This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - Dec 7, 2016

Dear All: 
This Week in Prayer: God Hero:

“Hero” covers a multitude of virtues. Tradition tells us we are being heroic whenever our virtuous behavior becomes “supremely noble.” We can be heroically brave, heroically dedicated or heroically generous. We can also be heroically patient. Throughout His public ministry, Jesus was heroic in too many ways to count. His heroic patience was just one of the reasons to call the God-Man the God-Hero.

Sunday’s passage from Isaiah 11 reminds us that Jesus was supremely passionate about helping the last, the least and the littlest. He “judged the poor with justice, and decided aright for the land’s afflicted.” Amazingly, despite is passion for those in the shadows, He did not “strike the ruthless . . . (or) slay the wicked” who ignored or abused His most beloved. Did Isaiah underestimate the God-Man’s heroic patience?

Might John the Baptist have made a similar move when, after describing Jesus’ passion to spread holiness, he suggested Jesus might destroy the trees that did not bear good fruit? We know Jesus gave His life that we might be holy as He is holy, but the gospels provide no descriptions of Him destroying evildoers. He made some tough claims, but he never declared anyone out of chances. He seems always to have left the door open to conversion. His patience was heroic then.

His patience is also beyond heroic now. Despite our stumbling and faltering, He always invites us further into holiness. His patience is a marvel to behold. And what does He ask in return? Apparently, He seeks two responses: that we try to make fewer demands on His patience and that we strive to be as patient with others as He is with us. Not that we ever will be that patient, but we can move in that direction. We can try to stay as open as possible to the gift of patience as we pray:

Lord Jesus Christ
God Hero
Help me to be as patient with others
As You are with me.

In what ways is he amazingly patient with you? In what difficult circumstances might you try to be more like our heroically patient savior? What situation makes you want to pray that prayer?

This week in service:

  • The response to the Giving Tree continues to reach astonishing heights. I hope you have a chance to stop and consider the gladness the Lord is delivering through you. 
  • The Baby Bottle Collection went beautifully. Thanks to Carl Panzera and all who organized and implemented it. The results of their effort are being tallied now.

This week in community:

  • Children’s Choir Candidates – check the bulletin and the Gathering Space for news about singing at the 4:00 pm Mass on Christmas Eve.
  • How can we thank the Knights of Columbus for what might have been the greatest attendance ever at a pancake breakfast? The food was excellent and the fellowship even better. Thanks to all the Knights who made it happen and special thanks to Tom Kelly and Dominick Ferrigno. 
  • Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 7. An unforgettable concert will be taking place here.
  • The Bishop’s Annual Appeal, which ordinarily is under way by now, will be starting in February.
  • A gentle reminder about Christmas being on a Sunday this year. That schedule sometimes causes the year-end collections to fizzle. We are having a good financial year – on track to pay all our bills, make some large repairs and a few improvements, and maybe put a few dollars in the bank. A good Christmas collection always helps. This year there will be two collections on December 25 – one for the last Sunday of the year. The other for Christmas. If you are having a good year, think about bumping up both collections. If this is a rough year, do not fret about it. Thanks, either way.
  • The money collected this year for Christmas Flowers determines the budget for NEXT year’s flowers.

For those of you are reading this at college, good luck with finals. Remember to run the spell checker twice on all papers and write clearly on all exams. Both moves render the professor benevolent! We look forward to welcoming you back from college and to praying with and for you.

With hopes that, for everyone, the home stretch of the pre-Christmas season supplies you with a little time to remember the really big picture, and to recall, way deep down, the fact that “God so loved the world that He sent His only son” — who is “Wonder Counselor, God Hero, Father Forever, Prince of Peace.”

Love and blessings,

 

Fr Hank, SJ