At the offertory, each and every time I celebrate weekend Mass, after the bread and wine are brought forward, I receive the basket that contains filled envelopes and cash offerings. I raise it up to God for a few moments and I pray for each and every one of those present who have consciously made contributions of time, talent, and treasure, symbolized through those items contained in the basket or through electronic giving. I pray that our Lord and God recognize you and all that you have taken the time to prepare and offer at the Mass. This weekend’s Biblical lessons remind us about “sacrifice.” Elijah challenges a widow who offers minimal signs of hospitality, to sacrifice more for him and being a prophet of God assures her that her “sacrifice” will not be in vain and so it wasn’t. “The jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD spoken through Elijah” 1Kings 17:16. Jesus takes the opportunity to notice the difference between those who give from the “fringe of their field” as Cain did in the story of the two brothers in the book of Genesis, and the poor widow that gave two small coins; all she had to live on. Jesus noticed and so did His heavenly Father. Like Abel from the story of the brothers in the Book of Genesis, she gave the very best of what she had. “For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood” Mark 12:44. Each and every day we are challenged by Jesus to be “Intentional Disciples.” To not “go with the flow” and just do what everyone else is doing but with forethought and proper disposition, decide and intentionally prepare just in what ways we will make a sacrifice to God. Each and every weekend, the financial gifts we offer are a symbol of our intentional giving as well. The question is: “Does what we offer represent the best of what we “sacrifice” to our loving and good God or is it just from the fringe of our life’s field? Only you and God know that. We priests of the assembly will offer whatever you give as a “sacrifice.”
SPOTLIGHT, a movie on the Boston Globe articles on child sexual abuse in the Church, debuted at the Venice Film Festival in September. It is set for a limited U.S. release Nov. 6, followed by a nationwide release Nov. 20. In our experience, Catholics and others will take the movie as proof of what is happening today, not what happened in the past. Do not let past events discourage you. This is an opportunity to raise the awareness of all that has been done to prevent child sexual abuse in the Church. Over the past years the Church has worked towards both healing and preventing abuse. Our endeavors may be seen in the twelve years of the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Church strives to put the child in the center of the room when making decision about children, and she will not be finished with this issue until child sexual abuse is no longer a part of society or our churches. Our prayers continue for healing for those personally affected by this tragedy.
OUR NEXT “BIG” PROJECT here at St. Lawrence will be a roof replacement on our church building. Unfortunately because of a primary application of asbestos shingles, this repair will not be easy nor with little cost. In order to preserve our roof decking now weather strong tarp has been installed temporarily to get us through this coming winters cold and snow. We will be receiving bids through the winter season and will make arrangements to begin the project come spring. With the roof replacement will also be the installation of solar panels on our roof to assist with the reduction of our electric costs to our parish. Please continue to be generous in the monthly roof replacement second collection.