13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today, we celebrate the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In our gospel Jesus describes the cost of discipleship. He describes the cost of discipleship by using three illustrations.

 Family—Division: The first illustration Jesus used is that of a person’s family. He says, “Whoever loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Mt 10:37) My dear friends, a person’s family is to be the strongest and most precious relationship among human beings. A person is to love his family as much as he loves any others on earth. However, there is one relationship that is to supersede his relationship with his family: that is his relationship to Jesus Christ. He is to love Christ Supremely, counting Him more worthy than all, even more worthy than his own family. There are at least three reasons why Christ is to be counted more worthy.

 1.  Christ is the Supreme Being of the universe. He is the Creator, Sustainer and Protector of life throughout the course of our walk on earth.

2.  Christ is the Supreme Savior. He is the Giver and Provider of life, both abundant and eternal life. Our families can bring some happiness and pleasure to our lives, and they can protect us to some degree in this life- but not ultimately.

3.  With Christ we have the supreme relationship. Christ is totally unselfish, and He loves perfectly.

The 2nd illustration Christ used is that of the cross. Christ again made a strong demand. “whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.” (Mt 10:38) Every man has his cross. The cross is the symbol of death and of execution. Every man must die to self – day by day. He must count himself dead to sin and follow Christ.

The 3rd illustration Jesus used is that of a person’s life. He says, “Whoever finds his life will lose it.” The phrase “finds his life” means that a person seeks his own pleasure and passions in life. It is a selfish life, finding out what pleases self and going after it. It is heaping and hoarding and doing as self wills. We live in a sinful and evil world: a world of pain and hurt, of starvation and disease, of crime and injury, greed and selfishness, of war and death. The one thing that is needed by all is to deny self: to commit and to lose our lives in Christ. “Whoever loses his life… will find it.” The phrase “loses his life” means that a person seeks to lose his life on this earth to find God. It means that a person gives up the right to order his own life, and he lets Christ control his life.

Questions to reflect on this beautiful SundayIs God the center of my life? Do I take up my cross and follow Christ? Do I empty myself to be filled by Christ?

Have a good week,

Fr. Kishore Babu Battu, SAC

12th Sunday in Ordinary time, “Do Not Be Afraid”

Now that we are all aware that Fr. Kishore’s new assignment as the Administrator of St. Michael Parish, Monroe, begins on August 1, 2020. We have to live with the reality knowing that there will be only one priest for both the parishes from August onwards. We may have to do a little adjustment with a slight change in our Mass schedule. After expressing my thoughts and plans with the Parish Council through email, they were in agreement with the new schedule. Our Saturday Mass which was at 5:00 pm will be moved to 5:30 pm and on Sunday our first Mass will have to be at 8:30 am instead of 9:00 am, the 12 noon Mass will be at the same time.  At Our Lady of Loretto the Mass schedule was changed last year, and that is the schedule that will be followed, Saturday Mass at 4:00 pm and Sunday only one Mass at 10:00 am.

 With one priest not being able to be in both churches our weekday Mass schedule will change as well  – it will be like the summer schedule – Monday’s and Tuesday’s 8:30 am Mass will be at OLL, Thursday’s and Friday’s 8:30 am Mass will be at St. Val’s. At both the places daily Mass will be celebrated in the Church. Sacrament of Penance as of now we will keep it on Saturday at OLL beginning at 2:45 instead of 3:15pm. We will see how the confession schedule will work for now. If we have to make some changes, we can work that out as well.  

 I know none of us like change but lately we have seen that many things have changed with the fear of Corona Virus and we have all learned to make those adjustments knowing that it’s for our good and for the good of others.  If we are able to make the above-mentioned changes with a mind of working together, we will be able to move ahead smoothly.

This weekend’s Gospel is part of the instructions Jesus gives to his disciples after he has commissioned them to preach about the kingdom of God – Matthew 10:26-33. IN this Gospel passage we hear Jesus say three times, “Do not be afraid.” Jesus encouraged the disciples not to be afraid, not to give up on their mission of sharing God’s Good News with others. And he promises that we will never be alone in our efforts to do what is right.

What a beautiful piece of advice for all of us as we move forward. Let us not give up in doing what is right. The Lord promises to be with us and with Him at our side we have no reason to fear.

We wish all Fathers, Happy Fathers day and we ask the Lord to bless each one of you in your  roles as dads, godfathers, grandfathers and guardians.

 

A Prayer of Blessing on Fathers

Heavenly Father,
you entrusted your Son Jesus,
the child of Mary,
to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.
Bless all fathers
as they care for their families.
Give them strength and wisdom,
tenderness and patience;
support them in the work they have to do,
protecting those who look to them,
as we look to you for love and salvation,
through Jesus Christ our rock and defender. Amen.

 – Author Unknown

Blessings,
Fr. Socorro

Letter from the Archbishop

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I write today with gratitude for the many blessings God has granted the Archdiocese of Detroit during our missionary journey. Six years ago, we asked God to send his Holy Spirit upon us in a New Pentecost, to fill us with an unshakable inner conviction of the truth of the Gospel and a love that compels us to share the good news with those around us. Two years later, through Synod ‘16 we received clarity that God wanted us to reclaim our Church’s missionary identity and we set out with a promise to trust and follow him.

We began in earnest the work of a generation, to unleash the Gospel in southeast Michigan and beyond. Last year, we announced the next phase of this missionary movement, a plan to transform our parishes and schools, making them places where individuals and families can encounter Jesus anew, grow as disciples, and be equipped as witnesses of the Risen Christ.

This continues to be our mission today, even now in the midst of a historic pandemic. The current health and economic crises have disrupted our lives and the life of the Church. This new reality has exacerbated some of the challenges we were already facing. Even before the pandemic, we knew that the way we function in our parishes needed to change. In addition to the shortage of priests available to serve in our parishes and the shortage of vocations for future ordinations, the parish structures we inherited served our mission well in the past, but they needed to be renewed and aligned for mission.

And so, in prayer and in consultation with others, I’ve discerned that now is the time to respond in faith to the challenges we face and to take the necessary steps to better equip our parish communities for mission. Over the next two years, parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit will join together to form new groupings called “families of parishes.” These groups – these families – of three to six parishes will work together and share human and material resources to further advance our shared mission. This new model will allow groups of priests, deacons, and lay staff to better share their gifts and talents with their entire parish families.

We are not the same diocese we were six years ago when we began this journey. God has been at work in us, in our communities, in our parishes, and in our schools. We have learned to be more docile to the Holy Spirit. We have learned to walk with apostolic boldness and confidence in God. We are committed to working in a spirit of innovation and collaboration. And most importantly, we have resolved to place Christ and his mission above all else.

Over the next several months, groups of clergy and lay faithful will help me discern the leadership and governance structure of the families of parishes and the ways in which this new structure will help all our parishes become vibrant posts of missionary activity. At Advent, my hope is to announce the groups of parishes that will form each family, with the first of them expected to begin to function as a family in July of 2021.

I invite you to visit the website www.familiesofparishes.org to learn more about this process and to sign up for updates. Please join me in praying for this very important step in the life and mission of our local Church. Let us give thanks to God ahead of time for the great work he is doing in our midst. God is with us. He has given us his Holy Spirit as the initiator, guide, and driving force of our mission.

Blessed Solanus Casey, Detroit’s own priest, pray for us. Our Lady of Lourdes, protector of the sick, pray for us. And dear St. Anne, patron of our Archdiocese, pray for us.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit