The Great Parable of the Workers in the Vineyardby Fr. Kilian McCaffrey | 09/21/2023 | Pastor's Letter
Of all the parables, this is my absolute favorite. I have been studying it for over 15 years, and I am still learning more about it. Why so? Because I’m still learning about the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. I also see it as the Parable of Hope. I was turned on to this parable by Stu Long while we were in Seminary. He told me the story of when he was working at Harbor View Hospital in Seattle. He was taking a course called Clinical Pastoral Education (or CPE), learning the ropes of hospital ministry.Continue
The Last Shall Be Firstby Deacon Bill Schneider | 09/21/2023 | Forming the Flock
The first will be last and the last will be first. Now that really is a paradox, and we just can’t understand it. Maybe this is one of those parables we can ignore or just forget? It is so unfair, and it certainly does not fit into our style of life these days. Maybe it is a mystery, just as life is a mystery. Isaiah is right when he says, “God’s thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways God’s ways.” We will never understand God’s ways nor His generous love unless we let God be God with a deep trusting faith, knowing Him as Father who cares for all that He has created.Continue
As We!by Deacon Jeff Strom | 09/14/2023 | Forming the Flock
As we reflect on the parable of the unforgiving servant, the merciless servant, we hear echoes of Scripture.
1. As in Matthew’s Gospel, “So will my heavenly Father hand you over, unless each of you forgives your neighbor from your heart.” As we forgive our neighbor, God will forgive us.
2. As we know from the Beatitudes, “Blessed are they who show mercy, for they shall receive mercy.”
3. And especially as we pray the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses, AS WE forgive those who trespass against us.”
These words should haunt us and make us uneasy. AS WE!Continue
God's Grace and Forgivenessby Fr. Kilian McCaffrey | 09/14/2023 | Pastor's Letter
Have you ever experienced how the floodgates of grace open up when we honor the will of God and purposely decide to forgive? This is available to all of us in Confession. However, we all have the power to forgive: The French Dominican theologian Fr. Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange, who once taught the future Pope John Paul II, in his great book Life Everlasting, tells us of the transformation of a Jewish man that he personally knew and who had the courage to forgive. He relates how: “I knew a young Jew, the son of an Austrian banker, in Vienna. He had decided on a lawsuit against the greatest adversary of his family, a lawsuit that would have enriched him and his family.Continue
Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Timeby Fr. Kilian McCaffrey | 09/07/2023 | Pastor's Letter
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
This is one of my very favorite lines in all of the Bible. In one astounding phrase, split up in two short and simple parts, Jesus tells of the mystery of God’s presence always among us:Recall how Jesus sent His disciples out two by two, to proclaim Him.
It also speaks to our need for the Sacraments. It speaks of our need for right relationship and also of our community most perfectly gathered together in the Sacrifice of the Sunday Mass. We begin Mass with the Sign of the Cross and the Apostolic Greeting, followed by what we call the Penitential Rite, where we ask God to make us pure and worthy of standing in His presence and worship in a fitting manner.Continue
What I Learned from Mondays with the Martyrsby Larry Fraher, Ph.D | 09/07/2023 | Forming the Flock
It is that time of year when schoolchildren everywhere are writing essays on what they did or learned over the summer. In each of the summers that I have had the privilege of serving this parish, we have presented a “Monday Movies” series. One of the things that many may not realize is how much I learn from those who participate in all of the programs we offer. This year’s series has been no exception. The movies this year dealt with a particularly tough topic: martyrdom. The discussions following the films induced a great deal of reflection and learning for me, and I am grateful to all who participated in the series. So, in anticipation of this week’s Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14), and in union with our young people who must also write such essays, below are some reflections on what the three movies and subsequent discussions about martyrs have taught me.Continue