October 2, 2016
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today’s Gospel immediately follows two very difficult teachings of Jesus. First, Jesus says that it would be better to have a millstone hung around one’s neck and to be thrown into the sea than to cause a little one to sin, and secondly, He teaches that we must forgive even if our brother or sister sins against us seven times a day and then repent seven times. To such difficult teachings the apostles cry out at the beginning of today’s reading, “Increase our faith!”
Make no mistake about it, this weekend is all about faith! Jesus takes this opportunity to remind the disciples of the power of prayer and of their need to be bold in prayer. “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it would obey you.” But then Jesus also reminds them that their faith must be a humble faith. Those who humbly do what they have been commanded have the attitude that “we have done what we were obliged to do.” That’s humility.
From a worldly perspective, two things can happen when we boldly pray. First, the prayer is answered and a miracle happens. In such a case we see the power of prayer and we can barely contain ourselves. We need to be humble. Second, the prayer seemingly is not answered and the miracle doesn’t happen. Again, we need to be humble. In such a case we can question whether our faith is great enough. But let’s face it, we only need faith the size of a mustard seed, and we have that! No, the answer is elsewhere. It comes from our first reading, where we are told to “wait for it, it will surely come.” God will answer all our prayers, but with humility we may have to wait. But let us not doubt! Let us pray boldly!
I need your help! Our Legacy Gala is quickly approaching. While this night will certainly be a night of celebration and fun, we will also be raising funds to support the next phase of our Legacy Project. We’ll accomplish this through the $100 admission tickets that include your food, beverages and a professional show and through the 50/50 and the auctions. I am so grateful for all you have done to get us this far with our project. It’s wonderful! But I am asking all who can make the sacrifice to support this effort, to do so now. Please invite others to join you; it really is going to be a wonderful night, supporting a truly great cause! Please see this bulletin for other ways you can help. Thank you!
Catechism Question of the Week: By setting some free from the earthly evils of hunger, injustice, illness and death, Jesus bears witness that He is the Son of God. However, Jesus came not to abolish all evils here below, but to free us from the gravest slavery which thwarts us in our vocation as God’s children and causes all forms of human bondage. What is this slavery called? (see CCC 548-549)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: How do I, in practice, express gratitude to God and others?
In Christ’s Peace,