Voices of Faith

The Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends:

Sometimes the differences between good and evil are so subtle that it is hard to discern right from wrong. The challenge of sin is that it tends to look attractive from a certain perspective; such is the nature of temptation… we can get “tricked” or “convinced” to do what we otherwise know to be wrong. No one likes to talk about sin. We certainly don’t want to talk about our own faults, and it is more polite to avoid subjects that would call attention to anything negative. Jesus is not afraid to confront evil in order to call us to conversion and to rise above our sinfulness. Even those who heard him speak and witnessed his miracles had a hard time with it and tried to point to him as the problem! While today’s scriptures are blunt, they afford us an opportunity. It is good for us to see evil and sin for what it is because out of that confrontation comes a new path of life that leads to the gift of life with Jesus and eventually the blessing of eternal life in heaven. Such is the promise and assurance of our faith!

We offer congratulations to the 43 members of the St. Joseph School Class of 2018, who received their diplomas at our graduation Mass on Friday evening. This week our school year concludes on Wednesday, and we wish our students and teachers well as they head into the summer break.

There is still a lot going on here at St. Joseph… Vacation Bible School begins in two weeks, and many volunteers will be working hard to get everything ready. At the same time we are preparing to celebrate the ordination of John Martinez and to bid a sad farewell to Fr. Carlos as he prepares to move to his next assignment as Associate Pastor at Christ the King Parish in Glen Burnie. On our campus, we have several repair and improvement projects taking place this summer as well: repainting various rooms in several buildings, new tile floors in the new school building, the illumination of the church steeple and façade, and a new floor in the Multi-Purpose Room.

This week, I (along with Chris Wesley, our Youth and Young Adult Minister) will be attending a conference on church leadership entitled “Divine Renovation” in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Fr. James Mallen, a priest of the Diocese of Halifax, wrote a book (of the same title) several years ago regarding his experience of the renewal of parish life at St. Benedict Parish in Halifax, and now he hosts a conference for parish leaders to discuss vision, strategic planning, preaching, and leadership. I look forward to interacting with other priests and parish ministers from across North America this week to share our experiences and learn from each other. Even as we are completing the second year of our “Vision for Saint Joseph,” we are open to new ideas as we continue to teach and celebrate our faith authentically as a beacon for all to come to know the Lord.

God’s peace,

Fr. Rick