Weekly Bulletin and Mass Intentions

Weekly Announcements
Month of the Holy Souls

  1. Volunteers are needed for the Food Pantry on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays and Wednesdays of the month from 9am – 12pm. We will have the food pantry November 13/14 and 27/28.
  2. We are still in need of various projects to be done or completed. If you have maintenance skills, please see Father to assist. We want to re-do the floor of the sanctuary and the nave.
  3. Adult Study of the Catholic Faith each Wednesday at 6:00pm. Everyone is welcome to join the discussion group on topics of the Church History, Bible and Doctrine.
  4. Envelopes are available for the remembrance of the faithful departed for November 2nd and the Month of November.
  5. Catholic Calendars for 2019 are now available for $8.00.
  6. Thanksgiving Dinner for the community and needy on November 18 at 1:00-4:00pm.

Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Rev. Pius Parsch

The King comes as the wise Judge

Holy Mass The Readings (Epistle and Gospel) sketch the Church from two contrasting approaches; one is light and cheery, the other dark and sobering; one depicts the ideal, the other remains closer to life and reality. In the Epistle Paul describes the ideal—a community of saints adorned with every Christian virtue. In this community love is queen; in her train follows the peace of Christ. The apostle is giving us a glimpse of the liturgical worship and the private lives of the early Christians. With them the word of God "dwelt abundantly." We hear them singing psalms and spiritual canticles; and, privately, their every act is performed "in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ."

The Gospel, by way of contrast, shows another Christian community, one marred by human weaknesses and sins, grave scandals, lukewarmness, indifference, petty jealousies. Which makes our hearts heavy. But Jesus' words help us understand the enigma of evil in the Church. From the two readings it is easy to deduce a program for the week. Personally, and in my relations with others, I will try to reproduce the ideal; if evil crosses my path, I will not be scandalized; I will seek to imitate God's patience toward it. The Gospel, moreover, provides revealing insights into the mysterious and often inexplicable character of God's kingdom as it continues to grow through the centuries. There is, for instance, the mystery of the abiding presence of evil in the Church. Evil is the devil's sowing. Evil is permitted; indeed, in God's providential plan it must thrive and ripen. On earth both good and evil enjoy freedom of action, and both serve a purpose. Evil is designed to chasten the good, to prove their strength and steadfastness; it is God's rod of correction upon the virtuous. Strictly speaking, it can cause no harm to God's kingdom. This reassurance should be a consolation, especially in days like the present, when we meet so much evil in the world.

Now let us apply the lesson of the Gospel to ourselves. Today at Mass the divine Sower sows the good seed (wheat) of the Eucharist in my soul, expecting it to grow during the week. Of course, as the week passes, the devil, too, will sow his weeds; but by penance and mortification we can nullify their influence. May this day's "Sacrifice of propitiation" steady our "vacillating hearts" (Secr.). The Eucharist is the "pledge" of "salvation's fulfillment" (Postc.); in the light of the Gospel parable this means that the divine Reaper is already gathering our ripened sheaves into His heavenly barns.

Sunday Meditations. When Jesus began His public ministry He directed His efforts toward the Jewish people at large. He wanted all of them to enter God's kingdom (the Church), irregardless of their status in life. So He preached everywhere, in Judea, in Samaria, in Galilee. He addressed Himself not only to the well-bred, to the doctors of the Law and the Pharisees, but likewise to the common people, the plain folk and the illiterate. In short, He wished to be the Redeemer of all. Yet the longer He preached and the more miracles He worked, the more did the Jewish leaders strive to turn the people away from and against Him. Wherever His preaching or His miracles had won popular admiration and approval, the Pharisees, too, appeared, weakening and undermining the effect of His work. Presently He was staying at Peter's house in Capharnaum, where He cured a man possessed by a devil. The people, of course, were amazed; but the Pharisees quickly retorted that Jesus Himself was possessed and that He cast out devils by invoking the prince of devils. It was a low blow. He who had come to break the devil's power and to redeem mankind from bondage to Satan, He was now accused of being in league with His archenemy. The blasphemous accusation could not go unanswered. Before Jesus finished His apology, He had made it plain to the Pharisees that not He but they themselves were possessed by a sevenfold devil; and because they would not accept the Messiah, they who had been a "chosen people" would be rejected.

The incident was a turning point in our Lord's ministry. From then on He became more reserved and began to concentrate His efforts on the preparation and formation of His disciples. Shortly before He had chosen twelve among His followers, whom He called apostles. He would use every means to confirm their belief in His mission of salvation and to prepare them for the great missionary work that lay ahead. His activity was now dedicated primarily to the task of forming His apostles. And though He still went among the people, His preaching to them took a new turn. Evidence of His altered approach soon appears in the sermon to the crowd preached from Peter's boat on the Sea of Galilee. It was His so-called "Seaside Sermon." He spoke only in parables, without explaining them to His listeners. But later when alone with His apostles, He interpreted and applied them. What was the message of that sermon? Jesus Himself pointed out its principal theme, namely, the mysteries of the kingdom of God. God's kingdom, or the kingdom of heaven, is the Church on earth. "Mystery" here does not mean a doctrinal statement, such as a dogma of faith. Christ is using the term to designate the mysterious nature and growth of the Church, a development that goes counter to human expectation. To know the mystery of the kingdom, then, is primarily to realize that outwardly the kingdom makes no pretensions or display as it adheres to the ordinary course of events, without miracles or other astounding phenomena. All its power and majesty lie within, invisible to earthly eyes.

First part. The parable of the sower describes the founding of God's kingdom (especially with reference to individual souls). The moral. Whether and how far God's kingdom will be realized in me depends upon my cooperation. I am the soil. God is continually sowing His grace in my heart. His kingdom should yield an abundance of full-grown, ripened fruit, such as may be expected from a divine planting. If it fails to do so, the fault is mine, completely. I hindered or stifled its growth. The soil was deficient. Some of it may have been worn hard by constant treading (spirit of indifference). Or my heart was stony ground (too superficial). Perhaps the whole field was overgrown with the thorns of earthly hankerings and pleasures, choking God's seed. Briefly, the great lesson of the parable is: God's kingdom is glorious indeed, but first it must grow in me and I must cooperate with grace.

Second part. The parable of the weeds throws light on the tragedy of evil in the Church. Evil is the devil's planting. God allows it to thrive and reach full maturity, unhindered. In this life both the good and the bad are granted complete freedom of operation. Yes, evil has its place in the divine plan. As noted earlier, it serves to chasten the good and test their steadfastness. It is God's rod of correction, and should contribute to the growth of virtue in the good. It cannot cause the kingdom of heaven any real harm. It will not, however, go unpunished; no, the wages of evil is eternal ruin and punishment. Be patient, therefore, with evildoers. Do not begrudge them their short-lived, earthly happiness. Above all, do not hate them, rather they are to be pitied. Thus does this parable contribute to a solution to that greatest enigma, the presence of evil in God's kingdom.

Third part. The growth and impact of God's kingdom is the burden of three brief parables. The first, that of the spontaneously growing seed, is found in St. Mark 5:26ff. This short, little-known parable conveys some goodly thoughts on God's kingdom. Both its founding and its termination at the end of time are effected by Christ in person. Meanwhile, however, He does not intervene personally but leaves things to their normal development. It is as though Jesus slept, like the man in the parable, and the seed He had sown continued to grow of itself. Nevertheless, the kingdom's inner vitality is derived from Him. If the parable of the sower emphasized the need of man's cooperation with grace, the parable of the spontaneously growing seed stresses the intrinsic power and efficacy of grace.

Translate This Page

Make a free website with Yola