When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child . . .

MT 1:18

Luke’s and Matthew’s nativity narratives are quite dissimilar. The Biblical scholar Ray Brown counted only eight points of similarity. The most basic difference is that Luke tells the story from Mary’s perspective and Matthew from Joseph’s, almost as if they had divvied up the duty. But both parents face this fact: Mary is pregnant and not by Joseph.

Both have visits from angels, who terrify them, but are calmed by the standard angel greeting, “do not be afraid.” Mary accepts her discipleship despite knowing the consequence, and Joseph accepts his after the angel assures him that his wife really has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and it is the divine will that he should take the child as his own.

Reinhold Niebuhr’s famous serenity prayer seems apt for this situation:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

As much as I’ve liked this prayer, the Nativity story suggests that it misses the mark. Wisdom is

not about us deciding what to change and what to accept. Wisdom is about discerning God’s

will. Following God’s will requires courage, and yes, please God, give us serenity because

sometimes it leads to a cross.

Wish you could give on your phone? Go to the app store and download the Pushpay app. When you get to “search for your church” enter “saint therese”.

We sent out emails this week asking those who haven’t pledged to do so. If you have yet to make a pledge for 2020, please go to st-therese.cc and click on the Donate Now! Button.

If you have any questions about ministry or giving please ask me at jvrussell85@gmail.com


Stewardship Corner

Weekly Updates from our Stewardship Commission


Amazed and astonished, they asked, “are not all these who are speaking Galileans?”

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Happy Birthday, Church! Today is Pentecost, the anniversary of the coming of the Holy Spirit! It is the Spirit that converts Peter the impetuous... Read More

You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, Which through us produces thanksgiving to God, For this collection is not only supplying the needs of the holy ones But also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God

Sunday, May 24, 2020
This week begins our Annual Catholic Appeal campaign, so I’m deviating from following the Sunday readings, and I’m going to write about... Read More

Beloved: Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence,

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
It seems that most of our groups these days forbid discussion of at least two topics: religion and politics. Book clubs, reunions, Thanksgiving... Read More

As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Our current day is not unlike the early days of the Church. Then the very first Church, formed by the Twelve and others in Jerusalem before they... Read More

“. . . conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning.”

Sunday, April 26, 2020
This reading from the First Letter of Peter is an interesting mashup of several strains of first century Christianity. The author starts by saying... Read More

“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Friday, April 17, 2020
One of the things I love about the Gospels is how very ordinary the disciples are. Other than perhaps Matthew the tax collector, they are... Read More

“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, And we don’t know where they put him.”

Monday, April 13, 2020
Mary Madalene, one of the women who followed Jesus from Galilee according to all the Gospels, goes to the tomb as soon as she can on the first day... Read More

Who, though he was in the form of God, Did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness.

Monday, April 6, 2020
The Gospel readings today are long, both the Entry Into Jerusalem and the Passion Narrative are very long, too long for me to summarize in a few... Read More