September 17, 2017- Fr. Mike’s Letter
Today we join parishes throughout the United States in praying for the men and women who teach the Word of God in our parishes and schools. This year’s theme is “Living as Missionary Disciples.” Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our baptismal calling to be a missionary, handing on the faith by being a witness to the Gospel in all that we do and to all that we meet. I want to thank all who teach the Word of God, and hand on the great gift of faith given to us. In all that we do, we must be a missionary of Jesus revealing His light to all our brothers and sisters.
Tomorrow all are invited to our Strategic Planning Meeting at 6 p.m. in the Church Hall. We pray that God’s spirit comes upon us as we plan for the years ahead.
Tuesday of this week begins our Adult Faith Formation classes. I encourage all to come and be a part of these discussions and classes. It’s a great opportunity to deeper our own understanding of the faith. Reminder: Religious Education Certification points will be given for each session.
On the tables at the doors of the church, you will find information brochures provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. These brochures are free for your use. They deal with Conscience, What to do When a Friend is Considering Abortion, The Culture of Life, Death Penalty and Considerations for our Earthly Passing.
Hope to see many of you at our Parish Picnic next Sunday, September 24, at Chestnut Ridge Park.
In today’s Gospel we hear:
The parable of the unforgiving debtor: “’You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you…?’ ‘So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.’”
The great sin of the unforgiving servant in today’s Gospel is his refusal or inability to realize the grace of God in his midst. He has work that provides for his family; his own debt has been forgiven by an understanding and compassionate boss– and, for him, that’s all that matters. He possesses no sense of gratitude for the good extended to him; he cannot see that he is part of the world bigger than his own wants and needs. He reasons that the King’s forgiving of his debt is something he is entitled to, that survival is the name of the game and he found a way to win. But to forgive as he has been forgiven– only a fool would do that. But that is the Kingdom of God that Jesus comes to reveal: a way of life that is built on gratitude for the gift of life itself, gratitude that compels us to generosity, justice, and, yes, forgiveness. May we possess the spirit of gratitude for all that we have been given– and forgiven– and may that spirit enable us to create God’s Kingdom here and now, in which forgiveness is joyfully offered and humbly sought, mirroring the mercy and forgiveness of God, the compassionate Father of us all.
Have a safe and great week ahead and go be a missionary and announce the Good News,