This weekend we celebrate the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Respect Life month begins today with a special celebration of Mass with Bishop Cistone at 5:30 PM at the Cathedral. As Catholic Christians we are reminded that all life is sacred. For the next thirty-one days we pray, in a special way, that all people may come to respect and preserve life in all of its forms, from conception to natural death.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus presents a simple parable to the chief priests and elders. It is about two sons, each being directed by their father to work in the vineyard. One initially says “no” to his father but later changes his mind and follows through. The other son says “yes” at first but he does not end up doing what his father asks. At the end of the story, Jesus asks, “Which of the two did his father’s will?” The chief priests and elders clearly know that it was the first son. They also understand that this parable is directed at them. Imagine their surprise when they realize that Jesus is condemning them and their ways. Jesus is very direct in letting them (and us) know that sinners who repent of their evil ways will enjoy the reign of God, but those who pretend to be righteous and pious and who feel no need of forgiveness will be excluded from the kingdom. The parable challenges us to reflect upon our own discipleship this week. To what extent do we act upon God’s will and Christ’s teachings in our lives? How are we the life-giving presence of Christ for others? Do people know by our actions that the reign of God is at hand? When we are confronted with the values of present day society, has our “yes” to discipleship become a “no,” or does it continue to remain a “yes?”
The Evening of Reflection for Liturgical Ministers taking place this Tuesday at 6:00 PM is a make-up session for those who did not attend the one scheduled in June. I have posted the names of those who attended the evening in June on the bulletin boards for those who are unsure if they were present for it. This evening is part of the continued formation required by the parish for all liturgical ministers. Updated guidelines as well as some resources will be given out at the meeting. Please note that this formation session includes all Ministers of Hospitality, Lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Altar Servers (including Candle Bearers), and Cantors.
Please note that our parish feast day is coming up soon. Do plan on joining us at the Parish Center for brunch celebration on Sunday, October 22 after 9:30 Mass. Watch for sign-up sheets in church.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