November 17, 2019 – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” (Luke, ch. 21)
In this month of All Souls, we are reminded of the fleeting passage of time and the short span of days we all have to work things out before we move to eternity.
We tend to think that the “now” is all there is, that the present moment for better or worse is all we have. It is no small coincidence that there is an overabundance of reliance, even to the point of addiction, on painkillers. The present moment seen as an end in itself is the soil of despair. As the song says, if this is all there is, then “let’s keep dancing, let’s bring out the booze and have a ball….”
But for the believer in Jesus Christ, and his witness that there is so much more than we could possibly imagine, the “now” is just the beginning, and by moving and growing through the “now” we discover the eternal. Right below the surface of our most mundane living is possibility. There is so much more, as the saints have witnessed. Love launches us to an eternal adventure.
In the middle of our pains and struggles, we as believers in Jesus can persevere not because we run from pain or numb it, but because we know that even the worst of what we are going through is nothing if we patiently await that which is to come—life eternal in the presence of Love.
Let’s pray for each other and our pain-filled world!
Sincerely, with love,
November 10, 2019 – 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
This weekend I had the privilege of being with our high school students on retreat who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the spring. It was a joy to be able to spend time with the group! Please join me in praying for them throughout the year.
I found myself reflecting on the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit that are received and strengthened in Confirmation:
- Wisdom – which “enables you to see how good and great the Lord is”
- Understanding – which allows you to “understand in depth the word of God and the truth of the faith”
- Counsel – which “will guide you to the discovery of God’s plan for your life”
- Fortitude – “in order to overcome the temptations of evil and to do good always”
- Knowledge – “not knowledge in the technical sense […] but knowledge in the deepest sense which teaches you to find in creation the signs and impressions of God”
- Piety – “so as to pray to God every day with the trust and tenderness of beloved children”
- Fear of the Lord – which “does not mean being afraid of God but feeling profound respect for him, the respect of God’s will which is the true plan of my life and the way on which personal and community life can be good”
Beginning in January, we offer an Adult Confirmation program for anyone who has not received the Sacrament. Classes meet in the evenings, ending with being Confirmed on the Solemnity of Pentecost. Please prayerfully consider joining! It is a beautiful sacrament and we would love to have you. Simply e-mail me (gro.l1574170303imhcr1574170303a@jre1574170303ndrag1574170303muab1574170303) and I will add you to our growing list of participants.
Have a wonderful week and know of my prayers!
Sincerely, with love,
November 3, 2019 – 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little, warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing, that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O Lord!
(The Book of Wisdom, ch. 12)
One of the things I most dislike about myself is when I get small-minded and small-hearted, when I am convinced of my own righteousness and have limited vision of the unconditional goodness of others.
Then God sends me Scripture like this Sunday’s readings in which we are reminded of the largeness of God’s vision and the great depth of God’s perspective when it comes to us, his very limited daughters and sons.
The story of Zacchaeus in the gospel of St. Luke always moves me that Christ really doesn’t see shortcomings, but only possibilities. He starts his encounter with not what he immediately sees or experiences, but with the kind perspective that maybe taking a risk and loving someone even in their limitations can create magnificent and surprising outcomes!
So perhaps let’s all start the week acknowledging our own shortcomings and sins, let’s acknowledge the limitations we find in people, and then pray to have the expanded vision and heartfelt mercy of Jesus.
Then taking things little by little, one drop of mercy and kindness at a time, perhaps the greatness of God’s eternal Kingdom might come! A small investment, eternal returns!
Know you always have the support, prayers, and love from Fr. John and me, your priests. Have a good week!
Fr. Tim, your pastor