The last full day in Krakow at World Youth Day, Pope Francis gave a challenge in speech to the youth, a good challenge for each of us. You can read about it at this link.
One consistent piece of feedback that I receive on homilies is that the few details I provide to help those listening understand the context of the times and the underlying assumptions within the Scripture texts are very helpful. A basic understanding of biblical times and how to read the Scriptures are essential in approaching them. This fall Silas Henderson, who has given faith formation classes here earlier this year, will present a basic scripture course on Tuesday evenings. More information will follow, but keep Tuesday evenings open, if you are interested.
Another heads up: we will be starting a drive in September to purchase new hymnals. While our current hymnals have served us well, after over 15 years of use they are showing their age. That and the fact that much new music has been written in the last 22 years (the copyright date on our current hymnals is 1994) has led our Liturgy Commission to decide that we replace our current hymnals with the Gather 3 Hymnal. As in the past, we hope to finance this through parishioner donations. Hymnals can be donated in your name, in honor of someone special or in memory of deceased loved ones (a dedication plate will be put in the front of the hymnals). Please consider supporting our Music Ministry program in this endeavor.
Our readings this weekend invite us to what I like to call “active waiting.” Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid (of his second coming, be it at our death or the end of time) but that we should “gird our loins and light our lamps.” The image is of servants, waiting for the master’s return from a wedding. “Girding loins” means to have the tunic pulled up and tied in place to be ready to move and work. The lit lamp means that at the first sound of the master’s approach, they can run out. The point is that we should be ready, not out of fear, but actively working to bring about the Kingdom, to bring about the Master’s coming. Jesus expresses it as “Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.”
In this Ordinary time as we journey with Jesus to Jerusalem, Luke’s Gospel is helping us understand what we must do to accompany Jesus, to build up “inexhaustible treasure in heaven.” Yes, we are waiting, but we are actively working to bring the Kingdom to life, here and now.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS