The Pastor’s Corner
July 25, 2021 – 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time
“How wonderful is your name through all the earth.”
Due to the fires out west, my hiking trip up the spine of Idaho on the Idaho Centennial Trail was cut short. The National Forest was closed in the central section of my route with no way to detour around it. So I’m spending the last week of vacation at my cabin with family and friends in the area. This has allowed me to remember why I persevere with hiking in the wilderness. Here’s a few reflections.
In our normal lives back in civilization, we live a very sheltered perhaps even pampered life with comforts of every sort. With a ready supply of food, shelter, clothing, AC, and entertainment we are tempted to embrace the illusion that we are the masters of our existence. The narcissistic notion that we control everything in life is ultimately proven to be a delusion when we are laid to rest in the earth. Like Reba, we will become nourishment for the flowers of tomorrow.
And so, we might ask, how much more important are we than the other creatures God has created? All life, even the insects, have their role in nourishing the web of life wisely designed by God. When we begin to appreciate our connectedness with the land, the sky, the elements, and all living beings, we take a step closer to discovering the pervasive presence of God in all things. This includes the presence of God within ourselves. With a growing awareness of God’s presence, we can more fully treasure the preciousness of everyone and everything around us.
In our manufactured civilized life, we find it difficult to sense God’s presence. We can become preoccupied with distractions of our own making. On the other hand, wilderness teaches us that we are not alone and that we are not the masters of our destinies. When you draw water from the streams, springs, and ponds of the land, when you sleep without a tent with the stars as the roof over your head, when there is no gas pedal other than your legs and feet, and when the only cooling system is the sweat of your body you learn that connectedness is inseparable from vulnerability. And if we make a leap of faith, we can learn that vulnerability is the portal to spiritual enrichment. Embracing vulnerability teaches that in the end, all we have is our relationship with God and God’s presence within and among us. With faith, moments of vulnerability are precious experiences that feed our souls.
We can learn about vulnerability from Jesus. Jesus chose vulnerability at Gethsemane when He prayed, “Father if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, yet, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt 26,39) And He freely made Himself vulnerable when He allowed Himself to be arrested and hung upon the cross. Jesus celebrated vulnerability when He gathered with His disciples at the Last Supper. And Jesus invited us to embrace vulnerability when He said “Do this in memory of me.” With these words, Jesus reminds us that we are stewards of our lives in this world. We are not our own masters. To discover an inner dignity, peace, and spiritual joy, we must embrace with faith the fragility and the vulnerability of life. Like resurrection which followed the cross, the blessings of life follow those moments when we make ourselves vulnerable to the pervasive presence, wisdom, and will of “Our Father”.
Perhaps psalm 8 can inspire some reflections.
6Yet you have made him little less than a god,*
crowned him with glory and honor.
7You have given him rule over the works of your hands,d
put all things at his feet:
8All sheep and oxen,
even the beasts of the field,
9The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
10O LORD, our Lord, how wonderful is your name through all the earth!
PS Give a warm welcome to the missionary priest this weekend and Msgr. Easton next weekend. Enjoy their presence. After that, once again, you’re stuck with me!
Gethsemane Prayer Chapel
If you are struggling in any way, take some time to seek guidance from God. Visit our Gethsemane Prayer Chapel. At Gethsemane Jesus found the strength to fulfill His mission. The same can be true for us.
For a further reflection go to https://strosechurch.saintrose.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Eucharistic-Prayer-Chapel-Poster.pdf
“Stewardship is a spiritual way of life that defines who we are in relationship to God
Stewardship – July 25, 2021 – 17th Sunday In Ordinary Time
The story of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes is a familiar one, and has many lessons, not least of which is how our willingness to share who we are and what we have. Exercising good stewardship serves to release God’s power and bountifulness on the world and its people. Do we realize that there is enough for all if we are willing to share? Are we aware that God is at work when we share our time, our money and our other resources in His name?
Our inherited Catholic Legacy is what our Catholic forebears have done for us.
Our stewardship is the means by which we will hand on our Catholic Legacy to those who will follow after us.”