September 28, 2014
A brand new pastor came out to his first church. As usually seems to be the case, several of the Great Old Saints waited for their new pastor to die. Consequently in four weeks he did eight funerals. He did not have time to write his regular Sunday Homilies. So he used the sermon from the Sunday before - 3 more times. The Parish Council went to the Bishop complaining that this new pastor had used the same homily 4 times in a row. The Bishop asked what the homily was about. The members of Council couldn't remember, they scratched their heads and hummed and hawed - but they really couldn't remember. The Bishop said, "Let him use it one more time."
There is a certain relevance in this week’s Gospel about the two sons for our time. One promised to work for the father but never went. Another refused at first but changed his mind and went into the vineyard. Yet all too often, mindsets do not change. Things remain the way they were. And yet conversions still take place. A new mindset takes over. Some people begin by saying “no” to the Master of the vineyard but end by giving their assent. They give themselves to the reign of God with limitless generosity. Life has countless paradoxes.
Back to the daily life of the parish, I am grateful to every one of you who have considered this parish your own. During the absence of our associate and Fr. Alphonse, you have done a terrific job to keep the parish going. Life with God and with community is action-oriented. Generally we are not wanting in good intentions - only in performance. We don't mind putting our word on the line but demonstrating our word through actions is quite another matter. Action speaks louder than word. I appreciate your presence in church every Sunday; but Catholic community requires much more than that. It’s an ongoing renewal, service and commitment.