13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 28, 2020

Today we celebrate the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In learning about discipleship this weekend Jesus is clear; it will not be easy, but has eternal rewards. In today’s first reading from 2nd Kings, we hear a story about the prophet Elisha. Through this young prophet God saves His people in distress. Through Elisha God purifies water for one city; fills all the empty vessels of a poor widow with oil, saving her from creditors; cures a stew that has been poisoned; heals a foreigner of leprosy. Gratitude to the prophet was thus really gratitude to God. In today’s reading we se also the prophet’ gratitude, expressed through the promise of a child to an elderly couple. The woman does indeed have a son, once again showing God’s compassion for those in need. In today’s second reading we are continuing St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Paul has been arguing that the death of Christ brought an end to the reign of sin and death. How does this work? When a person is in bondage to someone, that bondage naturally ends when we die. In the same way, if we die with Christ in baptism we are freed from the bondage of sin. Paul’s point here is that because Christians have died to sin, and are no longer under its power, they must stop acting as if they were. They are called to live for God, not continue to serve sin. In today’s Gospel Jesus warns His disciples (and us), that the gospel will not be received in all places and that He will prove to be a cause for division. His followers should know that being true to Him will be the hardest thing they have ever had to do, requiring more of them than they can possibly imagine; losing family, even their lives. They will need to take up their crosses, yet this dying will lead to life, a promise only those who have faith in Him can believe. Jesus is clear and doesn’t sugarcoat the cost of being His disciple. It’s not easy, folks, but the rewards are eternal.

This coming weekend we will be celebrating Independence Day weekend. On Saturday, July 4th, we will have “Mass on the Grass,” on McMahon Field at 9:00am (weather permitting of course). Please bring a lawn chair for seating and, yes folks, please wear a mask. We will be asking people to social distance as well as much as possible. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we will not be serving refreshments at this time. (Darn! was looking forward to Pat Mullally’s Apple Cake) Hope you’ll join us for Mass.

This weekend, parishioner Anthony Wippold, will be speaking at Mass for the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA). Anthony was scheduled to speak this past Spring, but the shut-down of Churches resulted in the pausing of the ACA campaign. Please welcome him this weekend as he shares with us the work he is involved with which is supported by the ACA. To those who have already made a pledge to this year’s ACA, thank you. To parishioners who have not made a pledge yet, please know that this year, more than ever, the charities and organizations funded by the Annual Catholic Appeal, truly need our help. Please be as generous as possible.

I want to thank everyone who took time to email me, drop a note, or share with me in person their thoughts about the use of the “Ad Orientem,” posture at Mass. During the month of June I introduced this way of celebrating Mass. I thought the explanation we put as an insert into the bulletin was good at explaining the posture of the priest joining the people in facing in the same direction for the offertory and consecration. During the shut-down of the Church when no public mass was permitted, I celebrated daily Mass in our chapel using this posture and found it good for me spiritually. But…many of our parishioners who responded to my invitation for feedback have shared their thoughts and prefer that we return to the priest facing the people. After listening to you, and praying before our Lord, beginning next weekend, I will return to the former way of standing at the altar facing the assembly. It was a good experiment, but I have heard the ‘sensus fidelium’ and will respond accordingly.

Finally today, as we prepare for the installation of a new Archbishop on August 25th, please pray for Archbishop-elect Rozanski. He will be coming to a Church that will need to make some difficult decisions in the near future due to clergy shortages and dwindling parishioners in many places. He will need our prayers.

God Bless! Have a great week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)