Mass readings for ordinary time focus on discipleship. Today’s readings discuss the importance of faith in the community, illustrated by historic references. The first reading, take from Wisdom, refers to the courage of the Israelites, derived from their collective faith, in facing the challenges of the Passover. “The night of the Passover was known beforehand to our fathers, that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith, they might have courage.” Collectively they expressed that faith and God rewarded them for fulfilling their duties in salvation history. In the responsorial psalm, taken from Psalm 33, we are taught again that our individual faith is blended with that of our fellow disciples, and is pleasing to God. ” Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.” The second reading, Hebrews 11:1-2, documents the faith of Abraham and Sarah, who by trusting God, carried forward the salvation plan for a people who are faithful to their eternal home, the city of God. The gospel acclamation exhorts us to “Stay awake and be ready! For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Mt 14:42a,44) This is the prelude for the Gospel (Luke 12:32-48) which issues a stern warning that we must remain prepared and vigilant, like good servants, fulfilling our duties and living in virtue – not just as individuals but in our business and social organizations. We are warned God will not go easy on those of us who have neglected our responsibilities, and that the punishment will be in proportion to our charge. “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
In our culture, we object to such harsh warnings which offend our modern sensibilities, and we prefer a watered down version of religious ethics without guilt, shame or responsibility. But our duty is to remain faithful, to be prepared. The church has always been under attack, the methods change with the centuries, but the faithful play the same role in salvation history.
In his homily, Fr.Luis pointed out that “salvation is not a private thing,” and that to nourish our faith we must do more than reading at home — we must encourage each other. He told of a young person at a retreat who asked him how to grow in faith, and he cautioned her that as a youth especially, she must not fear silence. In our modern age and especially among teens, the day is filled with noise and stimulation. Our minds are filled with the various technologies flooding our senses. This must be addressed by planning time for silence, where we can quietly listen for God’s voice.
We are grateful to our St. Elizabeth’s disciples: St. Elizabeth’s Guild who provide the coffee, pastries and savories after mass; our choir who lead us in song; those who are working hard on the restoration of St. Catherine of Siena, lead by Dan Demers; to Sue Poirrier for the beautiful floral arrangement each Sunday, and for her husband Larry who installed the gates and prepares the grounds. The Poirrier family contributes numerous other services to the parish, as well as blesses us with their adorable grandchildren and their beautiful but sometimes frazzled parents. Let us all remember to help young families as much as we can as they cope with the overpriced housing, career demands and madding pace of today’s world.
We also express gratitude to our fund raisers and contributors, to the Bohemians who provide the annual Variety Show, to St. Elizabeth’s Guild who conduct rummage sales and contribute to the support of the parish and local service organizations, to the parishioners who work on the Jazz Festival Parking, and to all the many people who perform the many tasks necessary to keeping our parish going. We so enjoyed the Parish Picnic and look forward to the Christmas Dinner.
As Fr. Luis said, let’s remember to encourage one another in the best way we can. At every Sunday mass he greets visitors and reminds us to welcome them; no one should feel lonely or unwelcomed at our churches!
God bless you all, see you next Sunday!
Report from Danny Demers on St. Catherine of Siena Restoration
Today we paid M-4 Specialties $1500 to begin rehabilitating the pews. Will begin tomorrow morning, Aug. 3, 2016, and expect to finish by Sunday or Monday. Work will be done inside the church. Afterwards we will move them outide and cover with canvas tarps to allow soda blasters in. The pews will be sanded and treated with initial finish. Final finish will be applied once the pews are set inside the church after new floor coverings are installed. There will be a balance due of $2000 to M-4 Specialists once their work is completed.
Backstory: St. Catherine of Siena church suffered a fire in November of 2015. Click here for details.