23rd Sunday In Ordinary Time
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: September 8, 2019
Do you hate your father and mother, your spouse and children, your brothers and sisters, your life itself? Jesus speaking to potential disciples says, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate their father and mother, spouse and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and ever their life itself, cannot be my disciple.”
What is Jesus saying? When we put Jesus first, put God first, then everyone else and everything else can be loved in a right way. We do not own anything or anyone, not even our own life. Everything and everyone in our life is gift, we do not possess them. When we put God first then we can love everyone else in a way that is rooted in gratitude, in a healthy way.
We are all part of a great story. As human beings we are part of the story of creation. Beginning perhaps 14 billion years ago with what scientists speak of as the Big Bang. The beginning of the universe that is continuing to expand in our own time. About 4 billion years ago life began to form on this planet Earth gradually evolving till we human beings came to exist.
This story of creation is rooted in a passionate act of love, God creating in a mystery of love. We are all created in this mystery and continue to be part of this great story of creation. As Christians and members of the Church, we are also part of the great story of this God coming among us in Jesus.
As Jesus selected disciples and apostles, as he taught and healed, as he came to his death on the Cross and revealed the Resurrection. Two thousand years ago a Church came into existence. It has continued to be the Body of Christ throughout the ages.
Through various empires, kingdoms, governments. Facing persecution and scandal. Bringing holiness through holy people, through Saints. You and I are part of that story. We continue that long and incredible story today. Living as part of this Christian story does not happen in some abstract, private way. It is lived out in the world in a communal way.
We all live it out within community. For most of us it is within a community that we call a Parish. For most of us here today, that parish is St. Catherine of Siena Parish, with two historic parishes of Corpus Christi and Our Lady of Lourdes. Soon we hope to begin the construction of a new building to be the gathering place for this parish.
But, we are not just about putting up a church building. We are to form a living church, a community of faith, the body of Christ in this area. Such a living community of faith requires all of us to work together, to serve together, to pray together. It is expressed each weekend when we gather to celebrate the Eucharist.
At this time I want to encourage all of us to review how we serve and build up our parish. One simple basic way that you build up this parish is by your presence to pray here at the Eucharist. But, any community, like any family, requires people to serve in various ways.
This weekend at Corpus Christi and next weekend at Our Lady of Lourdes we will be asking all parishioners to review how you are called to serve this parish. There is a flyer in the bulletin and available at the entrances and it will be on our web site. I encourage each of you to review this flyer in a spirit of prayer during this coming week. Then sign up to serve in some way if possible.
Review the Stewardship Flyer HERE.