Fr. Kevin’s Column 10/17/2021

Dear friends of God,

This weekend our gospel is Mark 10:35-45. We hear about James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who are seeking worldly power within the eternal kingdom of God. Those closest to Jesus completely missed the point of the reign of God that had come to fruition in the life and ministry of Jesus. Jesus was inaugurating a kingdom that was on Earth as it is in Heaven. It is a kingdom of justice and peace where we are realizing that we are each beloved children of God, and sisters and brothers of each other. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized the jeopardy we are in if we fail to remember that we are all members of the family of God. He wrote prophetically that we “…must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.” In our present world, those who are foolish seem to have the loudest voices. We need to search for those who are wise and ignore the fools. Jesus is the wisdom of God, so he is the wisest of wise ones. We need to seek his counsel and teachings found in the Gospels and in the teachings of the church. “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve…”. If we follow the way of Jesus, our lives need to be about service: serving our sisters and brothers in Christ; in particular, serving the most vulnerable in our community and in our world.

 

One pastor described the Christian way of living in the world in the following. The pastor reminds us that the litmus test for the Christian isn’t one that fits neatly into the dualism of the world – where there are only two sides: “It’s incredibly challenging when Christians on various sides think the other side is delusional, blind, trapped, etc. How do we know who is being faithful to God? The litmus test, I believe, is simple: Love. Cruciform love. That’s how we know.” In the end, we will be judged by God on how we loved. The love of the Christian is the same love of Jesus. It is one that is self-sacrificial, rather than self-serving. Again and again, we must respond to the world with service flowing from generous love and compassion.
 

Next weekend (October 23-24) at our Masses, we will be celebrating the anointing of the sick for those in our community who might be need of healing prayers and the anointing with the sacred oils for the sick. There is great power in prayer, and in the gathering of the community to pray for those who need the support of the community and the healing from our Divine physician. Jesus, in his earthly ministry, was clearly a healer. From the earliest days of the Church, Christians knew intuitively of the healing love of God. Celebrating the anointing of the sick in community reminds us of the role that we are to play in our modern world as women and men of healing. May this time draw us closer to each other and to the heart of our healing God.

 

Next weekend, we also have the opportunity to pray the Rosary as a community after the 9AM Mass. We will pray the traditional Marian prayer in church. I would encourage everyone to take part in this prayer if able. There are so many ways for us to pray as Catholic Christians, and all of them are meant to draw us closer to Jesus and to each other. This closeness helps us grow in love for the community that we are called to create as disciples of Jesus Christ.

 

May God bless you with peace in these fall days as we see more and more that our God is part of the changing of times and seasons.

Much love,
 
Fr. Kevin