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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Dear parishioners, In this gospel passage we get an insight into the desire of Jesus.  The coming of the Son into this world is for a definite purpose – He comes on a mission!  The Son, being God from all eternity, came into this world and became one of us.  His name is Jesus, which means God saves; the mission and the Person of Jesus come together in a seamless way.  This mission of Jesus fills his every thought and desire.   He has come to set the world on fire and how he wishes it were blazing!  Fire burns everything impure, it radiates heat and warmth, and it gives out light.  This fire, a symbol of divine love, was ablaze in the heart of Christ and was overflowing.  How he desired that others would share in this same fire!   And yet he must hold back!  He must respect the free-will of man and wait until they are ready.  This readiness will come when man realizes the depth, the height, and the width of God’s love which is unlimited.  This infinite love was manifested in the suffering and death of Jesus.  It is this anticipation of his ‘baptism’ that caused Jesus such anguish.  His suffering, death, and resurrection exploded every obstacle to complete communion with God.  Now, if we are willing, we can share in this fire that Christ has come to bring.  We will experience this fire to the extent that we surrender our lives to Christ.  The way has been opened to us and the grace has been given.  Let me say again: the fire of divine love will be given to us to the extent that we surrender our lives to Christ.  This surrender implies a complete trust in Christ, a complete willingness to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to live out love in our life.  Of course, to love means to sacrifice!  We have to be ready even for division in our family, community, and culture; we must be prepared to be persecuted even by our loved ones.   Do you want to be who you are made to be?  Do you want to share in Christ’s mission for your loved ones and for the world? Surrender your life, then you too will participate in the work of Christ.  You too will have your heart set on fire and be the person you are meant to be in Christ.  As Saint Catherine of Sienna once said: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”   Fr Philip Suelzer

19th Sunday in Ordinary tIme (Year C)

Dear Parishioners Hero’s Journey “The Jungian psychologist Jordan Peterson is, in many ways, an early twenty-first century version of Joseph Campbell, and perhaps the central archetype that they both explored is that of the hero’s journey. As both Campbell and Peterson have recognized, the Bible is a treasure trove of hero’s journey stories. But what makes the biblical accounts so distinctive is that God is the one who is drawing and prompting the journey; in fact, the Bible tells the story of God’s own hero’s journey!” Bishop Barron The hero’s journey is a fundamental archetype of the human psyche. It begins with someone comfortable in his/her home. Then something takes place and obliges that they find the courage to leave to go on this great adventure. They fight off the dragons, mature significantly, and accomplish some great feat and receive the promised reward.  This pattern is found in almost every story from Plato’s cavern to the Matrix, from Pinocchio to Star Wars.  It is hard not to think of the Hobbit when Bilbo set out from the shire on a great adventure. In today’s second reading, the book of Hebrews tells us that faith is precisely that, it is a hero’s journey. The text even gives us Abraham as an example of faith, and in his life, faith was a hero’s journey. He was comfortable in the land of Ur when the Lord called him to leave his homeland and set out into uncertainty. All too often, we see faith as something static, a fixed set of words to which we adhere. It is a far cry from that. Faith demands that we dare to follow the adventure upon which God has called us. Faith implies that we are leaving all that we are attached to, toward something far more significant. It means complete trust in God. He will guide us and take care of us throughout this journey. Note to the faith of Abraham implies that Abraham’s trust in God’s promise of a land flowing with milk and honey and children as numerous as the stars in the sky. Ultimately this journey will only end in Heaven.  Until then, we will have many dragons to slay and demons to fight. Before we arrive at the end, every member of our parish must begin to see that to be a Christian; you must set out on this journey. You must seek to grow and discover that God has placed a call in your heart. Courage is necessary, trust is essential; for true faith guarantees that for which we hope. Each person in our parish must set out on this adventure, and in doing so, must become a Missionary Disciple. Fr Michael Thérèse