This Sunday we are fortunate to have with us the man who will be giving our parish mission on the third weekend of October. You have already seen the posters and bulletin announcements and know that he and his partner John Schweisthal are full time Catholic lay evangelists. They gave up their jobs, took a leap in the dark, because they saw a great need in our church. I have heard so many good things about him from my brother priests and Catholics here in the Archdiocese about the parish missions they give. Before presenting him to you, I would like to say a brief word about the Gospel we have just heard.
Jesus tells the greatest thing we can hope for is to go to heaven--even if it means losing something as precious as our hand, our foot, our eye. On the other side, we can have everything and still fall into what he calls "Gehenna" the unquenchable fire of hell. The doctrine of hell was not something invented by the Church; it comes right from the lips of Jesus himself. He is telling us that this life is serious. This is our one chance. Don't let anyone mislead you--there will not be re-incarnations. We have to decide now where we will spend eternity. Everything else is small potatoes.
St. James reminds us that what we possess will not save us, maybe just the opposite, drag us down. A few years ago one of the world's richest men, Howard Hughes, died. He was completely alone, afraid of being poisoned or contaminated. In contrast earlier this month a woman died who possessed almost nothing. She was surrounded by her sisters and beloved by millons, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I doubt any of us will be as rich as Howard Hughes--or as voluntarily poor as Mother Teresa but what matters in the long run, is not what we have, but our relationship with God.
That why we need this parish mission: to get our own lives together, to put our families back on the right track--and to become the parish we are meant to be. The theme of the mission, which will take place Oct 17,18, 19 is "Becoming One in Jesus." I am delighted to welcome the man who will be leading it, Brian Casey.
See also: An Eternally Unbridgeable Chasm
The Fiery Furnace
Jesus Teaching Concerning Heaven
From Archives (Homilies for 26th Sunday, Year B):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Some Good News on Teen Pregnancy and Abortion
Hitler's Pope: Comic Book Approach to Church History
He Approached the Victim: "It's much more likely one of your relatives will lose his life by surgical abortion than by heart attack."
Germaine Greer on Birth Control
Human Cloning: A Catholic Perspective (How the Unthinkable Became Inevitable)
Boston Globe's Misleading Article on Catholic Church
Deflating Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Stephen Jay Gould: Gorbachev of Darwinism?
Test Tube Offspring Want to Know Father
Erickson vs. Bartell Drugs
Call No Man Father
What is Original Sin of Sex?
Bicentennial Man (Hidden Assumptions)
Bogus Knights of Columbus Oath
Ossuary of James, Son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus
St. Mary of the Valley Album
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
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Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru
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