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A husband and wife, together with their young son, were invited to a neighbor’s wedding. For the little boy, it was the first opportunity to attend such an affair. As the family entered the Church, an usher extended his elbow and asked, “Are you on the bride’s side or the groom’s?” Before his parents could respond, the youngster exclaimed in a shocked tone, “Are they taking sides already?”
In the Old Testament story of the golden calf, Moses is up on the mountain in deep communication with the Living God. He is receiving the Law — the Commandments. But while he is up there, the people down below grow impatient. They go to Moses’ brother, Aaron, and they say, “We want a god we can worship.” Aaron takes the people’s gold and fashions it into a calf for them to worship. When Moses comes down from the mountain and sees his people dancing around the golden calf, he is so outraged that he smashes the Tablets of the Law, grinds the calf to powder, disperses it in the water and makes the idolaters drink it. Moses looked out over the camp full of people and he issued this clear challenge to them: “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come and stand with me.” A thousand years passed. Jesus of Nazareth came at a time when the problem of idolatry had grown greater. It was no longer a golden calf. It was a much more subtle thing. When Jesus came, He saw that, as in the time of Moses, the people were turning away from the one true God. They were trying to find their security and their pleasure and their power in other things. And so He spent a great deal of time in His ministry trying to destroy the idols, trying to get people to give up their loyalties to these false gods.
Jesus was not crucified because He showed mercy to a lot of people and healed a lot of people. He was crucified as a rebel, struggling for social justice, struggling for change.
What does all of this mean to us today? It means that there are times when being faithful to our Christian Mission can be costly to us; times when we can expect to hear people lashing out at us for standing up for a just society. But it is this very costliness that is so valuable a way to be with God. It is part of the sacrifice, part of the price we pay. It is the opportunity to say “God, I really do love You. I am now, and forevermore on your side — and I am willing to do this for You, though it may be unpopular.”
In this regard, someone has said, “One person on God’s side is a majority.” In this worshiping experience, we must find our way to the foot of the Cross and to the altar of God, confident that as we stand with our Lord, we are on the “right side” with God. A while back, there was a greeting card on the market which contained a delightful definition of friendship. “”A friend” it said “Is someone who knows you don’t know what you’re talking about but will let you reach that conclusion independently.”
As a Christian community, in the matter of our faith, hopefully we all know what we are talking about when we say: “I am on God’s side!”
PEACE AND BLESSINGS!
We still have a few aprons for sale on line.
Thank you to Fr. Logan for saying mass today in Fr. Luis’ absence. Fr. Luis is on vacation and will be returning this week. Fr. Logan gave a wonderful homily today, telling two stories of fathers. One was about a man in Turkey who was trapped in the collapse of a six story building for 4 days. An earthquake had caused the collapse and he had little hope of being rescued. He couldn’t move, he was in a restricted space, he couldn’t roll over or sit up. He had scolded his thirteen year old son for monopolizing the family computer the day before the earthquake, and regretted that he might not have the opportunity to see his son again. He prayed and on the fourth day he heard the voice of his relatives, including his son, looking for him in the rubble. When he was rescued he told his family he was changing his life. The tragedy had taught him a lesson and the trauma had galvanized his will to live differently. Having nearly lost his life, he learned to cherish it. The second father was the famous football coach Gene Stallings. Even though he had a perfect season and public recognition in his career, Coach Stallings said the greatest reward was raising his son with Down’s Syndrome. Like many parents of Downs Syndrome children, Stallings described the sunny disposition and the unselfish personality of his son. “Johnny was 46 years old and didn’t know a bad word. He saw the good in everyone. He loved going to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, and he remembered everyone’s name.”
Our values are very disordered, and in the second reading today we are told by Paul “Do not conform yourselves to this age but e transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” The stories of these two fathers tells us the miraculous power of suffering and faith which can inspire such love in the human heart. Thank you Fr. Logan for calling us to order our lives.
Two important dates to remember:
Next Saturday, Sept. 6 is registration and first class for Holy Communion Classes
Sept. 27, 2014, Saturday is the Dinner and Auction Fundraiser “Harvest for Humanity” for the St. Vincent de Paul Society
St. Colman enjoyed a large crowd of visitors at Sunday mass at 11:00 in Cazadero. Having a full house is a great joy and we welcomed our visitors with great appreciation! It is a reminder to all of us be sure to extend hospitality and friendliness to our communities and live our lives in a way that leads people to God.
This Sunday we took in the highest amount in donations all summer. Thank you so much for your generosity! It has been absolutely joyful to serve coffee and treats to all of you this summer! But we’re getting too fat eating all these goodies, so it’s a blessing in disguise the outdoor masses will end and with it our high calorie treats!!! But we will be back! See you next year! xoxoxo