Pastor’s Reflection for August 27, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

I encourage you to attend Mass as frequently as you can.  This is a great way to nourish your relationship with Jesus.  We hear His Word in Scripture and receive His body and blood in communion.  As we eat physically each day to keep the body healthy, the food of His Word, body and blood will keep the spirit healthy.  One benefit of going to daily Mass is that we celebrate the lives of the great saints in the Church.

The saints are examples for us of living the Christian life.  This week’s bulletin cover features St. Monica and St. Augustine.  We usually celebrate the feast of St. Monica on August 27 however this year the Sunday liturgy takes precedence.  On Monday, August 28, we celebrate the feast of her son, St. Augustine.  St. Monica teaches us the power of intercessory prayer.  She, by her prayer and example, won her husband, who had a violent temper and other difficult traits and her mother-in-law to Christianity.  She is known for praying for her son Augustine who was living an immoral life and had turned away from the faith.  There may be some parents reading this who find themselves in a similar situation.  A child has wandered away from the faith and is living a life that is contrary to Christian life.  Monica persistently prayed for Augustine and was rewarded when he eventually left his way of life and was baptized by St. Ambrose.

St. Augustine turned away from his sinful path and turned to a life of love.  Much of his teachings are in his writing called “Confessions.”  There is a line in it that has always touched me.  He wrote, “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all.”  This is a very good teaching; we foolishly look for joy and love in the things of this world and don’t realize that what we truly need is in us, God’s very spirit.  It is only having an intimate relationship with God that will suffice.  Unfortunately, too many have forgotten God; too many live each day without one single thought about God.  Too many are living like Augustine before his conversion, before he came to his senses.  That is why he bemoaned, “too late have I loved thee.”  He foolishly wasted many years of his life chasing after things that brought him misery.  But he found his God or God found him.  That is our hope for ourselves and our loved ones.  Let us be persistent in prayer that we all may love God in the now of our lives and not wait for tomorrow.

This past week, we installed an AED (automated external defibrillator) in the foyer next to the welcome table.  For those that have CPR/AED training, this location provides ready access to both the church and the hall.

I will be available for confession this week on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Lastly, for all of the young people returning to college, we ask the Lord to bless them and keep them safe and healthy during their school year.

May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.

God love you,