The more famous people get the more they become isolated and insulated from the real people and sometimes real life. Soon others begin to work for them and accomplish many of the simple tasks of ordinary life that they themselves used to do. Because of their popularity they hire security persons to keep regular people at a distance. For some this experience leads to their own belief in their own greatness. The Hebrew people beheld God is God’s greatness, majesty, and often referred to God as All Powerful. However this humbling adoration often led to God’s being untouchable as well. “Now as all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the blast of the shofar and the mountain smoking, they became afraid and trembled. So they took up a position farther away and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we shall die’” Exodus 20:18-19. However through Jesus “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin” Hebrews 4:15. Jesus was the real human face of God. Jesus is one like us in all things but sin. He was not untouchable but touchable hand and spirit of God most High. In our continued reading of the Gospel narrative of Mark chapter 10, James and John long for the untouchableness of the power and prestige of sitting at the right and left of Jesus in the Kingdom of God. Jesus tests their desire by asking if they are willing to undergo the same fate as He? They unwittingly say “Yes.” But then Jesus brings the message home by giving us the true teaching of the “touchableness” of God…. “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all” Mark 10:43-44. Even today throughout the world our Church’s missionaries give witness to the touchableness of God by being of service to people the world over. Gently and quietly they preach the Gospel of Jesus preaching ever more powerfully by their lives of service. May we join them in the service of our brothers and sisters and thus imitate our loving God.
LAST WEEKEND at the 10:00AM Mass we took some time to acknowledge and honor Andrew Pitizi and Ms. Olga Valenta for their many years of dedicated service to our St. Lawrence Parish community. Our friend Charlie Waits read a note from Mrs. Olga: “Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge me at this mass today. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend but want you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed working at the St. Lawrence food pantry and serving the clients in this community. I also appreciate the friendships I made at this parish over the years.” After growing up with us, and working as our employee, Andrew spoke his own words of thanks to our community for having been an “incubator” of sorts to help nurture and grow this new step in his life. God’s continued blessings be to them both. At the Mass we also acknowledged the new director of the Fr. Joseph Moreno Food Pantry, Ms. Shaun Hughes, and Mr. Jenaro Aken who will be working the St. Francis Guest House and assisting in Maintenance.
THANKS FOR THE FEEDBACK In recent days Fr. Ron has been receiving a number of comments about the performance of our international brother priests. These comments, both the complementary as well as the suggestions for growth are most welcome and have already been and will be of great value as we assist one another on this most unique journey. If placing your comments in writing please provide some contact information so Fr. Ron can better understand your comments. The three different parish environments are a challenge even for Fr. Ron. Let us continue to pray for each other and work toward perfecting the ministry at our parishes of Nativity, St. Lawrence and St. Martin de Porres.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU….. Many thanks to one of our parish families, who after receiving a bit of an inheritance, sacrificed a percentage as a gift to our community to assist in the “padding of our pews.” This donation along with another from Mr. Anthony Amigone Sr. and a grant received last year from our sister community of Nativity of the BVM, will help speed this project toward completion. While assisting in our comfort at Mass this parish improvement will also assist us with our church’s “echo chamber” effect.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU from the St. Martin de Porres Adult and Youth Choir membership for the support and attendance of sisters and brothers from St. Lawrence and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parishes at our Annual Gospel Choir Concert last Sunday. It meant a great deal to our choirs, our parishioners, and our clergy and pastoral staff. May God continue to bless our parish families.