By Fr. Earl Henley, MSC (St. Joseph Mission-San Jacinto, CA)
Father Earl professed his first vows on September 13, 1964, and was ordained on September 6, 1969. He is working in San Jacinto, California as Pastor of St. Joseph Mission.
To Serve Him - Wisdom and Need for Community
As summer ends we are reminded of our call for discipleship. With the grace of the Holy Spirit, we pray for the WISDOM to continue the journey. The gift of wisdom enables us to walk through life with confidence. The Gospel journey is not an easy one; it is full of distractions and setbacks. If we trust in the gift of wisdom, the Holy Spirit will never lead us astray but will guide us on the path of life and light. King Solomon, son of David, is famous for wisdom and sets a beautiful example for us. What is better to pray for than wisdom itself? It is not visible like earthly treasures. It holds no physical properties. Yet it is priceless. Everyone admires a wise person. The wise person is easy to trust. The wise person can readily help guide others as they encounter the "white waters rapids" of the unexpected. Whom do you in life most admire and why? It could be a parent, brother or sister, friend, even your priest or religious friend. In today's world we need all the truly Wise Persons we can get.
Today's Gospel sounds a bit harsh. Hating parents, spouse or children in order to be a disciple seems to be too steep a price. But our modern language is much different from the language of Biblical times. All of us know what it means to hate something or someone. In Biblical times to hate something or someone, meant simply "prefer it less." That is quite different from what we mean by that word today! The Gospel tells us to be a disciple, JESUS COMES FIRST. We are to embrace and love the way of Jesus above and beyond all else. If we love God, if we love Jesus first and foremost all will fall in place. From Divine goodness flows the meaning of life itself. Our relationships will flower; our lives will be full of God's grace.
Church is a community of believers. We gather together each week to pray as one. We are a family. No matter your station in life we gather as the Body of Christ- as a people made one to celebrate Eucharist. Our private prayers are made public as we hear God's word and share communion together. Our families and friends are an important part of our lives. It is through our families that we live, grow, and learn. Our mistakes are brought to our attention. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, we grow in wisdom and strength. There are many of us not graced with good families. As community of Faith, we are called to be supportive of those who do not know the love and compassion of a good family life. Pray for our brothers and sisters whom are starved of the love they need. JESUS IS WITH US. His Real Presence is vital to our lives. Allow the divine presence within you to shine out and touch those around you.
We are a graced people. As we prepare to share Communion with one another, be aware of what you will be holding in the palms of your hands; the resurrected Jesus himself. That awareness will have great effect in your life if you open your heart and let it in.
Noshun Lovik-Peace to you