19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 9, 2020

Today we celebrate the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In both the first reading and the Gospel we see the powerful presence of God. In the first reading the prophet Elijah has just bested Queen Jezebel’s prophets and is given death threats. He runs to Horeb where God appears asking why Elijah is there. He responds that his life has been threatened. The command to “stand before the Lord” means to serve God. Elijah is in effect being told to get back to work. Yet before he returns to his task, God has a lesson for him. Elijah stands outside the cave as commanded. But God is not found in the strong wind, the earthquake, or the fire. Elijah recognizes that God comes in a tiny whispering sound. Although Elijah’s role as God’s prophet puts him in danger, God’s protecting presence is with him, even when he can’t see it. He must learn to trust in it. In the Gospel last weekend we read of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. That revealed God providing for His people. Today’s reading that follows in Matthew’s Gospel, features another action associated with God; salvation from chaos, often portrayed by dangerous waters. Just as in the Old Testament God proclaims that in the divine presence there is nothing to fear from chaos, so does His Son, Jesus. But, it requires faith to believe that. Jesus can save us from chaos. It’s not so much that Jesus has walked on water that causes the apostles to exclaim that He is the Son of God, as their witness that He has saved Peter from the chaotic waters (despite his lack of faith.) After Jesus bids him “Come” Peter, himself, walks on the water until he takes his focus off Jesus and is aware of waters. Jesus calls us “Come” and believe He can calm the chaos because He is always with us.

This Saturday, August 15th, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since it 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 Mass 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.

Last Saturday evening we began the practice of praying the rosary before Mass. I am grateful to Mrs. Joann Frame who agreed to lead the rosary beginning at 4:30pm. Please consider coming early for Mass and praying the Rosary for the needs of the parish, your own personal needs, or for a special intention. The Blessed Mother loves this and the devil hates it.

Not many have inquired about the Parish Council positions that are in need to be filled this September. The Council is the parish’s leadership team that strives to look at the needs of our community and to direct our apostolates and ministries. Meetings are the 4th Tuesday of the Month and are always open meetings where parishioners can attend and voice their concerns during a portion of the meeting known as Open Forum. Parishioners must contact a council member to request time for the Open Forum. The role of a parish council member is meant to represent the voice of the parishioners. Please consider placing your name in contention to be selected by lottery in mid-September. There are 3 positions to be filled in addition to 3 alternates.

Finally today, just a couple weeks away from the installation of our new Archbishop, Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, (On Tuesday, August 25th, the Feast of St. Louis). I ask all of us to continue to pray for him as he takes on the work God has chosen for him as our new shepherd. Change is never easy for anyone. I know how difficult it has been to leave parishes and friends that I’ve made there. To come all the way from New England to the Midwest must be difficult for our new bishop, but God always gives the grace for what He asks of any of us. Pray that St. Louis will welcome Bishop Rozanski with great joy.

God Bless! Have a great week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)