July 15, 2018
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Next weekend will mark the end of Deacon Josh’s Summer assignment with us. It has been a delight for me to be with him and to serve with him, and I know he’s been a rich blessing to all of us through his time with our Youth Ministry, our Vacation Bible School, his Bible Study on the Wisdom Books, his home and hospital visitations, his wonderful preaching and in countless other ways! Fortunately, we will see Deacon Josh during his last year of studies before his ordination to the priesthood as he will be coming back to us on many weekends. Still, we are grateful for his day to day time with us this Summer. At the back of the church next weekend, will be a wooden box where you can deposit cards, notes or a gift to express your gratitude to him and support for his coming year. Please be generous.
Next weekend, I will be with all who signed up for our annual trip to Pinchot State Park celebrating Mass, camping, kayaking, swimming, feasting, relaxing and enjoying evenings around the fire. Please welcome Father Zackarias on behalf of the Missionary Cooperative. This year, we will be supporting the Catholic Bishops Conference of India.
This weekend, Jesus gives us a preview of the Church’s future mission in commissioning the Apostles. His instruction to them echoes God’s instruction to the twelve tribes of Israel on the eve of their exodus from Egypt. They were sent with no bread, only one set of clothes, wearing sandals and carrying a staff (Exodus 12:11). Like the Israelites and the Apostles, we, who are in the new exodus, are also to rely solely on the providence of God and His grace. The shepherds that we are given to lead us, the Apostles and their successors, not only are given authority to preach, but they are given a share in the power of God, the power to cast out demons and to cure the sick as in today’s Gospel. Note the olive oil they used, a reference to the Sacrament of the Sick. Soon Christ will also give them the divine power to forgive sins. The Church’s mission is the mission of Christ!
Yes, we are on a new exodus, and the mission of the Church is to deliver people from their exile from God and bring them to the kingdom of heaven through the sacraments. Simple men like Amos, a shepherd and dresser of sycamore trees, and like the Apostles, fishermen and a tax collector, our bishops are called and anointed by God to leave the ordinary to be our shepherds! May God bless them!
Catechism Question of the Week: True or False? Angels are purely spiritual creatures who have intelligence, exist to serve God, and surpass in perfection all visible creatures, but have no free will of their own. (see CCC 330)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: Where do I go to rest, and how do I respond to interruptions to this down time?
In Christ’s Peace,
Rev. Leo M. Goodman III