10 Sep 2016

This Week Letter – September 11, 2016

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Rebellion often arises in our minds when we see that those who are distant from God have a better, more prosperous, and happier life. However, we should understand the principle of God’s love and equality, which God bestows, because He gives us the chance to convert and believe. He also applies it to us, because often we make Him sad with our evil deeds and thoughts.

We can see an example already in the First Reading, where God seeing the evil deeds of the Israelites, decides to forgive them and give a helping hand. Moses asked the Lord to abandon His anger for the sake of Abraham, Isaac and Israel.  “So the LORD changed His mind about the punishment He had threatened to inflict on His people.” (Ex. 32.14)

St. Paul gives us a beautiful witness of life in faith. We can see it in the Second Reading where He speaks about his past and proclaims God’s mercy which was revealed to him and with joy equal to his humility he confesses: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost” (Tm, 1.15). Who among us can say that he/she does not need conversion? The Lord Jesus invites all to participate in the Kingdom of God. We all need conversion and sanctification. Everyone, even the greatest sinner is called to conversion and to accept the boundless mercy of God. St. Paul responded completely to God’s grace. His life after conversion was one of great Thanksgiving, because for the rest of his life he was aware of his weakness and the greatness of God’s mercy. We humbly thank you God for our conversion, and for the grace of faith and love.

The Gospel parables, narrated by Jesus, emphasize the joy of a man who found what he lost. Two of them show God’s concern about the humblest, suffering, lost and needing help; the Shepherd brings the lost sheep on His shoulders into the herd with joy. Also, the woman who lost her coin rejoices with her neighbors because she found it. The third parable is about “the merciful father” who embraces his lost son. It is the image of God the Father, who opens His blessing and merciful arms and He is always waiting for His sons and daughters, especially those who ran away and were found. His hands hold us, embrace, bring encouragement, comfort, and calm. At the same time His hands are the hands of a mother and a father.  The “comeback home” of the prodigal son, shows the Father’s meeting with humanity, His mercy with the weakness, in the light of love. By showing the character of the older son our Heavenly Father calls on us to be merciful to each other. God is the Father of us all, including those who stray and He wishes to bestow His love and His mercy upon all.

Let us give Him thanks for everything, because everything that God sends, or permits, is for our salvation. Let us pray for each other, because God the Father thought about us as a whole, the community of faith, and He wants all of us in it.

I give my warmest birthday wishes to Father Wladyslaw Podeszwik and Deacon Jim Schiltz. May the Lord bless you with good health and prosperity. God Bless You!