The Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Among the first truths, we learn in the very beginning of the Bible are these: God created humanity in his own image, God sees us as good, and God creates us in the context of community. “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). The scriptures this weekend celebrate the union of man and woman in Marriage, but this basic truth also encourages us in the more broad context of communal life: the larger circle of family, the value of friendship, and the role of the community of the Church. Not all of us are called to married life, but none of us lives in complete isolation. In the Church especially, we experience the support of standing in the midst of the gathered assembly as we call upon the Lord in our needs and praise him for his goodness and love. We draw strength from coming together in worship… even if you come to Mass alone, you join your heart and your voice to those around you, and I hope you are encouraged in knowing that you do not stand alone as you profess and live your faith. I am certainly grateful for that encouragement, and I am often moved as I hear the thunderous profession of faith as we pray the Creed at Mass, chant the Lord’s Prayer together, and even experience the intensity of silent prayer together before the Lord.
Next week (beginning with next weekend’s Masses), we will hold our Parish Mission, a sort of “in-house retreat.” Think of it as a spiritual “staycation”… an opportunity for spiritual renewal or even a re-start without having to get away. Our director will be Deacon Thom Winninger. Thom is a well-known author, executive coach, and speaker for corporate leaders who has applied his experience and expertise to his own spiritual life. I have found him to be an engaging and entertaining speaker, I hope you will make plans to participate next Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evenings as we explore and reflect on the gifts that God has bestowed on us and how we live our best in response to God’s call.
Bella and I look forward to seeing many of you at the Blessing of Animals this Sunday afternoon (October 7) at 2 pm. God has made us the stewards of his creation (as we hear in the first reading today), including our 4-legged friends (and winged, finned, and other kinds of animals, too!). We give thanks for the blessings—the joy and companionship—that they bring to us, and we ask God to bless them with health and strength.