Fr. Jude Botelho:
We are reminded that the work of proclamation and salvation is a joint partnership with God. Each one of us called and invited to be sharers of the Good news. But while God chooses us, he does not depend on us to fulfill our mission on our own strength. He will not work without our consent nor is our fulfillment of our
mission dependent on our capability. He is at work in us! Let's rejoice that we are called to be His peacemakers in today's world! Have a 'peace-filled, peace-sharing' weekend! Shalom!
Stories from Fr. Tony’s Collection:
1. Commitment of Mormon missionaries:
Many of us have seen Mormon missionaries riding their bicycles, wearing dark pants, white shirts and ties. Let me tell you more about their life-style. They do not see their families during the two years of their mission service. They are allowed to call home only on Christmas and Mother's Day. Their work day begins at 6:30 AM with an hour of Bible study and prayer. Then they work until 9:30 PM. They have about an hour to do laundry and study scripture before lights out. This is their schedule six days per week. No TV or movies or dates for two years. We have seen young men with multi-million dollar pro basketball contracts put all that on hold until they fulfill their mission obligation. Although I have some serious and fundamental theological differences with the Mormons, I can't deny the commitment of their young missionaries. Perhaps that commitment is a key reason why their numbers are growing so rapidly in the United States. Today’s readings are about God’s call and the commitment expected from us to answer that call.
From the Connections:
THE WORD:Today’s reading from Luke’s Gospel is the first of three predictions Jesus makes regarding the cross awaiting him in Jerusalem. He prepares Peter and the disciples for the revelation of the horrifying passion he will endure by asking them who they believe he is. Jesus responds to Peter's proclamation of faith in him as “the Messiah” by confronting his followers with the cost of that faith: to cast aside an image of ourselves based on worldly illusions and finding the meaning of life in the servanthood of the cross.
Heaven and hellA great warrior once went to see a humble monk. “Father,” he said, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience, “teach me about heaven and hell!”
The monk looked up at this mighty commander and replied with utter disdain, “Teach you about heaven and hell?! I couldn’t teach you about anything. You’re dirty. You smell. You're ignorant. You're a disgrace, an embarrassment, to your people. Get out of my sight. I can’t stand you.”
It's a dramatic scene when you think about it -- I mean -- a funeral procession halted and the trip to the cemetery interrupted. Of course it was not anything like our scene -- a black Cadillac hearse, followed by one or more black Cadillac limousines, followed perhaps by several cars, lights on, concerned not to lose their place in the line in the traffic.