Dear People of God,
Today we celebrate the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. These weeks of Ordinary Time are like a course in Discipleship 101. We walk with the Master, learning from His teachings, healings, and instructions. Each year I liken this time as an opportunity for each of us to renew our discipleship and set our feet on the path of following Jesus with renewed devotion. In today’s Gospel Jesus uses His familiar teaching style to speak about the effects of hearing the Word. Jesus often told parables based on familiar things from nature that people would understand. His parables continue to teach US the same truths. They open our eyes and our ears to natural realities that shed light on who God is and how His Spirit works among us. Are we open to hear what God is saying to us in the events of life and how we respond to them, or have we become as hard as the ground that cannot receive the seed? Perhaps take some time this week to reflect on the kind of soil what you are. What will it take for God’s word to take firm root in you so that you may grow in to the best version of a disciple that you can become?
Thank you for the warm reception last Sunday after 10:30 Mass last Sunday. As I continue to work on names and faces I appreciated being with you in a coffee and donuts setting to continue this important task. Hilda, Maggie, and Carlson enjoyed meeting all those who came and appreciated the ‘extra’ treats many shared with them. (They slept all afternoon!) Thanks to all who put it together and for the warm reception. (One parishioner has told me that I am in the ‘honeymoon’ phase and to enjoy it. I am!)
Work began on Wednesday, July 5th, to replace the A/C unit on the servers’ sacristy roof. Our wonderful Office Manager, Donna, made a time lapse video of the process and can be viewed on our Facebook page. (What took several hours is condensed into about a 32 sec. video). This past Monday the Trane Company came to inspect the installation and turned it on. Hallelujah! It sure feels good in Church, doesn’t it? Thank you to the many who made donations toward this important stewardship endeavor and I appreciate everyone’s patience during this time. We received official notification from Archbishop Carlson that the recommendation of the Annual Catholic Appeal Parish Emergency Fund Committee has been approved! An emergency grant of $25,000 is being provided to us many thanks to the ACA and all of its donors (as well as the committee)! Once again thank you to Fr. John-Paul and the Finance Committee for coordinating this project.
Now almost three weeks into the new assignment I am beginning to get to know street names and how to get around our neighborhood. (I sure hope they’re making progress on Bellevue, it’ll will be a lot easier getting to IC in Maplewood when that’s finished!) I visited some of our homebound parishioners this past week and assured them of our prayers and invited them to be part of our prayer warriors, praying, of course, 3 Hail Marys daily for the needs of St. Luke and for their new pastor. After I bring them Holy Communion, my standard line is, “Now folks, I don’t come cheap. I have to charge you for my pastoral visit, but my fee is pretty reasonable; 3 Hail Marys!” The response is usually a big smile.
Finally this week, as I promised in my opening column, I am listening, looking, and learning about our parish. I have begun making notes and hope when we begin our regular schedule in the Fall, to do that even more intently.
God Bless! Have a great week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)