Catholic Service Appeal 2021-2022
First of all, I take this opportunity to thank all of you for your generous support to our parish, and yearly Catholic Service Appeal (CSA). Your generosity makes a difference. This weekend is the KICK-OFF of our annual CSA 2021-2022. The theme for this year's appeal is “Christ has no body but yours”.We are his eyes, feet and hands. We are his body. Bishop James Powers says, “The Catholic Service Appeal has been the one constant in providing the annual resources vital to all we do as the Diocese of Superior.”
Sometimes we ask why I need to give my money to the diocese. It can be used in my local church. It is a valuable thought. The reality is we are part of the universal church; we are part of the bigger mission. Whether promoting vocations, educating our future priests, providing lay ministry formation, teaching, evangelizing, providing outreach to youth, young adults, and those in need, diocesan ministries reach beyond the ability of any single parish to support. We benefit from the diocese in so many different ways. You should have received the CSA booklet in the mail. It will give you a picture of how our money is used and how many lives you have touched.
The Goal for this year for our parishes are: St. Anthony $38,873.00; Immaculate Conception $10,543; and St. Francis $4,073. Please participate and reach the goal this year. Our participation becomes successful by our own participation and by encouraging others to participate. Let us respond to Bishop Power’s invitation and make it a successful one. If everyone makes a commitment, we can reach the goal in two or three weekends. Let us be part of a miracle, and witness a miracle.
We are back to the Gospel of Mark from John. This weekends reading emphasises the obedience to the Divine Law. In the first reading there is an exhortation by Moses to keep the law, that Israel may live in the land as a wise people. All through the book of Deuteronomy it repeated this message (Deuteronomy 4:45, 5:1, 6:1, 12:1, 26:16). The Book of Deuteronomy says there is no other nation like them who has statues and ordinances (Dt. 4:8). We can see the same message in the second book of Samel 7:23, “What other nation on earth is there like your people Israel? What god has ever led a nation, redeeming it as his people and making a name by great and awesome deeds, as you drove out the nations and their gods before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt?”
Today we begin a series of five Sunday readings from the letter of James. In this letter, James will stress doing the law rather than hearing only. He stresses that God is the source of all good and of good alone, and the evil of temptation does not come from him.
In the Gospel Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for observance of human custom rather than the Divine Law. They had written law and oral law. The oral laws, known in Jesus’ time as the “Traditions of the Elders,” were a series of oral traditions intended to act as “a fence around the Law,” so that the Mosaic Law itself, and, thus, the Covenant, would never be violated.
We see in the Gospel passage for today, the Pharisees are scandalized that Christ’s disciples “took food with unclean hands" (Mk 7.2). We see this same passage in the Gospel of Matthew 15:1-20. This dispute begins with the question of the Pharisees and scribes why Jesus’ disciples are breaking the tradition of the elders about washing one’s hands before eating. Jesus’ counterquestion accuses his opponents of breaking the commandment of God (Divine Law) for the sake of their tradition.
Jesus challenged them, today, he challenges us, with the same question. For example, Sunday obligation to join the parish community and celebrate Eucharist, or finding time for daily prayers. Jesus invites us to do it in true spirit and grow in our discipleship.