February 4, 2018
Today we celebrate the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. A good title for the theme of this week’s readings might just be, “When you feel in despair, remember God cares.” In our first reading we can hear the hopelessness in Job, but note how he continued turning to God, even when he felt he would never see happiness again. In the Gospel, Jesus has spent Himself healing and teaching people. Yet, He turned to God too. He took time to pray, and felt free to not feel forced into service when He heard, “Everyone is looking for You.” Prayer strengthened Him to move on and continue His mission. In our 2nd reading we find that Paul’s relationship with God freed him to preach the Gospel by becoming ‘all things to all people’. Centered in his relationship with Jesus, Paul discovered how to live Jesus in every situation he encountered. Today’s readings tell us that we all need prayer time in our lives, even if it’s a short time. There we find that God is present in our midst. There we can discover true freedom, as Job, Paul, and Jesus did. To pray is to speak to God and listen for His voice in order to breathe as one with Him. Let’s try to follow the sage advice of St. Francis de Sales, to take a deep breath. There’s God. Exhale. Release anxiety, hopelessness, or a feeling of pressure. Repeat. Breathe deeply and be centered in the One who brings hope and empowers us to respond to every situation we face.
I want to publicly express my gratitude to Msgr. Morris and Donna for the very busy week they both had while I was away. They had to coordinate the many funerals in addition to their regular work. It’s never easy leaving a parish, even for a brief time, but I am truly blessed to have a very capable and gifted associate whom I know I can trust to do all things well. (I commented to Msgr. that it was good practice for life when he’s named a pastor.) And Donna! What an absolute gift she is to St. Luke’s. Knowing she’s here allowed to me the peace of mind that the parish would respond to any emergency with it’s typical compassion and care. So, to my Associate, and my Executive Assistant who are both ‘the best ever’, many thanks!
Next weekend, February 10/11th, will be the final Sunday using the World Library Seasonal Missalette. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 14th, you will find a new book in the pews, Breaking Bread, from Oregon Catholic Press. During Lent I hope we will all begin to become familiar with our new worship aid and employ the many opportunities it provides, especially as we prepare to celebrate the great feasts of Holy Week and Easter. Hymns throughout Lent will all be taken from the Breaking Bread including the responsorial psalms. You will also notice a new Mass Setting, printed on a card, in the pews. It is the Mass of the Sacred Heart which I composed several years ago and is now used in several of my former parishes. It is very singable and I hope you will not only like it, but find it very appropriate for the tone of the season. So a few changes for the upcoming Holy season of Lent.
By now all registered parishioners should have received a copy of the new St. Luke 2018 parish guide book and directory. Our newest edition of this helpful tool includes our general contact information for all parishioners in addition to some new features, including our parish Sacramental policies. The names and phone numbers of our Parish Pastoral Council are listed if anyone has a concern or question they would like addressed at our monthly meeting. I encourage you to feel free to contact any member of the council at anytime with suggestions and concerns. We try to keep all our parish information correct and up-to-date. Please be sure to check your family’s information. If you notice any incorrect information please be sure to let Donna know. The purpose of a directory is to help us all better communicate with one another.
God Bless! Have a great week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)