Pastor’s Corner 9/20/2015

ALLELUIA
God has called us through the Gospel to possess the glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
ALLELUIA

Above are the words of the Alleluia Verse that greets today’s gospel passage from St. Mark. I almost have to think that the Church in her liturgical wisdom chose this Alleluia Verse to soften the blow of Jesus’ repeated announcement of his impending death and resurrection. But Jesus knows well the impact of his message and once again draws attention to a child to help his hearers focus on The Kingdom. Placing his arms around the child he assures them that “in receiving such a child as this, you receive not only me, but also the one who sent me.” For sure the cross is looming in the background here, but so is the promise of the victories of the cross over sin and death; and in that resides “the glory of the Gospel.”

It has been my joy to join Mrs. Joanne Harabedian, our School Principal; Mrs. Cristina Cullen, our Director of Religious Education; and Mrs. Theresa Costanzo, our Director of Youth Ministry, in welcoming back all of our St. Rita children and youth to a new year of formation in Christ. It is a joy because, if we (together with all of our parents) get it right, it should be nothing less than Jesus once again putting his arms around “such as these.” And the children, in turn, will reflect back to all of us, all that is good, beautiful, and glorious in His Kingdom now and to come.

At the same time, it takes a parish, a faith community (as we like to say these days), to provide the sustaining “house built upon rock” that assures IN CHRIST any future. Just try to imagine any one of our ministries at St. Rita—whether time-honored for a hundred years or the most recently launched—without the context of Jesus’ Eucharist. (If you cannot, in some sense I have failed you.) For He is Our Holy Communion.

In the gospel today, Jesus is launching his Kingdom in preparing his disciples for what must come. He is all about his mission, theirs, and now ours. This is Catechetical Sunday—The Sunday for proclaiming that Jesus has entrusted his Kingdom on earth to all of us in preparation for His Kingdom to come. Those who help form others in Christ are called evangelists; those who do it formally are called catechists. All those who live out their Baptismal call and see their lives as God-given vocations are called Stewards of the Kingdom. Altogether, we are called The Church.

That said, what better Sunday, then, at the beginning of a new Season of Parish Life and Ministry, to recall us to our firmly pledged St. Rita Campaign to

Strengthen our Holy Communion and to grow in Faith, Hope, and Love!

What better Sunday, really, to “rally the troops” for Jesus’ Master Plan for St. Rita Parish! After our celebrations of The Holy Eucharist this weekend it will be my joy to hear your own words of pride in being Catholic, pride in belonging to St. Rita, and determination to see her firmly footed in Christ, now and for generations to come—the Catholic Church in Sierra Madre.
Above are the words of the Alleluia Verse that greets today’s gospel passage from St. Mark. I almost have to think that the Church in her liturgical wisdom chose this Alleluia Verse to soften the blow of Jesus’ repeated announcement of his impending death and resurrection. But Jesus knows well the impact of his message and once again draws attention to a child to help his hearers focus on The Kingdom. Placing his arms around the child he assures them that “in receiving such a child as this, you receive not only me, but also the one who sent me.” For sure the cross is looming in the background here, but so is the promise of the victories of the cross over sin and death; and in that resides “the glory of the Gospel.”

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