From our Pastor: September 22, 2019

This Sunday, Jesus Christ speaks to us: “No servant can serve two masters” (Luke
16:1-13) – we either follow Him or we do not. Jesus emphasized this: “He who does
not gather with me scatters” (Luke 11:23). In other words, we cannot be neutral in life.
In His love for us, Jesus calls us to love and to follow Him – He did not call us to sit on
a fence or on a moral 50-yard line. Those who try to be neutral deceive themselves, for Jesus does not call us to be lukewarm. Either we live first and foremost for Jesus Christ, in faith, hope and love, focused on Heaven, or we live first for the world, prideful and selfish, focused on ourselves. If we focus first and only on ourselves, we contribute to the culture of selfishness and will likely fall into sin because selfishness is the root of many sins. When we focus first on Jesus Christ, in our love for God and neighbor, we share in His divine love, and by His grace help build up His Kingdom of justice, joy, peace, mercy and love.

Jesus reminds us that our decision to follow Him must happen every day, not just once,
in “small matters” and “great ones,” where God gives us opportunities to either exercise our love for Him or our love for our self. As Christian disciples, we make decisions daily that either reinforce or undermine our desire to follow Jesus Christ in word and deed.

With loving concern, Jesus warns us in the Gospel that we are like the steward – for
we have all sinned and been affected by sin and, at times, each of us has squandered
the gifts that God has given us. Like the steward, when each of us dies, we will face
God’s judgment about our actions and trustworthiness. In the meantime, we have
an opportunity every day, by God’s grace, to live for Jesus Christ and love, serve and
follow Him instead of ourselves. Every day we either serve Jesus or we work against
Him; our words and deeds either draw us into communion with Christ or they lead
us astray from Him. Indeed, our Catholic Christian faith is more than just a list of
beliefs – it is the way we live and how we see the world. Faith is a virtue that can grow
stronger through exercise, and Saint Paul reminds us that prayer is one of the best ways to exercise our faith (1 Timothy 2:1-8). By taking a few minutes every morning and evening to speak with Jesus Christ about what is important to Him and important to us, He will strengthen our faith. May we imitate the perfect disciple, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was always in communion with her Son, and ask her to help us to follow God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in prayer, in His Church, Word and Sacraments, and to help others to do the same, in our love for God and for our neighbor – and may He bring us all to life eternal in Heaven. Amen.

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William

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