From Our Pastor: 20th Sunday In Ordinary Time
This weekend’s readings are a call to conversion and a warning. So often we want to hear messages that make us feel good, but sometimes the scriptures give us a kick in the pants. In Jeremiah today, the story tells us of Jeremiah preaching the truth and challenging the people and they try to kill him. In Hebrews we talk about the cloud of witnesses that witness the life well lived. Hebrews tells us this should call us to task to live Holy lives and rid ourselves of sin, even resisting sin “to the point of shedding our blood.” The gospel of Luke tells us of the warning that some will strive for holiness and some will not. This will bring division. This is not normally what we are used to from Jesus, but He says I have come to set the world ablaze. So the message this weekend: Don’t be divided by the call to holiness! Be united in your lives striving for holiness!!! And if we live the lives of holiness we are called to, we will do just what Christ said today; we will set the world on fire for Jesus Christ!!
This last week I was notified that our general collections and annual school fund have been so low that we aren’t coming close to making our budget goals, which means we haven’t been able to pay our bills. I hate to talk about this but a parish our size should not have trouble meeting these budget goals. If we can’t make our budget, cuts would be necessary which is not what anyone would want. This is even before we have major projects that also need to be done. I know this is a difficult time for all. We have already made cuts and decreases, but the government raising salaries of educators and the minimum wage has offset the cuts. Basically, we are employing less but for more money because of these increases. Some are aware of this and some are not. In the bulletin we show the collection and the budget amount. When we consistently don’t meet the budget amount like we have lately, then it’s time to make changes. We need to conquer this together and I know we can!
To end on a more positive note....This weekend is our back to school Blessing of the Backpacks event! It’s already that time!!! It surely has snuck up on us! It will be exciting to see the good stuff in our school this year! The energy and excitement those kiddos bring to us and our parish is inspiring. Let’s get excited with them!
-Rev. Steven Arisman