From Our Pastor: 27th Sunday In Ordinary Time
This weekend’s gospel is extremely prophetic but also, looking back, fulfilling what Isaiah prophesied. It is quite challenging though and should wake us up to the reality that Jesus expects us to not only believe in Him but to follow Him which means living it out. In the book of the prophet Isaiah, we are told of the love story between God and his people in an allegory of a friend and his vineyard. In the gospel we see the fulfillment of what Isaiah prophesied would take place and how God would constitute a new people, a new Israel and a new vineyard, a new Jerusalem. The new Israel/new people is the church. The new vineyard is the new Jerusalem which is heaven. To end the gospel though shows not only a fulfillment of Isaiah‘s prophecy but of the psalm which prophesied the cornerstone as the Messiah. And we hear that not only does Jesus challenge the chief priest, the scribes, and the Pharisees, but for the first time they fully understand how He is condemning them. And from that moment forward they plotted to arrest him and kill him, just as the scriptures foretold and as Jesus alluded to in this parable. May we wake up and see this parable as a warning to those who do not heed the call of Christ not only to believe but to follow.
This last week we celebrated the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan order. This great saint is so misunderstood in so many ways. He embraced poverty but in his personal life, not within the liturgy. Saint Francis of Assisi said that only the best should be used in the worship of God in liturgy, and the Franciscans lived this out as evidenced by this beautiful church building. So let us pray for our beloved Franciscans, not only those who served here at Saint Francis Solanus but those who have served as Franciscans throughout the world and throughout time. Let us pray for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life that more young men and women will have the courage to follow the Lord when they hear him call them to be religious brothers and sisters or religious priests. Let us most specifically pray for the Franciscan community in the United States of America called the Order of Friars Minor, OFM. October 16 through 20 they will gather for the chapter of unity where the multiple provinces in the United states will be united as one. As in all things, change is difficult, but I pray that this brings a new beginning to these wonderful men. Let us also pray for all Franciscans throughout the world that they may remain faithful to the true teachings of this beloved Saint Francis of Assisi.
This week, on October 12, Father Stephen J Maekawa, OP, Bishop Elect of the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska, will be ordained as their new Bishop. The Diocese of Fairbanks is where our cluster of parishes we support, as our sister parishes, are located. We pray for him as he begins this new missionary Apostolic ministry, and the diocese, most especially our parishes, as they welcomed their new shepherd. I am still working to continue to build our relationship between our sister parishes and our parish to grow and blossom. It is quite beautiful to know the effect that we have on the people in those remote villages that would otherwise not know the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only do they know Jesus because of our generosity and love and prayers and missionary heart, but they live it. May we continue to journey towards Christ together.
Lastly this last Thursday the Holy Father, Pope Francis, convened the Synod of Bishops. It is called a Synod on Synodality. There is much to pray for but most especially compassionate outreach that aligns and has a zeal for the truth. May the Holy Spirit guide this Synod and help us all learn to bring all people to Christ together. May we fast and pray where the fire of the spirit of truth and love to burn brightly in this synod!
-Rev. Steven Arisman