July 1, 2018
Today we celebrate the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We believe in a God who, in Jesus, took on human flesh. Jesus of Nazareth literally touched people to heal them. Through us, members of His Body, the Church, He still can. The importance of healthy human touch is a necessity in every human life. Studies have been done about the effects of withholding touch from infants. Babies who experienced healthy touch flourished; those who experienced little or no touch did not thrive. A woman who has suffered for 12 years believes that if she can just touch Jesus’ garment she will be healed. And she is. Jesus asks, “Who touched me?” When the woman comes forward, Jesus’ words touch her heart, calming her fear, and affirming her faith. He offers her peace along with the cure. He also goes to Jairus’ house where He takes the daughter’s hand, touches her, and tells her to rise. That touch restores her to life. In our first reading from Wisdom we hear that God formed us to be imperishable. Illness and death were not part of the original plan, but the result of the power of evil. The life, death, and resurrection of Christ offer us the possibility of life that never ends. Like the woman and Jairus, we only need to ask God to touch us. The touch of Jesus empowers us to touch others. As Bell Telephone’s commercial used to say, “Reach out and touch someone!”
This weekend we begin a new chapter in the history of St. Luke the Evangelist parish. A year ago, when I became your Pastor, I would never have envisioned the changes that would happen, (let alone all the repairs we have made). Today the Oratory of Sts. Gregory and Augustine begins a new chapter too. After a year of uncertainty they now have a permanent home in our community to settle into, grow, and plan for the future. As we welcome them today, I am aware that it is not without a sense of uncertainty on many of our parishioners’ part. I truly believe this new addition to our parish will bring us many blessings. It stabilizes both the future of St. Luke’s and the Oratory, while also allowing us to minister to the people of Immaculate Conception. Each weekend, Msgr. Morris and I will now celebrate 3 weekend masses; two here each at St. Luke’s and one each at I.C. There will be a total of four masses celebrated in St. Luke’s Church each weekend; two in English, at 5pm on Saturday and 10:00am on Sunday; two in Latin, at 8:00am and 11:30am. OREMUS! (Let us pray) that God will bless us abundantly.
On Monday, July 2nd, the first Mass will be celebrated in St. Francis chapel at 8:00am. The only door open to enter Church will be the side door leading up to the chapel. Please join me in blessing and consecrating this space for daily Mass and Eucharistic Adoration.
On Wednesday of this week we will celebrate our National Independence with our second “Mass on the Grass” beginning at 9:00am on McMahon Field. Please bring a lawn chair for seating. A worship aid will be provided. Come join us in celebrating the gifts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that we enjoy as a free nation.
I am happy to welcome to St. Luke’s a new housekeeper whom many have seen around the parish. Ms. Terri Brewer is the full-time live-in rectory housekeeper who will be responsible for the cleaning and laundry for the rectory. She also helps to take care of the four-legged residents when I am away. (They call her “Nanny Terri!”) Please welcome her to our parish.
Finally today, as the weather heats up, please check on neighbors and elderly in our parish who live alone. A stop by or a phone call is a good way to make sure that they are well and know someone is checking on them. Yes folks, let’s all “Reach out and touch someone.”
God Bless! Have a good week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)