13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 2, 2023

Today we celebrate the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time. This week’s readings remind us of the promises of hospitality and perhaps challenge us to think of our hospitality to making others feel welcome. In today’s first reading from 2 Kings, the prophet Elisha is welcomed to the home of a “woman of influence” (and her husband) where he becomes a frequent visitor. He is the recipient of great kindness and realizes the need for gratitude. His thanks is to bring the couple that what they had not been able to achieve; God’s blessing for their hospitality, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.” In today’s Gospel Jesus begins with a challenge to His Apostles of allowing anything to be more important than their love for Him to be a sign that they cannot be true disciples. They are not worthy of the great gift He is offering them. He concludes with the promise that those who receive His disciples, “will surely not lose his reward.” Hospitality will not be forgotten by God and will bring forth His blessing. I find these sayings in our scriptures today a good reminder to strive to be welcoming and hospitable to others. One of the hallmarks of a vibrant parish is the welcome that others feel as they come into our community. It is a reward to us when they are so welcomed that they seek to join our family. As we move forward with implementing All Things New it will be a challenge to parishes that are welcoming parishioners from “subsumed” parishes to experience and feel welcome in their new communities. I am sure the parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes, along with our pastor, Fr. Phil Bene, will be looking for ways to do just that. St. Luke parishioners have gifts and talents that I believe will soon be recognized as blessings to our new community.

On the home front it has been a busy week as both the Oratory and the parish have been removing items from the 2nd floor of school where we have been storing religious items and the Oratory their CO-OP materials. As of July 1, the International School House will be leasing the entire building and has requested that all our “stuff” be removed. As we move forward any religious items that Fr. Bene, our new pastor, doesn’t think may be needed at O.L of Lourdes will go to the Archdiocesan Reclamation Center at the Rigali Center. We are also boxing up items that need to go to the Archdiocesan Archives; old marriage files, Sacramental Records, parish directories, photos, and other memorabilia that will be kept by the Archdiocese. Busy week.

On the personal front I am continuing to sort through my personal belongings, donating to the St. Vincent de Paul store, and the clothing box on the ball field parking lot and making plans to start moving items once a week out to Union. I have met with Fr. Post, the current pastor in Union, and some of the staff. Last week I met with Fr. Wissler, pastor of St. Joseph, Neier and took a tour of the facilities there. On Wednesday, June 22nd I met with parishioners at St. Francis Parish, Luebbering to discuss the implications, like us, of being “subsumed” into nearby St. Clare Parish, St. Clair. There are a lot of practical details in the implementation of All Things New that haven’t been determined yet and it was difficult to have to say I couldn’t answer some of their practical questions. Busy week(s).

Finally today, just a reminder that there won’t be weekday masses this coming week while I am taking a few days off to rest before the big move. Easy week.

 

God Bless! Have a blessed week!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete