Pastor’s Reflection

22 July 2018

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus had plenty to do.  In this week’s Gospel (Mk 6:30-33) we read.  “People were coming and going in great numbers, and they (Jesus & his disciples) had no opportunity even to eat.”  Wisely, Jesus arranged to go away with his disciples to a “deserted place” for a much needed rest.  In this case, the old saying “There is no rest for the weary” truly came to pass.  Sure enough, when they reached their “deserted place” they were greeted by a vast crown which had anticipated their arrival! The Gospel captures Jesus’ reaction:  “When He disembarked and saw the vast crowd, His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.”  Here we catch a glimpse of the compassionate, loving heart of Jesus.  Even though He was exhausted & seeking a much needed time of rest, He cannot help but respond to the needs to those who sought Him out.  The truth is, Jesus longs to teach each of us, to minister to us, to shepherd us, to save us – this is what He has born into this world to do!  There is one thing, however, which can prevent us from receiving His life-giving care:  ourselves.  Jesus said, “Ask & you will receive; seek & you will find; knock & the door will be opened for you.”  Similarly, the Letter of James says, “You covet but do not possess.  You kill & envy but you cannot obtain; you fight & wage war.  You do not possess because you do not ask.  You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions”(James 4:2-3, NAB).  So, the secret to receiving Jesus’ loving care is rather simple:  we must ask for it with good intentions.

Jesus’ response to the crowd in the Gospel has been repeated throughout the history of the Church.  Today, Jesus’ heart is moved with pity for us when we express our need & desire to be shepherded by Him.  The crowd had made a real effort to seek Jesus out; in fact, they had walked approximately 10 miles around the lake to find Him!  They were “like sheep without a shepherd; “they were asking, seeking & knocking & Jesus opened the windows of heaven for them!

What we can learn from this event in the life of Christ?  How can we appear before Jesus in such a way that His heart will be moved with pity for us?  How can we open ourselves to experience His loving care & His wise, beautiful teaching?  Is there a way for us to in effect “walk around the lake” & find the great shepherd of our souls?  I give you three possibilities:

  1. Our culture is currently saturated with the most superficial, false understanding of life & morality imaginable.  Moral norms today are based on clichés like:  “If it feels good do it”; “ as long as it makes you happy”; “as long as you’re not hurting anyone it must be okay.”  The Church’s moral norms are rooted in the great beauty & dignity of the human person as created in the image of God.  Unfortunately, God does not simply infuse these great truths into our minds without any effort on our part – He will teach us, but we must ask & seek & knock.
  2. As stated by St. James above, we cannot obtain what we truly need through recourse to covetousness, envy & anger; we receive the best things in life by simply asking God with pure, unselfish intentions.  As John Paul II once said, “Prayer bring heaven down to earth.”
  3. Look around. Jesus can be found in the least among us.  What we do for them we do for Him!

Today, like the crowds in the Gospel, we can begin our journey around the lake to find Jesus.  Just as they were willing to sacrifice & put forth real effort, so too if we are willing to seek wisdom from God through study, to take the time to ask God to provide our true needs, and to look for Jesus in the faces of those who are in need, then we will find the great Shepherd of our souls gazing upon us with heartfelt compassion & He will begin to teach us many things.  Yes, Jesus has plenty to do; but He always has time for His sheep!

           Your Servant in Christ, Fr Terry Staples

 

Fr. Staples Bike Trip:   July 15th – August 9th, 2018

GOD SPEED, FATHER

 

How to track Father Staples on his Bike Trip

                

Go to www.endomondo.com and create an account using your email address and a password. After you log into your account, search for “Terry Staples” in the upper right corner of the Home page. Click on “add as friend” when Fr. Staples’ name and picture appear. After Fr. Staples accepts you as a friend, you can access his profile. From his page, go to the “workouts” tab and you can see Father’s current and past rides. You can also send him a live instant message by clicking on the “pep talk” tab. Type in a message and it will be read out loud to Father immediately through his phone.

