Voices of Faith

The Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends:

We all know at some basic level that we should avoid what is bad for us and embrace what is good for us. In many aspects of our lives, though, that is easier said than done… diet and exercise come to mind as particular challenges for most of us. Exercise is good for us, but there are days when other tasks and obligations prevent it or times when rest on the sofa seems more appropriate. And we all know the joy of indulging in rich foods when the healthier option just isn’t appetizing. Jesus points out the challenge of doing the same in the spiritual life, and in this case, we have to be able to name our temptations. He is clear in his caution to us… we should get rid of that which holds us back from following him freely!

“The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart” (Psalm 19: 9) encourages us to recognize the place of God’s Word in our lives. Distractions abound in our world, so let us keep our gaze fixed on the One who does all things well for us and who desires our success, happiness, and devotion.

This weekend I am away in Corning, New York, to run my fall marathon, the Wineglass Marathon (named more for the glass— as it is the home of Corning Glass— than the wine, though I am hopeful there will also be wine!). We welcome Fr. Shawn Gould, a new member of the Priests of St. Sulpice (Sulpicians), the community of priests that run St. Mary’s Seminary in Roland Park, who is assisting this weekend. Fr. Shawn is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and until joining the Sulpicians he had been a pastor there. He will be assisting us on weekends along with Fr. Steve Spahn, SJ (from Loyola University). With 7 masses each weekend (not counting the Saturday morning mass or any weddings or funerals), Fr. John and I need to rely on the presence of additional priests in order to cover all the sacramental obligations. I am grateful that there are other priests in the area who are available and willing to assist on weekends.

To all who are playing in the St. Joseph Carpenter Cup Golf Tournament on Monday, I want to wish you well. I look forward to seeing you on the course, and I’m grateful for your support of our ministry to the youth of our parish and the students of St. Joseph School.

God’s peace,

Fr. Rick