August 11, 2019
Today we celebrate the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Although the Feast of Pentecost was months ago, Jesus reminds us today that He came to set the world on fire. As members of His Body, born on Pentecost, that is work today. This year Smokey the Bear turns 75. His motto was originally, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” Today it has been updated to, “Only you can prevent wildfires.” He has been the official mascot for fire prevention for 75 years. The fire Jesus reminds us that we are to be spreading is a spiritual flame of faith, hope, and love. We will face opposers who want to extinguish this fire and challenge us to adopt secular values. Pope Francis’ Angelus address in August 2016 said, “The Apostolic courage which the Holy Spirit ignites in us as a fire helps us overcome walls and barriers…(and explore)…unexplored or uncomfortable paths, offering hope to those we meet.” Let us strive to keep the flame of faith alive by living the Gospel as disciples of Jesus, no matter the cost.
During the summer, once we begin a fiscal year, each parish in every diocese of the U.S. must submit what is called the Status Animarum, to the bishop, listing all baptisms, funerals, marriages, Adult converts, and a financial report of the parish. Donna has been working on this report which will tell the Archdiocese about life in St. Luke Parish this past year. This data becomes important to the Office of Strategic Planning and the Finance Office. Donna and I are also working on our annual report to all parishioners which will coincide with our annual Stewardship Campaign in just about a month. The Stewardship Report is important for all parishioners from the standpoint that, as a community of faith, we are more than statistics. We are a community that strives to live Jesus in our daily lives, which looks at the parish from the standpoint of strengths and weaknesses, and celebrates the good, and addresses these things that will make us stronger in faith and community. I look forward to presenting you with this year’s report and, as your pastor, sharing how we have been good stewards of your generosity. On Stewardship Sunday, (this year on Sept. 21st & 22nd), all parishioners will have an opportunity to express their commitment to making St. Luke the Evangelist a vibrant community of faith with the annual pledge card. Begin today by thinking about ways you would like to share your Time and Talent this year. Begin today by reflecting on how the Lord has blessed you this past year and consider your generosity. Do you want to perhaps begin online giving? Do you want to perhaps begin tithing, giving God 10% of everything, perhaps 5% to St. Luke and 5% to other charities? Archbishop Carlson encourages us to always begin with prayer. What do you hear God asking? As we celebrate our own stewardship, each person must give of their Time, Talent, and Treasures from the position of gratitude and generosity, for as St. Paul says, “God loves a cheerful giver.”
Finally today, an update on McMahon Fest 2019. (“What’s it all about Alfie?”) It’s a day to celebrate our parish around the birthday of St. Luke’s great builder, Msgr. McMahon. We are planning a “Fun Day,” on the ball field, (from 12:00 to 6:00pm), with fun for everyone. There are bouncy houses for the kids and other fun activities, a Washer Tournament, Food available at the concession stand, games for all ages, 50/50, concluding with Mass on the Grass, at 5pm on the field, followed by refreshments. What can YOU do to make this a success? First of all, COME! Bring your family, your neighbors, former parishioners. (An email was sent out to all alumni. I sure hope they stop by.) We invite parishioners to share games you may have: Corn Hole, Croquet, Crazy Golf, a Soccer Ball or two. We want this to be fun for all. We will also have a few sign-ups to coordinate a game area for an hour as well as help prepare for Mass. Please make it a point to get your Flu Shot at McMahon Fest. The Visiting Nurses Assoc. will be here from Noon to 5pm. Come One, Come All!
God Bless! Have a good week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)