8th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2014
My brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,
I am back from the Holy Land. A nine-day trip was short but it gave me an open-eye in serving the Gospel of the Lord. I thank the Lord for His continued pouring out of His blessings to me as an individual and to all of us as the faithful of Christ on the pilgrim way to the Lord’s house.
This weekend we, the faithful of Christ, together with the great Archdiocese of St. Paul – Minneapolis will try to make a difference helping others in the coming year that us individual parish cannot do alone. The 2014 Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) has a motto that Seek First The Kingdom Of God from Mt. 6. Last year, our goal was triumphed at both parish because of your generosity and did seek God first as His grace pours out upon us in abundance.
The CSA goal for our parish this year is very much the same as last year; that at St. Mary Czestochowa the goal is close to Five Thousand dollars and at St. Boniface the goal is a bit more than Twelve Thousand dollars. If we achieve the goal then 25% of what has been collected will return to our parish. For example at St. Mary if $5,000 has been collected then $1,250 is returned to our parish for educational purposes. As well at St. Boniface if $12,124 is collected then over $3,000 will be returned to us for educational purposes.
Please join me as your pastor, I have committed myself to the CSA-$500, each parish will receive $250. I know many of you are as generous as we know that God is generous to us.
Lenten Season is beginning this Wednesday March 5. Please refer to schedule we sent to you that contains helpful information for Lent and Easter of 2014.
In his Lenten message for 2014, Pope Francis takes inspiration from the words of St. Paul (Cor 8:9), and he asks us to contemplate Paul’s invitation to live “a life of evangelical poverty.”
We can begin to embrace this call by fasting from or “giving up” material things, including foods, that are superfluous to our basic needs; “taking up” charitable habits that are directed to helping and caring for others; and “lifting up” our brothers and sisters who are in need through giving alms, praying and participating in devotional practices.
“In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ.” — Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2014. . .
By taking an active approach to the three traditional pillars of Lenten observance, prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we recognize that to be evangelists, we must first be evangelized ourselves. For this Jesus commissioned His disciples and us to go and proclaim the Gospel of Salvation to all.
By sharing our resources in the CSA program we are joined with our local church to continue what the Lord commanded us and by living out this Lenten season, we continue pressing for salvation that our Lord Jesus Christ by totally obedient to the Father had died for us, saved us and opened the door to Heaven for us.
Rev. Joseph-Quoc Vuong