This weekend’s Masses celebrate the very end of the Liturgical Year, and today we recognize that Jesus Christ is King of the Universe. In today’s Gospel reading, from the story of the Crucifixion according to St. Luke, we hear about the “bad thief” and the “good thief.” The bad thief is mocking Jesus, joining in with Jesus persecutors, rejecting the idea of Jesus’ Kingship. The good thief acts out of humility, contrition, care for the other, and a sense of faith in God. He is one of the few present who recognizes Jesus’ Kingship – and his faith is rewarded. Like the bad thief, we sometimes act out of our fallen state, and carry guilt. No matter how much we try, we cannot save ourselves. What we can do is invest in our future as the good thief – and in the last several weeks, we have been talking about how we do that: through our “investment” in prayer, and our “investment” in eternity through giving of ourselves.
Thank you so much for the collection of food items, coats and blankets, and pet supplies. We collected 32 boxes that are going to the Bushkill Outreach, 130 coats and 26 blankets for Valor and Street to Feet, and 10 boxes of pet supplies that are going to the AWSOM Animal Shelter. This weekend, I am excited to announce a new initiative that is part of our 3 year Pastoral Plan, entitled Partners in Mission. Please see the flier in the bulletin, which you can conveniently fold into a tri-fold brochure, for an explanation of what this is all about. Essentially, Partners in Mission is all about being the hands and feet of Christ in the world – calling parishioners of St. John’s out of the pews to service in the local community, and focusing our church outreach efforts with Partners that have maximum local impact and share our values. Initially, we have chosen Bushkill Outreach, Mady’s Angels, and Valor as our 2019 partners – three community organizations that are already very familiar with many of our parishioners, and are already essentially “partnered” with St. John’s Parish Mission to Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples. As a Partner, we are making a commitment as a church community to raise awareness of what these groups are all about, and to call out for resources, volunteers, and advertisements of events whenever needed.