27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today we celebrate the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. This weekend we discover the starting point of discipleship. In our readings there is an important distinction between where the Pharisees are grounded and where Jesus is grounded. The Pharisees are grounded in Moses, but Jesus is grounded in God. Like Jesus, the teachings of the Old Covenant are meant to ground us in God. Instead of asking the popular question, “What would Jesus do?,” we should ask, “What does God ask us to do?” And we find the answer, “Seek to know the will of God and then do it.” And what is God’s will? In Genesis God makes clear that we are not be alone. So find suitable companionship, partnership, support. God is a community of three persons, and we likewise are to live community, with all its give and take. What is God’s will? That we empty ourselves, live sacrificial love, like Jesus, who “’for a little while’ was made ‘lower than the angels.’” We come to discover God’s will in the scriptures, the liturgy, the Church’s teaching, and the events of life. Look for God daily. Ask yourself, “What does God ask me to do?” Then, do it. Many years ago I discovered a quote from the great St. Augustine that I have used as my answer to the question of what God’s will for my life is: “The will of God will not lead you to where the power of God will not sustain you.”

As we enter October, we are now preparing for our annual celebration of the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist. The actual feast day is October 18th, a Thursday this year. We will celebrate the feast on Sunday, October 21st following the 10:00am Mass in St. Joseph Hall. This year we will celebrate with a “Soup for the Soul” celebration. St. Luke, besides being one of the Gospel writers was also a physician. As we gather together we will share a simple luncheon of homemade soups and other simple foods and as a community in need of fellowship will ask the intercession of good St. Luke to nourish our souls for doing God’s will. Mark your calendars and plan to attend. (I am thinking of making a pot of broccoli cheddar and bacon soup. Interested?)

Over the past several weeks we have had the honor to welcome back to St. Luke’s former parishioners who graduated from our school and celebrate their funerals here in our Church. As I celebrated these with families, I heard of the special place St. Luke’s parish has had in the lives of these families. They were so grateful for the opportunity to bring their loved ones “home” to St. Luke’s. It was heartwarming to hear stories of the past and to represent all of you with a hearty welcome home.

Every four years since I was ordained (in 1984), the priests of the Archdiocese have gathered together in convocation in the Lake of the Ozarks for the opportunity to reflect on ministry, share our lives and work and to hear good speakers share with us new ideas and aspects of the priestly ministry. This gathering will be taking place this coming week. The theme for Convocation 2018 is “An Intimate Sacramental Brotherhood.” As I gather with my brother priests of the Archdiocese, I am grateful for the tremendous fraternity we have in our presbyterate. Please remember us in your prayers.

Finally today, I want to encourage you to continue to turn in your Stewardship Commitment cards through the regular Sunday offertory. As I have reviewed the Commitment cards I am happy to see so many offering to share their time and talents in various ways. It’s through this sharing of our gifts that we make our community stronger and each of us takes ownership and responsibility for the mission Christ has entrusted to us at this time. Thank you for being good and generous stewards.

God Bless! Have a good week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)