September 23, 2018
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This past weekend was our annual Parish Picnic at the Jaycee Park. It was wonderful! Special thanks to our Parish Pastoral Council, Youth Ministry and all those who helped make this a glorious afternoon!
It was truly a day of feasting, play and relaxation for our parish. Also, this past week was the last week of picture taking for our Parish Directory. I am so grateful to all those who had their pictures taken for this historic directory and for those who volunteered their time greeting and helping. You are all stars!
In today’s First Reading, it’s like we have our ears pressed to the wall and can hear the murderous grumblings of the elders, chief priests and scribes who last week Jesus predicted would torture and kill Him. The liturgy invites us to see this passage from the Book of Wisdom as a prophecy of the Lord’s Passion. We hear His enemies complain that “the Just One” has challenged their authority, reproached them for breaking the law of Moses and for betraying their training as leaders and teachers. And we hear chilling words that foreshadow how they will mock Him as He hangs on the Cross, “For if the Just One be the Son of God, God will defend Him and deliver Him from the hand of His foes.”
Today’s Gospel and Psalm give us the flip side of the First Reading. In both, we hear of Jesus’ sufferings from His point of view. Though His enemies surround Him, He offers himself freely in sacrifice, trusting that God will sustain Him. Like David, Jesus, who is also surrounded by His enemies, offers the Father a Thanksgiving offering, the first Eucharist.
Of course, the apostles don’t understand this second announcement of Christ’s Passion. They begin arguing over issues of succession, over who among them is the greatest. Again they are thinking, not as God does, but as human beings do. And again, Jesus teaches the Twelve that they must lead by imitating His example of love, self-sacrifice and humility. They must be servants of all, especially the weak and the helpless, symbolized by the child He embraces and places in their midst. This lesson is given to us as well. We must have the mind of Christ, who humbled Himself to come among us. May today’s Holy Communion, our reception of His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, conform us to His Holy Image! For this purpose we are redeemed and saved.
Catechism Question of the Week: The Sacrament of Penance A) restores us to God’s grace and joins us in an intimate friendship. B) provides for the remission of eternal punishment of sin. C) remits the temporal punishment of sin. D) reconciles us to ourselves, the Church and creation. (see CCC 1468-1473)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: How do I combat sin and evil in my life and in the lives of others?
In Christ’s Peace,
Rev. Leo M. Goodman III