Pastor’s Corner 9/2/2018

Actions Speak Louder than Words

“This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus quotes these words from the prophet Isaiah, challenging the religious leaders to be authentic in their practice of the faith.  If their words, sacrifices and rituals do not make their hearts more like God’s, whose heart is gentle and loving, then their words, sacrifices and rituals are empty.

This same challenge is directed to us today. Are our words of faith seen in our actions of love and acceptance? Do our sacrifices make us closer to God and more generous in love? Will the rituals we celebrate be reflected in our lives of charity and service?

Next weekend we will have our Ministries Fair. There are a variety of opportunities here at St. Rita Church to put our words into action and to become involved in some ministry of charity and service. Please make plans to visit the Ministries Fair next weekend.

Jesus says it is not what goes into a person that makes the person impure, but what comes out of the person. Is what comes out of our mouth holy, uplifting and loving? This is what Jesus calls each of us to do – to speak, celebrate, walk and act holy and just.

As we hear in the letter to James from our second reading, “humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. Be doers of the word and not hearers only.” May we all be doers of God’s word, reflecting beautifully that we are children of God.  Because remember, actions speak louder than words. Peace.

 —Fr. Tom

P.S. A few words regarding the sexual abuse scandal: The recent reports (again) of sexual abuse in our Church has broken my heart and left me wondering how religious leaders and those representing Christ could do such evil acts. Some of our priests and bishops have only given lip service to their vows, and have failed, bringing great harm and hurt to the Body of Christ. In Pope Francis’ Letter to the People of God (link included below) he writes: “If, in the past, our response was one of omission, today, we want solidarity…A solidarity that summons us to fight all forms of corruption, especially spiritual corruption.” The Pope continues: “I invite the entire holy faithful People of God to penitential exercise of prayer and fasting. This can awaken our conscience and arouse our solidarity and commitment to a culture of care that says ‘never again’ to every form of abuse.” I pray we can stand together as God’s holy people and willingly journey in prayer and fasting for healing and rebirth.

Pope Francis’ Letter to the People of God

Pastor’s Corner 9/9/2018

In the first reading today from the prophet Isaiah thus says the Lord, “Say to those whose hearts are frightened; be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication, with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared, then will the lamb leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sand will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water.” Continue Reading

Pastor’s Corner 8/26/2018

In the second reading today from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he speaks about relationships, particularly the relationships of husbands and wives. The key line is the first: “Brothers and sisters: Be subordinate to one another.” The Webster’s definition of subordinate is: “inferior to or placed below another in rank, power or importance.” If St. Paul initiates this section with “be subordinate to one another” he wants to emphasize the importance of humility and allowing someone else to be first. Jesus life is our example, for “though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found in human appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). Continue Reading