This weekend we welcome Fr. Joe Uhen to our parish. He, of course, is the pastor of our sister parish, Santisimo Sacramento in Piura, Peru. For four years now, we have had a twinning relationship with his parishioners. This is a wonderful practice of our Catholic faith because too often we see our church simply as our parish community. That is much too parochial. We are a universal church. We belong to St. James. We belong to the Church of Milwaukee. We belong to the Church of the United States and to the Churches throughout the world. We think twinning is just helping the people of a third world country. Yes, that is true but they are also helping us. They pray for us. We continue to grow in our awareness that the body of Christ is made up of many different members. We grow in our knowledge of other cultures and societies. They are truly our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all in this together bringing about the Kingdom of God. I like to think of it as a son or daughter away in another part of the world studying or working. Obviously, we keep in touch and assist them in any way we can. This is an opportunity through the annual mission appeal to help our sister parish. Please be generous with your thoughts and prayers and any monetary help in whatever way you can.
I can’t help but think how timely our gospel reading is today in light of the two mass shootings in less than twenty-four hours last week. Generally we hear the message at the end of the liturgical year, when we are reminded to be prepared for the coming of the Lord at any time. Since the lesson Jesus is teaching us and his disciples is to be always ready for we do not know the day nor the hour. Certainly the people in the store, at the mall, the concert, sporting event or on the highway did not expect such a horrendous tragedy. This warning should not put fear into our lives, but caution and readiness to approach life with whatever comes our way. Like a good parent warning their children to be safe, it is out of love and concern that our God reminds us to be alert and ready in our life’s journey. Be not filled with fear, anxiety, and worry over these uncertainties but filled with hope, trust, and faith that our God is always with us now and in the future. We pray for those who were killed and injured. We pray for their families, relatives, friends, and communities. We pray also for our country and society to end the senseless hatred and violence we too often experience.
Love, Peace, Joy