.

Jesus was clear in his focus on the children! Adults can go on squabbling, vying for positions. Where does ambition for power and authority lead? We can become jealous of who others are or what they have. We might feel unappreciated, undervalued, and unloved.  We can fight about differing ideologies, political persuasions, and religious practices. In the midst of this, Jesus puts children in our midst, embraces them, and affirms them. It’s almost as if Jesus presents the child as a STOP sign! Stop your selfish behaviors and motives!

What would happen to each of us if we became more humble and became a servant, washing each other’s feet regularly? What if we affirm another’s gifts, offer them welcome, and embrace them as Jesus did with the little child? What if we became other focused and began to be grateful for the ways God has gifted us? When we affirm others, we experience God affirming us. We can welcome our gifts and our weaknesses, embrace them, and root out jealousy, selfish ambition and competition.

Children also remind us of our responsibility to create the kind of world, the kind of society, the kind of community and the kind of family we want for them. All of our actions or inactions have consequences for their future. Perhaps we too need to think of them more and less of ourselves. After all, they are learning from us!