As we near the end of the liturgical year, the readings become more 'apocalyptic'. Apocalyptic means unveiling of the eternal plan of God, or how things will be in the 'coming age.' The readings today orient us towards the Paschal Mystery of Christ which is the reality that draws a line between this age and the coming age.
Did you know that it is our littleness that the Lord finds most attractive about us? We don't impress him by our strengths and accomplishments as much as we do by becoming small like a child to let His grace flow through us.
The saints throughout the centuries teach us that prayer is a dialogue and a union with God. When we pray, we enter into a dialogue with the Lord and seek to unite the movements of our heart (thoughts, feelings, and desires) to the movements of God's own Sacred Heart.
I love ordering from Amazon, and the parish staff knows it! As you can see from the image here, the staff live in dread that one day an Amazon freight container in my name will show up at our doorstep (parish brewhouse, anyone?). Now as much as I'd love to order something of that scale, I know a freight container would never fit through our doors! What would Jesus say is the solution to this dilemma? Stop purchasing stuff? Scale down my orders? Of course not! :) Obviously, the solution is to build bigger doors!
Please prayerfully remember Fr. Tom Gilles, Pastor Emeritus of St. Mary Chardon, who passed away on Thursday, September 29, the Feast of the Archangels. Fr. Gilles faithfully served as Pastor at St. Mary's from 1992-2011.
Everything we have is a gift! The Father entrusts His gifts to us in the measure we are capable of receiving them. If we wish to receive greater gifts from God, we need to prove ourselves trustworthy and capable of receiving them. I think of Jesus words in John 17:24, "Father, they are Your gift to Me" which reminds me that people are the gifts whom God entrusts to us. As every spouse and parent understands, the entrustment of persons is an exceptional gift that calls forth the great responsibility of love.
This weekend, we hear the story of the Prodigal Son, which may be Jesus' most profound parable. The word prodigal means excessively wasteful. It's easy to read this parable only through the lens of the wasteful extravagance of the younger son. Going deeper, we may see that the older son was also prodigal, in the sense that he wasted so much time at home without ever really drawing close to his father in his heart. What I believe Jesus draws out at the deepest level is the prodigality of the father who lavishly immerses both of his sons in the richness of his mercy.
In this week's Gospel, Jesus uses some strong and disturbing language with the crowds following Him: "If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." How should we understand these words which seem so definitively cold and dismissive?
As we embark on a new school year, we can’t help but think about the bulletin board in the school lobby, whether you are in our day school or our PSR program, you should stop and take a look. You can’t miss the train that is there. It reminds us of a journey. This journey that we are all on. The bulletin board behind it says, “Engineered by God, driven by Faith”. We know we are created and loved by God, that we learned at an early age. But faith is what keeps us driven as we journey through life.
I'm excited to share that a date has been set for my Pastor Installation! On Sunday, December 11, Bishop Malesic will install me as Pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Thompson at the 9:30 a.m. Mass and Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Chardon at the 12:00 p.m. Mass. I am grateful for the Lord's call and the Bishop's request for me to serve here as Administrator this past year, and look forward to serving with you for many years to come.
As I mentioned in my bulletin column last week, there are a few liturgical updates and reminders I would like to offer in light of comments I've received in general, at our Listening Sessions, and in view of the National Eucharistic Revival. These remarks focus on our unity as a family in Christ as a Church, fostering a welcoming environment, and deepening our respect and reverence for the liturgy.
St. Paul reminds us that we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. These are of course the angels and saints who witness to the merciful love of God in Christ Jesus. The Greek word for witness is martyrion from which we get the word 'martyr.' Witnesses of Jesus give their lives for the sake of the Gospel. They sacrifice everything for the sake of the Lord and His glory.
Ladies, high school age and older, are invited to the WOW prayer group's next gathering on Saturday, Aug. 13th, at 9:15 a.m. in the Hospitality Room. We meet for a little over an hour. We hope that you will join us for prayer, discussion, and fellowship!
I wrote a few weeks back about the National Eucharistic Revival that all our dioceses and parishes are taking part in over the next three years. The mission of this Eucharistic Revival is to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The vision is to inspire a movement of Catholics across the United States who are healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and who are then sent out on mission “for the life of the world.”
St. Mary’s in Chardon and St. Patrick in Thompson are delighted to welcome Greg Clack and Kelly McCloskey to their parish staff. Together with Fr. Scott and the parish staff, they will help grow and beautify the parish. Here’s a little more about them: