Parish Mission Theme - Year of Service

Each year our parish selects a theme as our "parish mission" for the year.  Our theme for 2018-2019 was is a "Year of Prayer and Service."  We strive for these all the time but we give them a special focus this year. Here's a little story for reflection on service and prayer.

The Monk’s Vision

An old monk prayed many years for a vision from God to strengthen his faith, but it never came.  He had almost given up hope when, one day, a vision appeared.  The old monk was overjoyed.  But then, right in the middle of the vision, the monastery bell rang.  The ringing of the bell meant that it was time to feed the poor who gathered daily at the monastery gate.  And, it was the old monk’s turn to feed them.  If he failed to show up with food, the poor people would leave quietly, thinking that the monastery had nothing to give them that day.

The old monk was torn between his earthly duty and his heavenly vision.  However, before the bell stopped tolling the monk made his decision.  With a heavy heart, he turned his back on the vision, and went off to feed the poor.

Nearly an hour later, the old monk returned to his room.  When he opened the door, he could hardly believe his eyes.  There in the room was the vision, waiting for him.  As the monk dropped to his knees in thanksgiving, the vision said to him, “My son, had you not gone off to feed the poor, I would not have stayed.” (by Lawrence Le Shan, More Sowers Seeds, Second Planting, B. Cavanaugh, T.O.R., p. 56)

The best way to serve God is to reach out in service to our brothers and sisters, especially those less gifted than ourselves.  This is what we do at St. Luke’s.  This is what your generous and kind support have permitted every year.  May we do it even better in 2018.  This is our vision.

God Cares About His Church - People

King David was reflecting on all the way the Lord had blessed - he made him King, helped him defeat all his enemies, and he has amassed great wealth. However, the King wasn't content that he lived in a magnificent  palace while God's Ark of the Covenant dwelled in a tent. That didn't seem right, so the King decided to build God a great temple. He found a nice piece of land that belonged to a certain man called Araunah and asked to buy it from him for the Temple. But Araunah wouldn't sell. Instead, he offered to give the land to the King for free. To this Kind David replied, “I will not offer to my God a sacrifice that costs me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). The King insisted on paying for the land. Although the Lord told David that he wanted the King's son, Solomon, to build the Temple, God was, neverheless, impressed that David had such noble idea and blessed him for it. This was the origin of having a Church building dedicated to God for His worship.

The idea of not offering God a sacrifice that costs nothing is again presented in the Book of Ecclesiasticus  (35:6,8,12 & 13), “My child, do not appear before the Lord empty handed. The offering of the righteous enriches the altar, and it's pleasing smell rises before the Most High. Give to the Most High as he has given to you, and as generously as you can afford. For the Lord is the one who repays and he will repay you sevenfold. In Proverbs 3:9-10, we are asked to “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats overflow with new wine.” Later when Jerusalem was destroyed and the Temple with it, the Israelites rebuilt thier homes but did not want to rebuild the Temple just yet. So God said to the Israelites, “Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored” (Hag. 1:8ff). The Lord said that because His house was in ruins, He had prevented the heavens from providing rain and the crops from producing fruits. But if they build His house, He, the Lord would be with them and bless them with prosperity. this goes to say that the Lord cares about His Temple and blesses those who build Him one. This is why we have to preserve and maintain the Churches in our Parish. Our places of worship are gifts from our fellow Christians to God and to us. Our maintenance of these worship sites is also our gift to God and to the future generation. It is the least we can do.

You must know about lighthouses and their purposes as guide and warning to sailors to stay clear of the rocks hidden under water. Every Church building is a spiritual lighthouse which guides God's people on their way to the promised land, while warning them of the dangers to avoid in the world. Each of our five communities within the Parish has its own spiritual lighthouse. To lose one is to leave a community “in the dark,” so to speak. Yes, it will be hard to maintain all of them, but it is our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. We will not offer to God a sacrifice that costs us nothing. I thank all of you who have been so generous and supportive to your Parish over the years. You do not come empty handed into the house of God; you should expect your reward and blessing. God has not given us nothing. So, even if it requires using all our possessions, we will continue to worship our God with our wealth, for everything we have comes from Him. By so doing, we will “store up our treasures in heaven” (Matt.6:20). Please consider helping us keep these worship sites open in God's honor by giving generously to St. Luke the Evangelilst - Our Parish. God bless you for your gifts and sacrifices.

Our parish mission theme last year was "Re-evangelizaton."

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