Pastor's Note - August 18, 2013

From the Pastor’s Desk:

 

This week we have a challenging Gospel.  Jesus says such things as “I came to bring fire to the earth,” “I have come to bring … division,” and, “they will be divided:  father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother.”  We’re not used to Jesus speaking in this way and so, we can be left confused.  What is Jesus trying to share with us?  I remember playing Atom hockey  for Moncton.  We were in a tournament in St. John and we had lost our first game and tied the second.  In order to advance to the next round, we had to beat Shelbourne by many goals.  The coach got us fired-up.  He explained our situation and when the buzzer went we were ready.  In all my years of playing hockey, during this game the team was the most focussed.  We knew what we had to do and we were all going to do it.  In the next 60 minutes we completely dominated Shelbourne.  I can’t remember them getting a shot on net and the final score was 11 to 0.  Now, we didn’t advance to the next round, a rival team won, but the game, I think, brings us to a closer understanding to the meaning of Jesus’ words.

 

A reporter once asked Fr. Arrupe, the late Jesuit Father General who Jesus was for him.  Fr. Arrupe replied, without even thinking, that Jesus Christ was everything to him. Jesus is not preaching about hostility or anger, but about the primacy of God’s Kingdom. If we think about those we love the most, we can understand the primacy of the Kingdom.  Sometimes those we love are not equally loved by our family or friends.  They may say he/she is a “dead end,” “isn’t worth it,” or “you can do much better.”  And when we listen to our hearts rather than the words of others we know what we have to do.  We love the person no matter what. In a similar way, as Christians we know what we have to do.  We proclaim through word and especially action, the reality and presence of God’s Kingdom, no matter what.  Sometimes people won’t understand.  Sometimes people won’t like it, but we listen to our hearts and we proclaim love and mercy, justice and compassion and the appreciation of everyone’s dignity.

 

Sometimes this is harder to do than at other times.  Sometimes we trip and we fall.  But we hold within us the Spirit of love.  So we must always seek to listen to the whispers within our hearts.  The Gospel is not about anger or hostility; rather it is the primacy of God’s Kingdom, that is, the primacy of love.  By listening to our hearts, the discouraging words of others are diminished, and by listening to our hearts we become more focused on our call. And so the Gospel proclaims a lively joy.  Who is Jesus Christ to Our Lady of Lourdes?  Jesus Christ is everything to us!

    

God Bless & Take Care,

 

Fr. John


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