Jesus deals with blindness in the Gospels. He deals with physical blindness and he is able to cure it. In today’s Gospel, he confronts spiritual or moral blindness, and this proves to be more difficult to deal with. This blindness comes from the heart. He uses examples from things that the people of his time would see daily: fig trees, thornbushes, brambles, grapes. They know that good fruit comes from a healthy source. He is urging conversion to those in his audience, but unfortunately, many do not “see” the need to make a change. This is some of the rejection that Jesus experiences as he moves around. One sentence in the Gospel says much: “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good…” This is what Jesus urges people to grow into over time.

This weekend we announce the 2019 Cardinal’s Annual Stewardship Appeal. Many of you have already received a letter from Cardinal Dolan with information about the Appeal and how the money that is raised will be used. The $20 million goal for the Archdiocese will direct half of this to churches that are poor and cannot afford major repairs. Buildings are old and many churches in the Archdiocese are located in poor neighborhoods. Those Pastors have to turn to the Archdiocese when their roofs need replacing, boilers break, windows leak, plumbing breaks down. Their weekly collections don’t cover these costly repairs. The funds also support administrative and pastoral programs, Catholic schools, and retirement facilities for diocesan priests.

While 230 individuals or families gave to Renew and Rebuild, with a parish of over 2,000 members, now is the time for those who did not give to Renew and Rebuild to help reach our $113,500 goal set by the Archdiocese. Envelopes are available at the doors of the church for your donation.

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.