June 21, 2020
Today we celebrate the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time. From now until the end of the Church Year, which this year is November 28th, we will be learning how to become better disciples of Jesus. Over these many months we will also celebrate important feasts, such as The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and All Saints Day, but for the many Sundays that we will gather, it will be our annual course of Discipleship 101. This Sunday, our first reading is from the Book of Jeremiah. He is an interesting character. God calls him to be a prophet; to speak the word of the Lord. He complains to God, “I am too young.” He repeatedly resists the call to preach, “I try to hold it in, but it burns like fire in my heart…” He is brutally honest with God. He’s also straightforward with kings, which gets him into trouble. As his story is told, Jeremiah is thrown into a cistern, imprisoned in the stocks, mocked, and made fun of, and ultimately hauled off to Egypt, to a place he doesn’t want to be. Do you ever wonder if Jeremiah wished he could be just an ordinary guy? God’s call was sometimes just too challenging. Jeremiah says, “You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped.” He may have prayed today’s psalm, “Rescue me from the mire, and do not let me sink…for it is on your account that I bear insult.” Though he is smacked down over and over, Jeremiah keeps getting up again. In our Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus warns the disciples of that same kind of opposition as He sends them out on mission. He knows the muck of the world is real. But He tells His Apostles, time after time, “Be not afraid…Even the hairs of your head are counted.” What are we, His 2020 disciples, to be afraid of? Not physical death, but spiritual cowardice. We know that one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is ‘Fortitude’. There may be times when life calls for swashbuckling bravado, but more often, God nudges and encourages us to roll out of bed with an “it doesn’t matter how you feel today, just get up and keep going” kind of everyday courage. Sainthood is in the small things. Heroic virtue grows through giving God one obedient “yes” at a time. Good lesson today as we each reflect on our individual discipleship.
Today we also celebrate Father’s Day. We welcome all fathers to Mass and offer a special prayer for their vocation as leaders and examples to their families. With gratitude let us honor them and pray for them. For our fathers who have gone home to be with the Lord, may they look down us and hopefully see us living our lives blessed by the good things they taught us. May God bless all our fathers today and give them all a special day.
The consensus is for us to go ahead and celebrate the 4th of July with Mass on the Grass at 9:00am, weather permitting, on McMahon field. Let’s gather to celebrate our National Independence and thank Almighty God for our great country. We may not be perfect, but as far as I’m concerned, there is no other nation on earth I would rather call home.
We are happy to receive the appointment of Bishop Mitchell Rozanski (pronounced, Row-Zan-skee), as our next Archbishop. As you may have seen, Archbishop-elect Rozanski is fairly young. He will turn 62 in August, (one year younger than me), and seems to be genuine, warm, and humorous. He is expected to be installed as our new Archbishop on the Feast of St. Louis, Tuesday, August 25th. In these weeks leading up to his installation, please pray for him and for our local Church.
Finally today, I want to thank our “mini-Choir” for their gifts and talents this past choir season. Even though the pandemic shortened their time singing and leading us, I appreciate all their hard work and time spent inspiring us. Thanks too to Frank Jorns, our music director, for all his work as our organist and cantor. The choir will officially take the summer off and regroup after Labor Day. God bless you and Thank You from all of us!
God Bless! Have a great week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)