From Our Pastor: 17th Sunday In Ordinary Time
We begin with Solomon and his request for wisdom and understanding. These are two things we know now as gifts of the Holy Spirit that we receive at our confirmation. What a gift these are! Solomon didn’t ask for something selfish, but instead for something for his people so that he could govern them wisely. We should learn from this kind of selflessness and be a person that seeks the gifts of the Lord not for their own self, but instead for use to build the kingdom of heaven in your families, workplaces, neighborhoods, communities, nation, etc.
May we seek the greatest treasures of life: wisdom and understanding, Jesus Himself. These parables are all about the greatest treasures and immense abundance. We are called to be people who seek great treasure in Jesus. We are called to bring in the abundance of the Lord and let the Lord sort out the good and the bad. God gives us an abundance of treasures and gifts and calls us to use them to bring in an abundance of people for the kingdom. Let us use the old and new that God gives us to bring about the greatest treasure— the Kingdom of God here and now!
I will be leaving this Monday July 31 and be gone until August 11 for World Youth Day. I am going on pilgrimage with a group of young adults to see the Holy Father, Pope Francis, and gather with youth from around the world to celebrate our faith! Know that I will be praying for each and every one of you and your intentions. I will carry them in my heart on this pilgrimage. Pray for us because a pilgrimage is not a vacation and is not easy. It is a great opportunity for spiritual fruit that I offer for you and our parish! Please pray for our group!
Congratulations are in store for the Diocese of Fairbanks, which is where our sister parishes are located. A new bishop was appointed for them July 11 and will be ordained and installed October 12. He is not a Franciscan, but a contemporary as he is a Dominican. Bishop-Elect Steven Maekawa, OP is almost 56 years old and knows Alaska well! This is very exciting for our sister parishes and for the Franciscans serving them to have a new bishop! Pray for him as he begins his ministry and pray for the people as they welcome their new shepherd!
Lastly, please be patient while I am gone. If you need something from me, tell the staff and they will know how to reach me. Please be patient with Fr. Rafal as he holds down the fort here! Please be patient with the street renewal project and know that one entrance will be the only option temporarily. For some time we have been asked to reconfigure the in and out of the north parking lot. At some point after the street renewal is done, we will shift traffic flow for ease of dropping people off. When I am back, we will be working on changing those arrows, signs, and flow of traffic to be less congested and awkward. This should make that parking lot easier.
-Rev. Steven Arisman