Fr. Rick’s Pastoral Messages 4/3/22

CRS Rice Bowls are still available at the entrance of the church, BUT it’s also time to bring them in for counting.  Even though our counters are happy to count and roll any and all coins your bring in, it’s REALLY REALLY nice to get neatly folded bills nestled in the perfectly assembled and sturdy little bowls.  Ultimately these funds will be aimed toward the same projects as are the $2000+ we collected last weekend during the annual Catholic Relief Services collection.

Bishop Solis on the World Meeting of Families:  Hear how the role of marriage and family is the basic cell of society and must remain strong:

Bishop Solis on Stewardship of Time and Prayer.   Also see direct link on our website.

Diocesan Development Drive – We are just a little bit over half way toward our 2022 goal of $9500.  So far 8 out of 58 registered households have chipped in.  Just IMAGINE if we divided the remaining $4262 by the 50 not yet contributing households. That would be only $85 each.  Presuming half of the 50 non-contributing household are just not able to swing it during these challenging times or if they have never even heard of the DDD, then 25 of the remaining households would have to pay $170 each.  That would be only $14 per month or 47 cents per day.  If you gave up three Big Gulps per week or even brought your own reusable mug/jug, just IMAGINE the possibilities!!  This might be a good last-minute Lenten exercise which would include almsgiving, fasting, and the severe penance of washing out your reusable jug between uses.  It IS possible!!  AND downright exciting!!!  God loves you SO MUCH!!  Please:  $$$$$$$

Holy Week Schedule Because of the frantic pace I keep out here in Kane County I have not YET gotten around to mailing out an Easter greeting and reminder.  Please CALL ON THE PHONE parishioners whom you have not seen for a while and keep them updated.

Feet Washing – Anyone who would like to have their feet washed during the Holy Thursday Mass, please sign up on the list in the gathering space.  Most of you have been extraordinary servants and deserve it.  If I don’t have 12 ENTHUSIASTIC participants by the end of Mass on Palm Sunday, I am going to just skip that part of the service.  If you’d rather have me serve you lunch in our perfectly appointed rectory patio, please sign up on that list.  (Gluten-free tortillas available on request).

Judging versus Teaching, Counseling and Admonishing

In John’s gospel today Jesus is presenting another extraordinarily counter cultural teaching to the first century Jews.  The local Romans and Greeks would have likely been equally edified.  A woman caught ‘in the very act’ of adultery was about to be stoned to death because it was the demands of Jewish law.  (Interestingly, no mention was made of her accomplice in crime, presumably a man in this traditional culture).  Jesus turns the tables and directs the attention back toward the accusers when he says that the one with no sin should throw the first stone.  The writing in the sand is presumed to be the sins of the accusers and implicitly the larger community; hence no one felt sufficiently righteous to cast the stone.  In fact they wandered off rather quickly.  Then to complete the episode Jesus admonishes the woman (the behavior is not OK) but does not judge her.  He thereby replaces the judgmental expulsion from the community with forgiveness.  Jesus Himself will likely be forever associated with the woman in this new orientation to justice.  The ultimate INclusion.

Judging and NOT judging is a very delicate and often complex matter within a community.  Given the human proclivity to sin of all types it seems that it’s only a matter of time before someone (probably everyone) is going to need a corrective. Corrective action is indeed a grave responsibility of a healthy community.  Some antidotes to our morally judgmental inclinations might be the Spiritual Works of Mercy (see insert), especially teaching the ignorant, counseling the doubtful and admonishing the sinner.  All require an extraordinary level of maturity by individuals and the community at large.  This has to be an ongoing community effort among people in a covenant relationship.