This week’s memory verse: For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

Proverbs 3:26
  • 10/17 – Isaiah 41:10
  • 10/18 – 2 Corinthians 3:5
  • 10/19 – Philippians 4:13
  • 10/20 – Hebrews 13:6
  • 10/21 – 1 John 3:22
  • 10/22 – Psalm 20:7
  • 10/23 – Proverbs 14:26

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, You were tested as I am and showed me that I can overcome in Strength of Faith established on You. Grant me the sense if confidence to live as You lived.

Strength of Faith.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

Over the months of Ordinary Time, a time dedicated to growth, we focus on how we live out the Christian faith, how we walk in Strength of Faith.

We have talked for many weeks about Strength of Faith. We have seen the way people approached Jesus and how He told them to have faith, to not doubt. We have seen various ways we can put Strength of Faith into action and how we share our Strength of Faith with each other and the world. We have contemplated the ways we might invite others to experience God, right here, with the confidence that comes from Strength of Faith.

Today, we are presented with a reflection on the source of our Strength of Faith. Strength of Faith comes solely from Jesus, from doing what He did.

Wait a minute, you mean I can be like Jesus, I can live the way He did?

As we heard in today’s gospel, James and John got it wrong. They were looking for the sort of strength that does not come from faith, but rather comes from position and status. In short, Jesus tells them that they will also have to face what He had to face: “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized.” If you want to be like Me, you must be — like Me.

The rest of the disciples become upset, not because of what James and John asked, but because they wanted the same. Jesus tells them all, you must stop thinking the way the world thinks, but rather be like Me, be humble, serve, suffer if you are called to do so, and know that your strength comes from Strength of Faith. It comes from the sort of faith that says I am less so that God can be shown to be more.

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews fully understands human weakness. The writer also knew that he himself was weak, had failed, had sinned, was constantly tempted by the desire for power and status. Facing what we all face, knowing what we all know, he arrives at an answer: My Strength of Faith comes from being most like Jesus Who was like us and did not sin.

You see, Jesus was tested exactly as we are. His humanity faced all we face. In fact, He was attacked constantly – yet He did not sin. He overcame. So can we.

You mean I can be like Jesus; I can live the way He did? The answer is yes. We are called to confidence, to walk and act in the Strength of Faith that tells us we can live as Jesus did.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

This month, in our years long discipleship study and journey, we are asked to pray both Psalm 42 and 121. Both of these Psalms pose longing and a response to longing. In each, the psalmist realizes that their hope is in God, that help comes from God. The introductory verse to Psalm 42 above is answered: Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. I can meet God by placing my hope in Him and trusting in Him. Our God is a saving God, not a punishing god. Can you imaging being as desirous as a deer in search of clear, cool, running water. The animal, parched with thirst happens upon that exact stream of water and is overjoyed in finding it and drinks deeply. So it is in our heart’s inner desire and need for God. Desire for God may seem more pronounced in difficult times, when we need extreme help for extreme troubles, but truthfully, that longing is always there. Our souls desire unity with God, for He is their source. They want Him for He is their refreshment. The cool, clear, running water of His grace is their answer, and we all seek to drink deeply of that grace. So, how do we do it. How do we find that water and drink of it? How do we meet God? We start by following Jesus’ gospel path. We do the things He said we must do. We live out the beatitudes and the rules from the Sermon on the Mount. We serve and sacrifice. To be a disciple means we live and love our Master’s instruction. Hard, yes. Impossible, no. From there we live in community. We live and worship as one family. This is the God designed, Jesus taught, Holy Spirit infused way we are to go. The cool, clear, running water of grace is found by those who do exactly this. As we follow Jesus’ gospel path He infuses us, through the Holy Spirit, with His grace. We receive actual help from on-high. As we live and worship as family we open the door to grace to others and support each other with that strength from on-high. We lift each other to that fountain of grace and in doing so our longing is answered.

