Pastor's Column

 

Pastor’s Column

August 10 - 11, 2019
“Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,
the Son of Man will come.”
 
 
 

 

It is impossible to read or listen to Jesus’ words in this weekend’s Gospel without thinking
about those three mass shootings that took place within a span of seven days a week ago: three
people killed and thirteen injured at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California on Sunday, July 28 ; twentytwo
people killed and dozens more injured in an El Paso, Texas Walmart on Saturday, August 3; and
nine people killed and at least twenty-six others wounded when a gunman opened fire in a downtown
district of Dayton, Ohio in the early morning hours of Sunday, August 4. Families having fun at a
food festival, parents and children shopping for back to school clothes and supplies, and young
people enjoying a night out had their lives tragically altered or suddenly ended just by being in the
wrong place at the wrong time. It is a sobering reminder of how fragile life can be, how messed up and
broken is the world in which we live, and how we must never take anything or anyone for granted.
 
Last weekend we heard the parable of the rich fool who thought he would eat, drink and be
merry by storing up his abundant harvest for himself. But God said to him, “You fool, this night your
life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?” Jesus
goes on to warn all “who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”
And what matters to God is not how much we have, but how much we give and how much we love.
 
Certainly we must always be prepared to meet Jesus who comes as the just judge at the end of
our life. But it is not about worrying or being anxious about when or how that might come about.
Rather, it is about using the time we are given on this earth wisely and well by loving and serving the
God we encounter in our families and friends and in our neighbors most in need. Jesus says, “Do not
be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your
belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible
treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also
will your heart be.”
 
Our faith, as described in our New Testament reading this weekend, is not just an intellectual
exercise. It is not something to be confined within the four walls of this church. It is something that
must be experienced and lived. That is why we call it “practicing the faith.” The only real solution to
the violence, hatred, and lack of respect for the sanctity and dignity of all human life plaguing our
nation and our world begins with each of us putting our Gospel values into action and giving witness
to our faith by actually living it day in and day out.
 
I know it is not easy to be a good Catholic and to give witness to our faith in the society in
which we live. That is why as we begin a new pastoral year this fall, our parish will participate in
Strong Catholic Families, an initiative to help church leaders envision how the Catholic Church can
more effectively partner with parents and families to help bring home the faith. Strong Catholic
Families aims to motivate and engage parents to embrace their responsibility for the faith
development of their children and grow the domestic church of the home, by motivating and engaging
parishes and schools to accompany, support and equip parents and families in passing their faith to
their children. I hope you will join me in this important effort. – Fr. Bob