This weekend we celebrate the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Gospel passage presents us with the parable of the landowner who hires laborers at various hours of the day to work in the vineyard and agrees to pay them the usual daily wage. Some work all day, some work a portion of the day, and others work only an hour or two. When the foreman (at the direction of the landowner), pays each of them the same amount, some are not very happy because they feel they deserve more. The parable ends with the landowner reminding the laborers that they accepted his terms of hire (the daily wage), and then he says: “Are you envious because I am generous?” The point of the Gospel is not justice, but generosity. God’s love and grace are freely given to us. God turns his back on no one. Some individuals may take a longer time than others to even realize their need for God. This past week, a friend, with tear-filled eyes and a joy-filled heart, shared with me the story of a loved one who had been away from the church for many years and who had come to appreciate a pastoral visit, and the opportunity to receive the sacraments (including Eucharis) before he died. We should all rejoice at such times and in all instances when we realize God’s tremendous love for each and every one of his children.
Please pray for Bishop Cistone and the priests of our diocese who are in Assembly Sunday afternoon through Wednesday of this week. Every two years, the bishop and priests gather for a time of prayer, enrichment, sharing, and dialogue on important issues related to priesthood and the diocese.
I have an update on the status of Saint Matthew Church. On September 16 I received a response from Bishop Cistone in regards to my letter of August 31 to him. My letter stated that the decree relegating Saint Matthew Church to Profane but not Sordid Use was posted in both Church sites. I included copies of the two bulletins in which the notice, provided by the diocese, was placed (August 20 and 27). I noted that there were no objections to selling Saint Matthew Church. I stated that at this point in time, the Pastoral Council, the Finance Council, and the parish are ready to proceed to the next step in the process of the sale of Saint Matthew Church. In acknowledging my letter, the Bishop stated: “Since there were no objections to the sale expressed by parishioners, the parish is in a position to entertain potential buyers.” He directed me to consult with Tim Muter before taking any actions and throughout any negotiations. In short, this past Tuesday morning, in a conversation with Tim, he informed me that “For Sale” signs had been posted on the Saint Matthew site a day earlier (this past Monday). He also told me that he has already received some inquiries about the Church and other buildings. I will keep you posted as to how things progress.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