18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 2, 2020

Today we celebrate the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We reflect on hunger and thirst. With the heat we have been having, we all know the importance of staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water. But today we reflect on the deeper hunger and thirst for purpose and meaning which God alone provides. In today’s first reading from Isaiah the prophet proclaims that God’s judgment is coming to an end and God will restore Israel beyond its former glory. This judgment came about because Israel refused to believe that God alone, and not other gods, could provide all that Israel needed. They are being offered a chance at real bread. All that’s needed is trust and fidelity to God. Our psalm response today is appropriate, “The hand of the Lord feeds us; He answers all our needs.” As we continue reading from Matthew’s Gospel today we have the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. As God incarnate Jesus fulfills the promise to provide, and provide abundantly, for those in need. This abundance is seen in the fact that they have more left over than they began with. At Mass today we open our hands to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Here He provides for our deepest hungers. He alone, and no other gods we sometimes turn to satisfy our needs, will provide all we need. When we say “Amen” today, believe it!

As we enter August this weekend the warm weather continues. One local meteorologist says it right, “Welcome to Summer in St. Louis.” I daily thank God that when I arrived three years ago it was only a couple of weeks before the AC in Church was restored. Those first weeks of July 2017 were brutal. (Which is one of the reasons why I began the tradition of Mass on the Grass. It was cooler outside than inside the Church.) Once more I want to also thank the Archdiocesan Catholic Appeal who were able to give us an emergency grant that year of $25,000 for the AC project. Each year the ACA is able to provide emergency grants to parishes facing special unforeseen needs. In 2017 St. Luke’s sure needed help and through the ACA we received it. As we come to the end of our annual campaign here at St. Luke’s I am grateful to all who have made a pledge. In this very strange time due to the COVID19 Pandemic the work and mission of the Church must continue to address the needs of our charitable endeavors. I know that ours is a generous parish despite our small congregation. As your pastor I want to thank you for joining me and all parishioners in this year’s ACA. Also, thanks once again this year to parishioners Dee Brockman and Felice Nighbor for chairing our efforts. “May God give success to the work of our hands.”

This year the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15th falls on a Saturday. According to the rule of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, (USCCB), when a Holy Day falls on a Saturday or a Monday it retains its status as a Holy Day, but the faithful are dispensed from the obligation of attending Mass. St. Luke’s will not have a special Holy Day on Aug. 15th, but the Oratory of Ss. Gregory & Augustine will have Mass that morning at 8:00am. Parishioners of St. Luke’s are always welcome to attend Mass in the extraordinary form.

Finally today, Msgr. Morris and I have been discussing returning Eucharistic Adoration to our communities. We would like to offer it on a regular basis on Wednesdays from 9:00am to 6:00pm every week, and once a month on First Fridays. We look to begin sometime after Labor Day.

God Bless! Have a great week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)