There are a few things that have been in the bulletin lately that I would like to bring to your attention. One is the Ignatian prayer experience (Walking with Christ) that is being offered here at Holy Spirit. Last year we had Fr. Steve come out from the Ignatian Spirituality Center to give a Saturday morning offering on prayer which was well received. This year the prayer experience will be offered over the course of eight weeks and will give you the opportunity to practice what you have learned. It will be worth your time and effort.
We are also having our Annual Dinner Auction on September 21st. This event is a great way to come together as a community. We raise some money for our parish and for charities. Some funds will be earmarked for parishioners in need. Please come and support this event.
We are forming a choir for the 8:30 a.m. Sunday mass. It is said that variety is the spice of life. I have found the singing to be good at this mass. This choir will lead us in song once a month and give us some variety for our liturgy. Please see page 7 of this bulletin for more information.
And, as usually is the case this time of the year, the Christian Formation Program is looking for catechists/teachers. In the ritual of Baptism parents are reminded that when they bring their child for baptism they are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of the faith. It is the responsibility of our parish to provide good catechetical programs to assist the parents in their responsibility as teachers of the faith. We cannot do that without people like you taking time to being part of this important ministry.
In our second reading today from the Letter to the Hebrews the author speaks about the discipline of the Lord. In his reflection on today’s readings John Martens makes the following point about this discipline, “The Greek word that is translated here as ‘discipline’ is paideia. It is essential to understand that the word paideia, which appears seven times in this passage, means ‘education,’ not simply physical discipline. God is educating us for the kingdom.” (America)
Much of our greatest learning comes from life lessons. Learning to deal with struggles in our lives can become for us a “life lesson.” The Israelites learned a life lesson from the struggle of being in exile. They learned to have a bigger image of God and where God was. In today’s reading from Isaiah, the prophet teaches them (and us) to be more open-minded. You may not have thought of being open-minded as being a discipline, but today’s scripture teaches us it is the only way we will grow in our relationship with God. It is the way that will lead us to reconciliation. It is the way that will lead us to peace.
What are the “life lessons” that you have been taught in your life that have challenged you to be more open-minded? What are the “life lessons” that have opened your heart to the needs of others? God is educating (disciplining) us all the time for, as the letter to the Hebrews reminds us, “whom the Lord loves, he disciplines.”