Dear brothers and sisters,
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is approached by a man who asks him “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me” (Luke 12:13). At first glance, Jesus’ response to this man’s request seems strange. The man has a real problem: his brother is trying to make off with the lion’s share of their inheritance; but Jesus refuses to step in and set things straight. Why? Later, at the end of his earthly life, Jesus will say to Pontius Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” Essentially, he gives the same answer to this man’s request for probate equity. Jesus refuses to usurp the normal functions of earthly, human justice, even though he could have done so. This tells us a lot about our Lord. It tells us what he came to do, and how he went about doing it. Christ came not to take over the world, but to imbue it with a new spirit, to redeem it from within through grace. This was his mission, and through the Church, it remains his mission. That’s what Jesus came to do: and how did he do it? He did it by staying focused, by being mission-centered. By refusing to arbitrate this man’s legal complaint, Jesus gave us an example of what it means to be mission-centered. Jesus refuses to be sidetracked. He sticks to his mission. The more closely we follow this example, the more focused, fulfilling and fruitful our own lives will be. We too are called to make the eternal Kingdom our first priority. As Jesus says at the end of the parable, we are called to “become rich in what matters to God.” That’s our mission, which we can only fulfill if we become as mission-centered as Christ was, not letting ourselves get sidetracked. We have to be as eager and hardworking in pursuit of goodness and holiness as the man in the barn-building parable was in pursuit of money.
We welcome our missionary priest from Kenya who is speaking to us today, as part of the Diocese of Scranton’s annual Missionary Co-op Program. Thanks to all parishioners for your generosity. Also, we are looking for facilitators/team leaders for our Religious Education Program, who would be able to commit to at least a six-week block of time on Sunday mornings or Monday afternoons, and for adults to serve in a new ministry starting in September called “Children’s Church,” which is basically a one-hour preschool-aged “worship” experience during our Sunday 11 am Mass starting in September. Please call Analia in the office for more information.