This Week in Prayer, Service & Community

This week – June 16, 2016

Dear Parishioners:

This week in prayer:

Candid kings seem to delight our Lord in a profound way.

Kings? Those who build up our communities, who strengthen them and who inspire them.

Candid? The ability to be breezily honest with ourselves, with God and with select others about our strengths, our weaknesses, our virtues and our vices.

Candid kings? Those who, while building up their communities, are honest with God, with themselves and with select others about their more inspired choices and about their less inspired choices. Candid kings recognize the similarities between themselves and those who are struggling.

David started out as a rather un-candid king. He was fraudulent with God, with himself and with Nathan (and others) about what happened with him (David), Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite. Nathan lowered the boom heavily on David’s dishonesty. To his great credit, David chose to cross the threshold to inspired candor, admitting “I have sinned against the Lord.” That upgrade of David’s candor delighted the Lord. It persuaded God to let David keep his job.

The Pharisee in Sunday’s gospel stands out as a negative example, one from whom we learn what not to do. His dinner party was consistent with his larger duty to build up the religious community. Good for him. But his condemnation of the sinful woman reveals his lack of candor with himself. He thinks of the woman’s bad choices as something he never has and never could mimic. Wrong. He thinks of himself as wholly unlike the weeping penitent. Wrong again. His destructive lack of self awareness and inspired candor prompt Jesus to do for the Pharisee what Nathan did for David – challenge him to get real, to understand that he has a great deal in common with the woman, that the differences between the Pharisee and the woman are at best differences of degree, not of type.

So what about you? Who have been your candid kings? Who have been the people who reached out to you when you had done wrong and said, essentially, “I’ve made that mistake. I have sinned against the Lord and I have lived to tell the tale. I have messed up like you have and I have experienced God’s help.” And for whom is God asking you to be a candid king? To make sure that a person who has done wrong knows that they are not alone in their sin and they will not be alone in their restoration to the community.

  • The homilies the weekend of June 19 and 26 and July 3 are about taking up your cross. Part of that process entails offering our difficulties to God. The traditional “Morning Offering” is a great way to do that. Feel free to tweak it a little if doing so helps you to mean it and to stick with it:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, the reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.

  • Prayers for all Fathers. Remember that the names of recently deceased fathers will be read at the 11:30 Mass on Sunday.
  • The “Catechism of the Catholic Church provides some terrific spiritual insights. Two “don’ts” to recall: (a) don’t try to read it like a regular book, just find the interesting parts and (b) don’t drop it on your toe, it’s heavy.

This week in service:

  • Enormous thanks to our Parish Finance Council and the staff members who support it. The 2016/17 budget is now drafted and will be available soon.
  • The parish has been offering terrific support to the Youth Group and its upcoming trip to Catholic Heart Work Camp (thank you). That said, the giving tree in the gathering space has more tags for the taking. Remember to return your gift by Sunday June 26.
  • Servers – have you and your parents “Affiliated” via the web page? Thanks!

This week in community:

  • We came very close to having 100 people complete the 5K run/walk on Saturday. Good for us. The weather cooperated in a wonderful way and the post-race fitness classes were a gas. Who would have thought that Zumba, Drums Alive and the other activities could provide such a workout.
  • Thanks to all who have contributed to the cookbook project. The procrastinators among us still have two weeks to submit their best recipes.
  • PANCAKES R US! Join the crowd at the K of C pancake breakfast after the 7:15 and 9:30 masses on Sunday. A great way to celebrate Father’s Day – with better food and shorter lines than you’ll find in town.
  • This weekend we  introduce our official Sesquicentennial t-shirt. Get yours at the Pancake Breakfast (or order it online for pickup at church).
  • WAY ADVANCED NOTICE – Save the date for the end of the CL year wing ding – the date is Friday October 7. 

All best blessings

Fr. Hank, SJ