March 25, 2012
Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself (John 12.31-32).
Who was this “ruler of the world”? What was “the time of judgment”? How does this son of Mary draw all to himself…and to what purpose?
In the Gospel of John, Jesus of Nazareth talks about two Kingdoms, two Powers, two ways of life. In the Gospel of John, the Lord Jesus invites us to accept the grace-filled gift of Light and to be steadfast against the insidious evil of Darkness, a darkness that seeks to enslave each human heart. As we begin this fifth Sunday of holy Lent, let us hear again the proclamation of the Savior and great Physician of our broken humanity: This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel (Mark 1.15).
A new Pastoral Council will be established in July of 2012. This new Council will have twelve members, ten of whom will be at-large members (members from the parish community). The purpose of this new Council is twofold: to offer me advice and counsel about the many issues I will bring to the Council for discussion; and secondly, to encourage and support the many ministries of Saint Brigid. Each at-large Council member will be responsible for contacting a set number of ministries and bringing news of these ministries to the Council meetings, month by month. In this way, the new Pastoral Council will hope to facilitate a healthy communication between the whole leadership of the parish (for ministries are leadership!). I would ask you to consider serving on this new Pastoral Council. An application for membership will appear in the next few bulletins and on our web-page. Take a look at the application…and…consider how you are to live out your discipleship!
Have you noticed the new pamphlet racks throughout our facility? These have been placed throughout in the hope of assisting the staff and ministries in getting the word out about their offerings to a wider audience. Soon, you will see new flat-screen TV’s mounted on the walls…to further assist our parish’s community life.
As most of you know, we have an outstanding team of St. Vincent de Paul Society members at Saint Brigid. Through the generous financial support given by many in our parish, these workers have the finances to assist the poorest of the poor through home visitations, emergency relief, and short term assistance. The SVdP membership also serves the needs of the poor through a network-relationship with other helping agents (cooperating in this work of God). The membership of SVdP is the instrument we use to assist those in need.
Occasionally, we have problems with professional beggars that come on Sunday, asking for assistance. We have had some difficulties with these professionals recently. These professionals come, usually with infant and child in tow, and at the bottom of the stairs or at the portico entrance, seek to touch your generous “Sunday” hearts with their stories. Over and over again, they have been told that SVdP is our way of assisting the poor. Over and over again, they have been encouraged to come and speak to a SVdP worker during the work week or to make an appointment by telephone. These professional beggars never show up to seek assistance…because…they are not begging for food but for dollars to maintain their lifestyle. One of these “families”, after being told to leave the property, was seen driving away in a new SUV.
Please pray that we might have truly discerning hearts, knowing how to handle every pastoral situation that comes our way.