August 30, 2020
Today we celebrate the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Most of us think we understand how things should go; we have an instinct about how life should go. There are times, however, when the unexpected calls and we need to release our grasping and our certainty. That seems to be the case in today’s readings. In our first reading, the prophet Jeremiah has struggled not only with the mission to proclaim God’s word, but also the way God had gone about practically coercing him into the task from the beginning. Jeremiah’s attitude comes out in the famous passage in which he accuses God of “duping” (or seducing) him. The prophet feels God has pulled something over him, and he has allowed it to happen. The result has been nothing but pain. Yet, Jeremiah is unable to simply walk away. God has gotten inside of this prophet; inside his bones, and the call to preach God’s message is unrelenting. This is what Jeremiah was born to do and there is no walking away from it. In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus begins to reveal the future of His mission which will lead Him to great suffering in Jerusalem. Immediately after being proclaimed the “rock” upon which Jesus will build His Church, (last week’s Gospel), Peter reveals the limits of his understanding of the Christ. When he hears Jesus will suffer and be killed, Peter responds according to human ways of thinking: The Messiah and Son of God couldn’t possibly suffer and die. Jesus immediately recognizes this reasoning as satanic temptation to abandon the course of His mission and insists the Kingdom of Heaven is costly. Jesus Himself will pay the highest cost. In our discipleship Jesus then reveals, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” He assures them that the price of following Him will be worth it.
Archbishop Rozanski has now been properly installed and since Tuesday we now include him in the Eucharistic prayer at Mass. (For Francis, our Pope, and Mitchell, our bishop). In a very different celebration due to Covid, the Cathedral-Basilica was about half the normal crowd for such an occasion. The gathering of bishops, priests, and deacons, along with city dignitaries and other faith leaders rounded out the congregation. It was broadcast on EWTN Catholic TV, and also was on the radio. (Msgr. Morris was even one of the commentators.) I look forward to working with our new Archbishop in what I hope will be a long tenure. At age 62, and in relatively good health, the Archbishop should be with us until he retires.
Sign-ups for our weekly Eucharistic Adoration have begun and many have signed-up as suggested via the internet. Our plan is to have weekly adoration on Wednesdays from 9am to 6pm, and again on First Fridays, also 9am to 6pm. A member of the Oratory is coordinating the scheduling to insure we have an adorer for every hour, which is essential to the plan. The Blessed Sacrament can never be left alone during exposition. If you haven’t done so already, please take time to sign-up, preferably online.
A week from Monday is Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer. (And, also my youngest dog, Carlson’s 8th birthday). As we have done, please join me for “Mass on the Grass” at 9am, Monday, September 7th. Please bring a lawn chair, a mask, and social distance. The 4th of July Mass went very well. I hope Labor Day will be the same, and maybe even better. (hint, hint ladies!)
Finally today, I want to once again invite, cajole, encourage, and suggest that you consider the positions on the parish council that we need to fill. The selection will take place at the 10am Mass on September 13th. The council meets 8X a year at the rectory and brings to the table the thoughts and ideas on how to make St. Luke’s a vibrant community of faith. Over the past three years we have initiated some good plans. Are you the candidate for this selection that we are waiting for? Ask God if He is inviting you to offer your time and talents for your brothers and sisters here at St. Luke’s.
God Bless! Have a great week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)