August is a special month in Poland when the landscape on the roads is changed. Thousands of pilgrims from various parts of Poland set off on foot pilgrimages to Jasna Góra, the National Sanctuary of Our Lady in Częstochowa. Pilgrims cover hundreds of kilometers, confidently carrying their own intentions and those entrusted to them by others.
Is 66:18-21; Hbr 12:5-7, 11-13; Lk 13:22-30
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.” Luke 13
As I’ve prayed with this gospel, I felt a new sense of it. Jesus doesn’t answer the understandable question about whether the number who will be saved is “few” – a small number. Instead, he answers another way. He tells us not to worry about how many will be saved, but to focus on our own journey and to choose a path which is challenging. As many of who want to, can enter by this narrow gate. That is so comforting and consoling.
The Vacation Bible School Titled Cool Kingdom was held from 8th July 2019 to 12th July 2019 at Laurel, St. Mary of the Mills Parish Day Care Center. About 105 school students attend.
The themes were based on Virtues of Mother Mary’s experiences on Obedience, Faith, Love, Purity and Joy. There was a great display of music, acting, art and craft, faith station fun and games. So much so that even the snacks were prepared in line with the theme.
Michael Willmann: Häutung des Hl. Bartholomäus, Ölskizze um 1660
I suspect that Nathaniel was rather young at the time that this event occurred: he shows the sort of cynicism which I associate with young men in their late teens at the same time as being rather pure or "free from guile," again something that I would associate with a young man trying to be innocent and pure of heart. I do not think that Jesus is being sarcastic in what he says; this is just part of the amazing exchange of names and titles at the heart of this reading and the one preceding it.
Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14-16, 22, Matthew 22:34-40
The beautiful words that end the gospel reading today – Love God with your whole heart, and your neighbor as yourself – pack a real punch for me. Jesus says that the whole law and the prophets (shorthand: the entire Hebrew Bible) is contained in these two texts that he culls from the bible. Love of God and love of neighbor is the whole thing. Now that’s saying a lot!
Today, the Church celebrates the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary. In the Western world, titles of royalty are mostly remnants of a social order that is more and more a thing of the past. They are indications of ancestry and ceremonial function, and have little to do with actual governance. Often, it seems that European royal families get most of their real power through their money and social status, and not much because of their actual role in government. They are often admired and loved to the extent that they seem to have the best of what the world has to offer.
Belize is an independent and sovereign country located on the north eastern coast of Central America. It is bordered on the northwest by Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, and on the south and west by Guatemala. The rolling blue waters of the Caribbean, wash over and refines the tiny pearls of glittering sands on the seashore of the nation of Belize.
From June 29 to 22 July, 2019 Sr. Josephina D’Souza, Vicar General, held an official Visitation to the communities in different districts of the Country. She visited the familiar and not too familiar grounds which she walked thirty years ago while she was in formation to be a Pallottine Missionary Sister.
Our St. Mary's Pallottine Community, Huntington, as well as all of our USA communities, had been preparing for Sr. Izabela Swierad, Superior General’s visit for weeks. The lovely prayer composed by Sr. Francesca Lowis was prayed daily by the Community, until her arrival. We were expecting Sr. Izabela to arrive on Sunday, July 14th. However she surprised us by coming one day earlier. Sr. Mary Grace Barile, our Provincial Superior accompanied her from Buckhannon. Our small Community (Srs. Mary Terence Wall, Elisabeth Heptner, Angela Madera, and Joanne Obrochta) greeted her at our supper meal. It was a great joy to see her again.
Jgs 9:6-15; Mt 20:1-16a
Laborers in the field, 11th c., Byzantine
Today's gospel tells of the landowner who hired laborers for his vineyard. In the early morning, the landowner agrees to hire people to work all day for the daily wage. Throughout the day, he continues to hire more people, even in the final hours of the workday. When the sun has set and they all line up to be paid, the ones who have only toiled briefly in the fields are paid for a whole day' wage. The ones who have been there since early morning are paid the exact same amount. "Unfair!" the exhausted all-day workers grumble."We spent the whole day in the hot sun and you have given these latecomers the same money!"
“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of heaven.” There has probably been more effort expended in various sermons to explain away this uncomfortable saying of Jesus than for all the rest of his sayings combined. Pastors do not want their wealthy parishioners to be too uncomfortable. They depend upon them, after all, to sustain the parish enterprise. This was just a figure of speech, wasn’t it? So it’s OK to be rich.