The main goal of our new message series, Next Door: The Art of Neighboring, is to help all of us begin to see our neighborhoods from a different perspective. Most of us do not move into homes thinking about our neighbors and perhaps many of us choose to ignore them, especially the difficult ones. But the premise of this series is that we should start seeing our neighborhood through God’s eyes.
A simple way to get started is to pray for your neighbors, by name if you can. Pray for the neighbors you like, as well as the cranky, nosy, and impossible people around you. Try taking a prayer walk around your neighborhood, for instance, or pray the rosary for your neighbors while you’re out running, walking your dog, or strolling down the block with your family.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been reading through a letter in the New Testament called “Hebrews.” The overall point of the letter is that Jesus Christ, through his death on the cross, both became the perfect sacrifice for our sins and the perfect priest to offer that sacrifice on our behalf. Throughout this extended theological reflection, the author demonstrates that Christ is not like other priests who must repeatedly offer sacrifices for their own sins as well as those of the people. Instead Jesus is without sin and therefore is able to offer his one perfect sacrifice on the cross. He therefore is our eternal high priest, who “lives forever to make intercession for us” and to pray for us always (Heb. 7:25).
By virtue of our baptisms, we all share in that one priesthood of Christ. For that reason, we also are called to make intercession and to pray for the people around us, most especially those right in our own backyard.
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
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