Fr. Stan’s Article
Have you ever had to wait more than five minutes for your fast food order? Did it seem like forever? Our instantaneous culture has conditioned us to expect results immediately. It’s even more frustrating when you’re trying to do something on your phone or computer and it’s taking a few more seconds. It’s no wonder that we have difficulties with prayer. We ask God for something and we expect it immediately; or we ‘ve asked and nothing happened. Once again Jesus explains prayer with a parable that’s supposed to teach us about persistence in prayer. The story speaks of a persistent widow seeking justice from an unjust judge. She is praised for her persistence and faith, while the unjust judge is contrasted with a loving and giving Father-God.
Jesus challenges us to examine our expectations when we pray. What do we bring by way of faith to our prayer and how persistent are we in asking God for our needs and the needs of others? How often are we grateful for prayers that are answered in ways that we didn’t expect? God loves us and wants the best for us even if it doesn’t include giving us what we want. When we are persistent in our prayer our focus eventually turns from what we want to our merciful Father who accompanies us in all our endeavors. Knowing, loving and trusting God as our Father becomes a much greater gift than what we thought we needed. I’m sometimes irritated by leaflets that make prayer sound like magic: say these words nine times every day and your prayer will be answered on the ninth day! God’s always on time, but on His time. So let us be persistent, trusting and faith-filled in our prayer.
I’m grateful for all who share their gifts and talents with our parish community. On this “Made for More” weekend we acknowledge all of our volunteers who use their gifts for the common good. We encourage each member to reflect on God’s call to them and to realize that they have blessings they may not be aware of and for which they need to thank God. At a recent funeral a son described his parents as a “living unity candle.” Their marriage was not only a faithful one for 47 years but was an inspiration and witness to others of what living with and for each other meant. Our gifts are meant for others, let us witness to God’s goodness in our lives.
My brother priests and I have returned from our convocation committed to “unleashing the Gospel” and making joyful missionary disciples of Jesus. Each parish will be creating a concrete mission plan to make the vision of moving from maintenance to mission a reality. Starting next month our leadership team will be meeting regularly to complete a plan by next April. We hope to engage hundreds of parishioners to carry out the plan through prayer, worship, and funding for its implementation. More information will follow as we complete each step of the process.
Our Catholic Services Appeal for this year is still short $30,000 of our obligatory target. If you haven’t made a pledge or donation, please do so this week. Every donation is needed and appreciated. A full listing of where CSA funds are spent is available in the brochure available in the narthex. I’m grateful to all who have contributed thus far.
Peace and joy,
Fr. Stan Ulman