We are in the fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time. The readings this Sunday invite us to accept life with hope and optimism as a precious gift from God, using it to do good for others and spending our time, talents and lives for others as Jesus did while healing Peter’s mother- in-law and as St. Paul did as he tirelessly preached the word of God.
In the first reading Job complains of the dullness and futility of life and the miseries of human existence. But eventually Job surrenders himself, his suffering, his work and everything he had and lost to the greater wisdom of God. The second reading reveals Paul as a true and dynamic follower of Jesus, ready to do something extra for his Lord by preaching the Gospel without recompense or remuneration and obeying the Lord like a slave. In the Gospel Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law and the healing teaches us that true discipleship means getting involved and in giving selfless service to others. Jesus spent most of His time ministering to the needs of others, giving healing, forgiveness and a new beginning to many.
Jesus lived and died for others, sharing with them. In his life there was time for prayer, time for healing and time for reconciliation. Let us take up this challenge by sharing love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness with others. Instead of considering life as dull and boring, let us live our lives as Jesus did, full of dynamism and zeal for the glory of God and to build the body of Christ. Let us become an instrument of healing and change by using our time, talents and treasure.
I would like to briefly introduce and explain to you the giving tree that you see above. You can see the original tree in the back of our church, outside of the priest’s sacristy. It was introduced by Rev. Mike Ratajczak, our previous pastor to raise money for Vision 2000. Looking at the donors list for Vision 2000 I see many of you have contributed and I thank you for being generous. If you look at the tree you can see that it has over 200 empty leaves. The roof fundraising committee decided to use these empty leaves to raise money for our roof. The committee has decided to add two lines of rocks which adds 40 more rocks and two types of clouds—Cloud I and Cloud II. You can see the cost of each item in the above picture. We decided to promote it for our roof fundraising, I also think that it is an important way of remembering and honoring someone you love in your life and family.
Rev. Peter McGuine, our previous pastor introduced the program “Preserving Our Legacy” (POL), he used the giving tree to promote POL. Looking at our donor lists for Vision 2000 and POL, I noticed that several of you are very close to having a leaf or a rock.
The parish has the list and if you call Bob Ulrich at the parish office, he will tell you the amount you paid and the balance you may need to donate to get a leaf, a rock or a cloud. We will use this money toward our church reroofing. I encourage those who have already contributed to the roofing project to consider the possibilities of donating a little more to have a leaf, rock, or a cloud I or II. I urge those who have not participated to please make your contribution to reach our goal of $800,000.