Message from the Pastor
Notes Of Interests
Women’s Retreat: Saturday, September 17, 2016 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at the Mission Helpers Center 1001 W. Joppa Rd. 21204. Sponsored by St. Ann’s Sista Circle.
Registration forms in back of church on usher’s table. Sunday School will begin Sunday, October 2 . A planning meeting for all Sunday School & CLOW Staff is scheduled for Sunday, September 25 after Mass in the Anchorage.
SACRED HEART PICNIC
The Sacred Heart of Glyndon Annual Picnic and Ministry Fair is Sunday, September 18. Mass will begin at 12:00 noon .
My Sisters and Brothers:
I love the parables of the “Lost Sheep,” the “Lost Coin,” and the “Lost Son,” told by Jesus in today’s Gospel. These allegorical stories make bold proclamations about the great love God the Father has for all his children, and even and especially for those who are “lost.” It’s no coincidence Jesus specifically addressed these parables to the Pharisees and to the Teachers of the Law. They had observed “tax collectors, and other outcasts, drawing near to listen to him,” and then had arrogantly and self-righteously complained “he had welcomed sinners and had eaten with them” (cf. Luke 15:1-2). But responding to them, and in these parables, Jesus makes it clear the lost cannot be found without a loving and passionate desire for their recovery.
As we contemplate this exchange between Jesus and those so-called “religious leaders,” the difference between the way they each regarded and treated “sinners” is obvious. Jesus had invited the tax collectors and other outcasts “to draw near to him,” because he openly accepted them with the great love of the Father, and he treated them with tremendous dignity and respect. Jesus enthusiastically sought them out, much like someone who would passionately search for a lost sheep, a lost coin, or a lost child. In contrast, the “religious leaders” simply condemned such people; they treated them with contempt, and advocated the shunning and ostracizing of them from the community. Unlike Jesus, they certainly had no desire to seek out and “to find” the tax collectors, the sinners, nor any other types of outcasts. Jesus’ disposition toward “sinners” is completely different from theirs! And we are called to put God’s love into action in precisely the same way!
Reflecting on the message of today’s parables, we might recall how we ourselves have felt when we have lost things we’ve greatly treasured. We know how passionate we might have been when earnestly searching for lost items. We know how very disturbing it can be if we’ve been unable to find them, and how disheartening it was when their recovery seemed impossible. If you’re like me, then you know what it’s like to fret and to waste a lot of time wondering what’s happened to whatever’s been lost. And then, if you’ve actually been fortunate enough to find such lost items, you also know how much of a relief and joy that can be.
It’s precisely this emotional dynamic that frames the lesson of today’s Scriptures. The “Lost Sheep,” the “Lost Coin,” and the “Lost Son,” are likened to those “sinners” who’ve turned away from God’s love. But Jesus teaches us we must be disposed to “draw them near to us” by the way we passionately seek them out, and by the way we share the great love of the Father with them. This is exactly how they are to be “found.” I’m sure this would not be possible if, like those “religious leaders” of old, we would rather choose to condemn and to show contempt for the “tax collectors, the sinners and other outcasts” of our own time. Jesus instructs us in today’s parables to put God’s love into action; his words teach us we will do this when passionately and respectfully we seek out those who are lost. And he challenges us to do this even if there might be arrogant and self-righteous so-called “religious people” who choose to do otherwise. As we seek to find the lost, let’s encourage each other with this message!
Praise God! Friar Timothy
Masses & Sunday School
Sunday Mass — 10 am
Holy Days — 7 pm
Weekdays — 7 pm Thursday
(followed by Bible Study — 7:30-9:00pm)
Sunday School — Sundays,
October–May 11:45am - 12:30 pm
Pre K–8th Grade & Youth Group (SAY G) Grades 9 - 12