May 13, 2018
Today we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. Today’s celebration replaces the 7th Sunday of Easter. Several years ago the bishops of Missouri in consultation with their dioceses all agreed to transfer this Holy Day from the traditional 40 days after Easter to the 7th Sunday. Since then we have celebrated this day 43 days after Easter. Today’s feast tells the story of the Lord’s departure. Jesus had accomplished what the Father had sent Him to do. On the mountain of the Ascension Jesus entrusted the Great Commission to His disciples and to us, “Go make disciples of all nations…” In Mark’s version which we read today, Jesus says, “Go into the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Since His ascension to the right hand of the Father, that’s what we have been doing, empowered by the Spirit sent on Pentecost. We are to be the voice of Jesus, proclaiming the Joy of being His disciples, inviting all those we meet to join us in the Body of Christ. We are to preach everywhere, not only in words, but more importantly how we live; with bold faith, with certain hope, and with sincere love. We remember Jesus’ words, “By this all will know you are my disciples, by your love for one another.”
Today, we also celebrate Mother’s Day and honor those who gave us the greatest gift of all, our lives. Whether we call her mother, Mom, affectionate nicknames, or in my case, “Mumsy,” today we give thanks for all they have done and do for us. Take the time today to let her know how very much she is appreciated. If, like me, your Mom has gone home to her eternal reward, say a prayer for her today, offer this Mass for her, light a candle. Take time to reflect on the debt of gratitude you owe for her vocation as a mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all.
As I expected, I had several emails and phone calls after last week’s announcement of changes coming to St. Luke’s beginning in July. Many of our 8:00am parishioners expressed disappointment with losing this Mass to the Oratory. Some wondered why the parishioners hadn’t been part of the decision. I am saddened to know that this change has caused some to even consider leaving the parish. This is not what this change is meant to do. St. Luke’s, as well as Immaculate Conception, have been struggling to survive. For us, after the closing of the school, we have seen the population dwindling and struggling to attract new members. Fr. Hopping did a good job in his brief time here, but the situation needs us to move forward with new efforts at evangelization and new vitality. The move of the Oratory, which is a growing community of those who prefer the Latin Mass, will bring more people to St. Luke, and will help us financially to make ends meet. The Archdiocese’s concern for the future of St. Luke’s, I.C., and the Oratory, were plans that I wasn’t able to share until now. I firmly believe that with some sacrifices and accommodations, St. Luke’s future will be secure and stable. The rest is up to us. I encourage us to join together and embrace the change, welcome the Oratory, and work together with I.C. Parish to ensure the Richmond Heights and Maplewood communities are filled with hope for the Church to grow. Once again, if anyone has thoughts and concerns, please contact me.
Finally today, work on the Chapel continues and it is beginning to come together. Chairs have been assembled, the plaster work repaired, walls have been painted, the floor scrubbed and polished, and now we are awaiting the bid on the AC/Heating unit. We are on schedule to open the Chapel with daily Mass beginning Friday, June 1st. We will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament following Mass until 1:00pm. A Sign-up sheet for Adorers is in the main foyer this weekend. Please sign up for a time slot and spend time with the Lord. If you are interested in becoming a regular adorer, please note that on the Sign-up sheet.
God Bless! Happy Eastertide!
Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)