Our Greatest Need

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Dear POP Folks,
 
“If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.”  (Christian author Max Lucado)
 
In light of this reflection, I offer you some pre-Christmas apologies.
 
I apologize for the times we have offered only cold information instead of the welcoming love of God.
 
We have poorly presented the Bible and become enamored of our own programs and policies.  These are important, but sometimes far from the goal of serving you in your faith journey.
 
I apologize for all the ways that we have, in our efforts to communicate better, made your faith lives more challenging. As we updated our efforts with improved websites, online giving, online registration, emails, voice mails, and text mails, sometimes we just made it harder, instead of easier, for you.
 
Ah, money.  You know, we really do need money to turn on the lights and feed the hungry people at the door, to staff parish ministries, and to erect places for you to meet and to park.  Sometimes we have seemed too anxious to raise pledges or increase the collection.   Sometimes we have nickel-and-dimed you to death with all kinds of sales, raffles, drives…”$$$” is a part of your relationship with God.  Absolutely.  Sometimes, it may seem like that is just about all we are about. For this, I apologize.
 
Then there are the occasions when one of us homilists seems to be trying too hard to be humorous. There have been times when the musicians, music groups, and screen designers seem to have forgotten that it’s about God and not entertainment.  We certainly point out this flaw in other churches.  Sometimes we’ve been blind to it in ourselves.   For these times, I apologize.
 
And, finally, there are all the announcements and invitations to confession and to Penance Services.  There are the many hours every week that people stand in line to hear, “I absolve you…”  There are all of the delayed phone calls, missed deadlines and unfulfilled promises on the part of our priests, because they are hearing confessions…not just here, but in our neighboring parishes, on retreats and in Catholic schools. For this last reality, I do not apologize. 
 
If our greatest need is forgiveness, we are so incredibly blessed in the Catholic Church with the ability to make it real, to make it personal and to make it available.
 
Have a wonderful celebration of the Savior’s birth.