21st Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Are you going to serve God or not? We hear this question from Joshua in the first reading today. It should go right to our own hearts. It is a question that is part of our lives: serve God or not? The readings today put this question to us and we are asked to answer it.

 John’s Gospel reports that many of those who had been Jesus’ disciples ceased to follow him at this point. The number of people following Jesus dwindled from a crowd of more than 5,000 to only 12 people. And it is to these 12 that Jesus now turns his attention and he asks them: Do you also want to leave?” Peter speaks up for the 12 responding, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

 We have to remember that this statement, although it sounds so very clear, is not very clear. For instance, Peter betrayed Jesus. Thomas refused to believe. The Apostles are good examples to us because they are not people who just believed without having any failures or faults. They made a lot of mistakes and were not faithful always–but in the end, they decided to walk with the Lord.

We must seek to respond to the invitation of our Lord. Even if we have gone away from the Lord Jesus, He still invites us to return. Let us not be afraid of turning back to the Lord if we have left Him. If we have remained faithful, let us strive to love Him even more. And so we need to ask ourselves ‘Are we going to serve God or not’?

 Here’s just a verse and a chorus of the Gospel song sung by Bob Dylan – “Gotta Serve Somebody” – it has many more verses to it.

 You may be an ambassador to England or France

You may like to gamble, you might like to dance

You may be the heavyweight champion of the world

You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

 But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed

You’re gonna have to serve somebody

It may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

 

I hope you will be able to join us for the Parish Picnic on Sunday!

Blessings,

Fr. Socorro

 


Stewardship Thoughts

In today’s First Reading from the Book of Joshua, he gives the ancient Israelites a choice to either serve their God, the God of Israel, or the pagan gods: Amorite gods or gods beyond the River. Joshua then boldly professes, As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. In St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, he raises marriage to a sacrament and likens the marital bond in love between husband and wife to Christ’s relationship with the Church. In St. John’s Gospel, many of the disciples find Christ’s truth on the everlasting gift of His Body and Blood hard to accept and leave His company. Jesus questions His Apostles to see if they, too, will leave Him and go back to their former way of life. Discipleship in the Lord is challenging, but Simon-Peter proclaims to Jesus, Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Being Christ’s disciple has a definite cost, but He assures us of His strength to accept that cost. Jesus’ strength, peace, and joy can be attained through Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction in your parish, or at an Awaken Eucharistic Adoration in your area.


Labor Day Holiday –Office Hours

The Parish Office will be closed Friday, August 31 thru Monday, September 3rd for the Labor Day Holiday. We will reopen Tuesday, September 4th at 8:30 a.m.

 

“I am the living bread”

 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:51)

On the third consecutive Sunday in Ordinary Time the Word of God invites us to consider Jesus as the bread of our lives. We continue to hear the bread of life discourse from John’s gospel. In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus declares, that “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I give is my flesh for the life of the world.” Bread is synonymous with food. When we pray The Our Father we say, “give us today our daily bread, it means give us today our daily food. So, let us ask one question. What does bread do to our life?

 Bread essentially does three functions to life. First of all, bread nourishes human life. Without bread life would come to a grinding halt. It facilities all human activity. It is the source of all our energy. It makes us work and play, sing and sail. It is the essential ingredient of life. Secondly, it not only nourishes our life but also relishes us. We just don’t eat one kind of food always throughout the year. We enjoy different recipes. We try to explore varieties of food and varieties of food add flavor to life. Thirdly, we would not be alive if it were not for food. Bread not only nourishes life but also propagates and perpetuates life. Life continues from one generation to another because of bread.

When Jesus declares that He is the bread of life, He appropriates to Himself these functions of bread. As bread nourishes life, so does Jesus. As bread relishes life, so does Jesus. As bread perpetuates life, so does Jesus.  My dear friends, Jesus is the source of our energy. He nourishes us through the Holy Eucharist. He nourishes us with his own Body and Blood through the Eucharistic banquet. Jesus not only nourishes our life but also adds flavor to our life. And finally, Jesus gives us immortality. He tells us this is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.

