July 8, 2018
Today we celebrate the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Gospel for today describes Jesus’ reception in Nazareth. The townsfolk are amazed by His teaching, but His reputation and wisdom astound them. They ask, “Where did He get all this?” They probably watched Jesus mature. They know Mary and Joseph, His parents. Because of their lack of faith, Jesus could not perform any mighty deeds. He really could have, but St. Mark records that Jesus asks for one thing from people; faith. The Nazarenes don’t seem to have it. Jesus responds with the familiar saying, “No prophet is without honor except in His native place and among His relatives.” The people of Nazareth were not unlike us. Sometimes we judge by appearance and don’t take the time to look deeper into a person’s character. Our Gospel today reminds us that we may miss the Lord right in front us. With a bit of looking into our lives we can discover how we often resist new opportunities and moments of grace. We’ve become so comfortable in what we know and have been doing for long that we miss moments of change that are God calling us to experience His grace. God sees our potential, looks into our hearts, loves us as we are, and invites us to experience more.
Summer is definitely here. The temperatures have been climbing and combined with the humidity it has been, as Dad used to say, “a scorcher!” Thank you Jesus for the air conditioning. (Remember last year at this time? How we had no AC and masses were opportunities to burn off years in purgatory?) With the gift of AC comes higher utility bills. UGH!!! Thanks to your continued generosity and a few outside weddings, we are able to keep cool. With the chapel being used for daily mass with its own heating/cooling system, I hope to see a difference in the monthly bills too.
Thank you to all who helped with our 2nd “Mass on the Grass” this past Wednesday. As we gave thanks for the independence we have as a free nation, it was good to see so many gather and celebrate Mass together. I think our signs had a good impact too as we had some new faces join us. Once again our sister parish, Immaculate Conception was well represented too and the deacon, who is the Parish Life Coordinator for IC, joined me at the altar. I am grateful to those who helped me set up, (not as fancy as when Deacon Dave is in charge), but a good, simple and fitting set-up. Thanks too to those who provided refreshments for us following mass and allowing a time to fellowship together. I enjoy these chances for us to build bridges and community both here within our own community and with our neighbors down the street.
Last weekend’s inaugural of the Oratory at St. Luke’s went well. Thank you to Parish Council members and parishioners for the special welcoming to our new community. I am proud of the way we have worked together in making the transition for the Oratory a good experience of the wonderful community we have at St. Luke the Evangelist.
Finally today, it has now been a year since I took the helm of St. Luke Parish. It has been a great year for me getting to know you and learning your names. I feel I have over 50% of your names down, (It helps when I give you mental nicknames; i.e. “Rosebud.”) I have found our family to be hungry for Jesus, and striving to be His disciples. No, we might not be the St. Luke’s of the past, but I believe the smaller community provides us with many opportunities for the future. With God’s help and abundant grace we will continue to fulfill our mission to be the presence of Jesus in our neighborhood and invite all who are seeking a rewarding life, filled with purpose and meaning to come and join us. Under the special patronage of St. Luke and the Blessed Mother, we will see the rewards of good and faithful servants, doing God’s will, and becoming the best version of ourselves as disciples of Jesus. Our future is bright. The best is yet to be.
God Bless! Have a good week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)