Sunday, October 4, at St. Francis Xavier Parish

Dear Friends,

This Sunday greets us with the Parable of the Vineyard Owner, as we celebrate the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time.

               “In a little less than two months we will celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. As we approach the feast of Christ the King and the end of this liturgical year, our readings turn to the parables and preaching of Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. We might notice an increased intensity to the gospel stories that we are given. Jesus knows he has little time left, and as he prepares himself and his disciples for what lies ahead, his words take on a harsher tone.

               In today’s gospel, Jesus gives the parable of the vineyard that a landowner leases to tenants. Instead of handing over produce to the landowner’s servants, the tenants beat and kill them. Jesus foreshadows his own death when he says, “Finally [the landowner] sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ . . . They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.”

               In reading this parable we remember it is addressed to us now, just as much as it was addressed to the chief priests and elders in the time of Jesus… Jesus has harsh words today for the chief priests and elders. As a faithful Jew, Jesus was not confronting them about their Jewish religion, but about their practice of it. The chief priests and elders were the authority figures within the religious community. In the Magnificat we are told who our God is. He champions the lowly and casts down the mighty. It seems the chief priests and elders had grown comfortable with where they were and did not like Jesus’ teachings that challenged their authority. Jesus’ words remain as shocking and challenging today. Especially now, where Christians might find themselves as the majority religion in many parts of the world, and enjoying the power that comes with being able to influence laws and culture, we must always ask ourselves: With whom are we aligned? Are we producing the fruits of the kingdom of God where the lowly are lifted up, or have we become the new keepers of the status quo—a status quo that benefits us? If we desire to be the people of God and to tend the vineyard of the Lord, we must put our faith into action and produce the fruits of the kingdom.” (Living Liturgy 2020)

               Congratulations to our students from St. Francis Xavier School who received the sacrament of 1st Communion last Sunday at the 4pm Mass as well as the sacrament of Reconciliation on the Thursday before. I invite you keep them in your prayers, that the presence of Christ may bring them to a deeper relationship with Him and the desire to receive the Body of Christ more regularly. A special thank you to the teachers, principal and the Lindo family for staying after the Mass to assist our parish volunteers with sanitizing the pews. It was much appreciated.

This Sunday we welcome the students from St. Martin of Tours and the second group from St. Francis Xavier School to their celebration of 1st Communion at the 4pm Mass.

October 4 is the annual “Life Chain”, when “pro-life Christians all across the United States and Canada have publicly, prayerfully, and peacefully stood in prayer and repentance on behalf of legalized abortion.” Join us! Please see the parish bulletin for details.

Thank you to all our parishioners who picked up the envelopes for the special collection that was announced by our Bishop in his letter last Sunday to support all the charities that were missed due to the shutdown. Please bring the envelope with your donation and place it in the collection basket this Sunday. Thank you for your charitable contributions.

A gentle reminder to please continue to follow the current pandemic procedures while at Mass to help keep everyone safe and healthy.

Yesterday we began the month of October, which in our Christian tradition is dedicated in a special way to the Blessed Virgin Mary and praying the Rosary. Please join us in saying the Rosary before the 9am morning Mass on Sunday, in person or virtually. For those who cannot attend Mass in person at this time, you are invited to join in on Sunday morning by clicking on the picture below:

God bless.
Fr. Mariusz

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