We celebrate the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time this weekend. The Gospel passage clearly states what one must do in order to follow Christ. Jesus begins by telling the disciples that he will suffer greatly, be killed, and then will be raised on the third day. Not yet realizing the impact of his great profession of faith in last week’s Gospel, Peter objects to what Jesus is saying. Neither he nor the other disciples has a concept of the cost of discipleship. Suffering and the cross are the furthest things from their minds. Jesus knows they need a new mindset. So, he is very direct in stating: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” As followers of Christ, we are called to set aside selfish desires and take up our cross daily. We are challenged to embrace the mystery of suffering and to realize that Christ is our strength at those difficult moments in our lives. Because Christ did not suffer in vain, neither do we. This week, let us pray for the grace to have the courage and the stamina it takes to embrace the crosses that come into our lives. Let us also pray for the compassion to journey with others who are confronted with the cross that all of us may grow closer to Christ and faithfully live out our discipleship in him.
The USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) have asked all parishes to take up a second emergency collection this weekend and next, to address the humanitarian and Church needs caused by Hurricane Harvey. Any of us who have been watching the news recently know how devastating and catastrophic the impact of the hurricane has been due to the severe flooding and high winds causing countless injuries, loss of lives, severely damaged homes and property. In advance, I thank all of you who are able to make a monetary donation this weekend or next. Your outreach to those in dire need is greatly appreciated. Your donations will be sent immediately to the diocese. Please make checks out to “Diocese of Saginaw” with a notation in the memo section: Hurricane Harvey Emergency Collection.
What a great turnout we had for the parish picnic last Sunday! Thanks to all who attended and helped in any way: setting up, preparing food, grilling the hotdogs and hamburgers, providing refreshments or prizes, coordinating activities and games for all, working behind the scene, and cleaning up. All present seemed to enjoy the opportunity to meet new people. Watch for pictures on the bulletin board.
As you can tell from appearances, it is requiring a bit of time to complete the Carpeting and Sanctuary Project since it takes place in phases. This week the 14’ carpet runners for each of the three main entrance doors will be finished. Flooring has been ordered for the front entrance, the tabernacle and altar platforms, and the baptismal font area. After Labor Day, the flooring will be delivered and scheduled for installation. After that is completed, I will update you on what is to follow next.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