November 24, 2019
Today we celebrate the 34th and last Sunday in Ordinary Time. We also celebrate this Sunday as the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Today’s reading paint a different picture of royalty than we might think of. First, we see King David as a shepherd. Earlier passages describe him as lowly, not worthy of Samuel’s consideration, but David is the man God chooses to become King and shepherd of His people, Israel. In the Gospel, St. Luke gives us the account of an innocent criminal, whose throne is a cross, the instrument of death. He is sneered at and jeered. He is also affirmed by a true criminal, “We have been condemned justly, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Seemingly powerless to those without faith, Jesus has the power to promise Paradise to that man. The solemnity of Christ the King paints a picture of royalty unlike ours and even presents a job description: One, Be shepherds who serve the sheep, find strength in weakness and power in vulnerability; Two. Admit and name our sins, powerlessness, and defects to find reconciliation with God, self, and others; and Three, Be ambassadors of reconciliation to find peace in the difficulties that occur in our daily lives. Then, set free from slavery, we will serve Christ’s majesty and ceaselessly proclaim His praise.
One day in November that many of us look forward to is Thanksgiving Day. It is a special day to thank God for all the blessings in our lives, especially those who join us at the table for the feast of feasts. We thank God for our health, our challenges that embolden us, our families, and our faith. Mass on Thanksgiving Day will be at our holiday time, 9:00am. Please plan to make it a part of your holiday. (I truly believe that this day has become an “unofficial” Holy Day where people come to Church with grateful hearts, not because they have to, but because they want to.) Hope you’ll join us for our parish family “thanks-giving” Mass.
Over the past two weeks we have had two events at St. Luke that no pastor ever likes reporting. On the Saturday Nov. 9th, during a wedding Mass, someone entered the chapel where groomsmen had left cell phone and wallets. After the wedding they discovered all the cash in their wallets was taken. Our wedding coordinator and I were just sick thinking about it. In Church? During a celebration of marriage? Then last Sunday, Nov. 17th, during the 10:00am Mass, someone got into the rectory offices and took the Oratory’s 8:00am collection from Msgr. Morris’ office. They also attempted to get into the Oratory’s lock-box, but were not able to open it. Theft, besides being a sin and the breaking of a Commandment, is not something we would expect on Church property or in our neighborhood; but crime is prevalent all over St. Louis and now has hit our home. I have heard complaints that we cannot have our Church left unlocked during the day in order for people to stop by and pray. Sadly, our insurance company has made the decision that we keep Church locked. At the suggestion of the police, we will be discussing how to address security issues both at the rectory and Church. Finally, I want to thank the Richmond Heights Police Department and the officers who responded so quickly last Sunday.
God Bless! Have a good week!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)