/ON THIS TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Saint Paul provides us with sage advice and wisdom of the ages in our second reading today: “Be anxious about nothing, but bring everything to God, through prayer and supplication united to thanksgiving.  And then the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hears and your minds in Christ Jesus.” There certainly is plenty to be anxious about these days.  If you watch any of the television newscasts you might be convinced that the world is going to hell in a handcart. The roller-coaster stock markets, the challenging economy and, of course, the continued lack of leadership and direction in Washington leaves us feeling like we’re adrift.  There is and always will be lot to be anxious about if we think the sole purpose of life is self-gratification, the constant focus on me, myself and I. Self-gratification results in self-destruction.  The people who killed the landowner’s messengers and son in the parable in today’s Gospel wanted everything for themselves.  But what happened? They ended up destroying themselves by their own actions. The parable is really a glimpse of some segments of our society.  This is what we do when we fall for the great lie that happiness can be found where God is absent. This is what happens when people say that religion divides society, rather than seeing how through God society is unified – it’s when people turn away from God and do whatever they want on their own terms (rather than live our lives according to the laws of God and the teachings of Christ and His Church) that division and separation is created. If we get caught up in the big lie that happiness is found in places where God is absent, then we are condemning ourselves to self-destruction. If we seek happiness where God is present, we do not need to be anxious.  We possess Jesus Christ – He is all we will ever need, He is our everything.  And the Peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, comes upon us, dwells in us, and is our treasure. As Saint Peter says in 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast your cares upon the Lord, and He will care for you.” So what is it that and of us fears?  Do some of us fear that the direction of our lives will significantly differ from our ideals, be those ideals marriage, or career, or physical health, or a long life, or being able to live with a modicum of comfort.  Cast your fears upon the Lord, and He will care for you. When we are united to the Lord, we experience the peace of God.  Nothing and no one can take that peace away from us.  We might be poorer than our neighbors, but our financial condition cannot steal His Peace.  We might be facing terminal illness, but death won’t take His Peace, His Life, away from us.  Because we embrace and life our faith we might be mocked by our friends, and classmates and co-workers and neighbors and even members of our own families, all because we refuse to join them in self-destruction, but we are convinced that the approval of others is not worth sacrificing the Peace of God. The focus of our lives needs to be all that is true, and honorable, and just, and pure, and lovely, and gracious, and worthy of praise.  God is found there. The focus of our lives needs to be our union with God.  When we have this, we have everything that we want or need. And when we fall, when we make mistakes, when our fears and anxieties get the best of us and spur us to engage in sinful habits or behaviors – which we are all guilty of doing – and then we recognize our mistakes and our sins against God, we must always remember that our compassionate, loving and merciful God will take us back. God’s loving arms always await us through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The ever-loving Sacred Heart of Jesus is always waiting for us to align our hearts to His so that we may be more loving of Him and of our brothers and sisters in Christ, remembering that we are all children of God. Remember what Saint Paul tells us today: “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” The next time you feel anxious about something, when peer pressure is high and you feel alone, find a quiet moment to pray to Christ, to find direction in life, to recognize that you are not alone, and that true peace and happiness can be yours through Him, with Him and in Him.

 

OF NOTE…

  • As we move forward together we now have a combined bulletin. The layout is new to everyone, and some of the content is more informative than previous, so please take time to read through and familiarize yourself with the bulletin. Deadlines remain the same for getting bulletin information into our parish offices.
  • After the 11:00 a.m. Mass today at Holy Cross all Masses, Liturgies, and in-Church events will be suspended TEMPORARILY while the interior renovation begins. I think we’re all looking forward to the completed project in the first Catholic Church in Columbus, investing in the future of Holy Cross parish. I’m springing for a Special Fellowship Sunday next Sunday after the 10:30 a.m. Mass to welcome Holy Cross parishioners at the Cathedral during this interior renovation time. Stop down in the Undercroft after Mass as I will have some favorites from Resch’s Bakery for all to enjoy, and to meet one another in our parish cluster.
  • A clarification: The Catholic Times article this past week was not clear. Plans are in November for the First Friday All-Night Adoration to be at the Cathedral, beginning with Mass at 7:30 p.m.; the First Saturday Filipino Community Mass would also take place at the Cathedral. Normally these are at Holy Cross.

-Fr. Mike Lumpe