This Week in Prayer:
Palm Sunday raises another “carpe kindness” question: When we deep-down want to be kind but don’t act on that desire, is it because we are unable to be kind or unwilling to be kind?”
The Passion Narrative describes people who evidently possessed no deep-down desire to be kind to Jesus. The Roman guard, the temple guard, Caiaphas, and several others apparently wanted only to destroy Jesus. No kindness there. At the opposite extreme, Joseph of Arimathea wanted to be kind and was kind when he gave up his tomb for Christ’s burial. Between the two extremes, we find several others who deep-down wanted to be kind to Jesus but didn’t carry through on that desire.
Saint Peter provides two examples of choices that did not express his deep-down desire to be kind. In the hours before Jesus was killed, Saint Peter squandered two opportunities to be kind to Jesus. The first occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to stay awake while he prayed. Three times he sought Peter’s kindness and three times Peter, bone tired and probably with a full belly and a bit of wine, did not deliver the requested kindness. Peter’s physical limits apparently rendered him temporarily unable to provide the requested kindness.
The second failure to be kind occurred outside the high priest’s house when the strangers tried to link Peter with Jesus and Peter denied Jesus. The kind move might have been to claim bold affiliation with Jesus, to say “Yes, I know him, l love him and I serve him.” But fear of the repercussions seems to have rendered Peter temporarily unwilling to make the kind move.
What about us? What about those moments when we deep-down want to be kind but don’t make the kind move? Is it because we are temporarily unable to be kind or unwilling to be kind? And what is the cure for each obstacle to kindness? The temporary inability to be kind frequently reflects underlying exhaustion. Like Peter, we want to be kind but we are too tired or distracted to do so. Those moments expose our need for more stamina. Prayer and wise choices can supply that stamina.
The temporary unwillingness to be kind frequently reflects underlying fear. Like Peter, we want to be kind but become too concerned about the price we will pay for being kind – whether it is the emotional price or the physical price or the financial price or the relational price of kindness – as in “If I am kind to this person, my life will get complicated.” Those moments expose our need for more courage. Again, grace and grit can provide the courage.
As you consider a situation or a relationship in which you deep-down feel the urge and the call to be more kind, is it that you are temporarily restrained by an inability to be kind or an unwillingness to be kind? And how might you cultivate the stamina to be more kind? How might you cultivate the courage?
It will be good to pray the Triduum together again. The Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper starts at 7:30. The Good Friday Passion Liturgy starts at 3:00 pm. The Easter Vigil starts at 8:00 pm Saturday.
All best blessings on those parishioners who, by praying the Stations of the Cross, filled our church with prayer on Friday mornings and Friday evenings throughout Lent. You are a blessing to the parish.
Thanks and blessings for all those members of the community – just about 100 people – who participated in Saturday’s morning of recollection for liturgical ministers and members of parish councils and committees. Your ministry is a great gift to all parishioners. Your ministry is also one of God’s preferred ways of blessing YOU. May you continue to soak up and savor those blessings.
- Listen to this week's readings and homily
- Read this week's readings (Palm Sunday)
- Read next week's readings (Easter)
This week in service:
Huge thanks to the St. Joseph’s parishioners who volunteered last week at the Hillsborough Reformed Church for the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN). The week was one of terrific blessings. Our parish volunteers who co-hosted the week welcomed 12 family members who are in the shelter program. The hosted children and moms were exceedingly grateful for our care.
More IHN news – During the week of May 7-14, St. Josephs will host the IHN homeless shelter in our Parish Center. We need 60 volunteers to make it happen and are well on our way to having the complete complement but need help completing the roster. If you can help, please contact Sue Calamoneri, our IHN Coordinator, at email@example.com.
30 Hour Famine: On Friday and Saturday April 28-29 50 St. Joe's teens and adults will be going without food - all for a great cause. Their goal is to raise $15,000 for charities that are part of the solution to world hunger including Elijah's Promise, S.H.I.P., World Vision and Catholic Charities. Take a prayer/pledge card after mass and support a teen making a difference – the project needs your financial support AND your prayers. $30 makes a huge difference in the life of a child. Project success truly encourages our young people to be great priests, prophets and kings.
This week in community:
Great thanks to all who improved our church grounds as part of our Sesquicentennial celebration. The 400+ daffodils and the several forsythia bushes that were planted last year are making our church beautiful this Easter. Thanks to all who made it happen.
The parish cookbooks will be available on Mother’s Day. We hope to provide one free copy to every household and to sell the others for $5. It has been a labor of love and the result will delight many.
Comedy night is May 8. Mark the date and prepare to laugh. You can buy your tickets online.
It's not too early to signup for our 4th Annual 5K at St. Joe's. Register now!
The envelopes for Easter Flowers will be available until Pentecost. Thanks for helping out. If you want to make a contribution in memory of a deceased loved one or in honor of a living loved one, please take an envelope from the Moses table and eventually put it in a collection basket. Remember, your gift this year determines the flowers for next year’s Easter. Thanks.
For all of you who will be traveling for the Easter holydays, may God bless your travels, your celebration and your prayer. For all who will be staying close to home, it will be good to see you and to pray with you.
May each parishioner’s gratitude to Jesus grow this week. May your confidence in the resurrection and its implications reach new heights. May your appreciation of God’s love for you increase and console you greatly.
With blessings and love,