July 23, 2017
Dear People of God,
Today we celebrate the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Jesus uses another parable this weekend to teach us another truth of daily life. In these summer months with gardens growing and farmers working to provide a rich harvest, this parable today of the weeds and wheat is timely. Weeds and wheat, good and bad, sin and grace coexist in life. Daily news reports tend to focus on the former over the latter. Many people ask, “Why does God allow this?” The most common answer: Without real choice there is no real love. Life is what it is with both bad and good. We can choose to accept that both the weeds and the wheat, the bad and the good, are part of life and choose the good as much as possible. Or we can spend so much energy on the “why” that we miss the good before us. The more we feed the good, as disciples are called to do, the more we rob evil of its power and grow in trust that God’s mercy and love will reign in the end.
This week the fence was installed for possibly the three most spoiled dogs in Richmond Heights. As they adjust to their new play area, I want to assure you that this was not purchased with parish funds. I am keenly aware of the financial situation here in our parish and would never use your stewardship gifts for personal expenditures. The dogs are my personal responsibility and are not part of the parish budget. Just in case you were wondering, I wanted to be sure you knew.
This week I met with our Parish Finance Council to review the monthly financial picture and to finalize the fiscal budget for 2017/2018. I appreciate the talented members who serve on this important committee of overseeing that we are being good stewards of your gifts. Their time and talent (expertise) in financial matters will definitely help me to ensure that all your gifts are used wisely as we do what God asks of us here at St. Luke’s. We discussed the Archdiocesan Stewardship program and how, in the future, we might like to make it a part of our parish’s annual program of giving parishioners an opportunity to offer their Time, Talents, and Treasures to be thoroughly invested in our mission. I believe Stewardship is a blessing to all of us.
This Monday evening I will be meeting, for the first time, with our Parish Pastoral Council. I am looking forward to meeting the members of this Council who often serve our parish community as a bridge between the needs of the parish and administration. Oftentimes their insights and reflection on how we are fulfilling our Parish Mission Statement are the source of invaluable help in directing the ways we can each offer whatever gift God has given us to enhance our worship, to evangelize in our neighborhood, and to support others through service to our brothers and sisters in the parish, and to help us show forth the compassionate love of our God. As I work with them over this coming year I look forward to their counsel, insights, and sharing their hopes and dreams for our parish.
Finally today, some have asked what is the best way to contact me. I prefer that you contact me via the parish office phone, 644-2144. I am at extension 11. For those of you online, please use my new email address here at St. Luke: firstname.lastname@example.org
God Bless! Have a great week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)