Welcome to our October 2021 Newsletter. This month’s newsletter is filled with information about important events in the life of the parish: our centennial celebration; blessing of pets; healing; the rosary; family; the upcoming observance of All Souls; our discipleship focus on St. Teresa of Avila; and Ten Biblical Reminders for encouragement. We also pause to remember three beloved men who passed into eternal life.

Please come out to join us as we pray mightily, receive the sacraments, learn from the Word, and celebrate.

Check out all this and more in our October 2021 Newsletter.

This week’s memory verse: “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.”

Isaiah 54:2
  • 10/10 – 2 Corinthians 9:10
  • 10/11 – Luke 6:38
  • 10/12 – Psalm 115:14-15
  • 10/13 – Genesis 26:12
  • 10/14 – Job 8:7
  • 10/15 – Deuteronomy 1:11
  • 10/16 – Ephesians 3:20

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, You call me to carry Your gospel into my community and to grow the family of faith. Grant me courage and success in carrying out the Father’s work.

Strength of Faith

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

Over the months of Ordinary Time, a time dedicated to growth, we focus on how we live out the Christian faith, how we walk in Strength of Faith. We are focusing on our growth in Strength of Faith.

There are several ways of translating what Jesus says to Mary and Joseph. Our scriptures read today recount Jesus saying: “I must be in My Father’s house.” This can also be rendered “I must be about my Father’s business.” Literally, I must be in the things that are My Father’s—i.e., in His work.

It seems odd to us to have a twelve-year-old be so bold as to stay behind in a city of over a million people (especially at festival time), but some context helps.

A Jewish boy reaching the age of twelve, became ‘a son of the Law,’ and took upon himself the religious responsibilities which had previously been his parents. 

This marked moment shows Jesus’ maturity and His acceptance of those responsibilities, to learn, to study, to question, and penultimately to do His Father’s will. Jesus asserts that right in staying behind, not to contravene Mary and Joseph, but rather to grab unto an opportunity. 

In this opportunity He speaks a few words – His first recorded gospel words – words we are to take to heart and emulate – “I must be about My Father’s business,” I must do His work.

These words cause us to consider more fully not just the where of Jesus’ statement, Hey, I’ve got to hang out in the Temple because… but rather the what of His statement.

When Jesus says “must” He says that His doing is the on-going accomplishment of the necessary appointed work of the Father. He accepts His Father’s commands and continues forward in carrying out His duty. 

We, as the Christian family are called to be more than a presence in a place, church on Sundays. We are called to also share and increase the love of family between ourselves and in the world. We are to act in Strength of Faith in the carrying out of our kingdom mission, opening God’s loving family just as Jesus showed us.

The ties and connection of family go beyond place to the life – style we live. How do we style our lives? If we style them to be about our heavenly Father’s business, to doing His work, what we do in a place on Sunday, the worship, praise, and learning, bears fruit Monday through Saturday in the doing. We live and do as Jesus lived and did. We are in the Father’s work.

This week’s memory verse: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23
  • 10/3 – John 3:16
  • 10/4 – Luke 1:37
  • 10/5 – Romans 12:2
  • 10/6 – Romans 8:28
  • 10/7 – 1 John 1:9
  • 10/8 – 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • 10/9 – James 1:22-25

Pray the week

Lord Jesus, You call to the same fidelity You modeled by Your sacrificial love. Help me to love You and to be constantly joined to You with the same fidelity.

Strength of Faith.

He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers.”

Over the months of Ordinary Time, a time dedicated to growth, we focus on how we live out the Christian faith, how we walk in Strength of Faith. We are focusing on our growth in Strength of Faith.

What does God, Who is all powerful, perfectly just, Who knows everything about us, even those things we hold in the secret of our heart, do for His people?

Some might say that sits as judge. That would be correct, for He has that role. Some might say He loves, for indeed that is His attribute as well. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews asks us to consider this:

For it was fitting that He, for Whom and through Whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the Leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.

