24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 15, 2019

Today we celebrate the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time. A group of priests went to Keystone Colorado for vacation. We soon learned that the mountains were challenging and we all needed to adjust to the altitude. The same can be said about the theme of this week’s readings, which call us back to reality when we sometimes think ourselves better than others. We need an “altitude adjustment.” We are all sinners, and as St. Paul reminds us, Christ came into the world to save sinners – and that includes us! In today’s first reading from Exodus, the Israelites felt God was absent and built a molten calf, breaking the command to have no images of God. Moses stands before God saying, “Remember your promises and be faithful to them.” The Lord relented. Moses had the courage to ask God for a kind of altitude adjustment. In our second reading, St. Paul states that he persecuted Jesus’ followers until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. His encounter with the merciful Jesus changed him and gave him an altitude adjustment that led Paul to become a trustworthy witness for Christ. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is addressing tax collectors and sinners by use of various parables. He invites them to adjust their attitudes. When something lost is found, fear and rash judgment become renewed trust and rejoicing. In His famous parable of the Prodigal Son, the son who leaves, the son who stays at home, and the merciful father all need to adjust attitudes of unworthiness, entitlement and presumption, and replace them with contrition, gratitude and awareness. All three need an altitude adjustment. As we reflect today, do we perhaps see ourselves as unworthy of God’s merciful love, or perhaps better than others because our sins are not as great as theirs, or entitled to special treatment because we’ve been “good?” Have we maybe built our own molten calf? What kind of altitude adjustment do you need to celebrate and rejoice that God has found you where you were lost?

Have you seen the parking lots by McMahon Field and in between the Church and School? The Men’s Guild recently had them sealed and re-striped. Originally the Men’s Guild was going to take care of the Field parking lot and the Parish was going to do the Church/School lot. I learned last week that the Men’s Guild covered both, saving the parish over $3,000. in our fiscal budget. A huge thanks to our Men’s Guild for this generous gift and capital improvement to the complex. Men, are you looking for an organization where your time and talents can be offered to build up the parish? Check out our Men’s Guild. It is open to men from 18 to 100. On another note regarding the Men’s Guild, last week when news of a possible ugly protest over the shooting of a young man near the Galleria, St. Luke’s was asked to be a staging area for First Responders in the event of violence. (I immediately gave permission. I support our men and women in Law Enforcement and Fire Protection, including our EMTs.) While parked on the McMahon lot several members of the Men’s Guild provided the guests with BBQ. I applaud their generosity to the local community.

This weekend we celebrate two important feasts in the Liturgical Calendar. Saturday, September 14th is the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross. In honor of the supreme sacrifice of love, we recall the victory of Jesus over sin and death as we proclaim the love of Christ. Sunday, September 15th is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. As Mary stood beneath the Cross of her Son, we mourn with her as she stands faithful to her “Yes” to God. On this Day the old hymn comes to mind, “At the Cross her station keeping. Stood the mournful Mother weeping. Close to Jesus to the Last.” As He was dying, Jesus entrusted His Blessed Mother to us to be our Mother and Mother of the Church, the entire community of Jesus’ disciples. “We adore You O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.”

Finally today, we are now two weeks away from McMahon Fest. Please pray for good weather and continue to spread the word; ALL ARE WELCOME! Friends, Neighbors, former parishioners, and of course all “Lukers!” Come one! Come All, and have a ball visiting and spending a fun afternoon on McMahon Field. Also, remember that 5pm Mass will be held on the field! Bring a lawn chair!

God Bless! Have a good week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)