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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 27, 2017

Dear People of God,

Today we celebrate the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time. “Who do YOU say that Jesus is?” Peter’s response in this week’s Gospel didn’t come from mere flesh but from the Father. Peter’s rock was a reliance on God that comes from prayer. For his rock-like faith Peter is entrusted with the keys of the Kingdom, and later it was entrusted to the Church. In our first reading from Isaiah, Eliakim was given the keys to the House of David. Keys unlock and lock, open and close. One of the first thing Fr. J.P. gave me was a set of keys for the Church and Rectory. How else could I get in? When a person has an insight into someone or something that insight is called key because it unlocks the mind and offers understanding. Key to our faith is whether or not we are willing to submit ourselves to Christ. Peter was chosen because he relied on God, submitting his will to God. How do we get to a place where we are willing to submit to God’s will in order to live our faith? Prayer! In faith we speak to God, but we also listen for His voice. In prayer we learn the mind of God, who alone opens our minds and hearts to the power that proclaims who Jesus is in our lives; the Christ, the Son of the living God, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This week, take a moment and ask yourself, “Who do I say Jesus is?” I pray you have faith to answer well.

What is the Shoe Man Project? This creative endeavor collects shoes, new or gently used, and sells them in underdeveloped countries in Africa. Monies raised help with the drilling of wells and providing safe drinking water. Please look through your closets and consider making a donation to the Shoe Man Project. There is a special container in the main vestibule for your offerings. Let’s fill it up.

Men of St. Luke. Need a bit of rest, renewal, rejuvenation? Have you made a retreat lately? See the announcement in the bulletin this weekend, or the display in the main vestibule, about the upcoming White House Retreat. I made a priest’ retreat at the White House in June, just before coming to St. Luke’s. It was just what I needed. It was a few days away from the normal routine to pray, rest, and reflect. I gave myself the quiet time to listen attentively to the Lord, and to deepen my relationship with Him. Is He calling you to do the same? Check it out. It just may be the best 4 days of 2017 you spend.

An observation. I am happy to see so many taking advantage of our weekly Holy Hour of Adoration and also using this time to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Prayer before our Lord, present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharistic displayed in the Monstrance on the altar is a good hour spent with Jesus. Here we can bring our needs, our concerns, our petitions, and our journeys and listen to God. In other parishes, (and in my home parish back in Vermont), there would be a basket for people to place their intentions into. When the priest would return to the sanctuary after confessions, he would place it in front of Jesus and offer all the prayers of those present. Beginning this Thursday, there will be a table at the front of the sanctuary with a basket and small slips of paper for anyone who has something they want us to pray for to put in the basket. When I come from the confessional I will place the basket before our Lord. In the time before Benediction I will ask all present to pray with me for all the intentions.

Finally today, I would ask your help in praying for a special intention of mine. While I can’t share with you what it is right now, I would greatly appreciate everyone joining me in this prayer.

God Bless! Have a great week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)