The writer says that it is fitting, i.e., proper, and appropriate for God to choose the path of suffering for His Son, so that through this suffering we might be saved. Not only that, so that His Son would fully comprehend us, have the same experiences and trials as us, and walking with us show us the way to glory. By the Son’s strength of faith we are called to strength of faith.

Now we might figure, God could have done this differently, and of course He could, but then we would miss the vastness of His love, of His willingness to suffer and sacrifice all for us. His willingness to make us His brothers.

God not only loves as a concept but loves completely and sacrificially. He loves so much that He was willing to raise us up to the level of brotherhood with Him by His likeness to us.

This is an awesome and all-encompassing love. It is a compassionate love. It is a love that will not let God stand on the side as a spectator, but rather that involves Him intimately in our lives, because He humbled Himself in His sufferings to raise us higher than angels; to give us a triumph that is everlasting.

The symbols of marriage discussed in Genesis and today’s gospel mark not just a rule for life, a dictate for men and women to follow, but more so a call to be living symbols of God’s love toward us, for this is how God is, how He loves, and lives.

What God does for is people is to live a marital union of fidelity with us. Offering sacrificial love constantly, God only asks that we join ourselves to Him. Indeed, God calls us to live as one flesh with Him. He Who has so loved us that He gave His whole self for us asks us only to love Him and be joined with Him in return.

He predestined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ, simply because it pleased him to do so. This he did for the praise of the glory of his grace, of his free gift to us in his Beloved, in whose blood we have gained redemption, and the forgiveness of our sins.

From this evening’s Canticle taken from the first chapter of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Church at Ephesus.

This evening we begin this three-day celebration, marked by worship in liturgy and in festive repast. We start with Vespers, the age-old rhythm of prayer in which we join with the entire Church praying through the psalms. How fitting that we pray with the whole Church as the whole Church prays with us.

This prayer, as with the Holy Masses we will celebrate is a communal action, joining the Body of Christ outwardly and mystically.

The words joining, communal. the whole – all speak to the unity we have in the Holy Name of Jesus. It is what St. Paul often speaks of – the one Body of Christ, each person with a role, each person a member. In Ephesians 1 Paul calls us adopted children through Jesus Christ.

As adoptees, we are members of the family of God. We have become co-heirs to the promises of the Father right beside His Son Jesus. This is a wonderful and happy prospect. It is a gift given to us by the Father’s beloved Son, Jesus.

The amazing and Most Holy Name of Jesus. It is interesting that this parish, currently Holy Name of Jesus, grew out of St. Joseph’s parish. It was Joseph, who having received instruction in a dream, gave God’s Son the name Jesus. Joseph listened to the voice of God and did what was asked of him. So, back-in-the-day the people of this parish listened to the inspiration given them and decided to dedicate this parish to Jesus’ Holy Name.

The amazing and Most Holy Name of Jesus. I suppose it would have been a bit easier to keep the name St. Joseph’s for this parish. We can relate to Joseph as a person, as a holy and righteous man who carried out God’s instruction. It is kind of hard to relate to an idea like a name. That is more conceptual. What does a name mean, what does it denote, what can it do?

We have plenty of scriptural evidence that tells us of the power of Jesus’ name, what it denotes and does. In Acts 3:16, the Holy Name of Jesus heals. Seventy-five times in the Gospels and Acts we find phrases like: the name of Jesus, the name of the Lord, His name, and other references. Jesus’ name is one of power and hope. In Acts 4:12 we hear Peter and John tell those persecuting them that: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” True life, eternal life, freedom from sin come from the Name of Jesus. Acts 2:21 tells us: “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” So, we have been privileged to call upon His name and to be dedicated to His Holy Name, to be saved by and in His Holy Name.

But there is more.

During this weekend of celebration, look around. Look into the faces of people touched by our bearing witness to the Holy Name of Jesus. Then look deeper.

As Christians we often bandy about the idea that everyone is created in God’s image, that each person is a reflection of Jesus. You know, whatever you do or say to them, you do or say to Me. That is absolutely true. But there is more. Each person also bears within themselves the Name of Jesus.

