The Pastor's Column


Fr. Lara's Lines


Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Faith
Faith in the spiritual sense is a theological virtue. It is necessary for the one who wants to appreciate the mysteries of God. Faith allows us to recognize who God is and who we are. Without it, we would have an extremely limited understanding of the spiritual realm. In the letter to the Hebrews, we hear the definition of faith: “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11: 1-2).

Faith is a gift from God. God gives us the ability to believe in what we do not see. We respond to God’s creation and redemption with faith. Faith would not exist if God had not promised his salvation to the world. Faith is a gift because God has given us the ability to hope for what he has promised us. We cannot attain faith by our own efforts or power. It is not something we can buy or develop on our own. It is a response that comes from our ability to see God’s work in our lives. Faith is a gift from God that we can cultivate within ourselves. Our cooperation with God’s plan can increase our faith. Faith can grow when we see God’s presence in our lives.

Catholics are a people of faith. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul reminds us of the faith we profess and live by as followers of Jesus: “So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord” (2 Cor 5: 6-8). Faith allows us to live in hopeful expectation of things to come. This faith then is the reason we follow God’s commandments, loving God and our neighbor as ourselves. Christian life consists of a series of acts of faith by which we hope for the rewards in eternal life.

Be Prepared
Faith motivates us to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. Nobody knows the day nor the hour when we will be called back to the Father. Jesus asks of us to be ready: “You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come” (Luke 12: 40). The kingdom of God is for those who desire it and are ready for it. How do you prepare yourself for the kingdom of heaven? Are you vigilant for when the Lord comes? These questions have a tone of urgency because they refer to our eternal destiny. We do not want to jeopardize eternal life in the heaven kingdom.

Even though we live in a culture that likes to be prepared, the concept of being prepared for the life to come is not very popular. We have all kinds of guides, coaches, trainers, instructors, and planners for almost all areas of our lives. People seem to trust instructors who guide them to a successful preparation for whatever project or endeavor they want to engage in. The Church has been preaching spiritual preparation since her foundation but even Catholics do not seem to worry about falling behind. It is a strange phenomenon; it might be because success gives us a sense of security and control. The Church has been having a hard time getting her message across to all people, perhaps because spiritual things are often deemed less relevant in a material culture. Spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord should not be at the bottom of the list. It should be a priority especially for faith-filled Catholics who want to be good witnesses of the faith to the world.

We have all the tools at our disposal to be prepared for our departure from this world to the next. Jesus is ready to welcome us into his kingdom but we need to be ready for it. Preparation for the coming of the Lord depends on us. Here are some ideas you can reflect on for your spiritual life:

  • Stay focused on Jesus
  • Read the bible and follow the commandments
  • Participate in the sacraments of the Church
  • Keep hope in the promises God has made
  • Encourage one another to stay faithful to the Lord
  • Live like today was the day
  • Pray, pray, pray

Peace
Fr. Lara

Live the Liturgy
The fruits of our labors are not always seen in our lifetimes. Faith is not conditional on seeing results. Faith is a radical trust in what is unseen. It requires vigilance and self-investment. It requires our attention even when our efforts don’t bear fruit or are unappreciated or unrecognized. A person who is open to accepting God’s presence, however it comes, and is willing to share the love received with others is a true inspiration. Good works will flow from this vigilant depth of faith. It will be directed where it is most needed and detached from the need for recognition or gratitude. Faith exercised in secret is the most profound expression of faith and a testament of true love for our Creator. No one needs to know the humility, generosity, and goodness of our hearts, only God. Standing erect and watchful, we are prepared to receive the gift of Divine Love and freely share it with others, without recognition or self-benefit.

Honor Our Military

Please take time to give thanks for those who have served and are serving in our military and to pray for the safety of those who may currently be in harm’s way. In a special way, we thank and pray for these parishioners and relatives of parishioners.

He Who Sacrificed His Life
†CHRISTOPHER ZIMNY

Those Still Serving
JAY MARTIN, Nephew of Becky and Tom Brennan
JESSICA CAMERON, Niece of the Cameron Family
JOHN PODCZASKI, Grandson of Genevieve Podczaski
STEVEN TUMBARELLO, Son of Sylvia & Vince Tumbarello
CRAIG BEHRENDT, Grand-nephew of Sister Mary Helen
DANIEL BELZER, Nephew of Dave & Bev Belzer
MICHAEL KELLY, Nephew of Kevin and Kathy Kelly
EUGENE WALL, Nephew of Suzanne Lessner
NAILL SWIDER, Grand-nephew of Alice Swider
BRYAN DUFF, Son of Julie Duff
RYAN BLOCHBERGER, Nephew of Mae Grady
TIMOTHY DWORKIN, Grandson of Barbara Bouska
ALEXIS GONZALES, Great-niece of Eden & Lyle Gonzales-Nemzin
JACK MAHON, JR., Son of Jack, Sr. & Eileen Mahon
MICHAEL FOLEY
JOHN FOLEY
PETER MULLER
DANIEL FRAYNA
JOSEPH GULLO
SANG HOON LEE
ANTHONY PALMERO
MORRIS COREY MCMAHON, SON OF CHRIS & JULIE MCMAHON
RYAN FONTILLAS

To add or remove someone, please send the person’s name and relationship (optional) to sclbulletin@mail.com

Please Pray for Ukraine

For our sisters and brothers involved in or affected by the war and devastation in Ukraine-- the deceased, the injured, the frightened, the displaced, the fighters, the protesters, the leaders. May God give them solace, healing, comfort, and hearts and minds directed toward peace.
Donations can be made here:

Knights of Columbus: https://www.kofc.org/secure/en/donate/ukraine.html

Caritas: https://www.caritas.org/

Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philidelphia: https://ukrarcheparchy.us

"May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war" - Pope Francis