The annual Diocesan Services Appeal (DSA) is going well throughout the Diocese this year in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our parish has pledged over $94,000 dollars so far to reach our $146,416 goal. DSA supports so many services that go beyond the reach of any one parish. We have a bumper crop of seminarians, according to Fr. John Whitlock, our Diocesan Vocations Director, and DSA monies are very much needed to support this new group of seminarians. I remember how important it was when I first entered the seminary to receive financial aid. Most men are poor after going through college and our support of DSA helps pay for a good portion of their theological training.
DSA pledges can be made online, or sent directly to the Diocese. You can also drop off DSA envelopes in the collection basket or mail them in to the parish office and we will see they get to the Diocese. On behalf of the Bishop, thank you for your support of DSA.
Questions of the Week: How does this Sunday’s parable (See Matthew 13:24-43) address the problem of evil in our world or even in our own lives? How have we experienced God’s patience with our own faults and sins?
In our first reading from Wisdom this Sunday, the author is reflecting deeply on the might and power of God that is expressed particularly through justice and clemency. God judges all sin. No one gets away with anything. Yet, God is patient in dealing with us, giving us good grounds to hope that we may repent of our sins and receive mercy (see Wisdom 12:13, 16-19). This was written before the full revelation of God that we see in Jesus Christ.
Jesus has made this hope manifest in the sacrifice He made for us on the Cross. Good grounds to hope indeed! We gather around the Cross where His Sacred Blood was shed for us. On that ground, we are washed clean by His Precious Blood and receive mercy and grace. That “ground” is the sacraments: Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, and the Anointing of the Sick. Jesus extends His hands of healing to us through these sacraments, and we are washed clean.
Repentance of our sins means our lives change. When we receive the gift of repentance, we have a newness inside us. Not only are our sins washed away, but we have a new grace to live in a new way. Jesus helps us walk with Him. We become His disciples.
There are so many stories of God being patient with those who struggle with sin. When we think of our own lives, we can see it. We can acknowledge that we did not receive the punishment we deserved. The full blow of our crimes was mitigated. Everytime we go to confession it is like that. We confess our sins and receive a much lighter “sentence” when the priest gives us our penance. It is like the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her own tears (see Luke 7:36-49). Jesus did not deny she had sinned, and in fact affirmed it. But, said, “her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
This is the time of mercy for us, but there will come a time of judgement.
The world and our lives in this world do not last forever.
Jesus in our Gospel this week explains the parable of the wheat and the weeds. The wheat is the children of God’s Kingdom; the weeds, the children of the evil one. In the end, there will be a judgment and separation, the good from the bad. Until that time, the wheat and weeds grow together. To uproot the weeds might cause greater damage to the wheat. And God’s grace is so amazing that by God’s power, some of those weeds can be transformed into wheat! Oh Lord, may I be in that number.
God bless you.