Dear Saint Raphael parishioners,
Back in September, when our Bishop celebrated a 50th Anniversary year Mass on the Feast of the Archangels, I had the privilege to preach the homily. I was struck then by the words of Jesus in John 1:50, “You will see greater things than this…” I hear Jesus calling us to celebrate and build upon the first 50 years of the parish, and to continue with him on the journey to even greater things that lie ahead!
As people called to be disciples of Jesus in his Church and at Saint Raphael, we’re on a journey together. What’s needed when we take a road trip with a group of friends or family? Well, first of all, we have to take the time to get fueled up! We can’t make it very far otherwise. When travelling with others, we also help each other in ways like sharing the driving. We bring our talents to the group to help us move down the road. And of course, every trip has a budget! We need to share the materials and money – the treasure – to travel toward our destination.
Being disciples on a journey together in a parish is like this. We need to take the time to be fed and refuel on the journey. We can do this through coming to Mass, being part of prayer groups and small Christian communities, and attending events like retreats and the Parish Mission we had last spring. We can then use the unique talents God has given each to serve others on the journey. This includes various ministries of service, from business people assisting on Finance Council, to those who are good singers serving in music ministry, to those with a heart for the poor working with social outreach. And, as each is able, we give some portion of our income to help provide the financial support needed to keep our parish moving on the journey.
In last weekend’s gospel (Luke 19:1-10), Zacchaeus exemplifies all three of these aspects as he begins his journey as a disciple of Jesus. He takes the time to encounter Jesus, uses his gifts to serve, and pledges to be generous with his material wealth.
A special Commitment Sunday will take place next weekend, November 5th and 6th. Would you please bring the enclosed commitment card to Mass to renew your weekly offertory gift and help Saint Raphael Parish take the next steps on the journey? As we build on our history as a parish and continue forward to the “even greater things” God calls us to, I thank you for taking the time, using your talents, and giving from your treasure as we at Saint Raphael keep moving down the road on our mission with Jesus!
Thank you for your generosity and God bless,
Fr. Phil Hurley, S.J.