Luciano Pavarotti was the charismatic successor of the legendary opera tenor, Enrico Caruso. In his autobiography, Pavarotti: My Own Story, he describes how he was trained by a great master, Arrigo Pola. “Everything Pola asked me to do, I did, – day after day, blindly. For six months we did nothing but vocalize and work on vowels.” Pavarotti worked hard under Pola for two and a half years and then worked just as hard under Maestro Ettore Campogalliani for another five years. Finally, after putting so much faith and trust in his mentors, Pavarotti made a breakthrough at a concert in Salsomaggiore in Northern Italy where he thrilled the audience and was catapulted into fame. This story about faith and trust leads us to today’s readings which focus on the same themes. As Luciano Pavarotti put his trust in his teachers, today’s Gospel instructs that we too must put our trust in our mentor Jesus Christ. We need to thank God, giving Him the credit for our well-being. How often we are inclined to forget God’s providence when our earthly affairs are going well. We pray to Him only when trouble strikes. In His Infinite Goodness, God often answers such prayers. Stronger Faith enables us to accept the adversities and the trials of life asking God, “Increase our Faith, Lord!” at all times.
In October, the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates Respect Life Month, and the first Sunday of October is designated as Respect Life Sunday. As Catholics, we are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the beginning to the end of their lives and at every point in between. We all are called to understand and value the gift of human life and help build a culture that cherishes and protects it. Let us pray and do what we can so that the life of every human person might be protected in our laws and cherished in our hearts.
It was truly a blessing to have The Holy Face of Jesus relic last weekend in our church. To see many of you venerating the relic with love and devotion was a sign for me of deep longing for The Lord in your hearts. Do not stop searching for Him, do not stop longing for Him, do not stop discovering new ways to love Him more and do not stop keeping your relationship with Him. That’s the deepest desire of His Heart and must be ours too. HOLY FACE OF JESUS – have mercy on us.
Last weekend I asked you for your prayers for my brother Matthias. Since September 16th he has been having very serious health issues. Last Wednesday, I received good news from my brother, that at this point there is nothing that would be cancer like, TBTG! On Thursday he started antibiotic therapy which will take some time. With a grateful heart, I humbly ask you to please continue your prayers for him. May God in His mercy restore his health and bring him back to his family, in His way, and in His time. Jesus, I trust in You.
And last but not least, I’d like to express my gratitude for all the love and prayers that you blessed me with for my birthday, (emails, cards, text messages, phone calls). Being preoccupied with my brother’s health issues, I did not thank you as I should have before. I also would like to show my gratitude for every prayer and gesture of appreciation that I received from you all for my priesthood. I turn my gratitude into prayer and place each of you and your intentions before our loving Father. I have been blessed to serve you here in Livonia. May October be beautiful, holy and bring many blessings to your life!