This week in prayer:
- Mixed results. Can we avoid them in this life? Surely some of our best efforts produce unmitigated success, but what about the others? What about the many instances in which we try with all our might to do the right thing and, despite our pure intentions, find that our choices leave someone feeling sad, disconnected, angry or distressed?
It’s the story of teachers and coaches who try to affirm every student but inadvertently leave one off the praise list. It’s the story of parents who are trying to provide for their children, take a job transfer, and find that the relocation unsettles the kids far more than they anticipated. It’s the story of a student who stops running with the too-fast crowd and then learns that the choice decimated old friends. It’s the story of adults trying to help aging parents who experience the effort as belittling. It’s a story familiar to so many of us who discover that our best intentions yield sadness.
Sunday’s readings remind us that Saint Paul and Jesus also lived that story. The passage from Acts lists the places Paul visited, enriched and then left. But the verses say nothing of the sadness Paul’s exits inflicted on those churches. Chapter 20 fills in that blank: “They were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him, for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again.” His departures left others feeling terribly sad. Paul knew the story.
So did Jesus. Sunday’s excerpt from John’s gospel suggests Jesus wanted to prepare the disciples for the sadness his choices would inflict on them: “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.” A few chapters later, Jesus implores the Father to protect the disciples who would be devastated by His (Jesus’) choice to accept death. Jesus knew the story.
Where has the story of mixed results been a difficult one for you? Can you name a time or two when your best intentions left others feeling sad? Can you see that Jesus understands it completely? Can you sense His desire for you to let yourself off the hook? Your best is good enough for Him.
Loyola Press has released a new “Examen App.” I haven’t used it yet but I know the Examen is a magnificent prayer and I know Fr. Thibodeaux does great work. Check out:http://reimaginingexamen.ignatianspirituality.com/
(PS – we used to joke that Fr. Thibodeaux’ dog was named Phydeaux)
This week in service:
Our parish’s Financial Peace University ended last week. The eleven families that completed the course are pretty much raving about it. Many have already made significant reductions in debt and are formulating much improved financial plans. To learn more about the amazing program and the next time it might be offered, contact program provider Rich Realbuto at email@example.comCongratulations and power to our FPU grads.
Extra prayers for our young people who begin their Thirty Hour Famine this week. Your spirit of generosity is an inspiration for everyone. No Joke. May God bless your efforts and may God help us eliminate world hunger. (Pledge sheets to support the effort are still posted in the gathering space and you can donate through this weekend.)
You still have time to bring your gently used winter clothing to church.The winter clothing drive continues this weekend. Great thanks to Elisa and Jeremy Goldstone for making it happen.
This week in community:
The dozens of ladies who recently finished the Walking With Purpose bible study have terrific things to say about it. Really terrific things.Thanks to God for blessing that program and blessings on the ladies who completed it. Your dedication to the faith is a gift to all of us.
Look here and in the bulletin in the next few weeks for news about our Parish Sesqui Cookbook. Most believe this is a first. Can anyone remember a prior cookbook? If so, does anyone have a copy?
Mark your calendars for the Hoedown on May 20. Dancers and clods of all ages are encouraged to attend and sure to enjoy it.
Meanwhile – the BIG news – Godspell will be performed here at church on May 13, 14 and 15. Mark your calendars NOW. I’ve had the privilege of listening to some rehearsals. This is NO amateur version of the great play.
And speaking of Godspell – join the festivities on Saturday of Pentecost/First Communion/Godspell weekend. The Colombiettes will be serving subs in the parish hall from 5:30 to 7:00 on Saturday night. So hit the trifecta – Mass at 4:45, Subs between Mass and Godspell at 7:30. $5.00 per head. Major bargain and a great opportunity to YAK – and have the whole family fed and entertained for next to nothing. All we ask is that you sign up in the gathering space or online so we know how many subs to buy. Hope to see you there.