September 2, 2018
Today we celebrate the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. You and I live in Missouri, the “Show Me” State. Tradition holds that Missourians need clear and concrete proof to be convinced about something. They need someone to show them something is true. Moses told the Israelites to observe carefully the statutes and decrees he taught them. He wanted the Israelites to show him the depth of their relationship with the Lord, their God. St. James tells his hearers to show him their faith by caring for widows and orphans. In today’s Gospel Jesus chides the Pharisees who were more concerned with interpreting the Law than living its purpose; to take on the minds and heart of God. Theirs was a religion of lip service, not lived service. Evil comes, James tells us, from within and so does good. If our minds and hearts are in sync with God’s, others will see our faith and God’s ways. In his Palm Sunday homily in 2017 Pope Francis called us to show Jesus through our deeds: “He is present in our many brothers and sisters who today endure sufferings like His own: they suffer from slave labor, from family tragedies, from diseases, from wars, from terrorism. Women and men who are cheated, violated in their dignity, discarded…Jesus is in them, in each of them, and, with marred features and broken voice, He asks us to be looked in the eye…to be loved.” This week we are being challenged to show Jesus in lived service, not just lip service.
Our final Mass on the Grass for this season, weather permitting, will be this Monday, Sept. 3rd, Labor Day, at 9:00am. Hope to see you there as we unofficially end summer and begin our round of regular meetings and programs.
With Labor Day comes a return to many of the parish’s regular scheduled meetings, Finance Council, Parish Council, etc. Our R.C.I.A. program will begin this Wednesday at 7pm in St. Joseph Hall. This year we have revamped the program and will be using a video series/discussion format. The “Symbolon” series from St. Augustine Institute will be used as the core of our revamped program. Any parishioner who wants to rediscover the basic teachings of our faith in a thought provoking way is invited to our weekly RCIA sessions that will culminate with those making the journey of faith in order to become a member of Church at the Easter Vigil in 2019. Would you like to make the renewal of your faith on Easter a renewed commitment of discipleship? RCIA might be for YOU.
As we enter September we also begin preparing for what I believe will be an annual opportunity for all of us to reflect on our investment of discipleship. Throughout our Archdiocese one Sunday in September is designated as, “Stewardship Sunday.” We have been discovering the stewardship way of living for many years. Archbishop Carlson’s leadership has helped us to embrace this way of offering our Time, Talents, and Treasures to God through not just lip service, but lived service. Next Sunday my homily will be on this topic with explanations on how we will celebrate Stewardship Sunday here at St. Luke’s. The following week you will receive a mailing from the parish which will contain a brochure, a pledge card, and our annual Stewardship Report for the past year. Please take time to read all the material. Reflect on the gifts and talents which God has given you and consider how to offer them for the next year to build up God’s Kingdom here at St. Luke and help us be a vibrant community of faith. This year’s theme is, “Share the Joy.” On the weekend of Sept. 22/23, we will celebrate Stewardship Sunday with parishioners, Chuck and Anne Feise giving a stewardship reflection at Mass. At the offertory, we ask you to place your pledge cards in the offering basket which will be an offering our gifts for the coming year to God. I am praying we all reflect on our particular gifts and talents during this time and recognize all of them are gifts from God, meant to be shared in Joy and Gratitude. Ours is a truly blessed community of faith, and we need every member to be a part of it.
God Bless! Have a good week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)