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Back Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Thursday, August 22, 2019
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
Back in September 1997, Mother Teresa passed to glory. I remember that her funeral was televised live and in our time zone, it was in the middle of the night. A young man I knew from an evangelical church stayed awake to watch the whole thing. He called me later in the morning to share how beautiful it was and how impressed he was with the whole Liturgy. He couldn’t wait to share his message with others at his church. Later that day he attended his church for worship and had the opportunity to speak to his pastor. After sharing his excitement his pastor said: “too bad she is going to burn in the fires of hell.” The young man asked why he would say such a thing to which is pastor responded: “did you ever hear her proclaim that Jesus was her Lord and Savior?” Along with this young man, I too was shocked by the craziness of such a question. That pastor and his congregation believed that they had the magic formula for salvation.
In this weekend’s Gospel, selection from Luke, the disciples ask Jesus the question, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” (Luke 13:23). Jesus doesn’t answer directly but through images teaches His lesson. When He speaks of the master of the house rising and locking the door while many still remain outside desiring to come in, Jesus teaches us that we need not delay in knowing the Lord. Don’t put off our relationship with Jesus for a later time. Don’t miss the opportunity to form that personal relationship with Jesus now or we may find ourselves outside the Kingdom, knocking on a door that is locked. How will we respond when we see many people we judged, to be less desirable enjoying the company of Jesus and are excluded? Jesus advises us: “Strive to enter through the narrow door.” (Luke 13:24) The narrow door is often defined as the door of humble service to our sisters and brothers. Faith is expressed not in necessary magic formulas but in the authentic witness of lives in humble service of our Savior and Lord by our service of those whose are least among us.
St. Peter was walking with another, showing them the Kingdom of God in Heaven when they came upon a huge wall. Voices could be heard from the other side which prompted the visitor to ask: “who’s on the other side of the wall?” St. Peter answered, “This particular group are the Evangelicals, they think they’re the only ones in heaven.”
PARISH FEAST DAY CELEBRATIONS this year includes two days of festivities with our parish picnic gathering on Saturday afternoon, featuring live music, food, and a bounce house, etc. Please respond to the invitations of our Pastoral Associate Amy Vossen-Vukelic, so you and your family can be part of our gathering.
Sunday will feature the blessing and rededication, for Liturgical use of a refurbished Knights of Columbus Chalice at the 8AM Mass. It bears the inscription: “In memory of Rev. Msgr. Raymond F. Paa…. Donated by the K of C Assembly 3233.” Four new gold Communion Cups will also be blessed for our Liturgical use at the 11AM Mass. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will be celebrated at the conclusion of the 11AM Mass and Adoration will continue until 4:45PM in the Marian Chapel.
Come and spend some time in prayer in thanksgiving for our Parish community; the Body of Christ here on Harris Hill.
VACATION TIME Fr. Ron will be out of the parish for two weeks on vacation from August 21st to September 3rd. He will be back in the office on Wednesday, September 4th. A special “than you” to Fr. Daniel and the other guest priests who will assist us in our Sacramental needs.
CONGRATULATIONS STEPHEN CARUANA, Parishioner of Nativity who had entered ninety pieces of wood carving that won numerous awards at the 200th year Erie Country Fair… they were among the many carvings that filled many tables and the walls that surrounded the area. Among his carvings were images of Mary, Padre Pio, St. Nicholas and many others that delighted the crowd.
WE PRAY FOR OUR CHURCH AND FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED…. O Merciful Father, Your Son in Love stretched out His hands upon the cross to embrace us. Embrace and heal our brothers and sisters who carry the wounds of abuse inflicted upon them. Heal Your Church broken by this betrayal of trust. Cleanse and sanctify Your Clergy that they may radiate the selfless love of Your Son. Strengthen and call the people of the Church throughout Western New York to a new dawn of hope and grace in your Holy Spirit. We ask this through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord…Amen.