News & Events
Back Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday, July 1, 2019
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
As a young adult, I was recruited to participate in a transportation project, namely, driving an old school bus from central Wisconsin to Southern Mississippi. Upon the bus were African American children who spent a few weeks with families in the North on vacation. Our long journey, within the non air conditioned school bus safely carried the children home and after a night’s rest, reloaded a new crew of youngsters heading back North for their holiday. Part of our orientation and training was not to accept any offers from locals but stay with our assigned families who showed us incredible hospitality, given their poverty. We were told that in the past some locals who found disfavor with the racial relationship building program, would lure drivers with offers of dinner etc. and beat them unmercifully. We did what we were told and had no incident. In this weekend’s Gospel passage, Jesus sends out seventy-two of His disciples traveling in pairs. He gives specific instructions which indicate that they are not going on “vacation to see the sites” but rather are on a mission. They are to announce the arrival of Jesus, prepare people with miracle signs and wonders and welcome Jesus as Messiah in their lives. Upon their return, they share with Jesus the surprising miracles that God worked upon the people through their mission. Jesus welcomes the news and helps them take joy that their names are written in the Kingdom’s Book of Life. At the “Great Commission” Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus sends out His disciples to go and preach the Kingdom of God to all until He returns in glory. All of us who are Baptized are part of that commissioned group. Each and every weekend, we gather to hear God’s written word proclaimed and share the teachings and testimony of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. We are fed for the journey with the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord in Holy Eucharist and then we too are sent forth. Many of us forget our mission as soon as we get into the parking lot and our everyday lives take over. But preaching the Kingdom and the values of the Kingdom of God need to be always our center most focus. There was a song we sang in Church back in the early seventies, “They’ll know we are Christians by our Lord….” Does anyone ever notice that about you? Can anyone recognize that you too are on a mission? When we return to our assembly each and every weekend, do we have a story to tell about how God worked powerfully within us during the past week? May the Lord help us to sharpen our focus and be more “intentional” about our lives and being a witness to the Good News that Jesus came to share. May all know we are Christians by our lives; by our love.
THE NATIVITY LAY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL (LLC) has been joined by another member. At their last council meeting Chuck Stephan was welcomed to the leadership council. Pastoral Team members Amy Vossen-Vukelic and John Wilde have been invited to be present at council meetings and lend their respective expertise though they are not members of the LLC itself. Of course our parish priests: Fr. Ron and Fr. Daniel are present for council meetings as well. Many thanks to all who both clergy and laity who assist in the Pastoral Leadership of Nativity BVM.
MANY THANKS TO DEACON DON WIEGEL who was our guest preacher the weekend of June 23rd. From previous years emphasis and growth concerning our interdependence as sister churches with St. Martin de Porres and St. Lawrence in the city, to our attention last year of “homelessness” and our involvement with Family Promise, we now turn to the Gospel value of “Welcoming the Stranger.” This emphases begins here at home as we continue to strive to build relationships and build community, across the pews within our own church. However, it extends as well to the many who continually arrive in our metropolitan area, seeking refuge. Although, this type of topic will be a heated one within the 2020 election, we will not be taking political sides but honestly look at, study, and act upon our Catholic Christian Gospel centered teaching from our Lord and from our Judeo Christian History and Tradition. As St. Paul reminds us all: “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20). I’m very grateful for the dedication, prayerful discernment and guidance of our new “Refugee, Immigrant and Migrant Ministry” team and their continued work and vision for how we will enact this Gospel value here at Nativity, from now until next Pentecost. May the Lord help us to welcome the stranger and enrich our Church, our families and our lives.