From the Pastor's Pen - June 2
HOW CAN THE MEMORY OF JESUS BE KEPT ALIVE ONCE HE IS NO LONGER PHYSICALLY PRESENT? AND, HOW CAN THE MOVEMENT BEGUN BY JESUS AMONG HIS DISCIPLES CONTINUE IN HIS PHYSICAL ABSENCE? These are the questions, according to a favorite Gospel commentator of mine (Daniel Harrington, S.J.) that the readings of the Easter Season are meant to answer. So we’ve heard things like, “Touch, Believe, Hear my voice, Remember, Remain, Love, Instruct, and Remind”, in the gospels alone. The first readings from Acts have related amazing stories of courage and faith in preaching, amidst the threat, or even reality, of violent harm. These are our questions too, even years removed from His physical presence in the body (apart from the sacraments and community). In fact, those are the biggest part of the answer to these two related questions. And with today’s event of Ascension, we see our destiny to join him in rising to God’s kingdom!
And in the many events of our faith community, we find answers to these questions. After Palm Sunday, we had the four great Easter days of Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. Since then we’ve had Confirmation, 1st Communion, Visioning (!) Day, Parish Festival, promotion/graduation of Kindergarteners and 8th Grade, and dismissal of school with awards, along with other social and faith events.
These all continue the presence of Jesus, and each is part of continuing the movement he started.
Visioning Day began our new session of Parish Strategic Planning. From here we plan, as before, to offer a survey for each one to fill out in church, to respond to the directions of the new plan so far. It looks like it’ll be a couple of Sundays from now.
Our offertory giving is slightly up from last year, which is a real accomplishment, and I thank you. Our budget has become strained, even with this, by a series of one-time repair and maintenance projects. Starting next week, we’ll break out a special modest giving campaign—not a full-fledged capital campaign, but an effort to cover this unusual run of expenses so we can resume our usual spending on our parish ministries.