A word from Pope Francis ~ “May the Lord restore our sight so as to rediscover what it means to be members of the human family.”
Today, we celebrate the 16th Sunday in the Ordinary Time of the Year. All through this year, we have been reading from the Gospel of St. Luke in our Sunday Gospel readings. Week by week, we are seeing Luke’s portrayal of Jesus’ ministry unfold before us. Last weekend, we heard Jesus teach us the Great Commandment, followed by the parable of the Good Samaritan. This weekend we hear the familiar story of Jesus’ visit to the home of Martha and Mary. Martha is busy with serving and Mary is attentive to Jesus’ words. He doesn’t see this as a question of one versus the other – but more a caution about anxiety and worry. Because Jesus is well aware of the demands of service for the sake of the Gospel and the anxieties that often accompany it, he tells his disciples, including Martha, to keep their attention on Jesus even in the midst of their activity. The one thing necessary is to embrace the Word of God, Jesus himself, with a generous and good heart.
As many of you know, we have an Emergency Line connected to our main parish telephone line. Should someone call after office hours, the recorded greeting gives instructions on what to do to access our Emergency Line mailbox. When an emergency message is left in that mailbox, we are immediately alerted through a message to our cell phones. One of our priests is always “on call” and receives Emergency Line messages through his cell phone. Wherever we are, we can call in to the parish mailboxes, retrieve a message from the Emergency Line, and respond as soon as possible. We’ve recently had a number of last-minute calls from Hospice Chaplains asking for us to come and anoint a parishioner in Hospice care. In most cases, one of us arrived in time, but not all. Whenever a family member begins Hospice care, please call for the Sacrament of the Sick immediately. Do not wait until the last minute. We try our best to respond immediately to requests for the Sacrament of the Sick. In situations like this, earlier is better than later.
One of the blessings of our church liturgical calendar is that we celebrate the feasts of many of our great saints during the summer. The saints are those heroes of our faith whom we look up to and imitate, who refused to let their lives or personalities be stunted by the circumstances of the world around them. This Friday, we celebrate the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. After she was healed of possession, she became a disciple of Jesus and was present at his crucifixion. At a time when women had no dignity or rights, she was the first to witness to the risen Lord. She carried the message to the Apostles.
During these summer months, our parish staff shifts into summer hours. We are continuing our practice of closing the parish offices on Fridays during July. One of our staff will be on duty for telephone calls and deliveries. This practice gives our staff some additional time for family activities.
We continue to remember those who are traveling and we thank God for the opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy