From the Desk of Fr. John

Congratulations to our Totus Tuus Team… they did a very fine job. The team moved on to their next parish assignment after finishing here with a flurry of activity for the youth and children. Thanks to each of them for all their hard work…dedication…and faith, which they shared so generously.

Thank you to our parish team under the leadership of Kimberly and all the volunteers…adult and youth…who pitched in to help. Many gave a great deal of time to keep everything flowing.

People opened their homes and lives to help our children and youth to grow in their faith as real disciples. May the experience continue to sustain them and help all of us grow in our faith and love of the Lord!

When we hear Jesus ‘summoned’ His disciples, we might think that they were in trouble for something. But this was a formal setting for Jesus to commission the disciples in sharing His work of spreading the Good News of the Kingdom.

Jesus had formed them into a new community and the work/mission He sent them on was to be the work of the whole community. When He sent them, He chose to send them two by two, which offered support and protection…and prevented a kind of ‘lone ranger’ approach to the mission.

This work/mission is directly related…directed… initiated…sustained…to Jesus Himself…it is not their mission…they continue His mission.

Remember…Jesus sent them and gave them authority over unclean spirits…and they were able to drive out demons…and all forms of evil. They were to free people to receive the Good News of the Kingdom and be freed from their enslavement to the evil one. We need to pray for that same healing…for family…friends… coworkers…and even for our nation.

It was so exciting to hear the children share their stories of what happened at the Totus Tuus Catholic camp here in the parish and listening to the servers tell of their summer activities and adventures. Now we get to hear the experiences of the Apostles as they return from their missionary work that Jesus had sent them on.  We might imagine what they saw and experienced. Yet Jesus knew that they needed some time to process all those events.

Jesus called them aside and wanted them to find a quiet place… ‘Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.’ It would take some time for all those experiences to sink in and all the implications of them. However, the Gospel tells us that people were coming and going ‘in great numbers’ so that they could not even get the chance to eat! Therefore, Jesus had them all embark in a boat and pass to the other side of the lake. There would be another big lesson awaiting the disciples as they arrived.

It tells us in the Gospel that when they arrived… ‘When He disembarked and saw the vast crowd…’ Jesus’ heart was moved with pity.

Jesus saw the spiritual and physical need that faced them and the desperation of their traveling so far to meet up with Him. Jesus’ response was to see… ‘For they were like sheep without a shepherd.’ This would be the lesson the disciples needed to learn… ‘And He began to teach them many things’. The people were lost in an out-of-the-way place. Jesus could see their desperation and offered them His teaching to be a light and guide to their life. But there would be more to come besides His teaching.

How ready are we to be open to Jesus’ teaching? How open are we to the teaching of the Church, which tries to communicate the truth of the Gospel to us? So often, we are ready to listen to the news and certain news personalities more than the Gospel. Now is the challenge for us to realize that Jesus, who is the Good Shepherd, has no other agenda but our good and our salvation. The disciples needed to learn how to be ‘good shepherds’ and how to respond to the real needs of the people…God’s people.

Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John July 15, 2018

Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John July 8, 2018

Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John July 1, 2018

Click to read From the Desk of Fr. John June 24, 2018