From Our Pastor: 23rd Sunday In Ordinary Time
This weekend‘s readings remind us to be prepared. They tell us the Lord has sent us the Spirit to make a direct route to a relationship with the Father. Jesus warns us not to put anything or anyone before our relationship with the Lord. A literal reading means we must hate everyone including ourselves, which Jesus would not call us to do. Reading the Scriptures this way is just as absurd as the passage that tells us not to call anyone our father, and so some protestants refuse to refer to a Priest as father and think it’s sinful. We are meant to read the Scriptures literally, which means in the mindset of how they were written and meant to be understood not how I want them to be understood. So in this passage today Jesus is telling us to put our relationship with God the Father first, above anyone or anything in this world. This is the way to be prepared. Jesus tells us to be ready and make sure that we have what we need to build the kingdom and fight the good fight. What we need most is the relationship with God and His abundance that He pours out upon us in the sacraments and His grace. God desires our heart; may we readily give Him our heart so that we may be prepared to see Him face-to-face.
Recently we had to move daily Mass into the Friars’ choir which is just to the left of the main altar. This has been done because of the lack of air conditioning in the church and the major cost of trying to air condition the church throughout the week right now being down to two units. The decision was made most especially after our July electric bill was $4200 and it is usually $2100 in July. As you know, costs are up and to try to keep the church a reasonable temperature we have to run the units that are functioning non-stop. We must be better stewards than that. I’m told that the Friars used to do this quite regularly during the winter to save on heating costs for the church. Most churches our physical size have a daily Mass chapel like the Friars’ choir. We are working on a ramp to make it completely handicap accessible.
And mostly the response from people to being in the Friars’ choir for daily Mass is that it’s more intimate and the young people seem to really like it. It’s so encouraging that we have so many young people that go to daily Mass, and honestly so many people period at daily Mass. It’s quite moving to have Mass in a space that for 137 years the friars would gather to attend Mass and to pray the Liturgy of the Hours five times daily. (FYI: Don’t forget we gather for Evening Prayer Sundays at 6:30 p.m.! Come join anytime. It only takes about 20 minutes.) What a beautiful space and rich history we get to be a part of when we are in that chapel for Mass and prayer.
Lastly, it was a pleasure to attend the installation of Fr. David Beagles as pastor of Robinson and Oblong this last week. He sends his love and greetings to you all, and I passed on your love and prayers and greetings to him as well. Let us pray for all the priests who started new assignments this year, especially new pastors.
-Rev. Steven Arisman