A word from Pope Francis ~ “I see clearly that the thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity.”
On this first Sunday of the month of August, our Church calendar celebrates the 19th Sunday in the Ordinary Time of the Year. And on this particular Sunday, Luke gives us a very familiar, yet challenging, saying of Jesus: “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” This saying continues the message Jesus began last week, that one must take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist only of possessions. In the midst of stories about masters and servants, stewards and thieves, lamps and purses, Jesus tells his disciples (including us), that what really matters in life is how we set up our priorities. What do we value most? What are the things that are most important to us? And with our possessions, what can we let go of, and what is “nonnegotiable?” Our answers reveal what is most important in our lives! Is there a difference between what we have and what we need? Where our treasure is, there will our hearts be!
Our summer celebration of the feasts of many of the great saints of our church continues this week. On Monday, we have the feast of St. Dominic, a 13th century Spanish priest who founded the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans. On Tuesday, we celebrate one of our 20th century saints, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who began her life in 1891 as Edith Stein, a German Jew. Inspired by the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, she became a Catholic convert in January 1922. She taught in various schools from 1923 to 1933 until forced to resign due to anti-Semitic legislation in Germany. In 1933, she entered the Carmelite convent in Cologne and took the religious name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. As a result of the Nazi persecution of Jews, she moved in 1939 to the convent at Echt, Holland. In 1942, during the German occupation of Holland, she was arrested and transported to the German concentration camp at Auschwitz, where she was killed on August 9, 1942. Saint Pope John Paul II canonized her a saint, religious and martyr, on October 11, 1998. Wednesday, we celebrate the feast of St. Laurence, a deacon in Rome who was martyred in 258. And on Thursday, we have the feast of St. Clare of Assisi, a disciple of St. Francis and founder of the Poor Clares. She served as abbess of the convent at Assisi for 42 years.
We are now into the final month of the summer. The Grade School office has reopened, and our teachers and staff are preparing for the beginning of a new school year in just a few short weeks. The Religious Education/Faith Formation office has been open all summer, doing much planning and taking registrations for the upcoming year. Last Tuesday, we had our first parish staff meeting of the new fiscal year. Things are gradually building up to a new beginning. Summer is still here – let’s be sure to take time to enjoy it as best we can.
May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy