Message: We should see this project as part of living the second priority.
At the end of this homily we will have a special report. Before hearing about something important to our parish let's start with something affecting the universal church.
Pope Francis issued his long awaited document - The Joy of Love. It will guide us in strengthening families and reaching out to people in a variety of situations. As you will see, the Joy of Love connects with the theme of this homily - the second of three on our parish priorities.
Our first priority (I hope you remember) is: Lift up Jesus. He saves us by being lifted up - on the cross and in the Ascension. We literally lift up Jesus in the Mass and also everyday actions and words. When we lift him up he lifts us to the Father in the Spirit.
This leads into our second priority. Last Sunday we heard Jesus ask, "Do you love me?" If so, then, "Feed my sheep." If we love Jesus we will care for his little ones, his lost ones, his confused ones. This command brings us to us to the second priority: Love one another!
Jesus says, "I give you a new commandment: love one another - as I have love you..." In our Summit earlier this month parishioners expressed ways they want to live this commandment. In the bulletin we put an insert that lists 30 examples. Let's listen to three:
"I enjoy meeting and learning about people, make new people feel comfortable..."
"I have a unique experience (spiritual) I could share with youth."
"Attend Adoration and invite other teenagers."
These are concrete acts of love. Love one another!
You showed love by supporting last year's Annual Catholic Appeal. Your generosity supported Archbishop Sartain in "feeding the sheep" - caring for the little ones in Western Washington. Do you remember last Sunday hearing about the catch of 153 fish and that it might represent the numerical value of "church of love"? We want to build a church of love. In spite of all the storms the Church in Western Washington does amazing acts of care.
Your support also helped our own parish: We reached 154% of our goal. Everything over 100% came back to us for our lighting project. How does it express love? Well, it provides security for children, elderly and all parishioners; it enhances worship, learning and fellowship and being energy efficient, it shows "care for our common home" as Pope Francis urged.
It's not to brag but we should see this project as part of living the second priority: Love one another. To give more details I now call forward the man who, perhaps more than anyone else, made it happen. I am grateful for his hours of work - a labor of love. Please give your full attention to _______________________.
From Archives (Fourth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
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Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru