ON THIS TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Jesus asks His disciples two questions. The first did not affect them personally: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Their responses were akin to what we might we hear today: “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” We could add also to what we hear today: King of Kings, Lord of Lord, the Light of the world, Savior, Redeemer. And while these titles given to Jesus are quite true and relevant, there is no personal connection. And so Jesus then turns to His disciples and asks them directly: “But who do you say that I am?” Folks, that question that Jesus posed to His disciples then is the same question He poses to us today. And our response to this most important question has eternal consequences. Each of us must pause, reflect and answer this question. When you think about it each of us are faced with a lot of questions in life and we need to make a lot of decisions over the course of our lifetime. However, the question that Jesus asks here is the most important question that we have to answer, and we all answer it in one way or another either now, or on Judgment Day (and sadly Judgment Day may be too late for some). The truth is that our decision concerning the question: “But who do you say that I am?” and the outcomes from that decision, effectively determine how we live our earthly lives – the things we choose to do and not to do by embracing the timeless teachings of Christ, by imitating His way of life, by taking Him up on His invitation to “follow me” which Jesus does 22 times in the New Testament. Following the Way of Christ in our earthly journey has a direct bearing on how we will spend eternity – in the eternal presence of God, or eternity in the Lake of Fire. Heaven or hell – and ultimately the choice is up to us as our actions and the choices we make – good and bad – have consequences. So this is an important question with tremendously important consequences and one that no one can or should take lightly! Sacred Scripture says that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ and that salvation is only found in Christ alone. The consequences of a wrong perception concerning who Jesus is and living out of that wrong perception can have disastrous consequences. Think about it. If our response is that Jesus is who He says He is, and whom the Scriptures declare Him to be – God Himself made flesh and dwelling amongst us, the Christ, the Son of the living God – and who God declared Jesus to be on Mount Tabor – “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” (Matthew 17:5) – then let us indeed listen to Jesus and follow Him. And for those times that we have strayed from following the Way of Christ and His teachings, in Jesus’ love for us He gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that we can receive God’s love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. Jesus is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, He is the Son of God sent out of love for us by God to save us from ourselves and redeem us. Jesus is not just a prophet or a good man – He is the one and only Savior who out of love invites us to share eternity with Him in Heaven if we follow Him. Why would we listen to anyone else, or follow anyone else?
- Please read the letter on the next page of this bulletin (attached) from Bishop Campbell pertaining to the new parish cluster of Saint Joseph Cathedral (the mother Church of the Diocese) and neighboring Holy Cross Parish (the oldest Catholic Church in Franklin County). I am in the process of putting together a discussion committee to begin exploring the opportunities that clustering provides for these two fine anchor parishes in downtown Columbus, each with a rich history and a bright future.
- Also in this bulletin is a note from Fr. Stash Dailey, Administrator of nearby Holy Family Parish (584 West Broad Street) who is asking for help with the Holy Family Soup Kitchen – financial support, or with donations of food. The Holy Family Soup Kitchen is the busiest in the state, so any support we can collectively provide is much appreciated.
- We have a missionary priest visiting this Sunday who will be preaching at all the Masses. In advance of his homily he writes: “I am Fr. Mirosław Dawlewicz, C.Ss.R. I belong to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists). I was born in northern part of Poland in small city called Szczecinek. I am one of 16 Redemptorists working in the Russia trying renewal the Catholic Church. What do we do here? How do we do it and much more I will talk to you about during Mass.”A second collection will be taken up to benefit the work of Fr. Dawlewicz and the work of the Redemptorist Fathers in their mission – please be generous.
-Fr. Mike Lumpe