 

Pray for the Sick & other Special Needs

Mass Intentions Next Two Weeks

(July 21-July 27)                 (July 28-Aug 3)

Sat      5:00pm       + Phil Harvey                                 Saverot Family

Sun:    8:00am          Parishioners                               Parishioners

10:30am       +Tom Dreelin                        Deb Schwall & Ed Schwall

Mon:   8:00am                  N/A                                                       N/A

Tue:    8:30am                  N/A                                                       N/A

Wed: 12:15pm       + James Lowe          +Tom Dreelin

+ Patricia Lowe

Fri:    12:15pm       +Patrick McDowell                   +Penn Pace

JULY FOOD BANK

Jelly & Canned Fruit

 

Pray for our Loved Ones in the Armed Forces

Saturday       Readers:       Daniel Strogis, Patricia Harbin (EM)

July 21          Ushers:          John Robert Clemente & Tom McDonnell

5:00PM    Altar Servers:     Isaac, Adrian & Vince

Sunday          Readers:       Carolyn Comes, Louis Monticello (EM)

July 22               Ushers:        Aubrey Treakle & Romie Powell

8:00am    Altar Servers: Eric -Daniel -Jamie

Sunday          Readers:        Len Whitehead, Joyce Cyrus (EM)

July 22            Ushers:         Ron Lloyd & Craig Lawson

10:30am  Altar Servers: Joseph -Brendan -Jackson

Counters:       Thomas Allsbury & Jesse Evans

____________________________________________________________________

Saturday        Readers:       Daniel Strogis, Hazel Arruda (EM)

July 28           Ushers:         John Robert Clemente & Patricia Harbin

5:00PM    Altar Servers:      Shane , Christopher & Peter

Sunday           Readers:       Mary Ann Behnke, Mary Ann Behnke(EM)

July 29              Ushers:         Mike Monticello &  Aubrey Treakle

8:00am    Altar Servers:       Daniel , Jamie

Sunday           Readers:       Jesse Evans, Karen Primeau(EM)

July 29            Ushers:         Ron Lloyd & Scott Johnson

10:30am   Altar Servers:      Brendan -Jackson -Joseph

Counters:      Thomas Allsbury – Chris & Tina Riley

 

Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae 50th Anniversary Catholic University of America Professor Chad Pecknold, PhD, will host the discussion entitled “HV50: Ask the Question” from July 1-24 culminating in a Twitter symposium on July 25.

We want to encourage dialogue:  Join the conversation using the #HV50 & #AskTheQuestion hashtags.

We welcome Father Michael Isenberg today as he celebrates Mass with us this weekend. He is the Assistant Director of the Office of Vocations

Altar Server Picnic with Bishop Burbidge

Bishop Burbidge invites all altar servers to join him for the annual picnic on Thursday, July 26, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. There’s a cookout, sports, games and prizes. Contact the parish office for details. If a group is not attending from your parish, you may call the Office of Vocations at 703-841-2514 or email vocations@arlingtondiocese.org. Please be sure to mention the server’s name and parish, the adult attending, and your name and email. All servers must be accompanied by adults.

As many of you know, various individuals and groups in our parish have participated in the renovation and furnishing of the new Paul Stefan Regional Maternity Housing and Educational Center. Randy wants to convey to all that the reason for time delays at the Regional Center is due to ensuring the safety of future residents and their babies. Over the winter it became apparent they were putting a lot of band-aids on the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems. He couldn’t feel right opening this facility knowing they might have issues with safety in the future… so he went backward knowing it would take another 6 months, but he felt it is what the Lord wanted him to do. And you can do your part! The Paul Stefan home is partnering with Father Staples’ bike trip to raise $100,000 toward finishing the Regional Center. For complete details, please see the insert, visit the website: www.paulstefanhome.org, and like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paulstefanhome.org

 

See, I have God for my help.  The Lord sustains my soul.  I will sacrifice to you with willing heart, and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.  Ps 54 (53)