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Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,

At our staff meeting on Monday, someone mentioned that a young parishioner was inquiring about how to become a saint. “Follow the rules,” Sr. Mariana instantly deadpanned from the corner of the room. The response drew hearty laughter from the rest of us. If only it were as easy as “following the rules.”

It can be a temptation to make our religious or spiritual life a rule-following routine. Jesus refutes that false notion of holiness in this Sunday’s gospel. He first gives us the commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” And then he explains that’s just skimming the surface of the matter. Holding onto anger against another, and insulting or cursing them make us just as liable to God’s judgment. Jesus deepens the meaning of the commandments, showing that if we are simply trying to follow the letter of the law without reforming our hearts, then our holiness is skin deep. Holiness, or “righteousness” as Jesus describes it, can only come about by a change of heart. As Jesus tells Nicodemus in another passage, “unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God” ( Jn. 3:3).

Thanks be to God that he has sent his Spirit into our hearts for precisely this purpose, that our hearts of stone may be turned into hearts of flesh (Ez. 36:26). Let us live according to the Spirit and become saints.

Once again this past Monday, our pantry fed more than 250 families. Please continue your support in this time of increasing need. Also, if you would like to volunteer at the pantry either in distribution or in stocking/sorting/preparation, we could use your help!

In Christ,

Fr. Dave

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