“Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you” are harsh words to hear from the lips of the Lord Jesus, especially for those who feel their lives are “rightly” ordered. The preceding parable of the vineyard owner and his two sons, on giving “lip and service” and the other giving “lip service” (Mt 21:28-32) is a sober reminder that actions clearly speak louder than words. For one there was a moment of repentance that leads to obedient action. Our prayer today challenges us to scrutinize our hearts and to recognize the very grace of conversion that is present in the lives of others that it might come to full maturity in our own lives:
O God, you alone judge rightly and search the depths of the heart. Make us swift to do your will and slow to judge our neighbor, that we may walk with those who follow the path of repentance and faith and so enter your heavenly kingdom.
With the beginning of October comes a change in leadership to both the Parish Council and the Parish Finance Committee. First, however, I would like to thank Pete Stauder and Jim Laria who have served as the chairs of these respective committees for my tenure of nearly ten full years and several years before! I am grateful for their wisdom, for their great love for this parish family, and for their dedication to the Lord and His holy Church. Well done good and faithful servants!
I offer my prayerful best wishes to Bill Barth who is now the chair of the Parish Council and Sue Brown who is now the chair of the Parish Finance Committee. Both Sue and Bill have a deep love for this parish, are engaged in loving ministries in this parish community, and are people of deep faith. I look forward to working closely with them in the years that lie ahead!
I am also very pleased to announce some changes to our parish staff after some departures. Kay Bencen will be rejoining the staff as a Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation and RCIA. Katie Ferris has joined the staff as Coordinator for Youth Ministry. Along with Chris Stalnaker, who is now the Director of the Faith Formation Office, I congratulate them all!
Following the Noon Mass today (Sunday), we will have a special blessing for pets. Wednesday, October 4, is the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.
May the week ahead be filled with many blessings!