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


Recent

Brothers and sisters: What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.

Monday, August 10, 2020
Or pandemics or racism? Same answer. In the reading from Matthew, Jesus is grieving for John the Baptist, who has just been executed in the prison... Read More

“Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart.”

Monday, August 10, 2020
I have a New American Bible, revised, that translates this passage with “a listening heart.”  I have also seen this translated as... Read More

Brothers and sisters: The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought,

Sunday, July 19, 2020
The full text of Romans 8:26-27 (which wouldn't fit in the blog title) is: Brothers and sisters: The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for... Read More

“The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
In today’s gospel, Jesus talks about four reactions to the word: lacking understanding, falling away due to conflict, faith choked by worldly... Read More

Dear Lord, teach me to serve you as you deserve,

Saturday, July 4, 2020
Last Sunday St Therese hosted a Vigil for Social Justice in our parking lot. It is now available on our Facebook page. Before I mention a bit... Read More

Dear Lord, teach me to be generous;

Thursday, July 2, 2020
Last week, Father and parish leadership published a letter about the twin crises that are facing our nation and community. The letter had three... Read More

"What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul."

Saturday, June 20, 2020
In the expanded quote in today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Do not be afraid” not once, not twice but three times! He knew that many... Read More

"Do not forget the LORD, your God, who guided you through the vast and terrible desert with its saraph serpents and scorpions, its parched and waterless ground; who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock."

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
A people in a “parched and waterless ground”? Sounds like the story of African Americans for the past 400 years. From slavery to the... Read More