We have the most personal experience of God in the Eucharist. He comes to us, speaks to us, and touches our hearts. Jesus, “the Bread of Life,” the “living bread,” becomes our bread. Let us appreciate Christ’s presence in the Holy Eucharist: Since the Holy Eucharist is “the Body and Blood, together with the soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ,” as the Sacrament it increases our intimate union with Christ. It preserves, increases, and renews the Sanctifying Grace we received at Baptism. It cleanses us of past sin and preserves us from future sins. Let us appreciate Jesus who comes to us as bread for our soul and be grateful to him throughout our lives.

Let us ask ourselves, how do we approach this Most Holy Sacrament? How does it change us and make us enlivened each time?

Fr. Kishore  Batu SAC


Stewardship Thoughts

In today’s Scripture reading from the Book of Proverbs, Wisdom inspires the people to forgo foolishness and eat the food and drink that God has “mixed.” This prefigures St. John’s Gospel account where the evangelist further develops Jesus’ theology of sacrifice and His institution of the Holy Eucharist — the true source and summit, strength and unity, of Catholic life. What a tremendous gift! St. Paul, in his Letter to the Ephesians, encourages us to discern the will of the Lord, and to give thanks for everything in gratitude to God through Christ. As Christian stewards, we strive for union with the Lord by regularly partaking in Christ’s Eucharistic banquet. Strengthened by the reception of Holy Communion, we embrace evangelization as we commit to stewardship as a way of life. We do this when we share His joy and peace with our parish community and those brothers and sisters who are in need of our Lord’s message of hope. Besides weekend Mass attendance, try to attend at least one weekday Mass to meet Jesus in the Eucharist.

 

“Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)

Among the four seasons we enjoy in our State of Michigan, Summer is a beautiful season. It’s beautiful in so many ways: gorgeous sunshine, clear blue skies, awesome lakes. It’s a great time of camping and family gatherings, picnics, relaxation and rest. In this hectic world of ours where everyone is racing against the clock, some leisure is not a luxury but a necessity. “come away by ourselves into a lonely place, and rest a while.” With these words, Jesus invites the apostles to get away from the routine ministry, to rest, to relax, to recoup and to recharge their batteries! The apostles were inundated pastorally, “for there were so many coming and going that they needed a break”. So, Jesus arranges a picnic as they get into a boat to a remote place where they could be by themselves.

 Friends, we are caught up every day in a whirlpool of work. We have so many things to do that even twenty-four hours do not seem to be enough. It is said in the Scripture: “There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation, a time for giving birth, a time for dying, a time for planting.” (Eccles 3:1-2). Amidst all our activities, cares and worries, if we find a little time for reflection and mediation, we shall be more happy, relaxed, taking the word of the Lord to heart: “Come, and rest for a while.” Yes, in the midst of our hectic activities we need time for rest. We cannot do good work unless we have time to rest.

On this Sunday Jesus invites us to leave the relentless wheel of routine, our punishing schedules, and retreat to a remote place.  Without this remote place our lives are in danger; we become workaholics. In modern societies marked by ‘hurry and worry’ we have to take time off and be with God so that He may recharge us with spiritual energy and strength. To receive this strength, we need time for prayer, silence and recollection. The ministry of Jesus was born in this remote place. He retired into the hills spending the whole night in prayer, went into the desert withdrawing into silence and solitude, rose long before dawn and spent time alone with the Alone.

Ask yourselves on this Sunday: Do I take some time to have my yearly retreat and regain my spiritual strength? 

Fr. Kishore Babu Battu SAC

Parish Activities!

Save the Dates:

August 26— Parish Picnic – St. Valentine Church picnic will be held on Sunday, August 26th. We will begin with Mass at noon in church followed by fellowship in the gym until 4pm. This is a fun-filled day to share with your family and fellow parishioners. Plans are still being formed. Update to follow soon.

 

 

September 16—13th Annual Fun Run & Spaghetti Dinner – For all those trying for a personal best time on their 5 K Run—the date is set…September 16th!

 Volunteers Needed!  As always, we need a lot of volunteers to help make this day run smoothly. We always need you …. Young or the Young at Heart all are needed!

Sponsors – In the past we have only solicited businesses to sponsor our Fun Run/Walk, BUT if a family/anyone would like to sponsor the Fun Run we would more than graciously accept your donation of $100 or more OR 225 of an item to put in the runners goodie bags. Please feel free to contact Bonnie at the parish office 313-532-4394 x101.