Today we celebrate the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. It is very appropriate that, in the middle of summer, we hear readings from Sacred Scripture that speak of the fruitful earth. Hope- fully, and as I write this it is the case, we can look around outside and see a cavalcade of green.
Trees and grass, plants and flowers are nourished by the summer rain and sun. When we gather together this weekend our faith will be nourished by the Lord through Word and Sacrament.
May we pray that we can be rich soil for the Word of God to take root, bloom and thrive across the earth.
Next weekend will be the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. I hope that we have all had some time to “relax” this summer, perhaps with a good book, or at least some “short stories” that we enjoy. Jesus was a master “story teller” especially through the parables. The crowds in the Gospel loved listening to Jesus teach them by telling parables. Parables made his lessons about the kingdom of heaven memorable, in ways in which straightforward narration would fail. Now is OUR turn to listen to Jesus’s teachings. May we savor them, ruminating on their rich images, and considering their meaning in our lives.
Congratulations to our 8th graders! While our venue won’t be Busch Stadium, like the Saint Louis Public Schools High School Graduation ceremony later this month, our commencement ceremony will be held here at Saint Monica Church this Wednesday, July15th, with a 6:00 P.M. Mass. We congratulate our graduates and, even though it is several months late, we wish them the best as they continue their education.
Welcome back to our 7:30 A.M. Mass “crew.” While attendance at Mass is not overwhelming, even with the precautions being taken, our 9:30 A.M. Mass is getting a little “big,” so that is why I reinstituted the 7:30 A.M. Mass. There were only 59 at the 5:00 P.M. Mass last Saturday, which might be understandable since it was the 4th of July, but also only 75 at the 11:30 A.M. Mass last Sunday. I hope that many more will be attending given the safety precautions that are in place. Father Dane Westhoff is at his home parish, Immaculate Conception in Old Monroe, this weekend for parish celebrations marking his Ordination. We welcome back Father Sean Salai, SJ, for the 9:30 A.M. Mass this weekend. Father Westhoff’s last weekend here will be next weekend, July 18 and 19, since he has U S Army Reserves duty on the weekend of July 25 and 26. Father George Brennan will be here for the 11:30 A.M. Mass on Sunday, July 26. I have mentioned our “regular” helpers to Father Wyrsch, so he will be in touch with them as he needs assistance for the various Masses.
Apostleship of Prayer: I should have done this last week, but I was “caught short” regarding the deadline for the bulletin. The Apostleship of Prayer (“The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network”) intention for this month is Our Families:
We pray that today’s families may be accompanied with love, respect and guidance. Pope Francis explains this in his monthly video, available at https://thepopevideo.org/july-our-families/:
The family ought to be protected. It faces many dangers: the fast pace of life, stress … Sometimes, parents forget to play with their children. The Church needs to encourage families and stay at their side, helping them to discover ways that allow them to overcome all of these difficulties. Let us pray that today’s families may be accompanied with love, respect, and guidance, and, especially, that they may be protected by the State.
As a commentary to this intention, the Apostleship of Prayer provides this quote from Pope Francis: ADDRESS TO THE DELEGATION OF THE FORUM OF FAMILY ASSOCIATIONS
Pope Francis June 16, 2018
Our world, often tempted and guided by individualistic and selfish reasoning, often loses the mean- ing and the beauty of stable bonds, of commitment to people, of unconditional care, of assuming responsibility for the good of the other, of gratuitousness and of self-giving. For this reason one has difficulty in comprehending the value of the family, and one ends up understanding it according to the same reasoning that privileges individual interests instead of relationships and the common good. And this is despite the fact that in the recent years of economic crisis the family has repre- sented the most powerful shock absorber, capable of redistributing resources according to the needs of each person.
On the contrary, full recognition and appropriate support of the family should be the top priority of civil institutions, called to promote the formation of sound, serene families who attend to their children’s education and who compensate for situations of weakness. Indeed, those who learn to experience authentic relationships in the sphere of the family will be better able to exercise them in the broadest contexts, from school to the world of work; and those who practice it in a spirit of respect and service at home, will be better able to practice it also in society and in the world.
What a very appropriate topic to ask for prayer during this month. May we try our best to have our families growing in love, with the entire “nuclear family” being cherished and developed. Obviously as I offer my weekly Mass for the People of the Parish the families of our parish are foremost in my mind. May God watch over and bless you all as we seek His guidance in these troubling times.
Faithfully yours, Fr Joe Weber