“I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” (1 Cor 2:3-5)
Friends, Archbishop Vigneron has laid out for us a bold path forward to unleash the Gospel by allowing ourselves to be empowered by God and to be sent on mission as joyful missionary disciples. This is not something that we can do on our own or by our own power. St. Paul reminds us of his weakness. He acknowledges that the message he proclaimed was not his own message, but God’s message accompanied by a demonstration of Spirit and power!
As we move forward with our missionary strategic planning, I am convinced that the Holy Spirit is going to bring about this demonstration of Spirit and power. I am convinced that healings and deliverances from bondage are going to become regular occurrences here at St. Scholastica.
I also firmly believe that the Lord is going to challenge us to grow in the area of reaching out to the alienated in our midst. Isaiah reminds us in our first reading that we must have compassion for the poor and the alienated. The Catholic Church calls this the preferential option for the poor. The Gospel of Matthew mandates that we clothe the naked and feed the hungry. The Church is sometimes referred to as a “field hospital for the suffering”…a place where people can come to encounter the healing grace of God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This includes those who are physically suffering as well as those who are spiritually suffering.
To unleash the Gospel requires a bold proclamation of the truth accompanied by a demonstration of Spirit and power. On Ash Wednesday, we are told to “repent and believe in the Gospel”. We are then reminded of the need to pray, fast, and give alms. Repentance leads to action.
Friends, it is my prayer that as we move ahead with our missionary strategic planning, we will listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and do whatever He tells us to do. I am convinced this will require us to think outside of the box and be willing to implement new initiatives that evangelize those on the fringe of society. We are all hungry and thirsty for the Lord. The question is, are we turning to Him to satisfy that hunger and thirst and leading others to Him to satisfy their hunger and thirst?
On behalf of all the parishioners of St. Scholastica Parish, I would like to congratulate our newly elected Parish Pastoral Council. I would also like to thank Bishop Hanchon for joining us today for our St. Scholastica Feast Day Celebration. Please know that you always remain in my prayers. Please continue to pray for me as we move forward to unleash the Gospel.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Jim Lowe, CC