Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In this weekend’s Gospel we hear that some of the workers grumbled against the landowner. They thought that they deserved more for the length of time that they worked. They used human reasoning to decide what would be just. However, Jesus points out in this parable that God does not think in human terms but rather gives to each according to “His” generosity. God’s generosity in this parable does not make sense to us. We think that each person should get a just payment according to the time that they have worked. God does not see things that way. His generosity overflows to each person because the source of that generosity is His love.

Each of us are uniquely created and gifted for the work of discipleship. Some of us embraced this work early in our life. In doing so, we became committed (not always perfectly) to using our gifts and talents in the vineyard of our family, the Church, and our community. We work hard to inspire in others the love and mercy of God. It is a challenging journey that has the prize of eternal life for our perseverance. We rejoice in how God uses us to spread the gospel. 

In this parable we are reminded not to be envious of those who join this discipleship at a later point in one’s life. We should rather welcome them into the field as coworkers for the gospel. By doing so we see how God’s manifestation is active in every person’s life, especially in those that finally accept it. Even from the cross, Jesus received the thief into paradise. How great is God’s mercy! Let us rejoice in it!

Over the past week there has not been much activity around the parishes, but I do have a few updates to share. I had a very productive meeting with the Diocese and Oster Services regarding the purchase of the Saint James school building and rectory. We are creatively trying to overcome the parking lot obstacle, and I am hopeful that we will identify a solution that will benefit the parish for years to come. Lakewood Catholic Academy is implementing all its safety procedures. Although these are challenging for the school, they are keeping the safety of all present at the school a priority as they continue with in-class and remote learning. Also, parents of our P.S.R. families have picked up their materials and will begin lessons on Monday, September 21st with a Zoom prayer service to kick off the P.S.R. school year.

As we begin to move into the Fall months, please give some thought to what you wear to Mass. In an effort to minimize contact with doors and door handles, the doors will remain open and the church could be cool and breezy. If the weather requires us to close the doors, please use hand sanitizer as you enter the church. I see many people using the hand sanitizer and cleaning stations to sanitize their pews. Thank you for your help fighting this pandemic. In this unique time, our face coverings may actually keep us warm while in church. Bonus!

Our faith is open to everyone. Great witnesses are needed in promoting the generosity of God’s love offered by our faith. Let us always be supportive of everyone that comes to it, no matter when.

Peace of Christ!

Fr. Workman