Bulletin Article for the Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 27, 2019)

Dear People of God,

I think the super nice weather is in the past. We are definitely into the fall weather. Time to break out the apple cider, hot chocolate, roasted pumpkin seeds, and left-over Halloween candy.

Two reminders. St. Teresa’s has a finance meeting this Tuesday (October 29) at 6:45 PM. Next Sunday (November 3) there will be a Confirmation Orientation for 9th and 10th graders at 3:30 PM at St. Teresa’s. 

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of those who are convinced of their own righteousness. I’m sure we all know someone who thinks way too highly of himself or herself. No matter how good we are at something, no matter how holy we are, we could always be more humble. None of us are perfect. We are all in need of Jesus’ love and mercy. We are all in need of a Savior to free us from our sins and failures. If Jesus is the standard for holiness, no matter how good or bad we are, we all have a long ways to go. We must walk side by side as sinners striving for holiness. Now this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t correct someone out of charity. True love, true charity desires the good of the other. And the best thing for someone is to grow in holiness, to grow in virtue. Just as we automatically do with our own children, we should gently do with one another. Out of charity, out of concern for their good, we are called to help each other grow in our knowledge of right and wrong. But we need to make sure we do this in charity and humility. We also need to be humble enough to receive correction from our brothers and sisters in Christ. This might be the harder part. We must not let pride get in the way of growing in holiness. Even if a serial killer told me I need to grow in patience, I need to listen to them, because that is definitely true. I do need to grow in patience.

Have a great week. We continue to pray for the safety of our farmers as they continue the harvest season.

Peace of Christ,

Father Vogel 

Bulletin Article for the Twenty-nineth Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 20, 2019)

Hello,

There are tractors, combines in the fields. It is great to see the heartland at work. I’m praying for your safety and success. What a beautiful time of year. 

In this weekend’s Gospel, we have a lazy judge and a widow. Jesus even spells out for us the moral of the parable at the beginning. He says the purpose of the parable is pray always without becoming weary. Jesus says the judge is dishonest. He doesn’t fear God or respect anyone else. He just cares about himself. However, the widow pesters him so much that he finally renders a judgment between the widow and her adversary. God is not a lazy judge; He is a loving Father. However, sometimes He doesn’t answer our prayers right away for reasons we don’t understand. So Jesus is admonishing us to pray without ceasing. It is not because God is playing hard to get. It is because we need to grow in trust and reliance. In someways, the American ethos says we need to be independent. The Christian ethos says we need to be dependent; dependent on God.

Take care and God bless,

Father Vogel

Bulletin Article for the Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 13, 2019)

Hello, hello.

Not much different this week. However, I just want to take some time to thank Betsy and especially the CCW women of St. Joseph and St. Matthew. The religious education free-will dinners on Wednesday at 5:15 are going great. The CCW women figured they served over 100 people last Wednesday (October 9). This does not include the teenagers (and others) who came up for seconds. For those of you who aren’t aware, we are busing the younger kids straight from school to the church in Mapleton. So the parents don’t have to pick them up and drop them off at the church. This is done for them. Then the kids get entertained from whenever they arrive until class starts at 4:15. At. 5:15 is the free-will dinner. Then after dinner the older kids have class from 6 to 7:30. It is a lot of work for Betsy and her crew, but it seems to be working really well. So thank you for all who are making this possible, but especially the parents. 

This week we have the curing of the ten lepers. Ten lepers approach Jesus and ask Him to cure them. Jesus tells them to show themselves to the priests. This was the standard thing to do in those days. Due to the law God gave Moses, the priests acted as kind of the doctors. Not necessarily with the curing part, but more with the diagnosing part. They all began their trip to meet the priest. Now St. Luke records that they were cured as they were going. So they were not cured until after they started the trip to see the priests. So it took faith to begin the trip to see the priest. What if they got to the priests and they weren’t cured? They would look pretty foolish. So it took faith just to begin the trip to go see the priest. We need to have that same faith. If God asks us to do something, we need to trust that He will provide what we need to do the task.

Peace of Christ,

Father Vogel 

Bulletin Article for the Twenty-seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 6, 2019)

Hello All,

I was talking to Betsy this morning. I just want to say thank you to everyone that has made the start of the faith formation year a success. We are trying a lot of new things at once, so thank you, especially you parents, for making everything so smooth. I must say the food has been excellent. Selfishly, it is nice to know I’ll get a good home cooked meal every Wednesday evening. I love seeing the community come together during these meals. It makes my heart happy.

The Gospel today is a little odd, especially for our modern ears. Jesus is usually, especially in the Gospel of Luke, about raising up the underdog. However, in the parable for today, Jesus has the servant do his usual duties and then eat and drink after the master is done. There is nothing revolutionary about this story, about this idea. And that is Jesus’ point. Serving others should be no big deal as a Christian. I think it is great when we hear stories of people, especially athletes or other famous people, going out of their way to help others. However, in some ways I wish it was not such a big deal. I don’t want to diminish what they did, but one of the reasons it is such a big deal is because this means it does not happen very often. As Christians, going the extra mile for someone, serving someone else, should be so common that it is not a big deal. In some ways it should just be expected of us, as it was expected of the servant to serve his master and only eat after the master was done. On the flip side, though, it is still good to thank those who do help us. But, we need to pray, ask, and discern how we can more readily serve those around us, to be servants to one another.

God bless,

Father Vogel