Pastoral Messages from Fr. Rick 1/29/23

Financial Statements for December 2022 YTD (six months) are available on the bulletin board in the social hall for your perusal.  If you have any questions, please direct them to Noel Poe, Jim Pashia, Meredith Langley or Fr. Rick.

January is Respect for Life Month – Please check out our website for some webinar opportunities from the Universities of Notre Dame and Georgetown to learn about a more comprehensive Culture of Life.

The Eucharist and Parish Evangelization:  Free Webinar from Paulist Ministries.  12:00 noon on Tuesday, January 31.  Join us in the social hall at this time.

Proposed Legislation Threatens Seal of Confessional: Please read this letter from Bishop Solis and write your Representative.  (For easy access, click on these links).

Also see the related article in the Intermountain Catholic

Senior Activity Center – Please see the flyers in the gathering space to discover the many activities offered to seniors in our area.

St. Christopher’s Library:  Come on in and browse during our social hour after the Sunday Mass.   Books are organized by category, plainly marked on the shelves.  “Do not let a day go by without some spiritual reading.”- St. John Bosco

Hospitality:  Remember that we are a ‘Hospitality Parish’ with a major outreach to our many visitors. Please sign up to help host our Sunday morning Coffee and Muffin gathering. Sign up list is in the gathering space

Homily Reflection:  What is really important?  Rejoice and be glad!

Going back to the Garden of Eden, we can see that the great human problem is that we continue to insist that we are smarter than God, or at least AS smart.  All the readings today emphasize the need to be humble and lowly, to commit ourselves to God’s law (not the laws we make up).  We are to seek justice.  Biblical justice is right relationship with God, with each other and with the rest of the created order.  What truly is our status before God?  If we adhere to these directives, according to the Prophet Zephaniah in the first reading, then, ‘perhaps you may be sheltered on the day of the LORD’s anger.’  The prophet continues, ‘But I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly’, who shall take refuge in the name of the LORD: the remnant of Israel.”   Remnant is a little piece.  Not everybody.  Not even most of the people.  EVERYONE of course is invited into the kingdom, but only a remnant will actually meet the humility criteria.  The remnant, however, is enough to rebuild until Jesus comes back in all His glory.

Once we get to a place when we are genuinely humble and powerless in worldly terms, we are left with a need to ask, “Now what do I do?”  “What is really important….?”  Then if we are surrounded by faithful, God-focused people, we will probably ask, “What does God want?  What is God calling me to do?” When we can ask this in the most honest and humble way, we will be moving into the realm of God’s Kingdom.

The first of the beatitudes that we heard today, wouldn’t you know it, is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  I would think there are many, many people today who are ‘poor in spirit’.  Being poor in spirit AND blessed only makes sense if we have a trustworthy and merciful Go.  AND if we have a community of believers around us who can help us understand and respond to God’s call.

Perhaps at this juncture in our lives we can honestly admit to ourselves and to others that we are baffled and ‘poor in spirit’ about any number of things.  Let’s give ourselves some extra quiet space this week and reflect on: “What is really important?”  “What can I actually do about the things that concern me the most?” “How is God calling me to respond?”  “How is God calling me to rejoice and announce the Kingdom of Heaven?”