This week in prayer:
Courage is the ability to do something scary. Courage has nothing to do with denying the fright and everything to do with addressing it. Some strains of courage, like macho courage and malicious courage, get us to do weird, scary things. Christian courage gets us to do scary things that align with Christ’s hopes and that are done with the underlying conviction that God is helping us with the scary undertaking.
Sunday’s first reading, from the Book of Wisdom, reminds us that our ancestors in the faith, the ones who fled Egypt for the Promised Land, were given the gift of great (pre)-Christian courage. The Exodus was a very scary project but they did it anyhow, confident, on their good days, that it aligned with God’s hope and God was with them.
Sunday’s passage from Hebrew’s refers to Abraham’s impressive (pre) Christian courage. He made the scary choice to leave his ancestral home and journey into an unknown land with a God no one else knew. It was scary and he did it.
The gospel opens with Jesus saying “to his disciples: ‘Do not be afraid any longer, little flock.’” It is one of the many passages in which Jesus encourages all his followers, especially those who find themselves in scary settings, to be courageous, to make the scary choice to live the faith, knowing that doing so aligns with His hopes and opens us to His healing and helping presence.
You routinely make courageous decisions. Your choices might not be heroically courageous. Maybe no one is setting off fireworks or organizing parades to honor your courage, but you are courageous. You regularly make choices that take you into scary territory, and you know those choices align with Christ’s hope and leave you knowing Jesus has true affection for you and your choices. Which habits of yours regularly express Christian courage? Your choice to keep going though you might feel a little crummy or aged? Your choice to stand up to a bully? Your choice to undergo or forego treatment? Your commitment to a friend or relative in need whose current situation frightens you a little? Can you notice your Christian courage and thank the God who sustains it?
- Listen to this week’s readings and homily.
- Read this week’s reading
- There will be a 7:30 pm Mass on Monday, the Feast of the Assumption
- “The Imitation of Christ” – a true Christian classic worthy of your bookshelf.
- Stay tuned for news about the Spiritual Exercises. It’s a year-long, user friendly retreat for those who crave a closer walk with Jesus.
This week in service:
Christian Courage is alive and well in our parish.
- Dozens of parishioners have done their bit – and at times it is a little intimidating – to host four homeless families in the parish hall this week. Hats off to all who helped out. Great work.
- Several parishioners have teamed up to help NBC and “George to the Rescue” complete the renovation of James Q’s home. Special thanks to all who cooked for James’ family while they have been out of their house and special thanks to all who glistened a little in the heat of the renovations.
- Calling all Servers – Our slightly tweaked way of scheduling starts in September. The new and improved system will work even more effectively if every server and every server’s parents “Affiliate” with the ministry through the parish webpage.
- How is YOUR Point-of-Light project coming along? Check with Mike Seelig if you need any help bringing it to completion before mid-October.
This week in community:
- PARISH PICNIC – Save the date – Sunday, September 11. Promises to be even more fun than last year.
- SESQUI-PALOOZA – Save the date – Friday, October 7 – the party to celebrate our 150th and usher in our 151st! At Roycebrook. Adults $25. Kids $15.
- Mass to close our 150th Anniversary Year – With Bishop Checchio – Saturday, October 8 at 4:45.
- Have you already submitted your most unusual recipe for the parish cookbook?
- How is YOUR Church Improvement project coming along? Check with Father Hank if you need any help bringing it to completion before mid-October.
All best blessings
Fr. Hank, SJ