This weekend the Church resumes the celebration of the “Sundays in Ordinary Time,” those Sundays following the Lenten/Easter Season and the Advent/Christmas Season. On this Eleventh Sunday, we hear a familiar passage from the fourth chapter of Mark’s Gospel. In this chapter Jesus uses parables to teach the crowds, to invite them into discipleship. He uses images very familiar to the people of his culture. In today’s scripture passage, he tells the stories of the seed scattered on the land and the mustard seed sown in the ground. In both cases, the seeds actualize their potential; they follow the laws of nature, are harvested, and produce abundantly. However, a parable is not meant to be taken literally but to help us go beyond the literal to a deeper truth about discipleship and the Kingdom of God. For instance, Jesus tries to teach that the kingdom of heaven is not a place or a space that we are able to discover on our own. It is through the grace of God that he works within us as we are and we discover who he is. If we allow God’s Word and action to take root within us, the Kingdom of God becomes a living reality in our lives. It becomes visible as we cooperate with God’s grace by putting his word into practice and by living in a way consistent with what God created us to be. As we strive to reach our fullest potential as faithful followers of Christ, we become living parables and signs of God’s abundant harvest. As we reflect upon the Gospel this coming week, let us ask ourselves: what impels us to go beyond merely hearing God’s Word to understanding it so that we put it into practice? When we truly hear and understand God’s Word, it can’t help but make a difference in the way in which we live our lives.
Please join us for the celebration of Mass at 6:30 PM this Tuesday at the Saint John the Baptist Church site.
On the weekend of June 20/21, Gail Mehalski will share a few words with us about the Parish Nurse Program. At that time, we will be invited to complete a survey which will provide some helpful information for putting this program together.
Our Annual Mission Appeal will take place on the weekend of June 27/28. Father Thomas Carroll, a Piarist Father, will celebrate Mass and share with us his community’s ministry in Martin, Kentucky. They work in a section of Appalachia and are involved in the ministry of education for the poor. In next Sunday’s bulletin, I will share a bit more about him and his religious community. If you would like to know more about the Piarist Fathers and their ministry, you might take a look at their website: catholicmissionky.org.
Please note the article in today’s bulletin regarding a “yard work” day on Saturday, June 27. I hope many of you are able to join us that day beginning at 9:00 AM.
As we enter our second year as Saint John Paul II Parish, the Pastoral Council and other Commissions have been suggesting ideas to help us to get to know one another better. One suggestion that came from both the Education Commission and the Pastoral Council, along with several parishioners, was that of a Parish Pictorial Directory. Beginning July 27- August 1, pictures will be taken at the Education Center for the directory. Pictures will also be taken September 8-12 since not everyone is in town in the summer. All are encouraged to have their picture taken. The goal is to have as many households represented in the directory as possible so that we might come to know and recognize one another better. It is not necessary to purchase pictures in order to have your picture taken. All individuals/households who have their picture taken will receive a free 8x10 picture and a parish directory. Ed Popielarz and Greg Klenk (both members of the Pastoral Council) will be working together as co-chairs of this project. Both they and I will share more information with you next weekend as to the process of signing up for appointments.
In conjunction with the Parish Directory, we are hoping you will share pictures of events, sacramental experiences, and liturgies that have taken place since July 1, 2014 when we officially became Saint John Paul II Parish. We are looking for pictures of Baptisms, weddings, Confirmation, First Eucharist, the Inaugural Liturgy, Youth events, parish events, and the church environment for the liturgical seasons. If you are able to provide digital pictures via email, that would be great. If you have photographs, we would appreciate looking at them as well. Any pictures you wish to send via email should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are getting closer to our CSA goal! Thus far, we have heard from 241 families/households out of 400 and we are beyond the halfway mark in meeting our assessment. Please note the updated report in today’s stewardship column. We still need to hear from 159 parish families/households. If each of us does our part and our fair share we should easily make our target. We can do this together, and thus, “Make a Difference Together.” To those of you who have already made a contribution to CSA, I thank you for your generosity. To those who have not yet returned your pledge, please try to do so by the end of this month.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