HAPPY AND BLESSED LAST SUNDAY OF SEPTEMBER!
I’d like to begin my reflection for this 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time with a story. A young Associate Pastor, newly minted, decided to begin a Sunday evening Bible Study group. After 8 o’clock morning Mass, he asked the people to stay and he spoke to them about his idea to start a Bible Study group. After a fervent explanation of his plans, he asked, “Do you think our parish should have a Sunday evening Bible Study?” He was elated at the response. 54 people thought it was a great idea. Later in the day he spoke to the Pastor about this wonderful response to his plan. The Pastor listened and then gently said, “Perhaps you should re-phrase the question.” The next Sunday morning he again asked the people to remain after Mass. He put this question to them, “How many of you will attend the Sunday evening Bible Study?” How disappointing for him, when only four hands went up!
It’s how we live and act, how we serve, and how we love; not what we say. Our actions give expression to our belief and our trust in the God who saves. You not only have to talk the talk, you must also walk the walk.
St. Paul tells us in the reading today, “Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus.” Jesus, the Son of God, gave of himself totally, obedient to the Father in all things even to death. To have the attitude of Christ is to give in the same way; to submit to the will of the Father in all things; literally to walk in the footsteps of Jesus…the Jesus who urges us to love God above all else and love others as ourselves. The words of the prophet Hosea must be etched into our heart, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” God wants not only your faith, but a faith that engenders good works, kindness and care, commitment and love. A faith that is grounded in love.The living voice of Jesus speaks to us today. We hear him say, “Go out and work in the vineyard.” How will you respond? How would you help the Lord keep His vineyard alive!?
Dear Parishioners, it was with great joy seeing many of you being involved with the last Sunday 11 o’clock celebration. We were hosting Bp. Bob Fisher and 8 candidates to the diaconate with their families. Three of these men were elevated to be the lectors, and five of them officially became the candidates to diaconate. It was a short notice for us as a parish to host them, but we did it, and we did it great. I’d like to thank all of you for your hospitality and very generous, open hearts that you showed to these people. It’s been a blessing for me to be a part of this wonderful faith family.
September 26th became a very important day in our parish calendar this year. Six children, Sonya, Alexa, Patrick, Kennedy, Lauren, and Killian, received Jesus for the first time, in his sacramental presence. I humbly ask you to pray for these children and their families. May Jesus become the foundation of their lives. May they always follow Him, love Him, know Him and serve Him more and more every day.
This upcoming Tuesday we’ll celebrate the feast of the Archangels: St. Gabriel, St. Rafael and St. Michael. For my Religious Community, it will be the first day of the beginning of the celebration of 100 years since The Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel was founded. Until September 29, 2021, every Michaelite’s parish around the world, and wherever the Michaelites priests or brothers have ministered, will celebrate this wonderful moment for us. I’m grateful and proud to be a part of that religious community. I also know how important St. Michael is for many of you and for the whole parish of St. Genevieve – St. Maurice. During next year, I will do my best to introduce you to the history and charism of my congregation but also to the devotion to St. Michael the Archangel, whom is our patron. With joyful heart I am announcing that every first Tuesday of the month after 7 pm Mass we will celebrate The Devotion to St. Michael the Archangel. For more information please look at the next parish bulletin.
May God bless and protect all of you.
With prayers, Fr. Tom