Last week I wrote about breaking down our parish mission statement into sections, and this week I continue with the section that reads “we seek to proclaim the reign of God.” What might this mean for us here? First of all, “we seek.” Those two words imply that we do not always know the way or know all the answers. We are pilgrims on the way. So much of religion today is tied into certainty. “We seek” means we are open to the ways of the Holy Spirit.
What do we seek? We seek to proclaim the “reign of God.” What is that? The word “reign” implies a kingdom. As Americans, we have not been part of a kingdom since the days of British rule. So what might we mean by kingdom, or reign, of God? The phrase looks forward to an anticipated, promised future in which God is all in all, and also looks to the present for signs of that kingdom already breaking into our world. This in-breaking of the kingdom took form in the life and ministry of Jesus. How do we know it? Where do we see it? Wherever we encounter gentleness, kindness, peace, forgiveness, mercy, reconciliation, God’s justice. Wherever we encounter those things, then God’s reign is already breaking into our world. You and I, by our words and actions, and through grace, help to make that kingdom visible.
This weekend is our Annual Offertory Appeal. It’s our appeal to you to be part of the mission of St. Francis, to be part of our proclaiming of God’s kingdom of mercy, justice, and peace in our own corner of north Raleigh. Our offertory is the primary way of supporting our ministries. Have you contributed in the past? We are grateful, and we ask that you consider making an increase in your contribution for this year. If you have not contributed in the past, we ask that you please consider making a contribution. Questions? Call Toni Hammes or Connie O’Sullivan in our offices. As always, we are grateful for your generosity.
Nice to have Fr. Mark Reamer in town last weekend and he enjoyed his visit, told me that he was glad to have no other responsibilities while he was here other than reading the Sunday paper.
And I have a book recommendation – “The Passion and the Cross” by Ronald Rolheiser. It’s a reflection on events of Jesus’ life from his last meal with his apostles through the Resurrection. It’s a short book, just over 100 pages, and rich in insight into the events of those days. Very good spiritual reading.
Blessings on your week!