Visions of meatballs are still dancing in my head as I continue to think wonderful thoughts about the Spaghetti Dinner. What a great way to celebrate St. ebastian’s feast day. Again, I thank all the men and women who made it work under the aegis of the Men’s Club and Ed Rebholz.
A very special thanks, also, to Marie Barbagallo. I didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out she made the desserts! Her rice pudding, her home baked biscotti, and her cannolis stuffed with her own filling were delightful. Talk about having folks you like who can also cook as friends!!!
I know the dinner takes the work of many people who work in the background. I hear the Lord saying to them, “Well done, good and faithful servants... Come share your master’s joy.” In His operations, absolutely no one is nameless or faceless. A dear former parishioner (and hard worker) used to tell me, ‘If you give me all the praise here, there won’t be any left to get up there” as she pointed to heaven.
Praise issues aside, what does it take to win the Lord’s blessing? Funny you should ask, because as it happens, this week’s gospel begins our prayerful consideration of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew, chapters five through seven. We have four ordinary Sundays before Lent begins and we will barely make it to the end of chapter five.
We hear how people will be blessed because of the attitudes they developed and the actions they took as a result of being blessed. There is a bit of a chicken/ egg issue here. Are you blessed because you are a peacemaker or does blessing make you a peacemaker.” In other words, do we work to be blessed, or do we reflect God’s blessings given us (in Baptism for example) by doing works, as last Sunday’s prayer said, ...”abounding in good works.”
I really like the second approach. That way of thinking simply celebrates the ongoing friendship Jesus wants to have with me, and I sure want to have with him.
Next Sunday we have commitment Sunday for the ArchBishop’s Charities Drive (ABCD). As many of you know, it is the annual appeal of the Archdiocese to help our various outreach ministries as well as to help the poorer parishes that all of us support as part of the Church of Miami.
In a special way, I also want to appeal to visitors and seasonal folk. South Florida is a wonderful mecca for vacationers and seasonal residents. We rarely think of South Florida in ways that include another reality, namely, the poor that are here as well as those who are better off. Many dioceses around the country have annual appeals. Perhaps you might prorate your special appeals budget according to how much time you spend in each place, north and south.
And last but not least, we are talking about the possibility of coming up with a new Parish Photo Directory. We think we can produce it in house. There is something really nice about connecting a name with a face. After a while you get sort of embarrassed asking someone for their name when you’ve been saying hello to them for a long time.
We will ask you to take a “selfie” and we’ll give you the address to which you can send it. If you wish, you will also be able to list your phone number and email, or neither if you prefer. More details to come.
Years ago, I had the privilege of working with a group of Cuban young adults, Amor en Acción. I ask your prayers for one of their founders, Alicia Marill, a saintly woman.