I. To Seek Revenge or Not: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun to rise on the bad and the good.” With evil is done us we not only don’t retaliate, we act positively toward the offender. Maybe that’s what keeps us from being passive doormats. We take the initiative to return evil with good. It is possible that our non-retaliatory behavior will have a healing effect on the aggressor. It certainly will reflect the kind of love God has for the “bad in the good.” How do I typically respond when I feel taken advantage of? What other way might I respond to the same situation? Read Matthew 5:38–48.
II. The Chair: you are aware that Bishop Medley has his own special place to sit at his Cathedral of Saint Stephen! The chair of the bishop, called cathedra, is the symbol of his foundational ministry to be a teacher of faith to his Church community, the Diocese of Owensboro. When I visited Rome for our 40th class reunion in September 2015, the Class of 1975 celebrated Mass at the Altar of the Chair; this reminded me of the connection between Bishop Medley, our local bishop, and Pope Francis, our chief shepherd and servant leader of the Church universal. Today, when Pope Francis speaks on issues of faith and morals, we say he is speaking “ex cathedra”, from the chair of Peter. As we celebrate the feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle on Wednesday, February 22, we might ask ourselves the question Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say I am?”
III. Parish Pastoral Council: From now through Easter week I will ask you to be praying about parishioners who might be good leaders for this parish for the next three years. You can nominate any registered parishioner over 18 years of age who has qualities important for your Council. Some of those qualities are listed on the yellow nomination sheet at the doors of our church which must be retuned returned by Monday, April 3 by mail or collection basket. Who has gifts that would be helpful for the spiritual growth of St. Stephen Cathedral at this juncture in our history? The more diverse in every way (backgrounds, experiences, gifts) the Council is, the better it will serve our faith community.
Everyone nominated is asked to participate in two different discernment sessions on Monday, April 17 and Sunday, April 30 to reflect on hopes and expectations; these two sessions are mandatory. If for some reason you cannot be presence I would ask you to please contact me–I realize you have busy schedules. Through the discernment process Council members will be “called forth” for a three-year period of SERVANT LEADERSHIP. After three years we will select a new Council for another three year commitment.
Your prayers are needed as we initiate this important process.
In joy & hope,