24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 13, 2020

Today we celebrate the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time. When we think about it, God has generously provided for us, and continues to shower us with His merciful love. As beloved sons and daughters, and disciples of Jesus we are called to be merciful and generous with others. In our first reading today, Sirach focuses on refusal to forgive. Here the sinner is not so much the one who causes wrath and anger, as the one who “hugs them tight,” like a security blanket; not the one who offends, but the one who avenges offense. Its preposterous to hope to be forgiven for one’s own sins if one is not willing to forgive others. Paul’s insistence, in our second reading from Romans, that Christians live and die for the Lord occurs within an exhortation against judging others. In today’s Gospel, Peter asks Jesus about the limits of forgiveness. The answer? There are no limits. This must have shocked those who thought seven times was already quite generous. Then Jesus tells a parable with the point that we are to imitate our Heavenly Father whose forgiveness of us is limitless. If we’re honest, this is a tough lesson for our path of discipleship. We may have forgiven someone in the past, but we certainly haven’t forgot it. If they were to hurt us again, and again, and again, we might be reluctant to offer them forgiveness and hug our anger and resentment tight. Yes, forgiving with limitlessness, like God, that’s tough. But disciples strive to grow in it and find that bitterness, anger, and hurt doesn’t do us any good. There’s sage advice in the line, “Let go and let God!” If you can’t forgive a hurt, give it to Him.

Mass on the Grass went well and the congregation of both St. Luke and I.C. parishioners was good. People have grown so accustomed to the Covid restrictions and CDC recommendations that the Mass was well socially distanced, and masks were the norm. The addition of the portable P.A. system has helped with people being able to hear, especially the Scriptures. Thanks to Deacon Dave and his wife, Chris, for setting up the altar and preparing for Mass. They have it down to a science now and it is very much appreciated. Unfortunately, due to social distancing we weren’t able to enjoy food and fellowship following the Mass, but hopefully by Memorial Day 2021 we will be able to enjoy those wonderful goodies from the Women’s Guild

On Tuesday, September 15th, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, I will turn 63. (12 yrs. to go until retirement, but whose counting!) Usually I try to be out of the country on a trip to England or Ireland, but this year, due to Covid, international travel was definitely out of the question. I will be going to New England to visit family and friends, and to enjoy the Fall foliage, (which has already begun in Northern Vermont). During my vacation there will not be a Parish Council Meeting. The Parish Council will meet for the first time in October. Also there will be no daily Masses at St. Luke’s, but daily Mass goers can easily try out either a neighboring parish or St. Mary’s Hospital Chapel Mass.

God Bless! Have a great week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)