Our Mission Statement at Most Holy Redeemer
Most Holy Redeemer Parish is a Christian Community in the Roman Catholic tradition. The parish draws people from isolation to community, from searching to awakening, from indifference to concern, from selfishness to meaningful service, from fear in the midst of adversity to faith and hope in God.
The community of Most Holy Redeemer shares God’s compassionate love with all people. The parish offers a spiritual home to all: senior citizens and youth; single people and families; those who are straight, gay, lesbian, and transgendered; the healthy and the sick, particularly persons with HIV disease.
As a parish community, we celebrate God’s loving presence in our lives. In worship and sacrament, especially the Eucharist, we are nurtured and challenged to extend God’s kingdom of justice, truth, love and peace by growing in the spirit of Jesus, the Most Holy Redeemer.
Fr. Matt’s Message – Week of February 19, 2017
My Dad would give someone the shirt off his back. My Mom would always go that extra mile for anyone. We didn’t have a lot, but that didn’t stop them from being off-the-wall generous. We often hear stories of people who give of themselves way beyond expectation, who help another at personal expense, who spend the holidays or their time off in feeding the hungry and helping those who are less fortunate. As a child, I am sure I had selfish moments when I felt like my parents shouldn’t be so generous to complete strangers, but should look out for me and my needs. I wanted a raise in my allowance or that latest gadget or toy that I just knew would bring such great joy and satisfaction into my life. I read Matthew’s Gospel for this Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Matt 5:38-48) and although we don’t always do what Jesus says in this Gospel – turn from retaliation, give more than is asked, love beyond what is easy – we do have a sense that what Jesus is asking of us is how we would want the community where we live to be characterized. I look back, and even though I didn’t appreciate it as a child, I am so grateful that my parents taught the importance of simple goodness and the generosity by how they practiced and lived their faith.
In how we treat one another – even those who we might call our enemies – Jesus challenges us to go beyond what is expected, beyond what we might think is reasonable or even achievable. Go beyond what is human to what is divine: “Be holy” as God is holy, “be perfect” as God is perfect. On our own, this is impossible. Only because of God’s love for us, shown to us through the life of Jesus who teaches us the way, is this possible.
Jesus never stops calling out to us – keep the law in a radically different way. Embrace the divine excess with which God treats you. Acting toward others as God acts toward us transforms us to “be perfect” as God. I believe that this radical living of the law makes divine blessings, grace, and holiness to be real, visible, and readily at hand for us. My parents didn’t go out of their way looking for people in need and they didn’t give their money away willy-nilly. What I believe they did, and what they tried to teach their children to do, was to look upon every other person, whether friend or foe, family member or stranger, as a beloved child of God. Acting in this manner is being holy and perfect as God. It wasn’t done in dramatic ways but in simple everyday gestures of love, respect and care for others. My large family had limited resources. Perfection and holiness seemed pretty far beyond human effort and I’m sure it often felt to my parents, as I know it did to me, that we always fell short of expectations and demands. Yet Jesus never stops commanding us to be perfect! How so? How possible? Only in him. Only by God’s grace. With that, we can accomplish amazing things.
Have a grace-filled week.
With love and prayers,