Message: A project that will help live the priorities.
Last weekend I mentioned the phrase, "the church of love." We saw it in relation to our second priority: Love One Another. We have a beautiful image of the Church of Love in the reading from Revelation. John speaks about the Church as the "bride adorned for her husband."
At a wedding the big moment of suspense comes when the bride enters. People are wondering: What will her dress look like? Will she be smiling or serious? Did her diet work? :) Well, in my 44 years as a priest I have celebrated hundreds of weddings and so far I have never seen an ugly bride. Each is gorgeous in her own way.
There's are reason for that beauty. She images the Bride of Jesus: the Church purified, made glorious by the sacrifice of Jesus. She exalts Jesus. She is the church of love.
We live that reality when we follow Jesus' commandment: Love one another. It's a new commandment because Jesus says, "love one another - as I have love you."
That's our second priority. The third priority flows from it. In the reading from Acts we see St. Paul's care when he proclaims the good news and makes disciples. To form a disciple is the greatest act of love. So that's the third priority: Make disciples!
Have you heard about the Great Commission? Right before ascending to heaven Jesus tells the apostles to go and make disciples. (Mt 28:19) That happens, Jesus says, by baptizing and teaching. In future homilies we will talk more about the process of making disciples. Today I want to emphasize that making disciples flows from loving others and from lifting up Jesus.
So we have these three priorities: Lift up Jesus. Love one another. Make disciples.
These priorities tie in with the Annual Catholic Appeal. Our church exists to lift up Jesus. As we saw last weekend our union with Jesus is expressed locally by union with the Archbishop who has the task of holding this local church together. Our various ministries strive to express Jesus' love and to make disciples.
Last year we reached our goal and received a rebate that we applied to the lighting upgrade. This year we have another project aimed at improving our parish facility. We do this not lift up ourselves but to lift up Jesus. When we do that he lifts us to the Father.
We want our campus to be welcoming. We know that the first step to making a disciple is to welcome the other person.
This weekend we hear about a project to keep our parish hall in good condition. It has to do with the fascia, but I will let an expert explain it. I am hoping that we will not only meet our parish duty to the Archdiocese, but receive a rebate to apply to this project. It will help us live our priorities: Lift up Jesus. Love One Another. Make Disciples.
To explain the importance of our 2016 Annual Catholic Appeal project I ask you to give your full attention to _______________________.
From Archives (Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
Report on Lighting Upgrade
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru