29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 21, 2018

Today we celebrate the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time. When this past year’s class of permanent deacons was ordained this past Spring, there was a headline in our St. Louis Review that I didn’t notice, but a bishop friend of mine saw it. The Headline read, “Ordained to be served, not to serve.” Wrong! As we all know, deacons especially are ordained to serve and not to be served. That was the message of Jesus to the disciples in this week’s Gospel. Ministry in His Church would be all about service; being a servant of the Church. He contrasts this model to the model of society where those of importance make their authority felt. Gone are the days of pastors having all the answers and ruling the parish as dictators. Collaboration and modeling discipleship, clergy, whether priests, deacons, or bishops are primarily sent to serve and not be served. The official title of even the pope is, “Servus Servorum, Popularum Dei.” (Servant of the servants of the people of God.) Pope Francis keeps asking that Church leaders smell like the sheep, to be with their people. And that’s true for all of us, whatever our role in the Church might be. The image Jesus gives this week is a good one. To paraphrase Archbishop Carlson’s call for stewardship, we might say each day, “Lord, how do you want me to serve You and my parish family by using the gifts You have given me?” That my friends is discipleship; serving and leading others to use their gifts and talents to be like Jesus.

This weekend we gather together as a Parish Family to celebrate our patronal feast; Saint Luke the Evangelist. St. Luke is the author of a major portion of the New Testament; the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. In these two books Luke shows the parallel between the life of Christ and that of the Church. He is the only Gentile Christian among the four Gospel writers. St. Paul calls him the “beloved physician.” In the Acts of the Apostles we hear of Luke being a companion of Paul on several journeys. It is probably on these journeys that Luke learned a great deal of the life of Jesus. His Gospel was written for Gentiles who were joining the Christian faith sometimes between 70-85AD. Today we honor him with a “Soup for the Soul” luncheon. Let us honor the beloved doctor by invoking his intercession today, especially for all those on our parish sick list.

After a good deal of thought and prayer I have made a decision to offer my time and talents to our parish by helping to build a volunteer choir for the two major festivals of the Church year; Christmas and Easter. It has been a very rewarding and inspiring effort in several parishes to see the establishment of a choir made up of parishioners who want to offer their time and talent to touch their brothers and sisters with the gift of music. Since I arrived I have heard some beautiful voices in the congregation. While time is a precious commodity these days, I think many are reluctant to commit to singing every Sunday. A “Festival Choir,” that rehearses for 6-8 weeks before the major feasts is a shorter commitment and one that has worked to build up a volunteer choir. After discussing this with our new organist, we are ready to try this here at St. Luke for the upcoming feast of Christmas. We will rehearse from 7-9pm on Sunday evenings in Church beginning on Sunday, Nov. 18th. The Festival Choir will be open to anyone from High School to Adult. The ability to read music is not necessary, but will be helpful. If God has given you this gift, please consider sharing it with me and others in our parish. Mark your calendars and meet in the Choir Loft on Nov. 18th, 7:00pm.

Finally today, a word of gratitude to Msgr. Morris for covering the masses while I was on the priests’ Convocation. There were 210 of the brothers along with Archbishop Carlson and Bishop Rivituso. The week was a great opportunity to be with my brothers and to be challenged to recognize the blessing of our presbyterate and to discern ways to strengthen and support one another,

God Bless! Have a good week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)