God Seeks Us Out

parable_of_the_lost_drachma

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

The lost & found department figures largely in Luke’s Gospel: lost sheep, lost coin, lost son ~ and, all found. Ultimately, each of these parables has to do with the joy God has in those who repent of their sinfulness. Moreover, each of these three parables is a “community” story. That is, when what or who has been lost and then found, the one who finds calls in family and friends to celebrate and rejoice. In his most recent book, Jesus and the Prodigal Son, by Dominican Father Brian Pierce, O.P., the author writes of how Jesus becomes suspect because he dines with tax collectors and sinners. Fr. Brian writes: “Jesus tells three parables … in response to criticisms regarding His spontaneous practice of eating with a rather disreputable group of friends.”

Is not there the “disreputable” in each of us because of unclean choices? God seeks us out, welcomes us back to a new beginning, and then throws an extravagant party. The son who remains at home becomes embittered and refuses to rejoice in his brother come home and in fact will not even refer to him as his brother. Therefore, the father of the two sons attempts to reason with the disgruntled son who refuses to celebrate the return of his brother. Like that father in the parable, God encourages us to celebrate the Good News in each other’s lives. Hence, we are not to make provision for jealousy, revenge, petty destructive gossip, or begrudging others their accomplishments. It is better to be a part of the joy in encouraging others not only in their sufferings and challenges but also in their joys. We can all understand and know the reality of feeling lost, ashamed, and disconnected.

On September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack against our nation brought death & destruction. On this, the 15th Anniversary of this horrific and profoundly sad & disturbing event, we mourn the victims killed & injured. Let us remember the fallen, including so many who gave their lives in attempting to rescue others.

In God’s loving kindness,

—fr. Chris, O.P.

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Carrying of One’s Cross

mother_teresa_of_kolkata

Dear Parishioners & Visitors,

Whether a married couple work together to renovate a room by choosing flooring, new paint for the walls and ceiling, whether a musician learns a new piece of music on her oboe, or whether our Wednesday lunch cooks in the parish hall create a menu for 40+ people, all are calculating just how best to plan and accomplish their goal. The goal to be achieved requires preparation which requires focus, steady persistence, elbow grease, and God’s grace.

Jesus emphasizes the carrying of one’s cross and following Him. Therefore, Jesus’ call to “renounce all possessions” is clear; disciples of Jesus cannot be disciples if their goal is their possessions and the accumulation and selfish use of those possessions. Renouncing possessions means leaving off whatever hinders the full expression of our life in following Jesus Christ. This is true of material, emotional, or spiritual possessions which are not in tune with the Will of God.

Any mission we accept from God has its time and, therefore, there is a need to be met in a limited amount of time. Moreover, there is a time for putting that which we have prepared into action. Even though our preparation may not be perfect and mistakes will occur, remaining steadfast in purity of intention in accomplishing our varied missions in the life of the Church is what is crucial. This weekend we celebrate the canonization of a religious sister on mission, namely, Saint Teresa of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). We know of her love for the hungry, sick, outcast, lonely, and dying; we also know, by her own reflections and writings, that she lived in interior darkness and doubt during her life. Like the rest of us, St. Mother Teresa was a broken human being who, in the midst of her own stuggles and failings, remained faithful to renouncing whatever got in the way of loving the “least” among us.

St. Teresa of Kolkata, pray for us.

In God’s loving kindness,

—fr. Chris, O.P.

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