19th Sunday of the Year C
Many communities in the Early Church
presumed that Jesus would return in all his glory anytime.
As the years went by some people became anxious.
The Lord was taking too long.
So some slowly began to drift away from the Church
and went back to their former way of life.
In response, Saint Luke cautions his community not to give up.
Gird your loins and light your lamps – that is, be ready for action.
You never know when the Lord will come or how he will come.
He’s calling us to prepare ourselves
by faithful living and consistent service –
to remain true to him in difficult times
no matter how long it takes.
It can be difficult to wait on the Lord,
especially when we’ve been praying for something for so long
or waiting for the Lord to come to our rescue in some way.
The temptation is to give up like some in the early Church.
But the Lord also is waiting,
waiting for us to have complete dependence upon him,
ready for anything he wishes to do
or accomplish in us.
I like to think of giving him a blank check
every day and allow him to fill out the amounts.
How freeing it is to trust the Lord
and live in the abundance of His Divine Providence.
The world would have us live very complicated lives
that rob us of true happiness and freedom.
It’s a matter of perspective:
we can try to master our world, all the while gritting our teeth
or we can trust enough in the Lord to be his faithful and prudent servant
so he can trust us to do his will and his bidding
on earth as it is in heaven.
How I pray for that freedom every day for myself and all of us!
If you’re like me, it’s a constant reassessment of priorities.
Something Bob Moorehead wrote in his book, Words Aptly Spoken
I sometimes use as an examination of conscience.
To become aware of how I am being pulled into the way of the world, and how we as a people are drawn away from Gospel values to world values.
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but less solutions.
We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our value; we talk too much, love too little, and hate too often.
We learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet our neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, not inner space; we cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul of a whole people; we split the atom but not our prejudice that divides our people.
These are times of steep profits and shallow relationships; of two incomes but more divorces; of fancier houses but broken homes. 1
Our society can really give us a beating on what’s important.
Such is the kingdom we are building without God.
So listen to what Jesus has to say about this worldly kingdom.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for Your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.
God has given us a beautiful faith.
Think how much Jesus believes in us,
his faithful and prudent servants,
Truly I say to you; whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.
This mountain in society that is tearing us apart as a people
is only a little pebble to Jesus.
We can all find a little pebble of this mountain every day in our families, neighborhoods, and our church.
With God’s help, this mountain is going into the sea, one person we serve at a time.
Pause – my friends, so many of you have taken this gospel to heart.
You are making a difference to the poor in so many ways, from bake sales for Venezuelans, pancake breakfasts by the Knights, our Rosminian missions in Tanzania, dinner and dances for an orphanage in Uganda, food you leave in the back of the church for our veterans at Bay Pines and the migrant camps, and the continued financial and muscle support you have given to the people who are getting their lives back together in Pinellas hope. I say muscle because those pans are heavy. I have carried them.
Finally, I want to show my appreciation to the 187 families who have contributed to the Annual Pastoral Appeal, reaching beyond our own needs here at the parish and supporting over 50 ministries and outreach programs our diocese offers the needy of our community of Tampa Bay.
You, people of Blessed Sacrament Church are awesome!
Continue to courageously live the gospel.
Ask anybody; it’s pure joy.
1 Quote by Bob Moorehead: “The paradox of our time in …. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/22242-the-paradox-of-our-time-in-history-is-that-we