For some, it is right out there for all to see. Some can certainly say: I bear the Name of Jesus in all I say and do. I proclaim Jesus wherever I go.  For others it may be more subtle, not quite on top, but we can perceive through their actions, their goodness and compassion, that they bear the Name of Jesus. Still for others, it is much harder to find, so much so that we forget they bear the Name of Jesus in them. We forget that Joe, Mary, Estelle, Nancy, Hypathia, Tony or the other is marked with the Name Jesus just as much as we are.

This is where that great hymn we began with should jump to the fore of our minds and lips: Holy God we praise Thy Name. For if we fail to act with compassion and charity toward anyone, we do not praise His Name we reject it, and thus reject the adoption, salvation, and healing His Holy Name brings.

This is a great and humbling lesson we must carry forth from here. It is a lesson for the next millennia – to continue to carry out the work underway here since 1921. 

For one hundred years, a century, we have opened our hearts and have seen the Name of Jesus in others, caught a glimpse of His image in them and welcomed them. We have grasped unto His adoption, healing, and salvation. We have brought comfort to the dispossessed, the stranger became no more a stranger. Those whose dignity was insulted found restoration here. Those who came without left filled.  We praised His Holy Name. We greatly and rightly praised the Holy Name of Jesus.

This week’s memory verse: Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

1 Corinthians 14:20
  • 9/26 – 1 Corinthians 13:11
  • 9/27 – Ephesians 4:14-15
  • 9/28 – Hebrews 6:1-3
  • 9/29 – 1 Peter 2:2
  • 9/30 – 1 Corinthians 2:6
  • 10/1 – Hebrews 5:14
  • 10/2 – Philippians 3:12

Pray the week: Holy Spirit, You call me to move forward, trusting in Your direction and inspiration. Grant that I may act maturely and in strength of faith without stopping or attention to distraction.

Strength of Faith.

“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.”

Over the months of Ordinary Time, a time dedicated to growth, we focus on how we live out the Christian faith, how we walk in Strength of Faith. We are focusing on our growth in Strength of Faith.

Today, in our exploration of Strength of Faith we encounter a problem that seems to have been a long-lasting one. In fact, it stretched from the time of Moses (and likely well before) to the time of Jesus and on to today. It is the problem, some would say of jealousy, but more in-fact it is about maturity of faith.

In both cases, the Spirit of God moves among His people. In Moses’ time it was the chosen seventy elders. In Jesus’ time, it was those who were moved to do mighty things in Jesus’ name.

In Jesus’ time, the people who set out to do work in His Name “felt” Him in their hearts, perhaps after hearing Him, or maybe just hearing of Him. They were motivated to do what many who encountered Jesus could not do, i.e., set aside their lives, careers, fortunes and go out to work for God. That took maturity and strength of faith.

See the juxtaposition of people who carried out the Spirit’s work in strength and maturity of faith – fearless and those who were not so sure. In both cases, the strength and maturity of those called to act kept the Holy Spirit’s good work moving.

Well, here we are, 2021. The Spirit of God is among and within us. This perspective on strength and maturity of faith cannot be more apropos to our upcoming centennial celebration and our honoring the work of the Polish National Union today. In both these cases, the Holy Spirit inspired people to work in Jesus Holy Name and accomplish amazing things. They in turn set aside all else to do what the Spirit called them to do. They acted with strength and maturity of faith, not jealously, nor apprehension, sure of their footsteps for they knew Jesus was walking with them.

Were there people like John going to Jesus or the young man who ran to Moses saying, hey look what they are doing, let’s stop them? Certainly! Yet here is where strength and maturity combine to get God’s work done. A person who refuses to grow in strength of faith will not step forward. A person without maturity of faith will constantly question the Holy Spirit’s direction, and if challenged they will stop.

In the end, and this is the struggle, we are called to trust. We are never called to build roadblocks or speed bumps; we must not stop. We are called to say yes to the inspiration in us, to act maturely and to remain strong doing the Sprit’s work.