Welcome, Bishop Cistone! Saint John Paul II Parish is happy that you are able to be present this weekend and preside at our Inaugural Liturgy. We pray for God’s continued blessings upon you and your ministry.
Happy Thirty-fourth Anniversary of your Ordination to the Priesthood, Father Jim (Saturday of this weekend)! We are grateful for your ministry among us. God bless you!
Don’t forget our Harvest Buffet Chicken Dinner on Sunday from Noon to 3:00 p.m. The dinner is taking place in the gym at the Ed Center. Please enter through the Harrison Street doors. If you have not purchased tickets yet, you can still get them at the door.
Next Sunday is Respect Life Sunday. The theme this year is: Each of us is a Masterpiece of God’s Creation. Pope Francis said in his Day for Life Greeting: “Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.” As Catholic Christians we are called upon to respect life in all its forms and stages. And we are called to stand for life “from womb to tomb,” to pray, and to take action to promote respect for life among all people. I invite you to visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website at www.usccb.org and read some of the articles there. Also, please consider joining our yearly diocesan celebration of Respect Life Sunday by attending the 5:30 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral Church on Sunday, October 5th.
What a week this has been preparing for four funeral liturgies along with the Inaugural Liturgy. It was one of those weeks when there really wasn’t enough of me to go around, to tend to all the details of parish life, only one of them being a bulletin article. Thus, I am borrowing my reflection on this week’s Gospel from the LTP Publication, At Home with the Word, since I really had no time to write my own reflection to share with you. In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks the chief priests and the elders their opinion about a scenario he presents to them. Sometimes, our opinions can get us into trouble, but Jesus is asking the religious leaders for an honest answer. He wants to know who was obedient, who did the father’s will: the person who said “no” and later changed his mind, or the person who said “yes” but never followed through. Here is the reflection provided He wants to know who was obedient, who did the father’s will: the person who said “no” and later changed his mind, or the person who said “yes” but never followed through. Here is the reflection provided by the writers (Marielle Frigge, OSB and James Campbell) of Scripture Insights in At Home With the Word 2014:
Today’s Gospel provides a shock of recognition. Who has not encountered this behavior – in themselves, their children, or friends? The issue is, how much of what we have been taught thus far have we taken to heart and acted upon? Jesus makes it clear that he does not want words of faith without actions that show evidence of our sincerity. He is looking for followers with repentant hearts. Those who initially struggle with a teaching may in the end reach a more genuine understanding that allows them to carry it out wholeheartedly. Genuine, wholehearted, active faith is what God desires.
As we further reflect upon the Gospel this week, let us ask ourselves if we can think of a time when we changed our mind about someone or something. Was it gradual or all at once? Were we reluctant to admit the change to others, or were we comfortable with it? In hindsight, how did we detect God’s work in that change?
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